She needed a star for her advertisement, but got a star for her heart

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 September, 2011, 12:00am


About 41/2years ago, Vanessa So - working for an ad agency at the time - scouted Billy Clarke to star in a campaign. Although Billy didn't get the job for the advertisement, he successfully won Vanessa's heart.

Vanessa, 26, now a hotel secretary, and Billy, 28, a freelance writer, were married on August 6.

They celebrated their marriage with friends and relatives at an intimate lunch in Tsim Sha Tsui's An-tico restaurant.

The two first met at an open-air food stall in Central. Vanessa approached Billy for her ad campaign. She asked him to come to her office the next week to take some photos.

'I made the offer mainly because we might need some alternative characters for the ad,' Vanessa joked.

So they swapped numbers, and Billy decided to seize the chance.

What Vanessa didn't know was that Billy had already laid his eyes on her before she came over.

'I noticed her in the crowd and told my friend she was cute,' Billy recalled.

The two met again two weeks later for the photo shoot.

'He's nice and also very easy to talk to,' said Vanessa.

Love gradually blossomed.

Billy asked Vanessa to a buffet dinner for the first date. During the dinner, conversation flowed.

But because Billy had to go back home to England for a month, their relationship didn't get off the ground instantly.

'The trip was to evaluate my situation, and for me to decide whether I should move back home,' he recalled. 'But Vanessa was one of the reasons why I came back.'

The two kept in touch through e-mails and messages while Billy was away. They soon realised they were made for each other.

'We have very good communications from early on. We are also very compatible in many ways - we have similar tastes and similar sense of dark humour,' said Billy.

Vanessa agreed: 'Not long after we started dating, I knew he was the one. I feel so comfortable with him.'

The pair moved in together and raised a dog and a cat. They talked marriage for a while but decided to move the date up after Vanessa got pregnant in March.

'It's better for the baby to be born to parents that are married. I guess giving a baby love is better than giving him money,' Billy said. 'So maybe we can't give him the most money, but we'll give him the most love we can, to make him happy.'

Billy's marriage proposal on June 9 was a surprise to Vanessa.

'We were walking home from dinner and he said he wanted something from the supermarket, so I walked home alone. When I got home, there were flowers and banners set up. It was pretty romantic,' Vanessa recalled.

'Then he rang me up through the caller box. I thought he was going to propose to me through the caller box,' she said. 'But I made him come up and do it properly.' Their first born is expected in December.