Post impression gives keen suitor scoop of a lifetime
The story of Bonnie Lam and Christopher Chan isn't one you'd read about every day.
Christopher spotted his dream girl in the pages of the South China Moring Post, where she was being interviewed as a representative of her school.
Christopher, the creative director of an advertising agency, and Bonnie, marketing manager of Hong Kong Disneyland, sealed their union on October 1 in a traditional Chinese ceremony with close relatives. They then flew to Edinburgh, Scotland, to legally register their marriage and returned to Hong Kong a week later to throw a party for friends at The Helena May in Central.
The couple were both 17 in 1997 when Christopher read the Post article. 'I saw her photo and thought she looked really cute,' he recalled.
The story said Bonnie attended Heep Yunn School in Ma Tau Wai. He had a friend at the school and he asked him to contact Bonnie for him. They were soon messaging each other and later began chatting daily on the phone.
They finally got to meet each other at a Heep Yunn School open day.
'It was kind of awkward at first,' Bonnie said. 'He was witty and mischievous, arrogant and confident.'
'I was playing hard to get,' Christopher said, somewhat unconvincingly, since he'd tracked her down.
When Bonnie left to attend university in the US, their friendship developed into a summer romance after her first year away. But it ended when Bonnie went back to the US to continue her studies.
'For years, we knew that we both had feelings for each other, but neither of us wanted to ruin the friendship,' Bonnie said. 'We were so close that all my friends, colleagues and my parents knew him and wondered why we never became a couple.'
They dated other people but never really clicked with any of them.
'When I came back to Hong Kong in 2002 we were both seeing someone else and were too shy to meet again,' Bonnie recalled. 'I remember we had dinner once. After that dinner, I told myself that I couldn't pretend to be friends with him. I was so sad at that moment. I felt like I was out of his life.'
By the end of 2009, both were single again and they decided to give love another try.
'Christopher really makes me laugh and cheers me up. So when I ended my previous relationship, he was the first guy I called. I asked him out for dinner and really I just wanted to see him,' Bonnie said.
Over dinner, all the feelings flooded back, and a few weeks later they began dating again.
'It was great timing for both of us. We were more grown up,' Bonnie said.
As for a marriage proposal, Bonnie said Christopher asked her so many times that she didn't know which one was for real.
'Every time was for real,' Christopher said.
'In fact, Bonnie always had a place in my heart. I knew she was the one weeks after meeting her, but it actually took us 10 years to be together.'
In February this year, Christopher got down on one knee and asked again - this time with a diamond ring.
'He wrote messages on cardboard, just like in the movie Love Actually,' Bonnie said. 'On one piece, he wrote: 'Will you marry me?''
The couple chose to go to Scotland to sign the paperwork because they wanted to be alone, believing marriage to be a sacred pact between two people.
'Bonnie has travelled to a lot of places and Edinburgh happened to be one of the places left on her bucket list,' Christopher said. 'It was just the two of us. We asked the photographer and hotel manager to be our witnesses.'
Although they have known each other for 14 years, Christopher said Bonnie never ceased to amaze him. 'Her endless energy and passion for life really attracts me. Every day I find out something new about Bonnie and I enjoy the process very much.'