Perhaps it was their 10-year age difference, or maybe it was down to their different upbringings, but Natalie Li and Sam Tsang didn't initially see eye to eye on how to plan the most important day of their lives. Nevertheless, the pair patched up their differences and are now happily married.
The couple registered their marriage on December 12. Banker Natalie, 31, and Sam, 41, a financial planner, will celebrate their union next month in the ballroom of Courtyard By Marriott in Sheung Wan, followed by another banquet in Guangzhou.
Natalie and Sam were introduced by mutual friends at a party seven years ago and, for Sam, it was love at first sight. "She's really different from the other girlfriends I'd had," he said. "She's not just a pretty face, she has a heart of gold. We are both busy during the week, but at the weekends spending time with her really helps me relax."
Natalie said: "We were both a little worried when we first started dating because we are very different. Maybe our relationship isn't perfect, but we trust and understand each other, and that brought us together."
In 2007, Sam decided to propose to Natalie - not in a romantic way but with a solid plan for how they could spend the rest of their lives together. "I don't like those stereotypical proposals. The big flashy acts are not what matter, but all the little details in our lives," he said. "For me, marriage is taking our relationship to a new level and it's about the commitment." Sam still spent time looking for the perfect engagement ring, and when he found it, he was ready to make his move. On Natalie's birthday, he presented the ring and asked her to marry him. Natalie said yes right away.
While they were planning for their big day, however, the couple had a rare falling out.
"I wanted a fairy-tale wedding, while Sam wanted something simple but special," Natalie said. "There were too many things to decide and we disagreed on so many things."
They didn't speak to each other for more than a week. But they couldn't stop thinking about each other. "In our seven years of courtship, we have learned to compromise," Sam said. "We stopped fighting and acknowledged our differences."