For the first time ever, Cheryl Wee is ready to talk to the press about her 12-year relationship with Roy Fong. The engaged couple opens up to Singapore Tatler about their courtship and their upcoming nuptials this July.

Fate plays a hand in most relationships, but particularly so in the case of actress and entrepreneur Cheryl Wee and her architect fiance Roy Fong's 12-year romance. The pair had met when they were just 17 at Victoria Junior College.

Even so, their paths would probably have never crossed, as Roy was an avid sportsman who was the star of the school’s tennis team, while Cheryl was in the dance club. Yet, fate stepped in to lend a helping hand, and each had secretly caught the attention of the other.

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Above Tiffany T square bracelet in rose gold and Schlumberger Circle Rope bracelet in yellow gold, both by Tiffany & Co; pyjamas by Sleepy Jones

“I spotted Roy from afar one day at a 7-Eleven store near our school and quickly told my best friend ‘That guy is very good-looking! I must find out who he is!’” shares Cheryl with a chuckle during our conversation with the pair over the phone. At the same time, Roy was also wondering who that girl with the “charming and cheeky smile” was. Later, their strong mutual attraction led to an introduction by a common friend at the school canteen, and when that happened, the scene might as well be something out of a movie. “Sparks flew between us as we stood 30m away from each other, the day we were formally introduced,” admitted Roy.

It was only a year later that they became a couple, and their chemistry and tender love has since proven strong enough to weather challenging milestones in the years after.

This included keeping mum about their relationship in public after Cheryl was propelled into the limelight as she pursued a career in acting, music as well as modelling for her family’s well-known business. “Roy understood that I didn’t want people to know about us and was alright about not holding hands in public. I think most people still don’t know that I’m dating someone, much less engaged,” notes Cheryl, the eldest child of Jean Yip and Mervin Wee, the duo behind Jean Yip Group and recipients of the 2016 Singapore Tatler Award for Business.

“He’s always been thoughtful and understanding, and it’s very rare for someone to be consistently so throughout a long relationship such as ours.” The My Love Sinema actress was particularly touched by Roy’s considerateness during the six months that she was studying dance in New York after her A-level examinations, when he took the initiative to visit her family every weekend to check in on them for her. “Sometimes, I’m away so often for work that it feels like he sees my dad more than I do,” she quips.

Without a doubt, family plays a big part in their relationship. Cheryl’s family, which also includes her two younger siblings, 28-year-old Rachel and 21-year-old Russel, is famously close-knit. They even played a pivotal role in the surprise proposal Roy had planned for Cheryl, which rolled out beautifully in Kyoto, Japan last January.

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Above CT60 Chronograph watch in rose gold by Tiffany & Co; shirt by Ermenegildo Zegna Couture; trousers by Bottega Veneta

Two months before, Roy, who is his own creative at the esteemed DP Architects, had asked Cheryl’s parents for her hand in marriage privately over lunch while she was away filming My Love Sinema. “Family is Cheryl’s number one priority, and I want it to be mine too,” he says, before adding with a laugh: “I decided to first ‘propose’ to her parents because I knew that she is quite old‑fashioned in that sense and really respects her family.” 

It was on her parents’ suggestion that he surprised her with a ring during a family trip to Japan. In line with what he knew was her dream proposal, he made sure that her two closest aunts were also in attendance.

Soon, the planning for their wedding started. Once the couple settled on a ballroom at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore as the venue for their reception, the rest of the planning and preparation processes went into full swing. Cheryl, with family in tow, has since travelled to Paris, London and Rome in her hunt for the perfect wedding gown. Making the final cut: a gorgeous Vera Wang concoction that’s slated to hit the runway next year. “I will most probably be the first bride in the world to wear it, so I’m excited!” enthuses Cheryl. 

Yet the most memorable part of the lead-up to the wedding is not in the search for the material, but in the spiritual. “When we went to the marriage preparation course at our church (the couple and Cheryl’s family are Catholics), the priest mentioned how love is not just a feeling but also a decision. The both of us are each other’s passports to heaven. I know Roy is definitely mine,” gushes Cheryl.

Her confidence in their relationship was boosted further in 2015 when she moved to Taiwan to pursue acting and experienced a self-confessed downward spiral following her fight to meet the rigid standards and make headway into the country’s entertainment industry. “My career there wasn’t going anywhere and I started perceiving things very negatively. At that time, Roy was the one who got me to see some truths of life—that it isn’t just about me, but also about doing good for others.” 

With that in mind, and encouragement from her family—particularly her business savvy mum—Cheryl launched her own wellness and weight management brand in late 2015 with the goal of helping women achieve a stronger, more contoured body through a healthy and holistic philosophy. 

“We have our own interests, but share a strong motivation towards life. We encourage and challenge each other, while making an effort to understand the other’s passions,” enthuses Roy on how they both push each other to achieve their own dreams. “I think we make a pretty good team.”

Photography: Darren Gabriel Leow   

Fashion Direction: Desmond Lim

Hair: Grego/Indigo Artisans, using La Biosthétique, At Glamour Salon System

Make-Up: Sha Shamsi/Indigo Artisas, using Chanel and Vecce Chin, using Mary Kay

Photographer's Assistant: Chong Ng

Stylist's Assistant: Joey Tan

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