Jeffrey Xu & Felicia Chin Are Engaged; He Proposed At Night Safari, Where She Worked Her First Full-Time Job
The newly-engaged couple spills the deets about the special day, from the huge ring Jeffrey got Feli, as well as when they intend to tie the knot.
In a phone call with 8days.sg this morning, the happy couple reveals that the big proposal actually happened late last month — July 29, to be exact.
Jeffrey popped the question at the Night Safari, in an intimate event that took about a month to plan, and was attended by 20 of their closest friends and family.
The couple also lets on that if all goes well, they really, really, want to tie the knot by the end of the year. Talk about light speed.
8DAYS.SG: Congrats! When was the proposal, and how did you propose?
JEFFREY XU: July 29. It was a very heartwarming [proposal]. I've been thinking about our guests from very early on 'cos the venue has a capacity limit, so I couldn't invite too many people.
So, I thought I should invite people who have helped us along in our relationship to witness the proposal. And at the same time, I wanted to express our gratitude to them. There were around 20 people there, it was at the Night Safari.
Why the Night Safari?
JEFF: Firstly, both Felicia and I really like animals. From time to time, we'll go to the zoo to walk around. And every year, on my birthday on October 4, the Friends of the Zoo membership card will be mailed to my house. Oh, and the Night Safari was Felicia's first workplace. But I'll let her say it herself.
FELICIA CHIN: Yeah, my first full-time job was working in the Night Safari as a show presenter. I was 18. So the place brought back a lot of memories, and it was just very unexpected that the proposal would be there. It’s a detail that I found very cute.
Did Jeffrey keep the proposal a surprise from you, or were you suspecting something already?
FELI: I… totally did not see it coming at all. Actually Jeffrey found it very hard to surprise me. So he with two of our friends, Wei Ting and Chong Zheng, actually came up with a plan. So one month before, around late June, the friends sent me an invite to their one-year-old son's birthday party at the Night Safari.
The card was really beautiful and all, so I really believed it. Fast forward one month, as I was preparing to go for the birthday party, there were some little mishaps here and there, you know.
It was raining heavily on the way there, and he was very nervous 'cos unbeknownst to me, it was supposed to be an outdoor thing, but they had to shift everything inside. So I really went in not expecting anything.
Jeffrey, you must’ve been very nervous that day?
JEFF: I was very, very nervous. For the entire month [leading up to the proposal], I was actually quite stressed.
Were there a lot of things to plan?
JEFF: Yes, a lot of things to plan. Our friends helped me out a lot, and I needed to make a lot of decisions. For example, what photos to choose, what songs to play, where to take photos, as well as what I wanted to write down and tell Felicia.
I really had to think about those things and constantly refine and execute it. So those were the stressors I had during that period. Of course, she also went to Vancouver then, and extended her trip. She also reached Singapore in the wee hours of the morning on July 28, so I was afraid that she might get Covid. Or might have jet-lag.
Was she jet-lagged in the end?
JEFF: (laughs) It was quite severe. In the afternoon, she was groggy and sleepy, but energetic at night.
You wrote a letter to Felicia during the proposal?
JEFF: Yes 'cos she likes handmade gifts from other people. She finds it very sincere, so I hoped that whatever I told her that night could be kept in a letter. So whenever you feel angry with me, you can take it out as a letter of guarantee.
And if we have kids, you can show it to our kids too, like 'Oh this was what your dad told your mum in the past, look how romantic and childish' (laughs).
The letter is with Feli, right?
FELI: It’s on my table right now. A lot of things are happening now, and there are a lot of transitions in my life, and Jeffrey's life as well. This year, there are a lot of new seasons, and we're trying our best to cope, and I think everything is happening at the right time as well. I feel excited, nervous, but really thankful that Jeffrey actually looked into so many details, be it the preparation, the videos that he did, and visiting all the places that hold memories for us, and all the words that he has written. So all these are etched in my heart lah.
A lot of people have been eager to see you guys take the next step, so is there any special reason why you guys decided to take that step now?
(Felicia translates the question into Mandarin for Jeffrey)
JEFF: You answer first.
FELI: (Laughs) Um.. yeah 'cos we feel it's the right time. How the relationship has progressed, and it just feels right in our heart to do so in this period of our life.
JEFF: I think it's the right time, and for Felicia, she's had a new breakthrough in her career, and I feel like everything's lined up for it to be a very good time. If the timing wasn't right, I might not have had a month's time to plan it, so I think the timing was just right.
FELI: To add on, we're also very thankful that in these seven years, a lot of people have walked with us as well, be it people in public, as well as friends around, so I think that's also a reason we wanted to share some details of what happened that night with all of you, and sharing the love that we've received.
I feel like every relationship goes through different journeys, and ours needed maybe a little more time, but I feel like every relationship has it's own time and journey, and at the right time, it's time for a new season [for us].
Similarly, for Felicia, have you ever thought that a proposal might not happen, since it’s been a while since you started dating?
FELI: Um… yes and no. Yes, being that I know we’re in a place right now where there's a certain maturity in the relationship, we're better at communicating. Some foundations in our relationship are more stable, and we both feel that it's really the right time to go on to the next step.
To be honest, we were just listening to a song ['Blessings' by Laura Story] that really spoke to us at the start of our relationship, where sometimes things were a bit tough. So during those times, it was like a 'No', for me, if you're asking me if I thought a proposal would happen.
But sometimes it's not about waiting for a proposal, but about the relationship, like when is it time for us to take the next step. We believe that in the waiting, we both grew individually. And this proposal came at the right time. So it's more of the waiting and preparing for both of us to be better as individuals, so that we can be stronger for one another.
Going back to the proposal, the event was also a way for you guys to thank those close to you, who’ve helped you along in the relationship?
FELI: Yes, unfortunately we are not able to have more people, but I think many people have helped us a lot along the way.
Those 20 people have really seen the ups and downs of our relationship, and maybe without them, we might not be having this very special moment of our life, so we really just wanted to take this time to honour them, and spend the night with them.
Were there any celeb friends present?
FELI: Yes, Zhu Houren and Chew Chor Meng, Rayson Tan, and Ang Junyang. They're like our veteran mentors, people who have spoken a lot of life into our relationship. And Junyang's like Jeffrey's bro.
Now, for the ring, did you guys go ring shopping together?
JEFF: That was a... [Actually] during Star Awards, I mentioned that I'd bought a ring already. And that was the ring. It was custom-ordered by [celeb hairstylist] David Gan. It's a blue sapphire, a very precious sapphire (lan bao shi 蓝宝石). For Felicia, 'cos I call her my treasure (bao bei/ 宝贝), so...
FELI: (to Jeffrey) You had a dream right?
JEFF: Yes, a dream about a sapphire. And I found it very special.
FELI: He shared with me before that he had a dream, about the colour of the ring, and he felt like that colour was for me. And so he proceeded to find the gemstone.
JEFF: Yes, and then I felt like if there were no diamonds involved, then it might not feel sincere, so I added the diamonds in, circling around the sapphire.
It's a custom-made ring, right? Are you comfortable sharing how much it cost?
JEFF: It was a five-figure sum.
How about the number of carats?
JEFF: I’m not sure about the carats 'cos I only focused on the sapphire.`
For Felicia, when you saw the ring, what was your reaction?
FELI: I was like, 'Ooh, it looks like this!' 'Cos I know that he had it for a while, but I've never seen it. He told me roughly what gemstone it was, but I've never seen it (laughs). On it's own, I wondered if it wasn't really my style, but when it was on my fingers, I think it's one of the rare rings that really look good on my hand, so yeah, I think it's made for me (laughs).
For Jeffrey, how did you get her ring size?
JEFF: That was actually quite hard. I went through our stylist 'cos we share a stylist. So I asked him if he could measure her ring size, and he did so and I got the size.
FELI: Yeah, so we must thank Martin [Wong] also. I remember, he was the one who measured my fingers, but I don't think I thought anything about it. I thought it was work or something.
JEFF: Yeah, and thankfully... she didn't put on weight.
FELI: (laughs) Okaaay…
Now, are there any plans for a wedding anytime soon?
JEFF: We're hoping that we'll be able to [tie the knot] this year. It might be a bit rushed, but we feel that nothing's impossible. If we could hold it this year, then it'll be the best arrangement 'cos I think this year's very special.
Is 2022 a special year to you guys?
JEFF: To put it simply, Felicia and I, she got her 10th Top 10 Most Popular award, and I got the Best Supporting Actor award [at the Star Awards]. And Felicia has also had a different breakthrough in her career. We also got engaged, so this year is very special. If we could get married this year, it would be a very perfect ending to the year. Of course, we don't wish to give each other too much pressure too, but we hope to take things step by step.
Is there a month that you guys have in mind already? Maybe in October or November?
JEFF: For this...
FELI: Actually, of course, if you were to ask for a month, October will be really special 'cos it's both our birthday months. But of course, if it were to be in October, we'll need even more help from people (both laugh). Regarding how to prepare and all. But no stress, October is a very special month.
Have you guys started talking about what kind of wedding you'll like to have?
JEFF: We kind of have…
FELI: It's either very simple, or it's something big, so... what do you think? Please give us some suggestions (laughs).
How about work-wise? Anything coming up?
FELI: I’ll be going to Zambia for eight-10 days with World Vision, and will be doing something for Hai Hao Ma? too. And Jeffrey’s working on two projects.
For me, I’ll be sponsoring a child there in Zambia… (to Jeffrey), hey, this could be our first child (laughs). Yeah, just spreading love and joy. It’ll be in late-August, so I’m looking forward to that.