“I was surprised but a little disappointed,” says Rosalind Pho of her 36-year-old boyfriend Yohei Ueno’s proposal in Italy when they were holidaying in Europe in July. “Only because I had wanted to propose to him three days later in Greece! I had it all planned out but he beat me to it (chuckles).” Rosalind’s fiancé, who’s Japanese but grew up in Singapore, is the director of a logistics company which specialises in refrigerated ISO tanks.
Four months after the engagement, the 35-year-old actress is finally getting down to planning her upcoming wedding, which she says will be “in the second half of next year”.
Rosalind, who’s a self-confessed “rainbow lover”, is looking for a wedding gown that features all seven hues. “I hope we can find one that doesn’t look too gaudy. If you do a rainbow dress wrongly, it can look quite terrible,” she laughs.
The couple, who’ve been dating since they met at a BBQ pool party 15 years ago, will have two weddings — one in Singapore for relatives and friends who don’t wish to travel, and one overseas with no kids allowed.
“We wanted to hold a wedding in Bali but there’s the volcanic eruption now so we are re-thinking that. I still want to hold it there though,” she says. “I want a wedding similar to that of a Japanese summer festival, where it’s more casual. I want to remember mingling with my guests instead of one where I just go: ‘Hello, thanks for coming’.”
8 DAYS: So how did Yohei beat you to the proposing?
ROSALIND PHO: We were on a holiday with our mums in Europe. I’ve told him before that Italy is my favourite place in the world, so I guess he thought it would be a good place to propose. He probably didn’t want our mums to be present, so he put them at a bar, and we walked to another location to watch the sunset. While we were sitting there, he said: “Isn’t this the most beautiful sunset you’ve ever seen?” I said: “It’s okay” before burping loudly ’cos we were drinking beer (guffaws). Long story short, after I burped, he got down on one knee when the sun was setting and proposed.
Why did you want to be the one to propose?
(Laughs) Since the beginning of our relationship, he had told me that he didn’t want to get married, so we never talked about it in the past 15 years. I didn’t know if he was ever going to propose, and I didn’t want him to say: “Let’s get married” for the sake of it. We’ve been together long enough, and we love each other, so I wanted to propose to him as a formality and make it official. I was going to capture it on video and I knew he would say yes. So when he proposed to me, I was like: “What? I was going to propose to you!”
Tell us about the engagement ring.
I love rainbows. When I look at them, I just feel very happy. He knows that, so he asked my jeweller friend to customise a ring with rainbows in it. The ring has a row of diamonds around it and different-coloured sapphires in the middle. I’m not into jewellery and I’ve always said that I would prefer to get a good washing machine if we got engaged (laughs).
We hear there was some drama surrounding the ring.
So he bought me the ring a year ago, but he lost it! I was in his room and I was so close to the ring that he panicked and put it in his suit jacket which he later sent for dry-cleaning. And he couldn’t find it after. So he went back to the jeweller to make the exact same ring which he proposed to me with. But just last week, he found the original ring in his drawer! So now I have two of the same rings (laughs).
You guys were dating long-distance for 12 years.
He was in the States for four years and in Japan for six. When he was in Japan, I moved to Taiwan for five years. All in all we were not in the same country for 12 years. But we’re not the type of couple who had to chat on the phone all the time. We only called each other when we had something important to share. So a LDR was really easy. In the 12 years, we didn’t argue much. It was only after we both moved back to Singapore that we started arguing ’cos we weren’t used to spending so much time together.
What did you argue about then?
We were suddenly in a place where we had our own circle of friends and we had things we wanted to do on our own. I think it’d have been fine if we did them separately, but we always wanted to do them together, so we ended up arguing. I guess it's a good problem to have 'cos even though we were fighting, it's really because we wanted to spend time with each other. I also realised that I like to stay home on my day off, but he likes to go out. Now, we've come to a compromise. Whenever he’s travelling for work, I’d stay home and veg out. But when he’s around, I’d go out with him.
So what makes him the right one?
He's not simply someone I love — he's a part of me. If I ever lose him, it's like losing my arm. That's the best way I can describe it. I’m not going to say things like: “I want to wake up with him every day” ’cos when he’s overseas, I feel good too ’cos I have time to myself. But he makes me feel very safe, and he’s someone I can count on. When I travel with him, I know he will keep me alive (chuckles).