Four couples, four different stages of marriage – this is how love blossomed and thrived between them.
MARRIED FOR 25 YEARS
Tracie wears a dress from Nida Shay; necklace and shoes, stylist’s own. Adrian wears a sports jacket and joggers by Dolce & Gabbana.
Tracie Pang, 50, and Adrian Pang, 54
Tracie was the one who made the first move when she and Adrian met in London in the early 90s. They got married in 1995, welcomed two sons in quick succession, and then birthed their own theatre company, Pangdemonium, in 2010.
“He doesn’t remember meeting me because he had a few drinks, so our second meeting was much better. It was in Singapore, and I caught him in the final performance of a show he was in. I remember he had impressive long, flowing hair, and leather jeans on. Who wears leather jeans in Singapore?” recalls Tracie.
“She’s wrong, I do remember meeting her, and my first impression was ‘Wow, she’s tall! And hot. And tall!” jokes Adrian.
The banter between the two flows quickly and easily, which isn’t surprising, considering they’ve been a happily married couple for more than two decades.
“I think we love each other more now, but on the flip side, we know each other’s ugly side a lot more too, and that has made us tougher and more understanding of each other,” says Tracie.
Adrian agrees. “Going through life’s challenges together definitely makes you grow closer, and makes your love for each other evolve into something stronger than that first flush of pure, young, passionate love,” he explains.
Both cite parenthood, too, as the reason for their unbreakable bond. “Children teach you so much. They make you grow up fast and give you an unbending and binding love in life,” shares Tracie.
“Parenthood is the most incredible, bewildering, rollercoaster ride, and after 20 years of it, it is still taking us to places we never counted on,” says Adrian. “This February, we will be staging The Son, and I’ll be sharing the spotlight with our older boy, Zack, with Tracie barking orders at us. It’s going to be a very special experience.”
MARRIED FOR 4 YEARS
Claire wears earrings from Andy Accessories; bejewelled dress from Tory Burch; and heels from Giuseppe Zanotti. Yuey wears a turtleneck, suit and pants from Deboneire; and loafers from Giuseppe Zanotti.
Claire Jedrek, 37, and Yuey Tan, 37
While the pair were friendly with each other during their younger days, it wasn’t until a chance encounter in 2012 that sparks really flew between them.
“I was walking down Tiong Bahru at night about to head home when Yuey yelled out to me from a passing car,” Claire recalls. “I told him to text me on Facebook, where he then proceeded to invite me out for drinks, and 10 minutes later, I asked my taxi to turn around, so I could go and meet him. That was that!”
Yuey, meanwhile, says that he found Claire wild and independent; traits she has kept up even until today.
“My first impression of her was that she could achieve everything she set out to do. Of course, we were young, and perhaps, a lot less confident that we acted, but she’s followed up well throughout the years with some kick-ass achievements,” says the race car driver.
Four years of marriage and two kids later, the couple say their love is stronger than ever. “We rarely talk about love, or what love we have for each other,” Claire explains. “We have a lot of respect for each other and having kids has made us stronger, but for me, it’s the teamwork that we put in that makes it feel like love.”
“Our lives are built as a team. You can’t undo that,” Yuey adds.
“This is what created a deeper version of the love that originally brought us together.”
MARRIED FOR 10 YEARS
Carrie wears earrings from Andy Accessories; leather top and pants from Diane Von Furstenberg. Peter wears a sweater and pants from Bottega Veneta.
Carrie Chong, 43 and Peter Chen, 52
Peter had his shoes stolen on the night that he first laid eyes on Carrie, so he thought his relationship with her was somewhat jinxed from the get-go.
“We met at a friend’s condo for drinks over a game of Monopoly, and someone living in the complex stole my shoes! I was so pissed off after our first encounter I honestly don’t know why
I agreed to see her again,” says Peter. “But I’m glad I did.”
“We did fight a lot during the first six months of dating,” says Carrie, a radio deejay on Kiss92 FM. “We had our biggest fight at Kaikoura in
New Zealand on Christmas day that saw us almost calling it quits for good. Ultimately, love prevailed, we got hitched in 2010, and now, I love him more with every day that passes.”
The couple says that after a decade of marriage, it’s not the grand gestures of romance that keep their love alive. Instead, it’s the small, seemingly insignificant actions that speak louder than words.
“Cheesy, as it sounds, it’s the everyday things that matter more, like him making me my daily cup of coffee, keeping the kids occupied and quiet, so I can have a lie down after a tiring day or just taking the time to ask me how I’m doing,” Carrie explains.
“Our lives are so intricately entwined as a couple and as parents that I would be completely lost if she wasn’t around,” shares Peter. “In Carrie, I’ve found someone who’s completely aligned in terms of life values, goals and expectations.”
Joy wears earrings and necklace by Andy Accessories; and drape dress from Issey Miyake. Sunny wears sweater by Asos; and gold pleated pants by Dante.
Joy Wong, 28, and Sunny Tupaz, 28
Brought together by their faith, Joy and Sunny took their time to get to know each other after meeting as teens.
“We met in church in 2007 when I was 15. We got together in 2012 during our final year in ITE and [polytechnic]. I knew he was a keeper when he persisted in texting me every single day for three years even though I said we weren’t together yet,” says Joy. “If someone could be this patient with me, must chope!”
The pair married in October 2019 and are enjoying the conveniences of married life, such as living together.
“It’s been awesome! Sure, there’s a lot to adjust to such as understanding each other’s space. You don’t get to experience these things when you’re dating, but it becomes real points of contention when you’re married,” explains Sunny.
“Of course, adjusting to being married is a little tough,” Joy adds. “But when you love someone you’re willing to compromise here and there. It helps that we can communicate face-to-face now, instead of over the phone.
“We’re still new to this; there are challenges we’ve yet to get through. It can get overwhelming to realise what’s ahead, like planning for our finances, for a house, for future children. I hope that we’ll find strength in God, each other and our loved ones so that we can have sunny, joyful days ahead.”
PHOTOS: VEE CHIN & PHYLLICIA WANG
ART DIRECTION: XU MEI YAN
STYLING: JEROME AWASTHI, ASSISTED BY JET ONG
HAIR: ASH LOI/SONDER SALON, USING REVLON PROFESSIONAL
MAKEUP: AUDREY WEE, USING CHANEL BEAUTY, AND HONGLING LIM, USING YSL BEAUTE
LOCATION: ANDAZ SINGAPORE & PANGDEMONIUM