Grandeur and Heart

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If you have never believed in love at first sight, hear what Singapore heartthrob DJ Shan Wee has to say of his bride, “There was no one moment of epiphany when I ‘knew it was love’ — somehow, from the very first day, on some level, I’ve always known it was love.”

The couple met three years ago during a party night out. Their ‘matchmaker’ Vanessa was Shan’s colleague at that time. Artika, whom Shan affectionately calls Tika, made a lasting first impression on Shan by mocking the sound of his laughter and saying that he sounded like a character from Beavis and Butthead. “I walked off, repelled by this girl with the high-pitched voice of a chipmunk, but soon I came back, we hit it off, and that same night went on the Reverse Bungee at Clarke Quay. A high trajectory start to an epic romance!” Shan recalls.

Shan, could you count the ways you love thee? “We share many things — a love of board games and competitive challenges, a great sense of humour; and we also complement each other — I like to drive, Tika loves to be driven; she can cook a great meal, and I keep the house tidy!”

Quoting actor Ashton Kutcher, “to really surprise or prank someone, you have to do it first thing in the morning”, Shan decided to do his proposal at 8 in the morning.

After a night fraught with jitters and nerves, Shan awoke the next morning before the alarm went off. He told Artika he was off to an early work appointment and left. 15 minutes later, he called her on the phone about a surprise that he had arranged and she had to go online to view it.

“There she found a video photo montage, where the soundtrack was none other than myself, playing guitar and singing a heartfelt ballad about our lives together. The last line of the song was ‘now go out to the balcony…’” said Shan. From their 4th floor balcony, Artika saw large sheets on the ground floor with the words ‘WILL YOU MARRY ME’

At this moment, the knight entered the apartment and went down on one knee on the balcony. He had prepared a love sonnet “worthy of William Shakespeare” but thought a change of course was necessary as Artika seemed to be in a state of confusion and denial perhaps due to the early and abrupt awakening.

Amidst her sporadic cries of “what? No…how?”, Shan managed to pop the question in Bahasa Indonesia, Artika’s native language, in a four-word sentence he took a day to learn. In her groggy state, Artika managed an “I guess so”, which made Shan the happiest guy in the world

So what made Shan decide to tie the knot? “I love her compassion and generosity to others. For every single one of her friends, Tika is always the one in charge of organising their birthday parties, and for our wedding, her primary concern was always ‘Will our guests enjoy that?’ It was never about her. She has said before that she likes the balance I bring to her life – when she might be flying out of control with her enthusiasm running at a hundred miles per hour I can help to calm things down, and in her wedding speech to me, she mentioned something like I was the ‘moral compass to her sometimes dodgy Indonesian ways’.”

The wedding was held over several days in Bali. The couple was glad that every member of their family played a part, from singing a song to giving a reading. The speeches made by good friends, including a rapped speech from the maid of honour, were equally memorable. During the groom’s speech, Shan played the hidden camera footage of his proposal complete with Tika’s initial reactions of ‘You’re crazy!’ “The fireworks were epic, and probably lasted longer than those on National Day, but overall the feedback I appreciate most is that our wedding had both grandeur, and heart,” Shan recalled fondly.