Love Story: Cheryl Lee And Gavin Sung
Welcome to our new series of love stories. At The Canary Diamond Co, we celebrate love every day. Weddings, engagements, anniversaries, the birth of your first child, Mother’s Day… It is such a privilege to be a part of these love stories — between couples, mothers and daughters, sisters, friends, etc — love stories which we are stoked to be sharing with you. Enjoy.
Theirs is a love story that could give Harry and Sally a run for their money.
When Gavin met Cheryl, they were just a couple of teenagers. The year was 2000. The setting, a university student soirée in the United Kingdom. For him, it was love at first sight. Even at 19 and under party lighting, Cheryl was gorgeous and confident. “I thought, this woman is someone who knows what she wants and what she doesn’t want,” he says. “I was intrigued.”
Eighteen years ago, Gavin was just a boy standing in front of a girl — speechless in the first moments of their encounter — asking only that she’d say hello to him. What he didn’t know then — ah, life — is that he would one day, on 16 August 2014, to be exact, be a boy kneeling in front of that same girl, asking her to marry him.
She said “yes!”.
Here is the love story of Gavin Sung — MD (Asia Pacific) at an FTSE 100 company and motoring director for the Porsche Club in Singapore — and Cheryl Lee, partner at Restaurant Lerouy. They married in June 2016.
Can you recall the first time you met?
Cheryl: We were in the UK in 2000 during our university days. I remember it was student night at a local club called Icon.
What was your first impression of him?
Cheryl: When we first met, he was so shy he couldn’t speak for a minute. That was so adorable!
Who made the first move?
Cheryl: Hmm… Well, his friend Ricardo made the first move, to be very accurate 😂. Ricardo approached me and pretty much begged me to follow him over to be introduced to Gavin.
When did you realise that Gavin is The One?
Cheryl: When I was going through some tough times, Gavin was always there for me despite us living in different continents. His unwavering love for me made me realise that he’s the one for me.
What three qualities about him are you most attracted to?
Cheryl: He is the most reliable person I know. He gets me — he knows me so well it still amazes me till today. And his eyes! They are light brown with a tint of green.
How did he propose?
Cheryl: We were in Cape Town. After a long day of sightseeing, we decided to stay in for dinner. We had the worst Chinese meal of our lives and some champagne. After dinner, we went out to the balcony which overlooked Table Mountain. That was when Gavin took a ring out of his pocket and asked me to marry him.
Did you see it coming?
Cheryl: I definitely saw it coming! For a month leading up to the proposal, Gavin would ask, “When are we getting married?” at least three times a day. He started sounding like a broken record. (Laughs.) But I must admit that only when he actually asked did it sink in that it was real!
He is the most reliable person I know. He gets me — he knows me so well it still amazes me till today.
Tell us about the ring.
Cheryl: My parents have been friends with Judy and William, who own The Canary Diamond since before I was born. They are like godparents to me. Without a doubt, I buy all my jewellery from them. They found us this beautiful stone, it was so brilliant I immediately fell in love with. It is a 3.3-carat cushion-cut diamond with two trilliums on each side.
What was your first reaction when you saw the ring?
Cheryl: The ring! Now that’s an interesting story. When Gavin proposed, he took out a ring from his pocket, which I thought looked a little dubious even in the dim light on the balcony. So my immediate worry was, “is it real?”, “did he get cheated?” The questions kept coming. Finally, he folded and told me that it was a Swarovski crystal makeshift! 🙈🤣
What, to you, is one of the most memorable moments you’ve shared together?
Cheryl: The most memorable moment has got to be the night we met. Until today, the story is often retold and reminisced by the both of us.
Be spontaneous: What is one thing you’d really like to say to him right now?
Cheryl: When are we going on our honeymoon, darling? xoxo
How did you and Cheryl meet?
Gavin: We were partying at a student night, at a nightclub in our university city in the UK. It was a Wednesday night, and around midnight in 2000. Cheryl was being bought a drink by a classmate of mine. My friends and I could see that she was drinking more than he was, and he was struggling to keep up with her! I was intrigued, and she was gorgeous, but I was too shy so my friend went over to her to see if she’d like to say hello to me. (He’s still one of my best friends today, and was a groomsman at our wedding.) She did, and I was a little shell-shocked — unsure of what to say. There was quite an awkward moment of silence before we began speaking. That was 18 years ago!
What was your first impression of her?
Gavin: I thought she was gorgeous and really confident.
When did you realise that she is The One?
Gavin: Within 24 hours of us meeting.
What three qualities about Cheryl are you most attracted to?
Gavin: (1) Although she doesn’t always agree with the way I think, Cheryl listens and always considers my view. She’s very supportive at letting me do things that she may not always agree with.
(2) She has really strong family values and makes sure we spend time with both her family as well as mine. She is such a caring and considerate person.
(3) She has amazing little dimples that she’s always complimented for.
How long did you go out for before you proposed?
Gavin: This is a long and extenuated story. We’ve known each other for 18 years! But I only proposed in 2014.
She didn’t seem too surprised, and just gave me a smile. Then she said: ‘Well, I guess I’m not going to marry anyone else.’
We have time. How did you propose?
Gavin: Well, I had actually been thinking of popping the question for some time, however Cheryl had never really been quite interested in the topic of marriage. About a month before we set off for a three-week holiday to Africa, I began making some hints daily on the prospect of getting married. I think she was beginning to get annoyed with it.
On 16 August 2014, we were in Cape Town. I hadn’t had any Asian food for almost two weeks, which was becoming a serious issue and withdrawal symptoms were very much apparent. When we checked into the hotel, The Cape Grace on the Marina In Cape Town, I asked the Concierge if there was a good Chinese restaurant or take out that they could recommended.
The Conciege came up with a highly recommended Chinese restaurant, but they did not deliver. I wanted to eat in our room so they offered to get us a menu and go and pick it up for us. Perfect, I thought. I ordered a bottle of champagne to our room and waited.
Well, the meal arrived and it was terrible. One of the worst take-out Chinese meals we’d ever tasted. I was so disappointed, but I thought that this was a night for us to remember — perhaps not the most romantic though.
Shortly afterwards, Cheryl went to take a shower, and I opened the champagne. Feeling nervous, I secretly went to my luggage, took out the ring and put it in my pocket while I thought about the scene. The ring — I was in London just a few weeks before, and knowing how fussy Cheryl is (I rarely have the guts to buy her a gift without knowing that she wants it), I bought a large Swarovski crystal ring as a “fake” to use on the proposal.
We both went out onto the balcony overlooking the marina across Table Mountain. With some courage, I took the ring out, went down on one knee, and asked Cheryl if she’d marry me.
She didn’t seem too surprised, and just gave me a smile. Then she said: “Well, I guess I’m not going to marry anyone else.”
Followed by: “Where did you buy the ring? It looks a bit yellow. I think you got cheated!” I played along for a while telling her it was a great diamond. She knew better. I couldn’t fool her at all.
That is some story. What about the “real” ring then?
Gavin: I am so terrible at choosing things to buy for Cheryl, so we went to The Canary Diamond. We knew they would get us the perfect stone and design for the ring. I left that part to Johnny (from The Canary) and Cheryl — and just took care of bill at the end.
What would you say is one of the most memorable moments you have together?
Gavin: Being such a petrol head, I bought Cheryl a four-day driving experience with Porsche in Mount Cotton, Australia. After those four days, she came back loving fast Porsche sports cars! She’s now almost as big a car lover as I am!
But, a more serious memorable and important moment for us was when I decided that a long-distance relationship was too much for us. I remember we were on holiday in the Maldives when I told Cheryl that I was going to leave London and move to Singapore permanently. Prior to that, we were seeing each other only once every few months. That decision placed us on firm course to where our relationship is today, as a happily married couple.
Be spontaneous: What is one thing you’d really like to say to Cheryl right now?
Gavin: Shall we fly somewhere this weekend?
Photography & Jewellery: The Canary Diamond Co