Man behind more than 100 proposals gets girlfriend after 3 years

Man behind more than 100 proposals gets girlfriend after 3 years
DETAILED: Mr Lee Ming Hui, a partner at proposal planning company HelpYouMarry, helps 10 men plan their marriage proposals on Channel 5 reality show The Proposal.

Since he started proposal planning company HelpYouMarry in 2012, Mr Lee Ming Hui has helped plan more than 100 marriage proposals.

He is even starring in the local Channel 5 reality series The Proposal, where the self-styled "proposal architect" and his team work with 10 "young Romeos" who attempt to surprise their lovers with a proposal to remember.

Ironically, the man behind all this has been single for the last three years since the business kicked off.

Mr Lee, 31, told The New Paper over the phone last week: "I was searching for love while helping couples with their proposals. I saw romantic moments and felt a little envious."

Mr Lee, who admitted that he is "lovey-dovey deep down", saw his fate change on Valentine's Day this year.

He is now dating someone he has been wooing for over a month since the pair met at a mutual friend's wedding.

He prefers to keep her identity under wraps and would reveal only that she works in the banking sector.

Mr Lee had two girlfriends before this relationship.

It was par for the course for him to create a romantic setting just to ask her to be his girlfriend - he put together a candlelit dinner by the beach, complete with wine and music.

"Midway through, I made an excuse to go to my car to get a bouquet of flowers I had bought for her. I surprised her with it and then said my confession speech. I was so nervous," he recalled.

For once, he said, he was in the shoes of the men who have proposed to their partners with his help.

Mr Lee, who has a degree in marketing from the National University of Singapore's Business School, left his market research job after three years to set up HelpYouMarry in 2012 with his partners Jennifer Goh and Isaac Koh, who are engaged.

"At that point in time, a lot of our friends were getting married. Some of the marriage proposals were great while others were not so great. We thought there was a market for helping to plan the concept of proposals," he said.

According to him, there has been a 100 per cent success rate so far, at a cost that can range from $3,500 to $10,000 per package, depending on how elaborate and how logistically-intensive it is. Most typically cost between $4,500 and $5,000.

WILD

On the 10-episode The Proposal, which airs on Sundays at 10.30pm, Mr Lee said: "The coolest thing about the show is that you can do some of the wildest things because you have access to (many) places.

"We follow through with most ideas, but not if there is a possibility of a safety issue or one that might involve a clash with the authorities." He once rejected a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed proposal.

"There was a guy who wanted to jump off the yacht into the sea. We had to scrap that," he explained.

HelpYouMarry has both tourists and locals as customers, but Singaporeans in general are a sentimental lot, said Mr Lee.

"They like to tap on special moments together or memories and use that to create a memorable proposal," he said.

One of his favourite moments on the show was in yesterday's episode, when a man organised a special dog show for his dog-loving girlfriend together with their friends.

"I could tell he was so in love with her and the proposal was a great way to incorporate something that she loves to make her happy," Mr Lee said.

All his clients on The Proposal have been easy-going and fuss-free, resulting in the proposals ending on a happy note.

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