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Sun, May 20, 2012
The New Paper
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Glenn Ong, Jean Danker's wedding on hold
by Charlene Chua

They were on the brink of calling off their engagement last month.

But it wasn't because Class 95FM deejays Glenn Ong and Jean Danker had fallen out of love.

It was the pressure from well-wishers to set a wedding date that had taken a toll on their relationship.

The message they want to send out?

Please don't ask us when the big day's going to be anymore.

The pair has been dating for three-and-a-half years, and got engaged in June last year.

Things came to a head when they were at a fitting for bride and groom outfits last month for a photoshoot for the cover of a local bridal magazine.

Danker, 34, told The New Paper: "The gowns were beautiful. Then I was like oh-oh, we were jumping the gun. I panicked a bit.

"I had sweaty palms. The vision that was running through my head was that of the wedding, and it was just too overwhelming.

"I was imagining the wedding guest list, and the entire event seemed to be like a PR exercise with so many parties involved."

The Bambi-eyed deejay revealed that between herself and Ong, she has "always been the private one".

She added: "I am a people-pleaser but to go ahead with the wedding when the time is not right would be doing it for the wrong reasons."

After the fitting last month, just a week before the actual shoot, Ong and Danker went home and sat down to have a talk.

The couple, who were together at Ong's house when we spoke to them, admitted that they were forced to contemplate the questions that everyone had been asking.

Ong recounted how he had to "take over" after Danker's mild anxiety attack and called the magazine to cancel the photoshoot citing the truth - that the shoot had put tremendous pressure on both of them.

Said Ong, 42: "Maybe the engagement was a mistake, it really was.

"People kept asking us when the wedding date was going to be and there was just so much pressure to deal with."

He admitted that their relationship "took a toll" as they were arguing a lot, "much more then we used to".

"I was seriously considering calling off our engagement so that we won't be disturbed," he added.

"I think it was a mistake telling people that perhaps the wedding date would be next year.

"We don't know when we're going to get married, it's certainly not now."

Ong lamented that he had regrets about popping the question and wishes he could redo it all over again.

"Many times, I feel like I shouldn't have proposed.

"It was a way of saying to Jean: 'Look baby, I love you, you're the only one for me and I'm showing you my commitment."

"I'm regretting it now, I proposed too soon. I wish I could press the reset button and do it all over again.

"But I've done it, I'm not ashamed of it and I'm saying this in front of Jean because she knows where I'm coming from."

The couple said that although they were grateful for all the offers from photographers, videographers and wedding planners to sponsor their wedding, the outpouring of generosity had added to the mounting pressure that they faced.

Other times, it was friends of the family and relatives who were pressurising Ong's and Danker's parents, all four in their 60s, for a wedding date.

Ong has been married twice, first to ex-radio deejay Kate Reyes (they divorced in 2003 after about three years together), and then to TV host Jamie Yeo, which ended in 2009 after five years.

This will be Danker's first marriage - if and when they finally tie the knot.

And while her biggest wish now is for their relationship to be left out of the spotlight, she recalled that she was the one who had tweeted about their engagement in the first place.

How it began

Ong had taken her by surprise when he proposed to her after dinner at her parents' house.

She told this paper then: "He said, 'Please marry me'. He had those cute, earnest puppydog eyes.

"I said 'of course,' then followed up with a 'yes' in case I wasn't clear enough.

"It was old school, nice and genuine - exactly the way I wanted it to be."

She then announced her engagement on her Twitter account.

Said Danker, with a laugh: "I tweeted 'He put a ring on it'.

"I did it at 1 or 2am and I just thought people would be like is she quoting a Beyonce song?

"At that time, I really didn't think it would come to this with everyone asking all the time when the big day's going be."

She added that she understood that people's excitement stemmed from the fact that nuptials were a "happy thing".

For her, at that time when she agreed to do the bridal magazine shoot, she treated it as just another job for work, where it was like "putting the clothes on and getting it done".

But the experience was a reality check - that the most intimate moment of her life was going to be played out in a big way.

Her dream wedding?

A private shindig with no more than 50 guests.

The couple admitted that they have thought about eloping when the time is right, Paris being Ong's first choice.

He said: "Things really escalated after we appeared on the cover of 8DAYS last month (with an article on whether we'll serve shark's fin at our wedding).

"All we want is to enjoy each other's company at the moment.

"When we get married, things will get serious.

"And then people will start asking us, 'When will you have children?'

"As for the wedding, when it happens, it happens."

Danker and Ong first met 18 years ago when they were working at radio station Perfect 10.

Then only 16 and fresh out of secondary school, Danker said that Ong didn't appeal to her as he was much older - by eight years.

Calling him a marshmallow of a guy, she said she was impressed by his gentlemanly ways.

Ong joked that he too didn't find Danker "hot at all" as she was "just a baby then".

He said: "Jean definitely wasn't this hot when I first met her. I think she didn't like me that way then because of the fashion. I used to tuck in my shirt all the time, a bit ah pek.

"I never thought of her in that naughty way.

"Now I think naughty thoughts of her all the time."

Agreed Danker: "It's true you know, I literally have to beat him off with a stick."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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