I timed my vacation in Boracay to coincide with Nicolette Bell and David Lai’s wedding. I rarely attend out of town weddings as it’s quite difficult to fix Tom and my schedule and we don’t like leaving our children behind. But when we received Nic and David’s invitation, we couldn’t miss it. At least one of us had to go.
Tom and I knew Nicolette Bell when she first started modeling. In fact, her first ever modeling gig was with us. It was through Direk Robby Carmona’s recommendation that we booked her. We were looking for a fresh face and Nic couldn’t have been the perfect choice.
Nicolette has been through Tom and my journey in the fashion industry. She was always top of mind when it came to our projects. So when fashion retail brand Tweeds asked Tom and me to do their campaign, we wanted to work with her.
Way back when I was the editor of Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Just Shop magazine, supermodels were my favorite cover girls. I love their rawness and versatility. Of course, Nicolette had to be a Just Shop cover girl!
When I ventured into designing accessories and had my online shop ‘Cuteture’, Nicolette was generous and kind-hearted enough to model my accessories. At that point, she already left the modeling business and became a flight stewardess. During one of her stopovers in Manila, she willingly modeled my accessories. She even took my designs to her travels and shot them in L.A., Africa and other parts of the world. I love her for that.
When Tom opened his studio in Makati Shangri-La, Nicolette was the face of his studio. Nicolette’s image was the billboard in his studio window.
Nicolette has been part of our career and has also become a part of our family. She is an honorary Epperson! We always have a wonderful time working with her and her presence has always been a delightful experience for Tom and me.
More than her physical beauty, what Tom and I were attracted to was Nicolette’s spirit. She is alluring, intelligent, kind and caring. She is one of those beautiful souls that we will never forget and will always love.
I finally met David, his friends and family and they are a fun and wonderful bunch! I’m so happy for Nicolette that she’s in good hands and finally married her true love.
To those of you who are curious about David and Nicolette, here’s their story:
A long distance love affair: David & Nicolette
How they met?
Although the two of us would love to say that we met in church, or in graduate school, or in the Peace Corps, quite honestly, we had met at a restaurant in Dubai. It was actually quite ironic; David was on a date with someone else that night. He, of course, noticed how attractive and beautiful Nicolette looked out of the corner of his eye and proceeded to devise a plan on how to approach her without being seen as slimy or creepy.
As the night unfolded, David took a window of opportunity to approach Nicolette and tell her how enamored he was with her. He was very straightforward and revealed that he indeed was on a date, but that it was only a second date and things were not serious at all. He told her that he would love to take her out sometime because she was a very intriguing person.
David, being the gentleman that he is, escorted his date back to her flat. After dropping her off, David went back to the restaurant on the off chance that Nicolette might still be there. The stars were aligned that evening, she was fortunately still there with her friends. David and Nicolette talked the rest of the evening, shared some laughs, exchanged stories, and even, believe it or not, had a few drinks together. At the end of the evening, David admitted to having a great time with Nic and wanted to spend much more time in getting to know her. She reluctantly gave him her contact info and the rest is history.
How are you two most similar?
We both love to travel and explore new places together. We are both adventurous and always willing to experience new things, new cuisines, and new cultures. We both prefer to trod the unbeaten path and have been to every continent and well over 100 countries between the two of us.
Nicolette and David first met when they were both working in Dubai in 2008. Little did they know, their relationship would culminate into a 5 year long-distance relationship spanning 4 continents. David proposed on the 4th of September, 2012. He had taken Nicolette on a desert excursion to an isolated falconry lodge in UAE along the Saudi Arabia border. They had a romantic dinner the following evening on a secluded desert dune, and in the guise of a photo shoot, was able to distract Nicolette long enough to get the ring, drop to one knee and propose.
The wedding ceremony was held yesterday (February 17) at Punta Bunga Beach, Shangri-La Resort & Spa during sunset. So romantic!
I cried so many times during the wedding and reception. You can feel the genuine love all around. It was such a lovely event!
The bride wore a Patrice Ramos-Diaz gown. So stunning! The lace was everything!
David and Nicolette’s wedding was pure bliss. Friends and relatives flew from all around the world to celebrate with them. I feel honored to be part of this special occasion. Thank you David & Nic! Tom & I love you guys and we’re always here for you.
My wish for David & Nicolette is a life filled with love, laughter & harmony!
Congratulations again to the newly weds! Mabuhay ang bagong kasal!!!
Nicolette’s photos by Tom Epperson