We believe a capacity to love is signalled through the way two people smile and laugh when they are together. In the way they let their laughter erupt, and be their complete, truest, most authentic self.
In nearly every frame, every footage from this session, we see Livia and Willy smiling to their cheeks, eyes filled with glee, like pure joy exuding from every inch of their faces. Livia and Willy are both dear clients we had the absolute gladness of meeting a few months ago. Their energy as a duo is powerful. Generous, unafraid to be themselves, and – we love this – completely capable of laughing at themselves too.
It wasn’t difficult at all trying to get these two to play around and have the time of their lives – they expressed themselves with such fervour, with a sense of freedom in their movement, that we couldn’t help but let ourselves be swept up by their chemistry.
“I actually remember nothing up to December 2016,” Livia admitted, when we first asked her about the story they first met. “He’s the one who actually remembers every little details vividly,” she said. “The outfit I wore, the way my hair was, to how I actually smell on that date.”
So we contacted both of them to get a peek into their life together. It’s been a long, exciting ride. Here is how it started.
“We’re from a small city,” Willy said, explaining they’re both from a town of Palembang. A quaint port city on the island of Sumatra, in the middle of which a river runs through. But it was in Melbourne that the two had met, when Livia was visiting her brother, who was then a church friend of Willy’s.
“He was called by the senior pastor [there], knowing that our family is from Palembang as well,” Livia recalled. “I didn’t pay any attention to him, like none!” she joked.
Funny enough, they would continue to be in the same place between 2011–2013. Livia and Willy were both working in Singapore. “He went to my church several times, but I never noticed he was there,” Livia said. The path of two soulmates can be a tricky, long-winding thing. For these two, it constantly aligned, pulling them closer, but never intersected. “We went out with the same group of friends, worked in the same area,” she continued, “ate our lunch around the same place, yet never met each other!”
It wouldn’t intersect until the month of May 2015, at a mutual friend’s wedding when the two would meet again. Livia remembered very little about this exchange – at this point she even couldn’t remember his face and name – but this exchange was the starting point of a journey. Their journey, together, which they had no idea was going to unfold.
Livia did remember feeling butterflies in her stomach when they talked and exchanged contact details. But well, it’s kind of impossible, she thought, he is just too smart and charming.
Their two paths unravelled ahead to different directions. After the brief exchange, Willy would go to Shanghai and USA, while Livia went to Taiwan, until everything sparked again in late 2016.
By way of a recent post Livia made at that time, the two started chatting through Instagram in December 2016. “I started texting her when I was about to finish my studies in USA,” Willy said. And we hear this phrase well often enough, but truth be told, the rest is history.
They first met in person in January 2017, and Livia’s first impression of him had evolved drastically compared to their first meet six years ago. “He was good looking still, smart, kind,” she recalled, “pretty impressive to talk to a person from chatting to real life – and it felt much better in person.”
When they talked that day, the same butterflies in her stomach returned. But as Willy gradually fell for Livia, he did remember what he thought on their first date. “Somehow she didn’t really [dress up or wear lots of makeup] on the first date,” he said, confusedly. “But it changed afterwards, and we clicked, she was well-knowledged.”
Well-knowledged, we can testify, is not the only part of Livia someone woud see at first glance. She was lively, vibrant person, with so much uplifting, cheerful energy. The couple shared something in that they were both confident, but also humble people. They also shared the same love for things like playing music or enjoying sports.
“When he plays piano and sings for me, it somewhat makes my heart flutter,” Livia admitted. “Or when he’s trying to say something romantic, but FAIL indefinitely!” she joked.
On the other hand, Willy is charmed by Livia’s frank honesty. He told us this when answering our question about what part of Livia could make his heart tickle. “It’s how she’d sort of nag and complain, saying I often forget the small stuff,” he recounted, “but then she’d end up giggling and laughing to herself, and say, ‘That’s okay, I often get it messed up to.’
“She’s an attentive and caring person, and she rarely gets angry, and never holds a grudge,” he says of Livia. “I can be a difficult person to deal with,” Willy would say to her, “but please bear with me. We’ll get through it together.”
The couple has gone through many memories together. One of those memories is they went on a trip to Mt Bromo, despite Willy not being an early riser (let alone dawn.) “Yet he still agreed to go,” Livia recalled, “tried to catch some sleep in the car and accompanied me to see Bromo for the first time.”
She expressed many times that she is grateful for Willy’s heart and companionship, and that she loves when, in her words, “he puts me first amongst other things or other people.”
“When he works hard to provide the best for me, and doesn’t bring up any word about it, when he wakes up early to send me to the airport, or when he needs to stay up late because I need to talk nonsense,” Livia said.
On the night of March 4th 2018, Willy got down on one knee and officially proposed to his soon-to-be life partner. “When he bent the knee, I know that it will forever be silly days with this one,” Livia said. We believe that’s one of love’s greatest gifts – the honour of finding a soul you can be utterly silly with.
Their journey, from paths that wouldn’t intertwine, to extensive long-distance phases, would unfold for a total of more than two years, and it hasn’t been as smooth as they thought it’d be. “Yet God’s grace still sustains us,” Livia said, “I trust that He’ll provide us the best that we need.”
Their souls, their energy, their full-blown courage and positivity, will continue to inspire us, and we couldn’t be more excited. Here is to Livia and Willy, and the adventures they’ll find together. Be it to the furthest parts of the earth, to the deepest parts of their hearts.