MANILA, Philippines – After 7 years together, two kids, countless travels, and a long engagement, Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez are finally tying the knot.
From a whirlwind beginning, the couple's relationship has since evolved so that they are now one of showbiz's most established couples – and their family of 4 are Instagram favorites.
As their wedding date draws nearer, here's a look at Richard and Sarah's relationship through the years:
May 2012: Sparks fly on Makapiling Ka Muli
As celebrities in the same network, Richard, at the time 28 years old, and Sarah, then 18, had already met and took interest in each other before they even started working together. But it was when they were filming the teleserye Makapiling Ka Muli in 2012 that sparks really began to fly.
As they shared in an interview on ASAP natin ‘to in 2019, Richard courted Sarah while they were working on the show, and by they were done filming, they were officially together.
September 2012: They travel to Switzerland and France
As their on-screen chemistry won viewers over, their off-screen chemistry was really heating up – and the two took what might just be their first international trip together as a couple in September 2012, travelling to Switzerland, where Sarah was born and raised, and France.
View this post on Instagram I wandered everywhere through cities and countries wide,I realized now that I'm happiest just here by your side... A post shared by Richard Gutierrez (@richardgutz) on Sep 29, 2012 at 11:52am PDT
As they shared photos of themselves together during the trip, people continued to speculate about their relationship status even further – and in a later interview on Tonight With Arnold Clavio, Sarah confirmed that they were indeed in a relationship. She also shared in the same interview that the trip was Richard’s gift to her for her 19th birthday.
January 2013: The couple faces pregnancy rumors – that turn out to be true
Not even a year after they made their relationship public, the two already faced pregnancy rumors, which coincided with contract issues between Sarah and her then-network, GMA. In January 2013, Sarah took to Twitter to tell her followers that they’ll be seeing less of her, citing misunderstandings with her management. She then said that the stress and uncertainty led her to decide to return to Switzerland to study. (SHOWBITZ: Sarah Lahbati’s Twitter farewell)
Some people, however, linked Sarah’s departure to a pregnancy – which Richard continued to deny in an interview on January 19, 2013.
April 2013: Sarah secretly gives birth to son Zion
Sarah had already been in Switzerland for several months – and Richard had gone to visit her several times – when she gave birth to their firstborn. She was a few months shy of 20 years old.
If going to Switzerland was a way for her to go through pregnancy and childbirth privately, it worked. It took months after the birth before early reports on it came out – and over a year before the couple themselves would confirm that they had a baby.
June 2014: Richard ’sets the record straight’ about their baby
It was on the pilot episode of his family’s reality show It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez that Richard finally spoke about being “a proud father” to their baby.
He said that they found out about Sarah’s pregnancy in Paris, and that they kept it private because “we didn’t want to make Sarah’s pregnancy a tabloid circus.”
After Richard came out with the news, Sarah then took to Instagram to share a photo of baby Zion’s hand in hers saying “extremely happy to announce the new member of our family.”
The public got to see Zion for the first time in the following episode of It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez.
March 2017: Richard proposes to Sarah in – where else – Switzerland
After years of enjoying being a family with Zion, the couple decided to make it official – and Richard put a ring on it in Zermatt, Switzerland, with a stunning view of the Matterhorn as a backdrop.
They revealed their engagement soon after at the premiere of the fifth season of It Takes Gutz to be a Gutierrez.
File photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler
"We've been living our lives as a married couple and this really formalizes that. We're considering it a new chapter, a fresh start, it's always exciting," Richard said.
September 2017: The couple announce that they’re expecting baby number 2
As the couple’s fans awaited wedding plans, Richard and Sarah surprised everyone yet again by dropping another big announcement. Sharing a photo of her, Richard, Zion, and an ultrasound, Sarah shared that their family was expecting a new addition.
View this post on Instagram We are thrilled to announce that our little family is growing. Zion is about to be a kuya!!!!! So excited for the future. Lord, thank you for protecting us. I'm very much pregnant... back pains, breakouts, HAKAW DIM SUM CRAVINGS, cramps, mood swings AT IBA PA!!! Raise your hand if you can relate!!! Shoutout to all the super moms out there. The silver lining to this craziness is that there's a healthy baby growing inside of me who I'm very much excited to meet next year. :) Do you think we're having a boy or girl? A post shared by Sarah Lahbati (@sarahlahbati) on Sep 18, 2017 at 5:48am PDT
March 2018: Kai is born
The couple’s brood grew as Sarah gave birth to their second son, Kai. Since Kai's birth, the foursome have traveled everywhere together – from Europe, to Bali, to Palawan – as they settled into life as a growing family.
View this post on Instagram Kai. March 21, 2018 A post shared by Richard Gutierrez (@richardgutz) on Mar 20, 2018 at 9:34pm PDT
September 2019: Couple of the Night at the ABS-CBN Ball
Sarah and Richard went on a glamorous night out at their third ABS-CBN Ball outing together. The pair looked stunning in their matching white Filipiniana ensembles, and at the end of the event they were named Couple of the Night.
File photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler
October 2019: A date is set
After being engaged for over two years – and having another son in that time – the two finally anounced wedding plans. In a press conference, on October 6, 2019, the two said that they would be tying the knot in March 2020 in Manila.
Sarah said "We chose March because we got engaged in March. Kai was born in March... March is a very special month for us so we felt March would be right to get married."
Richard later said in an interview on Tonight With Boy Abunda that they chose to hold the wedding in Manila instead of abroad as they had earlier wanted so that they could have both their families present.
March 2020: The wedding
The couple is set to finally tie the knot on March 14, at Shangri-la at the Fort in Bonifacio Global City.
The couple's sons will be part of the entourage – along with quite a list of principal sponsors, including President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Senators Tito Sotto, Cynthia Villar, Manny Pacquiao, and Bato dela Rosa, ABS-CBN execs Charo Santos-Concio and Carlo Katgibak, and GMA exec Felipe Gozon. – Rappler.com