There is a repeat element throughout this story: time. Time brought this couple back together, and it was a long period before they tied the knot. A bangle that once belonged to the bride’s grandmother was passed down to her by her mother, and it will be passed on to the generations to come. The newlyweds satisfied the bride’s first dance dream, and they actually wed in a heritage building, which is a symbol of something beautiful that has withstood the test of time. They also had a long distance relationship for a period, which made their exchanging of vows extremely emotional. If ever there was a couple who understood the beauty of waiting, it is them. For surely there is a time for everything under heaven, and we are privileged to witness the fulfillment of that. Thanks, History Studio, for sharing these photos with us.
Carly: “Soki and I first met at the age of 8 at my cousin’s birthday party – he was my cousin’s primary school classmate. Eleven years passed and we didn’t meet again until we enrolled in the same course at university in 2002. That same year, our love story officially began. The love sprouted and bloomed for another 11 years before we tied the knot last summer and became lifelong partners.
“We decided to write our vows and only reveal them to each other during the ceremony. To our surprise, the contents of our vows were very similar. It was very emotional, and I was moved by every word that he said.
“Another memorable moment was during the traditional Chinese tea ceremony, when my mother helped me to put on the 50-year-old family heirloom – a golden bangle with a dragon and phoenix motif, which was given to my mother on her wedding day 33 years ago by my late grandmother. Wearing the bangle, I felt like I was carrying the blessing of my mother as well as my grandmother, even though she could not attend our wedding. It’s a keepsake for life, and I am sure that one day I will pass this on to my future daughter / daughter-in-law as a continuation of family love and blessings.
“Having trained as a ballet dancer for over a decade, I’ve always wanted to have a first dance with my husband on my wedding day. We picked the song ‘Hold On’ by Michael Buble for its beautiful melody and lyrics. which both of us feel so connected to. We only took a few lessons to learn the steps, and the first ‘dress rehearsal’ was the actual first dance moment! Even though it wasn’t perfect, it was a lovely memory as I will always remember how my husband, despite being a dance amateur, tried his best to fulfill my childhood dream.
“We didn’t start off with a specific wedding theme. We chose our wedding venues, colours, DIY items and decorations based on what we liked and what we wanted to share with our guests. We are particularly drawn to things with historical meanings. This could be because of our architect / designer background, and the fact that we lived in London for a long period of time, where we learned to appreciate anything with a story behind it. Instead of picking a 5-star hotel as our wedding venue, we picked Bethanie Chapel and the Grand Stage at Western Market, which are both listed heritage sites in Hong Kong. The long-lasting architecture almost becomes a metaphor for our lifelong relationship.
“We wanted our wedding to be personal, intimate and heartwarming. We wanted to tell the story of us – our childhood, the journey of our love, the places we like, the interests we share, etc. That is why we designed our own bespoke graphics for the invitations – a photo collage of our childhood photos, photos of our daily lives, home decorations, etc. We hoped that our guests would get a preview of our story before attending our wedding.
“We sourced our wedding decorations everywhere – London, Hong Kong and online. The vintage tea sets and laced tablecloths were borrowed from my grandmother, the vintage picture frames and bronze lovebirds were purchased from a secondhand antiques market in the UK, the handmade dried/silk flowers were sourced from a local flower market… I could talk for hours telling the story of every single piece of décor in our venue. We also sourced some handmade crafts and stationery that matched the style of the decorations from local art shops or Etsy. When all the elements were placed together, and in such a unique context, the whole wedding became eclectic, vintage and rustic.”
Tips from the bride: “Give yourself sufficient preparation time prior to the wedding. Start your research by looking at blogs and taking inspiration from real weddings. Try to be inspired, not to copy. It’s easy to follow exactly what other couples have done, but it will make a difference for you and your guests if you make it yours, something that truly represents you and your partner. On your wedding day, plenty of things will not turn out as planned. Try to embrace these imperfections, and enjoy the day because those little setbacks actually serve as a bespoke memory for you two.”