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The first day of college is ablaze with nerves, egos, and beginner’s trepidation—not exactly ideal conditions for meeting a lifelong partner. Unless, that is, you’re Michelle Fung and Ryan Fan, who ended up in the same orientation group at the University of Hong Kong in 2003. Ryan noticed Michelle’s easy laugh and adventurous spirit; Michelle appreciated her future husband’s quiet demeanor and kind heart. After a few platonic months, Ryan confessed his feelings, and the two have been together ever since, living in Hong Kong, where she is a lawyer and he’s an engineer.
Ryan proposed during a trip to Sri Lanka in 2013, and the pair’s wanderlust led them to choose an equally exotic wedding venue—the Rayavadee resort in Thailand, a beachside property near Krabi Marine National Park. They invited 50 friends and relatives, and kicked off the weekend with a cruise on traditional wooden long-tail boats to a remote island, where they feasted on fire-grilled seafood. During the moonlit ride home, the boatsmen asked if anyone wanted to swim with Andaman Sea’s famous bioluminescent plankton. “Michelle was the first to raise her hand,” says Ryan. “It was magical, like swimming in a sea of stars.”
The next morning, thunderstorms threatened their big day, and food poisoning sickened a photographer and makeup artist. Fortunately, the clouds parted, and the two exchanged Christian vows in an alcove cut into the beachfront cliffs on November 19, 2014. Guests made their way back to the resort for banana-leaf-wrapped snapper on a tree-shaded deck. Dinner entertainment came courtesy of the bridesmaids, who sang an acappella medley and hosted a tongue-in-cheek awards ceremony (“Best Grades With the Least Effort” was one of Michelle’s honors). The fête ended with a performance by fire dancers and a sparkler-lit walk back to the ceremony site, where a DJ spun deep into the night. “That morning, everything was going wrong,” says Michelle. “Then Ryan said that as long as we could say our vows, nothing else mattered. Those are words I’ll never forget.”
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Deckle-edged Italian Arpa paper was calligraphed, then digitally printed and washed in watercolors.
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By The Water’s Edge
The night before the wedding, native long-tail boats took guests to a beach barbecue beneath these limestone cliffs.
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Hand-dyed silk flags marked the ceremony site on Phranang Beach.
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A macaque monkey took in the day’s happenings. “He was quite chill,” says Michelle.
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Garden roses, astrantia, and local greenery made up the bridal bouquet.
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A snip of silk ribbon held a cluster of astrantias, jasmine blooms, and local foliage.
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Bridesmaids chose their own dresses in a muted palette of blush and blue.
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The Second Dress
After the ceremony, Michelle changed into an airier, custom dress from Hong Kong, which took more than six months to make. “Each tiny flower appliqué was hand-sewn on to the dress while I was standing in it,” she says.
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Ryan and Michelle shared a moment postceremony on Phranang Beach in Krabi, Thailand.
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Garlands of jasmine buds adorned the couple’s chairs.
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Foraged river rocks calligraphed with attendees’ names served as place cards.
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Location and Catering: Rayavadee
Creative Direction: Ginny Au
Flowers: Sarah Winward
Photography: Erich McVey
Stationery and Calligraphy: Script Merchant
Ceremony Musicians: Ellie Siu, Roy Lim, Dixon Fung, and Charles Cheng
DJ and Fire Dancers: Ting for Carolyn Lakos
Hair and Makeup: Amy Clarke
Groom’s Suit and Tie Clip: Zara
Ribbons and Flags: Froufrou Chic