A Dreamy Seaside Wedding in Thailand

Photo: Erich McVey

"That morning, everything was going wrong," says, the bride, Michelle, including thunderstorms and a food-poisoned photographer and makeup artist. "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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Michelle and Ryan

Erich McVey

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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The Stationery

Erich McVey

Deckle-edged Italian Arpa paper was calligraphed, then digitally printed and washed in watercolors.

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Innate Inspiration

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The suite, also calligraphed by Katherine Ross of Script Merchant, featured wavy, freeform lettering. "The idea was to evoke waves lapping on the shore," says Michelle.

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By The Water's Edge

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The night before the wedding, native long-tail boats took guests to a beach barbecue beneath these limestone cliffs.

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All Marked Off

Hand-dyed silk flags marked the ceremony site on Phranang Beach.

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Monkeying Around

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A macaque monkey took in the day's happenings. "He was quite chill," says Michelle.

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The Program

Erich McVey

The couples' initials were digitally printed on a card stock cover; the booklet was then tied with Froufrou Chic hand-dyed silk ribbon.

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Cave the Way

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Michelle, in an A-line Oscar de la Renta gown with Chantilly lace leaf appliqués, and Ryan, in a Zara suit, exchanged vows in a limestone grotto strung with jasmine blooms and ribbon on Phranang Beach.

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The Flowers

Erich McVey

Garden roses, astrantia, and local greenery made up the bridal bouquet.

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The Boutonniere

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A snip of silk ribbon held a cluster of astrantias, jasmine blooms, and local foliage.

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The Bridesmaids

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Bridesmaids chose their own dresses in a muted palette of blush and blue.

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The Second Dress

Erich McVey

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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Alone, Together

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Ryan and Michelle shared a moment postceremony on Phranang Beach in Krabi, Thailand.

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The Chairs

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Garlands of jasmine buds adorned the couple's chairs.

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The Place Cards

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Foraged river rocks calligraphed with attendees' names served as place cards.

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Erich McVey

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

Bride's Dresses: Oscar De La Renta; custom reception gown from Classic Tina Bridal Shop

Bride's Accessories: [veil] Twigs & Honey; [shoes] Tsumori Chisato

Hair and Makeup: Amy Clarke

Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo; BCBG; ASOS

Groom's Suit and Tie Clip: Zara

Groom's Accessories: [shoes] Cole Haan; [tie] COS

Ribbons and Flags: Froufrou Chic

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