Actor too shy to pursue his love at first sight
TVB actor Dexter Young was too shy to make a move when he first met Shanfia Ng, but he did not hesitate the next time he saw her some years later.
Dexter, the son of Cantonese opera veteran Connie Chan Po-chu, and Shanfia, who works for a cosmetics company, wed in May last year. But they celebrated their marriage on July 29 at the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt hotel with more than 400 guests. Celebrity friends who attended the banquet to wish them well included actors Eric Tsang Chi-wai, Andy Lau Tak-wah and Steven Ma Chun-wai.
Dexter said he almost cried the night before his big day, when he and his mother performed traditional Chinese marriage rites.
'All my childhood memories flashed before my eyes when my mum combed my hair [part of the tradition],' he said. 'I recalled how she put all her heart into raising me. And here I am, starting another chapter of my life. I was very moved.'
Dexter said he was delighted that his mother genuinely loved Shanfia. The couple now live under the same roof as his mother and they have weekly family day gatherings.
Although they attended the same primary school, Dexter and Shanfia did not meet each other until 1992. They were studying at university in Canada and were introduced by Shanfia's brother, who was a good friend of Dexter's.
He liked her the minute he laid eyes on her, but was too shy to make a move and later discovered that Shanfia already had a boyfriend.
Following their first meeting, they barely heard from one another until four years ago, when they both moved back to Hong Kong and met again at a gathering of university alumni. This time around, Dexter didn't let her go so easily. He told Shanfia he had feelings for her and they decided to give love a shot.
'It was like destiny that we got together after so many years,' Dexter said. 'Shanfia is very kind- hearted and, of course, very pretty.'
Dexter and his mother's stardom have made Shanfia a target of the paparazzi.
'Reporters have followed her to her office,' Dexter said. 'But you can't care too much about these things. You just have to get on with your life.'
They couple tied the knot at the Cotton Tree Drive Marriage Registry in April last year, a month after Dexter proposed. He took Shanfia for a romantic, candle-lit dinner and hid a diamond ring in the dessert.
'When I asked her to marry me, she cried a lot before saying yes,' Dexter recalled.
The next day, Dexter broke the news to his mother, stressing that there was no pressing reason for them to get married in a hurry, and Shanfia was not pregnant
'My mother was a little surprised at the news of the wedding, but has been very supportive,' he said.
Dexter said he felt like a very lucky man.
'She isn't the kind of girl who wants to be showered with flowers and all that. She truly adores my family and that is very important to me.'
Dexter's mother said on her son's big day that she was blessed, too. 'Shanfia is such a sweet girl that I feel like I now have a daughter. I don't want to push them to have babies. My only hope is for them to be happy,' she said.