The unlikely couple whose romance took more than a year to blossom
Fashion designer Joyce Mak and Ronald Kong, a shopping mall manager, registered their marriage on February 16 and celebrated with a banquet at the Ritz-Carlton's ballroom on April 24 with about 250 guests.
They had both studied in Canada and were introduced through mutual friends they had known while studying there. They met in June 2007 at a friend's birthday party at a karaoke bar, but the three-hour get-together did not leave either of them with a memorable impression.
'There seemed to be nothing special about Ronald when I first met him. He quickly slipped my mind,' Joyce, 26, recalled.
Ronald, 31, said: 'I was busy socialising with other friends, and even though we were introduced, there was no love at first sight.'
Although they got each other's phone number, neither called and they barely saw each other for more than a year.
The unlikely couple met again in September 2008 over drinks with friends. Joyce had just split up with a boyfriend. That was when they really got talking and realised they had special feelings for each other that stretched beyond mere friendship. The following month, Ronald called and asked her out. 'I really love her smile. It's contagious and makes you want to laugh,' he said.
Ronald now had to travel back and forth between Hong Kong and the mainland for business, but whenever he was back in town, he wanted to see Joyce.
'He was pretty aggressive. He called me almost every day and we kept in touch on MSN when he was on the mainland,' she said. 'He always found an excuse to ask me out for dinner or the movies when he was back in town.' Joyce loved how Ronald always managed to cheer her up. 'He's such a funny guy. His jokes always make me laugh,' she said. 'He's not like the other guys I've seen. He's not so defensive. He's always willing to open up to me and love me with all his heart. He's also very straightforward and he doesn't play games.'
The couple moved in together in May last year and started talking about marriage. Ronald proposed one night in October at their home. Joyce couldn't hold back her tears when he got down on one knee, took out a ring and asked her to marry him. Of course, she said yes. The honeymoon had to be postponed, however. Joyce is now pregnant and expecting their first baby in January.
'There have been obstacles and arguments, but because of love we've never wanted to give up on the relationship,' she said. 'You can never beat that feeling.'