Couple who clicked after chance meeting on the web

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 03 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 03 March, 2012, 12:00am

Hilda Fung and Ivan Ho were only a click away when they first got connected - even though Hilda was living in Sydney, Australia, and Ivan was in Hong Kong.

Nine years later, on December 16, they got married in the company of more than 200 friends and relatives at the Jasmine Place restaurant in Jardine House, Central.

Hilda, 29, a project manager at a design firm, and engineer Ivan, 32, met on a Taiwan-based social networking site.

'The first time I met him, he was all pixels,' Hilda joked. 'Ninety per cent of the people on that website were from Taiwan. So when I saw on his profile that he was from Hong Kong, I was intrigued.'

The pair chatted online for almost a year before actually meeting. In 2004, Hilda returned to Hong Kong to visit her family and Ivan asked her to see a movie.

The prospect of meeting an online friend for the first time made Hilda nervous, so she asked a girlfriend to accompany her.

'When we finally met, he turned out to be really cute - even more handsome than in photos,' she recalled. 'He could be quite flirty online, but in real life he was decent and sweet.'

Hilda said she had wished the movie would never end that night. Afterwards, they went on one more date before she had to return to Sydney. It could have been just another summer fling, but Ivan was left deeply in love.

One day, he spontaneously decided to visit Hilda in Australia, even though she wasn't his girlfriend yet. After a romantic week in Sydney, the pair decided to start a relationship despite the distance between them.

They kept it going for almost four years before Hilda relocated to Hong Kong in 2008. 'I think [the long distance] may have been a blessing because we had to go to great lengths to spice up our relationship,' she said.

'Ivan constantly wrote to me, sometimes in a cryptic way that I found a lot of fun.'

They started talking about marriage the following year and began planning to spend the rest of their lives together.

In 2010, Ivan got down on one knee and proposed to Hilda. 'I love everything about him,' Hilda said. 'I knew he was the one when I couldn't stop sobbing after seeing him off at the airport after he came to visit me, and it was only the third time I had seen him. It already felt as if we'd known each other all along.'

On their big day, Ivan again surprised Hilda with a handmade silver bracelet engraved with the word 'miracle' that he spent a year making. The couple had a honeymoon in Prague.