The bond between Veronica Chou and Evgeny Klyucharev goes back to the day they came into the world. They share not only a birthday but a birth year.
Veronica is the daughter of textile tycoon Silas Chou, and president of Novel Fashion Holdings and Iconix China. Entrepreneur Evgeny is the founder and president of Key Asset Holdings. The couple tied the knot after dating for almost two years.
They celebrated their marriage over two days. On November 16, they exchanged vows at a candlelit wedding ceremony in the ballroom of Wan Chai's Grand Hyatt hotel. More than 300 friends and relatives flew in from Russia, the mainland and the United States to congratulate the newlyweds. The bride wore a Michael Kors couture dress and jewellery designed by her friend Wan Baobao.
The groom's mother, following Russian tradition, offered the newlyweds bread sprinkled with salt as a symbol of health, prosperity and long life.
"Walking down the aisle was the most memorable moment," Veronica said. "The best part also was that all our guests had so much fun."
The following day, the couple hosted a gala dinner on the West Kowloon promenade in a custom-built Russian palace designed by production house Bureau Betak. The company has built fashion show pavilions for the likes of Christian Dior and Victoria's Secret.
Almost 1,500 guests attended the gala, including Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson and businessmen David Tang, Bruce Rockowitz and Timothy Fok Tsun-ting.
The banquet mixed Chinese and Russian styles. Guests were welcomed by uniformed men and two horses. Reproduction Faberge eggs, Ming vases and Russian dolls decorated the 81 tables, and guests enjoyed a vodka-pairing menu.
Performers from Cirque du Soleil provided the night's entertainment, and the throng of party-goers didn't start to thin out until the early hours.
Veronica and Evgeny were first introduced in 2010. They didn't hit it off instantly because of their globetrotting lifestyles. Evgeny was travelling back and forth between Hong Kong and Moscow, while Veronica was regularly in Beijing. They remained friends, but as the days went by they got to know each other better. Before long they had fallen in love.
"We think very similarly," Veronica said. "I could never be really mad at him because I know I would do exactly the same thing.
"I definitely see a bit of myself in him when we are together. That also helped me to understand myself more and we grew together."
A few months into their courtship, the couple broke up as they both felt they needed some personal space. "We weren't quite ready to take the next step so we took a break. But we soon reconciled and realised how much we needed each other," Veronica said.
After they got back together again, their relationship reached a new level.
In November last year, Evgeny took Veronica on a helicopter ride to see the city's skyline from a different angle. When they flew over a private beach near Big Wave Bay, Veronica noticed something unusual on the sand. As the helicopter descended, she realised that it was people lying on the beach spelling out the words, "Will You Marry Me?"