Vancouver human resources professional Eva Cheung and local banker Terry Ma were first introduced over a hotpot by a mutual friend in March 2007. After discovering that they shared the same birthday, their friendship simmered into something more when Terryplucked up the courage to ask Eva out on a shopping date to celebrate.

The two took things slowly, keeping it casual until one day in June. “I don’t remember what made it official that day. I think he just asked me while we were watching movies one night,” recalls Eva. They soon learned they both had a passion for travel and took their first vacation together to Cancun, Mexico. Over the course of a four-year courtship, Eva and Terry travelled all over the world — but had yet to make that short trip down the aisle.

“We’d talked about getting married a few years into our relationship,” says Terry. “We were both on the same time frame, wanting to get it done before we turned 30 . . . I’d been thinking about it for a while, I knew I wanted to propose around the holidays, but I didn't want to take the shine away from Christmas.”

He finally decided to go for it on New Year’s Day 2012. Terry visited Eva at her family home and, in her bedroom, read her the children’s story,“I Love You Through and Through” by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak. The tale ends with, “I love you through and through . . . yesterday, today and tomorrow too.”“It’s like, the proposal book,” laughs Terry. “I tell everyone to get it!”

The two sat in tears on Eva’s bed. “Then all of a sudden I was like, ‘Aren’t you gonna kneel?’ ” laughs Eva.

In order to include all their family and friends overseas, Eva and Terry opted for not one, but several celebrations, spanning over a year. “All our friends are joking that ours is the longest wedding they’ve ever heard of,” says Eva. “But it was really important to me to include everyone; we are so fortunate to be able to do that."They began the wedding year by signing the official marriage papers at a small civic ceremony in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park on June 3, 2012 — exactly five years after they’d first made their romance “official.” Then, in October, the pair flew to Hong Kong to host a family banquet.

A couple of months later, Eva and Terry’s symbolic wedding ceremony and celebration took place in sunny Playa del Carmen, Mexico. “A destination wedding was the obvious choice for us,” says Eva, “and it felt right that it should be in Mexico, just a stone’s throw from that first trip that we took together.” 

While the pair wanted their destination wedding to reflect their own personalities, it was also important to them to honour family traditions. First came the Chinese tea ceremony, for which Eva wore a bespoke traditional red dress that she had made for her on a trip to China. For the beach ceremony, she changed into a fitted gown of ivory lace by Vancouver’s Clara Couture.“I was in awe when I first saw her,” said Terry, “but I was also laughing. Eva had been telling me it was a turtleneck for months!” A far cry from a constricting turtleneck, Eva’s romantic but simple gown worked perfectly with the intimate beach setting of the ceremony, where the two exchanged personal vows and performed a sand ceremony to represent their lives becoming one.For the dinner reception, Eva changed into a jewelled, Grecian-style silver dress, an elegant complement to the wedding’s white, grey and purple theme. Rich purple-toned blooms unified the single rectangular table where the wedding party and all the guests were seated together. “It was such a beautiful room,” says Eva. “The paper lanterns and the flowers just brought it all together and set the scene for such a fun night.”

While it’s customary for wedding guests to demand the bride and groom kiss at the reception, Eva and Terry decided to have guests demonstrate the kiss first, in the hopes of making it more difficult. “But everyone got so creative,” laughs Terry. “Our friends rehearsed the whole ‘Gangnam Style’ dance and ended that with a kiss!”When the wedding guests returned home, they were soon treated to yet another celebration in Vancouver, held in February of this year, for all the friends and family who were unable to join Terry and Eva in Mexico.

Now well and truly married in the eyes of loved ones the world over, the couple are looking forward to their honeymoon in Turkey and Greece. “The wedding has been one long whirlwind,” says Eva. “We’re so happy.”

Photographer Stone Photo | Venue & Catering Playacar Palace, Playa del Carmen |Bride’s Dress Pronovias, from Clara Couture | Bridesmaid Dresses BCBG | Hair & Makeup Styling Trio Riviera Maya | Groom’s Outfit Custom made in Hong Kong | Bride’s Shoes Stuart Weitzman | Stationery Michaels | Flowers Premium Flores, Playa del Carmen | Jewellery Lukfook Jewellery, Hong Kong