Murray and Chloe met at The Vine Church in Hong Kong, after both attending this church for a few years and not every bumping into each other (it’s a big church!) he noticed how beautiful she was at an event one evening. After the event, he remembered that his best friend had once said: “Murray, if you can talk to a gal about barnacles then she’s a keeper”. So, he decided to give it a shot. Luckily for him (an ex-fisherman and lover of the ocean) she had studied marine biology and did not run away, so he knew he had a chance. They got to know each other more during their time in Hong Kong; hiking trails, catching fish, exploring prohibition-style bars, and talking too loud in jazz clubs. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, Murray asked if he could take her out for dinner. However, Chloe had organized a pottery class and a ‘Galentine’s Day’ meal with one of her friends Laura, so she declined (also she found the whole Valentine’s Day thing a bit cheesy!). Not taking no for an answer, Murray turned up at her pottery class on Valentine’s Day with a bunch of flowers and a wonderful meal waiting at home. She was very impressed at his pursual and accepted (promising to meet Laura another time, thankfully she wasn’t too upset about eating McDonald’s on her own that night!) Over the next year, Murray knew he had found the one and asked her parents for her hand in marriage. With their approval, he set about a rather special proposal.
Staging a fishing trip to the local beach, he got his friends to hide: one to take photos from up the top of a nearby tree, and another to hook a decoy fish on the fishing line (he was dressed like an old Chinese fisherman in disguise and it worked! Chloe didn’t notice either of them). Chloe and Murray cast out their fishing lines as Murray described his favourite parts of their journey together. Then, as Chloe pulled in her fishing line there was the fish… With a ring in its mouth! (Not the ring). By the time she saw the dried fish attached to her line, Chloe knew what was happening, but continued going along with the surprise. Murray then got down on one knee and proposed with the real ring – gold, set with a sapphire and two small diamonds – presented in a beautiful oyster shell. Fortunately, she said yes and the rest is history.
Both growing up in the UK, they wanted to get married near their family and friends. So, they were blessed to have their support, and to be given the option of getting married in a medieval castle in Kent! This fitted perfectly with all the Scottish kilts and bright summer dresses that showed up on the day. Total time from engagement to wedding was a mere 9 months. As they both continued life in Hong Kong: Chloe, conducting a PhD, and Murray, teaching full-time primary school English and studying part-time, they needed plenty of friends and family for support alongside them. Both had 7 in their bridal party on the big day: Murray had rented kilts in the Flower of Scotland tartan for his groomsmen, and Chloe had given instructions to her bridesmaids to find dresses/jumpsuits that suited them in the colour-scheme of Murray’s tartan. Surprisingly, it worked rather well and they all looked great. Chloe initially thought she wanted a low-key boho-style wedding dress, but as the months went on, and the location was set, she realised that 1) this dress may be quite difficult to find in the short timeframe and 2) it wouldn’t look right in the venue. So, she opted for what she secretly wanted (and suited – but was too afraid to admit fitting the stereotype!): a lace-covered princess dress! She owned it on that day. And Murray looked rather dashing in his full Scottish gear.
Everything was just brilliant. From the beautiful flowers by LilyBuff to the wedding band during the ceremony made up of family and friends, to the wedding message from their church Pastor who had flown over from his sabbatical in the States, to the (rather long but hilarious) father-of-the-bride speech, to the evening wedding band London Town which literally blew everyone’s mind. The perfect day, which everyone will continue to talk about long into the years ahead.
We were very grateful to have Paolo come and photograph our special day. He did an amazing job capturing the beauty and excitement of the day. He ensured we got a myriad of beautiful shots to adorn our new home back in Hong Kong, and all the ladies loved him! We would highly recommend him for future events, he was relaxed, fun and efficient – everything you need for a wedding day. Thank you, Paolo, for being such a wonderful and pleasant part of our special day!
Venue: Lympne Castle
Chloe’s wedding ring: Haywards of Hong Kong
Chloe’s engagement ring: H Samuel, UK
Murray’s ring: Auree Jewellery
Cake: Claire Rachel Maddrell
Band: London Town Band