Veronica Chou and Evgeny Klyucharev's wedding in Hong Kong
On behalf of Cirque du Soleil, Erika was performing as a solo artist in front of the table of honor with groom and bride Veronica Chou and Evgeny Klyucharev's for what is called one of the year's most striking wedding by the media all around the world.
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?"
This article first appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition on Dec 01, 2012 as With love writen so large, wedding is quite an affair.
港龙航空创办人曹光彪的孙女曹颖惠(Veronica)与俄罗斯籍企业家柯义(Evgeny Klyucharev)结婚，并豪花亿元在香港西九龙文化区打造俄罗斯堡垒，宴请1500名宾客出席童话婚礼。城中名人富豪及艺人均在应邀之列，包括霍震霆、刘嘉玲、陈晓东、梁锦松与伏明霞夫妇、谢玲玲、林建岳、李国宝、李泽楷、霍震寰、Tommy Hilfiger等。
The Dragonair founder Caoguangbiao granddaughter Cao Yinghui (Veronica) and married Russian nationality entrepreneurs, (Evgeny Klyucharev), Ke Yi, Hao billion spent to build in the West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong Russian fortress, fairytale wedding dinner attended by 1500 guests. Wealthy celebrities and artists were invited to the list, including Timothy Fok, Carina Lau, Daniel Chan, Antony Leung and Fu Mingxia couple, Ling-Ling Hsieh, Peter Lam, David Li, Richard Li, Ian Fok, Tommy Hilfiger.
The bride Cao Yinghui groom Ke Yi generous interviewed by the media, but also to send 500 yuan a red envelope in return for Russian matryoshka. Groom Ke Yi also mentioned with the bride helicopter ride, 50 brick suitor statement, seen from a height while wearing engagement ring 6 kt bride Cao Yinghui, later to marry out of her husband, also refers to Caribbean honeymoon, yet twins plan.
The two cut the wedding cake at the wedding banquet luxury was a public outcry, and invited members of the Cirque du Soleil circus performances, lively atmosphere.