For most couples, the pledge of “in sickness and in health” comes during the wedding ceremony, but Annie Shon and Chung Ng got that promise locked in immediately.
The New Yorkers first met in Miami on a weekend of fun with friends. Annie, having just broken up with a boyfriend, was determined to live large. When the hour got late, Chung chivalrously offered his room at the W hotel to Annie and her friend who were staying miles away. He bunked in the outer area of the suite while the girls crashed in the bedroom.
“I WAS A HOT MESS, BUT HE SWEETLY SAID HE’D SEEN ME AT MY WORST AND THINGS COULD ONLY IMPROVE” - ANNIE SHON
The next night was a repeat of dining and clubbing and Annie admits overdoing it. When she felt sick, Chung took her back to his room to care for her. In the morning, Annie was feeling no better. While her girlfriend returned home, Chung postponed his flight so Annie could recover in his room for another day.
They returned to New York together, and at the airport he had his car take her home, but not before asking her out to dinner. “I was a hot mess, but he sweetly said he’d seen me at my worst and things could only improve,” says Annie. She decided to spend time getting to know Chung better.
After two years of dating, Chung devised a jet-setting surprise proposal in Monte Carlo while Annie was vacationing there with a girlfriend. She had put in a marathon day of shopping and was too tired to don heels and head for an upscale restaurant, but her friend was insistent. While posing for pictures in front of renowned chef Alain Ducasse’s Le Louis XV, Annie saw Chung’s face in the crowd.
“I was completely taken off guard. He was in New York, not Monte Carlo,” says Annie, whose mind went blank. “I didn’t know he was proposing until he went down on one knee.
I was in shock. Finally, I remembered to say, ‘Yes!’”
The moment Annie saw the timeless beauty of the Grand Ballroom at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, the wedding venue was a lock. A nondenominational ceremony suited the mix of her Korean background and his Chinese heritage. To spotlight the individual wedding party members, each walked the aisle alone, with a lighthearted finish provided by the bride’s Maltese puppies dressed in a tuxedo and traditional Korean wedding dress.
The bride’s wedding day wardrobe included a gown by Israeli designer Inbal Dror for the ceremony, a reception gown by Vera Wang and a cake-cutting gown by Pnina Tornai.
A wintery white wedding theme warmed by rose gold details created an elegantly feminine setting that was “all-out breathtaking.” The couple’s three-week crash dance course produced a first dance that started with a tango, transitioned to a rumba and finished with a foxtrot to jazz classic “At Last” sung by Annie’s sister.
To relax and refuel after the wedding, Annie and Chung headed to Costa Rica for a mini-moon with surfing lessons and horseback riding to mountain waterfalls. A visit to geothermal hot springs, as well as spa treatments, helped the couple de-stress from the wedding.
Location: The Plaza, New York, NY; Cake: Sylvia Weinstock Cakes, New York, NY; Caterer, Rentals and Linen: CPS Events at The Plaza, New York, NY; Event Design and Planner: Annie Shon Events; Floral and Event Design, Linen: Tantawan Bloom, New York, NY; Invitations: Chin Chin Papers; Programs and Menus: EAST SIX, New York, NY; Lighting: Bentley Meeker Lighting & Staging, Inc., New York, NY; Entertainment: Hank Lane Music and Productions; Ceremony Wedding Dress and Veil: Inbal Dror Israel; Bride’s Ceremony Shoes: Valentino; Reception Wedding Dresses: Vera Wang and Pnina Tornai exclusively at Kleinfeld, New York, NY ; Bride’s Reception Shoes: Christian Louboutin; Bride's Reception Shoes: Fendi; Bride’s Necklace: Cartier; Groom’s Ceremony Tuxedo: Ralph Lauren Purple Label; Groom’s Reception Tuxedo: Tom Ford
Photography: Jana Williams Photography, Hollywood, CA