An Egyptian man who resides in the UK and his British-born ethnic Chinese fiancee made history on Sunday when they became the first foreign couple to get married on Lanyu (蘭嶼), also known as Orchid Island.
The ceremony, arranged by the owner of a Lanyu guesthouse, coupled modern and traditional elements.
The groom, Tareq Fadel, wore a traditional Tao Aborigine thong and the bride, Phoebe Voong, donned a traditional tribal costume as they tied the knot at a seaside location.
The couple walked up the aisle and through an arch decorated with banana and taro leaves as Aboriginal children danced to bless the couple’s union. Flower bearers then presented the couple their wedding rings and marriage certificate in a colorful shell.
After the Tao ceremony, the bride was given a bouquet to throw to the gathered crowd in accordance with Western traditons, only instead of flowers, Voong was handed a huge cauliflower, which she thought was quite amusing.
The couple had never been to Lanyu before, but they were tempted to wed on the island after it was featured on a Discovery Channel show, said Chiang Yu-mei (姜郁美), the guesthouse owner who planned the wedding.
Fadel learned about Chiang’s guesthouse on the Internet and asked for help her to arrange the wedding.
At first, Chiang refused Fadel’s request, fearing that the remote island was too difficult to reach and lacked the resources to stage a destination wedding ceremony.
However, Chiang relented after being moved by Fadel’s sincerity.
“The wedding was amazing and absolutely fantastic,” Fadel said, while Voong called it the most beautiful wedding in the world.
The British couple fell in love with the island and they said that if their first child is a girl, they will name her Lanyu in honor of the island.
Whether the experience will inspire other couples to travel to Lanyu to get married is unclear, but the island’s administrative office said it would promote the idea.