MY HONG KONG WEDDING | WINTER 2017 | m y h k w e d d i n g . c o m
Take me home, I’m
Warm and Fuzzy
Style for winter brides
Rosy Chic How to rock rose gold
One Night in Bangkok A Thai wedding to remember
...Boats, breweries and other quirky venues you’ll love G OW N S • V E N U E S • P H OTO G R A P H Y • R E A L B R I D E S • I N S P I R AT I O N
HONG KONG’S PREMIER BESPOKE JEWELLER S u i t e 3 1 1 , 3 / F, O f f i c e To w e r, L i p p o S u n P l a z a , 2 8 C a n t o n R o a d , Ts i m S h a Ts u i +852 3114 7111
D i d i ’ s J e w e l l e r y H o n g Ko n g
C O N TE N T S MY H O N G KO N G W E D D I N G | W I N T E R 2 0 1 7
PERFECT 10 The latest happenings in the wedding world
VENUES Quirky venues to surprise your guests
MOOD BOARD Wedding ideas to inspire
GOWNS A style guide for winter brides
JEWELLERY Rose gold jewellery to make you blush
PHOTOGRAPHY One fine day, as told by photographer Justin Lim
16 THE GIFT REGISTRY Gadgets and gizmos galore
20 COVER STORY We meet three couples who did their weddings a little differently
Photo: Sean Creamer Photography
C O N TE N T S MY H O N G KO N G W E D D I N G | W I N T E R 2 0 1 7
FITNESS Embrace the cooler weather with these outdoor bootcamps
TRY SOMETHING Wedding ideas, just throwing ‘em out there
48 PAMPERING A peek inside Sai Kung’s Fivelements
52 TRAVEL A Bangkok wedding combining culture and quirk
56 HONEYMOON INSPO Dreamy destinations for your bucket list
Photo: Needle & Thread
62 DIRECTORY Our favourite wedding vendors
70 HOW WE MET How an IKEA encounter led Jenni Marsh and Jerome Tam up the aisle
ROOM 1502, CS TOWER, 50 WING LOK STREET, SHEUNG WAN, HONG KONG 2869 9030 | INFO@BELIERDESIGN.COM | BELIERDESIGN.COM
Just do you Heaving buffets, hundreds of guests, red and gold decor... Hong Kong banquets tend to be pretty predictable. But these days, traditional weddings aren’t the only option. It’s easier than ever to throw a unique and personalised celebration in Hong Kong, thanks to an influx of surprising venues - think secret gardens, breweries, heritage buildings, and restaurants. And that’s just what this issue of My Hong Kong Wedding is all about. In our cover story (p.20), we’ve caught up with real couples to hear about their unforgettable - and unconventional - celebrations. Plus, we’ve uncovered a few of the city’s most surprising venues for your easy reference on p.30. Just in time for the chilly weather, you’ll find a shortlist of down-and-dirty outdoor bootcamps (p.46) that’ll whip you into fighting shape. As for fashion, we’ve got the low-down on winter bridal accessories (p.38) to keep you looking classy and feeling cosy this season. You can also peruse all the hottest autumn/winter wedding trends on p.12, gorgeous rose-gold jewellery (p.14), and a guide to flawless bridal makeup on p.50. Got the travel bug? Flip to p.52 to discover a whimsical Bangkok destination wedding, and then further fuel your wanderlust with honeymoon inspiration on p.56. Whether you’re tying the knot in a brewery or doing the deed on a boat, we hope your wedding day is totally “you.” To square pegs,
Say hi firstname.lastname@example.org
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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SENIOR SALES MANAGER ANSHU RIJHWANI SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN LING LAUNCH EDITOR KATE SPRINGER CONTRIBUTORS SUSIE RIZA, MAHIRA JAMSHED, KAREN CHIANG, DORIS LAM COVER SEAN CREAMER PHOTOGRAPHY (FACEBOOK.COM/SEANCREAMERPHOTOGRAPHY) PRINTED BY GEAR PRINTING LIMITED, ROOM B, 3/F, DERRICK INDUSTRIAL BUILDING, 49-51 WONG CHUK HANG ROAD, ABERDEEN ‘‘My Hong Kong Wedding’’ Copyright 2017 Liv Media Limited. The content provided here is the property of Liv Media Limited and may not be reproduced in any part without the written permission of the Publisher. The information provided by Liv Media Limited’s contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the company. The information provided by Liv Media Limited, or its staff, advertisers and contributors is given in good faith; readers should gather more information before making the decision to purchase any goods or services highlighted here. Liv Media Limited will not be held responsible for any action, omission or error resulting from actions taken on the basis of the information provided here.
The hottest news in the Hong Kong wedding world. By Doris Lam
UNDER THE SEA What do pandas and penguins have in common? They can both star in your pre-wedding photos at Ocean Park! Depending on the package, couples can pick two to four locations across the park, including the Grand Aquarium, Ferris Wheel, merry-go-round or Old Hong Kong Street. Wedding packages and banquet menus (including free tickets for guests) are also available, just in case riding a roller coaster in your wedding dress is an item on your bucket list. Packages start from $17,888. www.oceanpark.com.hk.
YOUR FIVE-A-DAY Can’t find earrings to match every mood? Hong Kong-based diamond jeweller The 5th C just introduced an innovative solution. The brand’s transformer-like “My 5-Ways” earrings provide five styles in one, from dramatic chandeliers to drop stones to simple studs. These made-to-order earrings can be crafted with rose gold, emeralds, diamonds, pearls - just be sure to order ahead, as the process takes three to six weeks. www.the5thc.com.
NEAT KNITS Just in time for winter weddings, homegrown Hong Kong fashion brand Yi-Ming has teamed up with The Woolmark Company to launch a unique knitwear cheongsam collection. Made of high-quality Merino wool, these stylish designs provide a flattering (and functional) alternative to the traditional Chinese-style wedding dress. www.yi-ming.asia.
YOU’VE GOT MAIL As the very first touchpoint with guests, invitations can totally set the tone of your wedding. So if you’re trying to keep it classy (and who’s not?), check out the personalised wedding suites from SanStation, which ooze sophistication with marbled designs, rich shades and romantic calligraphy. www.sanstation.com.
GIVE A LITTLE Planning a hen do? Spoil your squad with personalised party favours from Gifts Less Ordinary. The online shop stocks monogrammed makeup cases by eco-friendly brand Tillyanna, as well as leather toiletry bags by Vida Vida. The latter are both pretty and practical, plus for every sale, Vida Vida donates a school bag to United World Schools. Free delivery from giftslessordinary. com/hk.
SNAP TO IT Finding the perfect wedding photographer just got easier: The new KaChick photography marketplace provides an easy-to-use interface where couples can browse photographer profiles and pictures. You can sort by location, budget, style, occasion - and even chat with potential candidates - all in one place. Available on the Apple Store, www.kachick.com.
THANKS A MILLION
Photo: Lenscape Creation
Once the party’s over, there’s one thing left to do: thank-you notes. The aptly named “Fall In Love with Your Life” collection from Kikki.K should help you get the job done without spending a fortune on gold foil and letterpressing. The energetic designs include high-voltage shades of yellows, pinks, and greys - each with a sweet note. And while you’re at it, stock up on journals, diaries, or a heart-printed mug for yourself. www.kikki-k.com.
A WORK OF ART British brand Needle & Thread’s Autumn/Winter Bridal 2017 collection is full of beautiful (and affordable) gowns. Taking its cues from the works of Danish painter P.S. Krøyer and his wife Marie Krøyer, the collection features delicate embroidery, antique lace, and unexpected shades of grey, pink, blue and shimmering champagne. The line is available on net-a-porter.com. needleandthread.com.
ITALIAN STALLION Local Hong Kong menswear RCANO just introduced its Fall/Winter 2017 collection and it’s all about 1950s Italian style. The romance of the Mediterranean comes to Hong Kong in these handsome jackets, prints, sweaters and suits. La Dolce Vida, indeed! www.rcano.co.
LASHES OF LACE Central Weddings recently added another new collection to its wedding wardrobe. Shop dreamy, elegant gowns from Paris-based Israeli designer Yaniv Persy Couture - the brand’s Lavish 2018 collection brings together intricate embellishments, feminine lace, milelong trains, and sensual deep-neck numbers - plus a few pared-back looks for minimalist brides. www.centralweddings.com.
Mood Board What’s trending this winter.
TWO-PIECE DRESSES Two-piece wedding gowns aren’t just flattering and fresh, but they’re also perfect for the chilly winter season. If you’re throwing a snowkissed celebration abroad, consider pairing a fitted cashmere top with a classic round skirt.
Seasons By Olivier E.
If the movie Frozen taught us anything, it’s that winter can be absolutely ethereal. Even without snow, you can still get the look by decking out the venue in soft shades of white. When the palette’s kept simple you can go wild with contrasting textures - think white roses, marble, crystals, wood, and more.
STATEMENT EARRINGS When done right, statement earrings can add a serious dose of glamour to your bridal look. And to be really on trend, consider a retro choker to match.
Put down that aperol spritz! This season is all about warming welcome cocktails that channel that winter wonderland think cinnamon-imbued ciders, negronis, and pomegranate martinis.
Your makeup says just as much about your style as the dress, which is why bold brides are embracing surprising eyeshadow shades. A shock of blue, mint, or a bit of gold leaf can change the look completely.
The Wedding Company
Dates for your wedding journal Dec 15-17
GO GREEN It’s cool to be eco-friendly - and not that difficult either. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste at an event is to avoid disposable straws. Instead, opt for stainless steel or glass straws which can double as a wedding favour! We love these from The Pineapple Company, which are $170 per set from Lane Crawford Home.
89th Hong Kong Wedding Fair The quarterly Hong Kong Wedding Fair returns to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre this December, bringing with it a slew of vendors and exhibitions across three days. It’s a comprehensive affair with eight themed zones, including destination weddings and honeymoons, celebrants, dress trends, bridal skin care and makeup, cakes, jewellery, florists, planners, and more. $20 admission, noon-8pm. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hall 1, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, 2766-3002, wedding-show.com.hk.
25th Hong Kong Wedding Showcase
PARTY PORTRAITS Creative couples will love this photobooth alternative. Instead of stocking up on Polaroid film, hire a Hong Kong illustrator - like Kitty Wong (@kittynwong) - to sketch portraits of your guests and perhaps even capture your ceremony. Now that’s a personal touch!
Get your gown, venue decorator, photographer and everyone else sorted all in one go at this large-scale expo at the HKCEC, the first of several that run throughout the year. Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai, 2367-8385, wedding.expo.com.hk.
Through Jan 31
Ballet de Saveurs á la Française Afternoon Tea Set
The Silver Lining Wedding Journal
EMERALD ELEMENTS Timeless and regal, it’s no surprise this stylish shade is popping up everywhere this year, from bouquets to bridesmaid dresses. You can easily incorporate emerald into your big day, whether it’s a tiny pop of colour in the centrepieces or as a major player in your wedding palette.
The Lobby Lounge at Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel has teamed up with Parisian jewellery brand Les Néréides to create a romantic afternoon tea set. Through January, couples can enjoy an indulgent afternoon of dainty bites - think rose petal madeleines, Earl Grey macarons, and a hazelnut mousse in a chocolate basket - accompanied by whimsical Les Néréidesinspired details. Best part: tea comes with a $100 cash voucher to spend on Les Néréides accessories in Hong Kong. From $468 for two, 3-5pm daily. Lobby Level, Marco Polo Hongkong Hotel, Harbour City, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2113-3919, www.marcopolohotels.com.
Pretty as a Rose
Flattering on all skin tones, rose gold adds a romantic and timeless touch to your wedding ensemble.
BUTTERFLY DIAMOND RING $7,800 from Plukka www.plukka.com
DIAMOND-STUDDED BANGLE $68,699 from Didiâ€™s Jewellery www.didisgroup.com
KARA EARRINGS $1,530 from Trace www.tracejade.com
18K ROSE GOLD FLORAL DIAMOND STUDS $12,800 from Diamond Registry www.diamondregistry.com
INFINITY ZEN ROSE GOLD RING $980 from Charriol www.charriol.com
VIVI HALF MOON JADE BRACELET $1,995 from Trace www.tracejade.com
ENGRAVED WEDDING BANDS Pairs from $12,000 to $14,000 from Haywards www.haywards.com.hk
SAVOURING MEMORIES Grand Hyatt Hong Kong launches its unforgettable bridal shower package What could be more magical for a bridal shower than an elegant afternoon of bespoke tea and pampering at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong? First, indulge in a 90-minute signature body massage at the luxuriously appointed Plateau Spa, and let the expert therapists ease away wedding stress. Afterwards, head down to the newly refurbished Tiffin Lounge for a classic high tea set with your closest friends - think finger sandwiches, dainty cakes, and scones with jam and cream. Donâ€™t miss the unlimited homemade ice cream counter, classic crepes and made-to-order obanyaki. Visit the hotelâ€™s spectacular pool deck or sip champagne at the Waterfall Bar, to make the day even more memorable.
Cost: $1,800 +10% per person (includes a 90-minute massage and afternoon tea set) Plateau Spa: 11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai Bookings: 2584-7688 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Gift Registry
Your Own Devices
Who needs crystal champagne flutes when you can plump for these nifty - and totally practical - gadgets?
1. BEATS SOLO3 WIRELESS
3. Coravin Wine System Two Elite & Screw Caps
4. Soundlink Revolve Bluetooth Speaker
$2,288 from Apple
$2,800 for system; $245 for six caps from Watson’s Wine
$1,898 from Bose
2. Surface Air Puriﬁer $3,580 from Swedish Air HK 16
5. Creatista Plus $4,288 from Nespresso
Who says the only Hong Kong wedding venues are hotels and seafood restaurants? We caught up with three Hong Kong couples to chat about their unconventional weddings - and why they chose to go against the grain. By Susie Riza
ANDY CORNISH Nissa and Andy met while both were working at environmental NGOs. In 2015, the pair celebrated their marriage on an organic farm in Fanling.
Q When you started planning, which details were most important to you? Nissa Cornish: It was important that our wedding be not just a beautiful event, but a reflection of who we are. We considered a destination wedding, but quickly realized that with many of our friends and family living far away, Hong Kong is a destination… and a great one! So we decided to do right it here, where our story is. We knew we didn’t want a typical Hong Kong wedding, in a hotel or restaurant. We also wanted to do it as sustainably as possible, and incorporate the outdoors if possible. Q Which venues did you settle on? NC: We had our ceremony at WWF’s Island House Conservation Studies Centre, in Tai Po. It’s a beautiful colonial-style heritage building built in 1905, and has an enormous private garden overlooking the sea. Our reception was at Zen Organic Farms in Fanling. I loved the idea of a rustic barn wedding. At first we didn’t think it would be possible, but then we visited Zen and discovered this open-air shed overlooking the fields… and something in our imaginations just said, “YES.”
Q How did you discover them? NC: At the time, the Island House wasn’t open to the public [though it’s now open for event bookings], so very few people knew of it. Because Andy worked for WWF, we were able to make a special request to book it. As for Zen, we knew that the farm supplied organic produce to one of my favourite restaurants, Posto Pubblico. So we asked the kind folks at Posto (who also ended up being our caterers) to connect us. Q Did you encounter any complications? NC: At first, Zen flat-out refused because they had never hosted anything like a wedding. It took a lot of coaxing from us and our amazing wedding planner to get them on board. But once they agreed, they were super kind and helpful all the way. Q What else was special about your wedding? NC: We enjoyed adding a lot of homemade touches. I designed the invitations, and found a woman who hand-made amazing fabric bunting to decorate the barn. Andy designed and built custom lighting for the head table, which went perfectly with the vintage mirrors we used as a backdrop.
Q How were your personalities reflected? NC: Our ceremony “altar” was decorated simply with two potted banyan trees, which now live on our roof as a memento. Andy hung vintage Hong Kong romantic-film posters from his personal collection in the barn, and selected organic wines and locallybrewed beers to serve. Q What other details did your guests love? NC: The kids’ area seemed to go over well! We had fun things like a teepee, wedding-themed colouring books, games, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. Guests also made their own pizzas in a wood-burning oven. In hindsight... Glad I spent on: A wedding planner. Sonya from Bliss Creations took care of all the boring details, which left us free to do the fun stuff. Glad I saved on: The dress. It was a simple, classic dress by a local designer, and that’s all I needed. Wish I spent on: Live music all night. We hired an amazing live trio to serenade us during sunset, then switched to a DJ after dinner. Wish I saved on: Nothing I can think of!
WHO HELPED THEM: WEDDING PLANNER: Bliss
BOUQUET FLOWERS: Tiffany
CATERER: Posto Pubblico,
VENUE DECOR: DIY
MAKEUP: Liz Bohan, bit.ly/2krm85S
HAIR: Catherine Law
ENTERTAINMENT: Cecillia Tang,
TRANSPORT: Tesla Motors,
RINGS: Nathalie Melville Fine
RAY WONG A classic Hong Kong love story, Bernice and Ray met over dim sum. The two were dining with their parents, hit it off - and the rest is history.
Q How did you stumble upon The Secret Kitchen by The Butchers Club? Bernice Wong: It actually took us a while to find the perfect venue. We wanted to have about 160-190 guests there for a late afternoon cocktail session, followed by dinner - all in the same place. Plus, we were getting married during the rainy season, so we needed a Plan B. At first, our parents thought the venue, which is located in an industrial building, was a bit avantgarde, but they warmed to the idea! Q Why didn’t you go with the usual banquet hall? BW: We wanted the day to be a party rather than a formal affair for our guests - and for us. In the end, it was perfect: fun, energetic, simple and refreshingly atypical.
Q Did you incorporate any Chinese elements? BW: We didn’t spend time or energy on the usual Chinese games and ceremonies, which we didn’t find meaningful. That being said, we ended up doing the Chinese tea ceremony, which was very important for our parents and grandparent. I also thought it would be fun to be in a traditional Chinese wedding gown, and I was very glad that Ray agreed to play along - not a lot of Hong Kong guys do! Q How were your personalities reflected? BW: We both like things to be simple and not too stressful, so I would say, as far as wedding planning goes, we aced on both fronts! As for the decor, it was more of a woody, natural theme with very simple
colours, such as white and green on wood. The signage was accentuated in neon pink. Ray was also very excited about the pick-up truck, which was provided by the venue - the back was filled with ice-cold beers to welcome our guests.
WHO HELPED THEM:
Q Any advice for other couples? Take it easy, and enjoy the planning. You are supposed to do this once in your life, so make it fun!
In hindsight… Glad I spent on: Portable fans and air conditioning for the alfresco area. It turned out to be a very hot day! Glad I saved on: Simple decorations. Our decorator knew how much was “just right.”
HAIRSTYLIST & MAKEUP: Bart Ko, www.beaute.com.hk
VENUE & CATERER: The Secret Kitchen by The Butchers Club, thebutchers.club/wong-chuk-hang DECORATOR: The Wooden Fox, instagram.com/thewoodenfox.co PHOTOGRAPHER: KC Professional Photography, CAKE: Sift, www.siftdesserts.com WEDDING DRESS: Spring Wedding, www.springwedding.com.hk
ECHO CHAN and
ANYWAY NGAN Echo and Anyway met at the Jao Tsung-I Academy in Lai Chi Kok, where they clicked over their passion for history and heritage buildings. Itâ€™s where the met, fell in love... and eventually got married.
Q Why did you choose Jao Tsung-I Academy? Echo Chan: Our wedding venue has so much sentimental value for us: Jao Tsung-I Academy is where we met and fell in love. The Academy is a heritage building that was recently revitalised into a cultural hub. I work here, and I met Anyway when he worked for the building conservation project several years ago. Q What else did you have in common, other than history? EC: We are both backpackers and travel addicts. We fell deeper in love on a trip to Russia and the Baltic Sea in 2012. Since that trip was so special to us, we returned to Eastern Europe to take pre-wedding photographs on our honeymoon. Q So the honeymoon was before the wedding? EC: Yes! We travelled and took our honeymoon before we actually got married. After that we travelled around the world to India, Cambodia, Iran, China, Taiwan, Turkey and along the TransSiberian Railway.
Q And when did you get married? EC: We came back from our pre-wedding trip just a few days before our wedding. Then we organised everything and decorated the venue - the Skylight Atrium in the Jao Tsung-I Academy. We chose this place because it has lovely natural light spilling into it. The atmosphere and surroundings are beautiful with an outstanding red-brick heritage building. Q What else was unconventional? EC: Our parents wanted us to have a grand wedding party, but sometimes the focus of those large banquets aren’t on the bride and groom, but rather on what everyone thinks of the party, how much money was spent, and superficial things like that. We knew that wasn’t how we wanted to celebrate. We wanted to have an intimate party that represented us with all of our most treasured guests there. Q How would you describe your wedding decor? EC: Simple, beautiful, impressive and meaningful. We invited our best friends to participate in the party - we planned, designed and decorated the venue with their
help. The result was gorgeous: they put up a display of our photos from the honeymoon trip, which was very special to us. Q What else did you do a little differently? EC: Actually, our best friends did most of the work! The banquet, reception flowers, settings, MC, photography they were all prepared and provided by our best friends. In addition, a son of our colleague played the violin. Q How did your wedding reflect your personalities? EC: We are spontaneous people, and we wanted to have a wedding that was casual but meaningful as well. The venue had limited seating, so we only had our nearest and dearest around. It was quiet, open, natural and has real Hong Kong culture - our guests loved the atmosphere. In hindsight... Glad I spent on: Venue booking, decorations and wedding cards Glad I saved on: Everything else! Our friends made this a truly memorable day
WHO HELPED THEM: VENUE: Jao Tsung-I Academy VENUE DESIGN: Trashure Design Limited, trashuredesign.com VENUE DECOR: DIY by our best friends PHOTOGRAPHER: Our friends Dragon Wong, Will Chan, Jenny Leung and Jacky Lam FOOD: We provided snacks and fruit tarts WEDDING DRESS: Tailored in Guangzhou, China Wedding tux: H&M FLOWERS: Our friends Karen Ma and Jenny Leung MC: Our best friend Armie Ma BACKGROUND MUSIC: Violin by Alvin Lau
That’s So Junk boats, breweries, secret gardens, hidden bars and historic Hong Kong landmarks - we’ve shortlisted the most unique venues in the city. By Susie Riza
THE VIBE: A vestige of old Hong Kong, the Aqua Luna junk boat has become synonymous with the city’s skyline. The dramatic sails and teakwood deck make for a beautiful wedding setting, plus the Aqua Restaurant Group’s excellent catering and wedding packages take all the pain out of planning.
BEST PART: The boat can sail pretty much wherever you want - from Central to Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui, Stanley and Hung Hom.
WEDDING STYLE: HK all the way, Pinterest porn.
PSST... The Aqua group recently introduced Aqua Luna II, a second teakwood vessel in the same style but with blue-and-white sails.
FAST FACTS CATERING: Couples will get to work with trusted restaurants like Hutong and Aqua. CAPACITY: 80 standing; 40 seated
TEST KITCHEN THE VIBE: A cool converted warehouse space with floor-toceiling windows, Test Kitchen is best known as a unique pop-up dining concept. But the 158-square-metre event space also happens to be a great spot for intimate weddings. Thanks to Test Kitchenâ€™s relationships with local and global chefs, you can bet dinner here will be excellent. WEDDING STYLE: A totally tailored affair, foodie central. BEST PART: Corkage is free!
PSST... The team will tailordesign the entire event, from decor to food, music, and more. Shop 3, 158A Connaught Rd., West, Sai Ying Pun, 9032-7628, www.testkitchen.com.hk.
FAST FACTS CATERING: The options are endless and 100 percent personalised. CAPACITY: 45 seated; 90 standing
YOUNG MASTER BREWERY THE VIBE: Brewing distinctive, world-class beers right here in Hong Kong, Young Master recently opened up a second brewery in Wong Chuk Hang that stretches across 92 square metres. Itâ€™s industrial, fresh and bursting with character - picture hand-painted murals, high ceilings, communal wooden tables, plus beerinspired canapes. WEDDING STYLE: Warehouse wonderland, hoppy nuptials. BEST PART: Wedding guests can take a brewery tour during the event. PSST... Ask about the optional beer-pairing dinner menu to round out the experience. G/F, Sungib Industrial Centre, 53 Wong Chuk Hang Rd., Wong Chuk Hang, 2783-8907, www.youngmasterales.com.
FAST FACTS CATERING: The venue partners with neighbouring chefs to personalise the menus. CAPACITY: 40 seated; 60 standing
WOOBAR AT W HONG KONG THE VIBE: If you want to throw a huge bash, but won’t go near a traditional ballroom - WOOBAR might be a match. A photographer’s dream, the whimsical venue is home to wrap-around windows and quirky design details. WEDDING STYLE: Whimsy and wonder, atypical hotel do, big blowout. BEST PART: W Hong Kong adds a few perks for the newlyweds, including a one-night stay with breakfast. PSST... Music lovers will appreciate WOOBAR’s lineup of world-class DJs. 6/F, W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, 3717-2222, w-hongkong.com.
SAFFRON CRUISES THE VIBE: Want to sail off into the sunset? Saffron Cruises can help you with that. The company has Hong Kong’s largest fleet of yachts, sail boats and junk. There’s also an in-house wedding coordinator to organise every tiny detail, from finding a celebrant with great sea legs to flower arrangements, food, and entertainment. WEDDING STYLE: Nautical romance, Titanic celebration (minus the iceberg). BEST PART: Saffron throws in a complimentary bottle of champers to get the party started. PSST... The resident wedding coordinator is on hand to organise every last detail. 5/F, Foo Sang Building, 69 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 2857 1311, www.saffron-cruises.com.
FAST FACTS CATERING: Saffron partners with Shamrock catering to create canapes and buffets. Spreads range from casual sandwich platters to grilled skewers and mini quiches. CAPACITY: Up to 50 seated, varies by boat.
CATERING: There’s a huge range of buffet options, including sashimi and maki rolls, cold cuts and colourful dessert stations. CAPACITY: 80 seated; 150-200 standing
YI’S KITCHEN THE VIBE: Overlooking the hillside of Lai Chi Kok, Yi’s Kitchen stretches across two stories within the meticulously restored Jao Tsung-I Academy, which once served as the Lai Chi Kok Hospital. Serving up Hong Kong and European fare, the restaurant provides a quiet, romantic setting - think lily ponds and lots of greenery - that almost feels like a destination wedding. WEDDING STYLE: Old-school Hong Kong, photographer’s paradise. BEST PART: Your wedding photos will rock - Jao Tsung-I Academy sprawls across 32,000 square metres of gardens and red-brick heritage buildings. PSST... The restaurant is managed by the Epicurean Group, and they know their way around events. Just ask for what you need! Block H, Jao Tsung-I Academy, 800 Castle Peak Rd., Lai Chi Kok, 2881-9398, www.epicurean.com.hk.
FAST FACTS CATERING: To give you a taste... the Chinese menu includes suckling pig with jellyfish, steamed prawns, and braised e-fu noodles. CAPACITY: When booking both floors: 158 guests buffet-style; 230 standing.
THE PAVILLION THE VIBE: Crowning a hidden hill in Clearwater Bay, The Pavillion is a colonial house turned event space with a sprawling lawn. The owners are easy to work with, though you’ll need to hire a planner for decorations. WEDDING STYLE: Colonial charm, secret garden.
FAST FACTS BEST PART: The venue is completely hidden from view. PSST… The house is seriously glamorous and equipped with three bedrooms so couples can stay on-site. Clearwater Bay Road, Clearwater Bay, 2841-8860.
CATERING: The Pavillion works with Castelo Concepts and Dining Concepts, but couples can choose another caterer should they wish. CAPACITY: 40 seated; 50 standing (indoors); up to 500 people outdoors
VIBES THE VIBE: Tucked away on the fifth floor of The Mira hotel, Vibes provides a gorgeous alfresco sanctuary for couples looking to exchange vows in a secret garden setting. The spacious deck is full of little nooks and private cabanas, as well as lounge seating, fire pits, frangipani trees, and an outdoor dance floor. WEDDING STYLE: Swanky garden party, botanical chic. BEST PART: The Mira knows how to throw a fabulous party and the intimate setting feels miles away from busy Tsim Sha Tsui below.
PSST... The weddings here are designed by lifestyle guru Colin Cowie and event planners will take care of all the details. 5/F, The Mira Hong Kong, 118-130 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2368-1111, www.themirahotel.com.
FAST FACTS CATERING: Couples can work with The Mira to design canapes and beverage menus, or opt for a semi-buffet brunch-style reception at the adjacent WHISK restaurant. CAPACITY: Up to 200 people standing
Put Your Best Foot Forward With Noir Hong Kong-based online footwear brand offers oh-so comfy shoes for stylish brides You’ve got the veil, the dress and the jewels, but where do you go to find the perfect pair of heels to complete your look? With tons of passion, a love of fashion, and technical expertise in creating the perfect occasion shoes, NOIR crafts chic and gorgeous heels that are supremely comfortable, pair perfectly with wedding and evening gowns, and won’t break your wallet either. Let NOIR’s shoes take you up the aisle through dinner and onto the dance floor, without worrying about aching feet or blisters. Comfort is of utmost priority for NOIR, and all of its shoes - engineered by experienced master shoemakers - come with a generously cushioned footbed that'll have you kicking up your heels all night long.
NUFLEUR ROOFTOP GARDEN THE VIBE: Conveniently situated near Wan Chai MTR, Nufleur Rooftop Garden provides a bright and airy event space in the heart of town. The 111-square-metre space feels at once spacious and cosy, thanks to the contemporary design and gorgeous greenery. WEDDING STYLE: Rooftop romance, flower power. BEST PART: We love the nostalgic, playful touches - like the foosball table, mini snooker, karaoke and card games. PSST... Nufleur venues are managed by The Hong Kong Academy of Flower Arrangement, so expect out-of-this-world centrepieces.
I MCDO! Huge fan of a Maccy D’s? Consider your venue (and menu) sorted. McDonald’s offers wedding party services, which includes a party MC, balloon roses, decorations, French fries photo frames, and a Double Apple Pie Box cake display. Naturally, the menu will consist of all your favourite bites. From $2,999. Package includes two-hour rental of select McDonald’s locations. Capacity: 30-50 guests. www.mcdonalds.com.hk.
16/F, Hennessy Plaza, 164 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, www.nufleur.com.
FAST FACTS CATERING: Both western and Chinese catering options are available, including a seafood BBQ spread, hotpot, a European buffet, or an intimate tasting menu. CAPACITY: Up to 60 seated; 55 standing.
You hamburgled my heart...
A chill in the air is the perfect excuse to layer on a few sparkling accessories. Weâ€™ve rounded up some go-to winter bridal essentials with the help of Vien Lee, chief designer at bridal atelier Belier Design. By Karen Chiang
DROP EARRINGS Statement earrings are a must-have this season, especially if you’re planning to wear a minimalist gown. Thankfully, drop earrings can go with any neckline or silhouette. WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: “Whether you’re wearing diamonds or pearls, bridal earrings can be as central to your wedding day style as your veil or headpiece. I suggest wearing them with an up-do to best show them off.”
Photo: Belier Design
BELTS You don’t need to get married for this life advice: A skinny belt can be your best friend! WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: “A rhinestone crystal belt or a narrow black belt is a great addition. The narrow belt helps to accentuate your waistline and slim your figure. This accessory goes best with gowns that have a natural waistline.”
HEADPIECES Nothing says it’s your big day like a tiara. But if you’re trying to capture your inner Kate Middleton, try a handmade wreath headpiece or a fascinator to channel that wintery vibe. WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: “A bridal headpiece or a tiara can truly be a stunner. A simple crown matched with a long veil is a timeless combination. Both crowns and headpieces go with nearly every dress silhouette.” Photo: Belier Design
CAPES Not only will a cape keep you warm, it will also add a bit of throwback glamour to your ensemble. WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: “Nearly every designer is pairing wedding dresses with full-length capes this season. It’s just the thing for brides who would like a regal touch. I’d suggest wearing this accessory with figure-hugging silhouettes.”
VEILS Don’t be fooled into thinking every veil is 10 feet long. These delicate accessories are surprisingly versatile, available in a variety of lengths and styles to create a look that’s as contemporary or traditional as you like. WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: Nothing is more classic and timeless than a bride wearing a veil. “Whether it is a short finger veil or floor-length number, this traditional headpiece is usually the finishing touch. It can be one of the most defining aspects of your bridal look.“
GLOVES Be it lace or satin, a pair of clean white gloves looks instantly classic - and totally in-season. WHY BRIDES LOVE IT: “Both wrist and elbow-length gloves are trending this winter season. Match a pair of long satin gloves with an all-over beaded gown to create a vintage retro look, or pick a pair of lace gloves to wear with a modern wedding dress to exude an avant-garde appearance. This accessory goes well with almost every type of gown.”
Belier Design, Room 1502, 15/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 2869-9030, www.belierdesign.com.
Hong Kong lifestyle photographer Justin Lim shares his behindthe-scenes recap of clients Marcia Lee and Jeremy Cheung’s wedding. By Mahira Jamshed
“This is a nice moment with the boys before the ceremony. Men tend to be relatively less comfortable in front of the camera, but Jeremy's groomsmen were really outgoing. They were all old friends from way back who appreciate his humour, which helped me get some great candids.” “I loved capturing the dresses while they hung from the rafters at The Upper House before the ceremony. The contrast between the central gown and the bridesmaids' dresses made for an elegant shot.”
“A moment that requires little description - the ring being placed on the finger, symbolic of a moment shared, forever. Sometimes minimalism does the trick!” “The best man’s speech: These moments are often laced with a lot of insider humour and real emotion. I love capturing the resultant outpourings of joy.”
“The dresses often get the most attention at weddings, but I love capturing menswear as well. Many of my grooms are increasingly aware of little sartorial touches to enhance their look on the day - and Jeremy had great sense of style.”
“This quiet moment shared between Marcia and her girls on the morning of the wedding was actually not staged. I love this perspective, as if the photo is leading your eye into their conversation.”
“I do love to include a lot of minimal space in my photos, showing a viewpoint that might otherwise have eluded them. I generally don’t plan things out too much, so this photo was taken in the spur of the moment after all the activities.” 7
“This moment is so special, when Marcia and Jeremy walked back down the aisle for the first time as a married couple. It’s such a tremendous honour to capture these few fleeting seconds - the intake of breath and the excitement shared by everyone in the room.”
Take it Outside
Whether youâ€™re looking for harbourside HIIT, kickboxing, yoga or running, these sweat sessions should warm you up this winter. By Susie Riza
Primal Fit Promising a full-body workout, Primal Fit offers 60-minute sessions across the city, including Tamar Park, Sun Yat Sen Park and Lamma Island. The programme revolves around tough bodyweight exercises, plus a bit of TRX, sandbags and battle ropes thrown in for good measure. Every session is different, some following a Tabata approach, others more of a hard-core HIIT circuit - but every exercise can be modified to suit your individual abilities. Classes from $100. 6629-9554, www.primalfit.com.hk
No Excuses Bootcamp Run by former kickboxing champion Eric de Koba, No Excuses Bootcamp incorporates a little bit of everything: kickboxing, HIIT, core work, strength training and conditioning. The trainers eschew standard gym equipment, but battle ropes and Bulgarian bags often make appearances. Classes take place throughout the week at Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, the Hong Kong Velodrome in Tseung Kwan O, Hang Hau Sports Centre, and Victoria Park. Classes from $2,500 for 10 sessions. www.no-excusesbootcamp.com.
Urban Active Urban Active is an outdoor workout community in Hong Kong thatâ€™s more affordable and accessible than most, with classes starting from $40 for members. Taking place in Tamar Park, Causeway Bay Sports Ground and Victoria Park, the 90-minute classes mix together relentless muscle endurance training in the form of MAXHIIT - essentially HIIT 2.0 - and a bit of morning vinyasa yoga to keep you limber. From $40 per class, facebook.com/urbanactivehk.
Spa Reviews TOTAL OVERHAUL
Fivelements Hong Kong
PACKAGE: Wellness Retreat PRICE: Roughly $4,980
TIME: 1 Day
THE VIBE: Inside the Fivelements Hong Kong, you will be surrounded by Balinese warmth and design details, from the carved doors to the bamboo floors, colourful textiles, hand-made ceramics, and enormous stone tubs.
through space for an hour. After Watsu, an hour-long yoga and meditation session kept our feet planted firmly on earth, and a Fivelements Super Food Facial topped out the most relaxing 24 hours we’ve had in a long, long time.
THE GIST: Our one-day Wellness Retreat began with an inventive Chef’s Tasting menu at on-site vegan restaurant Sakti Dining Room. Then came a two-hour Treasure from Earth journey, which took us from a scrub to a green volcanic clay mask to a steam shower, and an knot-busting coconut oil massage. After an early evening, we woke up the next morning to try Watsu, a mix of shiatsu pressure-point massage, dance and stretching. The AmericanJapanese water therapy takes place in a 35-degree pool, where a therapist gently pulls, cradles, curls, and massages your body through the water. It’s like floating
WHEN TO GO: If you have a few days to spend at Fivelements before the big day... do it. It’s the only place we’ve found in Hong Kong where you truly feel away from it all. And if you’re looking for a healthy, relaxing hen do - this spot will totally spoil your squad. BEST PART? There’s a tome of a menu, bursting with 85 pages of possibilities, from nails to osteopathy, water therapy, vibration healing, meditations and bathing rituals. THE RESULTS: We felt lighter, more energised and miles away from yesterday’s problems. We even put our phone down for four straight hours, which is a success in itself. NEED TO KNOW: Fivelements is located within the The Golf & Tennis Academy in Sai Kung and retreats include a round of golf or a tennis session. Fivelements, Hong Kong Golf & Tennis Academy, 81 Tai Chung Hau, Sai Kung, 3959-0000, hk.fivelements.org.
TREATMENT: HIFU Facial TIME: 30 minutes - 1 hour
PRICE: $6,388 per session
around the mouth where you have more nerves. HOW’S THE SERVICE? Our therapist Pauline was extremely knowledgeable about the science behind HIFU. She walked us through the treatment before starting, so there were no surprises.
THE VIBE: Founded in 2007, Nude Beautique now has a few locations around Hong Kong - all with sleek decor and comfortable treatment rooms. THE GIST: HIFU (High-intensity Focused Ultrasound) technology uses sound waves to penetrate the musculoaponeurotic layer of your skin tissue. The therapist uses a handheld device that emits a continuous zapping sensation. The idea is that the more collagen you produce, the tighter and younger skin will appear. WAS IT PAINFUL? It’s not painful, per se, but it’s not relaxing. We’d describe it as uncomfortable, particularly
WHEN TO GO: HIFU continues to improve skin for 2-3 months after each treatment. If you’re doing an entire course of four treatments, start at least four months before the wedding date. For just one treatment, a month or two ahead is fine. THE RESULTS: The treatment isn’t as relaxing as traditional facials, but we were happy to compare the before and after images side-by-side. Our jawline and cheekbones appeared leaner after one treatment - and our pores looked smaller too. But it’s worth mentioning that your face will feel sore for a few days as collagen repairs. Nude Beautique LKF, 14/F, 14-01 Wellington Place, 2-8 Wellington St., Central, 2868-9100, nudewaxing.com.hk.
TREATMENT: Voyage des Sens PRICE: $1,300
TIME: 1 hour
journey” with soothing aural odes to ‘hidden Hong Kong’. Two Devialet Gold Phantom speakers enveloped us in sounds of waves, thunderstorms, Buddhist chanting and, later, the tinkling of tea cups. HOW’S THE SERVICE? Excellent. After the treatment, a mango custard and a pot of green tea magically appeared.
THE VIBE: The Plateau Spa at Grand Hyatt is tucked away in a quiet corner of the hotel, right by the pool. The minimalist Japanese aesthetics evoke a peaceful vibe: picture lots of wood, neutral colours, and enormous in-room Jacuzzis. THE GIST: The Voyage des Sens treatment is a collaboration between Plateau Spa and audio technology innovator Devialet. Essentially, it’s a “sound
WHEN TO GO: This treatment is exceptionally relaxing. We’d suggest going a day or two before the wedding to totally clear your mind. It’s a great one to recommend to out-of-town guests, too. THE RESULTS: The special city soundtrack synced up beautifully with the massage strokes and, afterwards, our mind felt noticeably quieter. Available until March 2018. Plateau Spa, 11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2584 7688, hyatt.com.
Estée Lauder Double Wear Stay-In-Place Makeup “Double Wear foundation lasts for 24 hours and has high coverage with a matte finish. This ensures that your face won’t look greasy in pictures. Brides with dry skin can mix the foundation with a bit of moisturizer or serum.”
Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita II “This lipstick colour suits most skin tones and lasts for a long time. It provides a gorgeous natural look, especially in pictures.”
MAC Lip Conditioner Hydratant “Apply this conditioner to moisturise lips before starting your bridal make up application. It acts fast and seals chapped lips well.”
the Bag Makeup artist Tiffany Wong, of Makeup by Tiffany Wong, shares her go-to products to make brides look flawless on the big day. By Susie Riza
Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder “This lightweight loose powder sets your makeup perfectly. Brides often sweat throughout the day, so a quick touch up will take away the shine quickly. Apply it with a big fluffy brush for a quick fix.”
Hypnôse Doll Eyes Waterproof Mascara “This mascara comes with the perfect brush applicator to create curls, length and volume - and it doesn’t get clumpy.”
Tiffany Wong is a professional makeup artist based in Hong Kong. Having completed her studies in “Master Makeup Artistry” at the prestigious Make-up Designory school in New York City, Tiffany provides clients with personalised and professional services. www.makeupbytiffanywong.com.
Smooth Operator This month we’re looking into laser hair removal, a more permanent solution to waxing or shaving. We speak to Tara Lai, founder of Nude Beautique, about the treatment and its benefits. By Susie Riza How does laser hair removal work? TL: Laser hair removal is a semi-permanent treatment that eliminates unwanted body hair. It directs a wavelength of highly concentrated light at specific hair follicles. Once the pigment in the follicles absorbs the light and energy, it destroys the hair without damaging the surrounding skin.
Hong Kong’s wedding guide for brides in the know
So is it essentially IPL?
Tarte Maracuja Creaseless Concealer TL: No, not at all. Unlike IPL (Intense Pulsed Light),
“Trying to cover tattoos or scars? This product is laser hair removal is significantly more effective as magic. It provides intense coverage and is great for it’s more targeted - it requires about half as many mature skin. Just be sure to put a setting powder on sessions as IPL. top, so it stays in place all day.” How long does it last? TL: Treatments come in a series of about five sessions. That’s because hair has a six-week cycle and the treatment is highly unlikely be able to target all the hair follicles at once, as they need to be in a more mature stage of growth. After completing the full treatment, the results can last a lifetime, depending on the individual. Who would you suggest it for? TL: Laser hair removal is most effective on people with fair skin and dark hair. The greater the contrast, the better, as the energy needs to targets the melanin in the hair, and not in the skin. Why do brides love it? TL: Brides love laser hair removal because they don’t have to worry about shaving or waxing before the big day, and then again multiple times until the honeymoon is over. It also leaves skin smoother, brighter and firmer by boosting collagen and tightening your pores. When should brides book in? TL: Ideally, start looking into this at least six Biotherm White D-Tox months ahead of the wedding to ensure you can fit CC Smoothing Base in the sessions. “The green and purple colours of this base will not only take away red and yellow hues, but they will also protect your skin from sun damage. My tip is to www.nudewaxing.com.hk. simply apply it with your fingertips.”
WITH A TWIST On July 29, Natalie Belbin and Shaun Martin tied the knot in Bangkok in a style that was all their own.
he twosome behind Hong Kong’s Shatalene rock band, Natalie Belbin and Shaun Martin chose Bangkok for their wedding day. The pair got hitched this summer, surrounded by their family, friends... and more than a few creative twists. Q Why did you choose a city wedding? Natalie Belbin: We considered a beach-style wedding but found it just wasn’t really our style, and we really wanted to show our guests the beautiful, historical side of Thailand. Bangkok is one of our favourite places: I love the Chao Phraya River, riding on the river boats and tuk tuks and eating the finest street food. It’s so rich in culture, and on top of that - it was really easy reach for most of our guests!
Q Which venue did you choose? NB: We wanted to find a place with character that was very Thai - traditional architecture, wooden floors and, hopefully, somewhere with beautiful gardens. We found many lovely places but when we visited Chakrabongse Villas, we were in awe. It was built in 1908 by Prince Chakrabongse and, later, became the residence of Prince Chula Chakrabongse. His daughter, Narisa, turned it into a lush boutique hotel. On top of all that, the family had spent a significant amount of time in Cornwall, England, where Shaun is from. Shaun was ecstatic, and I remember he said: “No more looking - we found the place we’re getting married.”
Q Why do a Thai ceremony? NB: As my mother is Thai, we wanted to do the Thai ceremony. The morning ceremony was very traditional. The only thing we changed was the bride doing a wai [traditional greeting] to her husband as he sits and accepts her thanks in front of the guests. Instead, we waiâ€™d together to say thanks to each other as equals. Q What exactly does it entail? NB: It was a long day that started early - guests were picked up at 6am for the Buddhist blessing where we had nine monks from the famous Wat Pho conduct the ceremony. Following that, we had the Khan Maak ceremony, also known as the Gate Passing ceremony. My Lychee Ladies [bridesmaids] and my siblings held up flower gates. In order to pass through the gate, Shaun had to overcome some challenges - like rapping haikus and doing the butterfly stroke as a gorilla! Then we did an engagement ceremony [asking parents for her hand]. The final ceremony was the Rod Nam Sang [water pouring ceremony]. This is a very special and sweet tradition where our guests took a seashell filled with blessed water from the monks and poured it over our hands while giving us
their blessing. It was wonderful to have that one-on-one connection with our guests. Q Any evening celebrations? NB: We had an evening ceremony later, where our guests were picked up by boat. The night was gorgeous with lots of dancing and even some people jumping in the pool. We then arranged for private tuk-tuks to take our guests to the afterparty. It was such a great night! Q What about the cake? NB: Instead of a wedding cake, we had a piñata… in the shape of durian. We filled it with Thai sweets and just went nuts!
Who Helped Them: VENUE: Chakrabongse Villas, chakrabongsevillas.com PHOTOGRAPHERS: Thai ceremony: ZPELL Photography (zpellphoto.com; evening reception: Tachpasit Photography (tachpasit.com) DRESS: Kath Yeung, instagram.com/kath_yeung;
Q Did you organise any Bangkok experiences for you guests? NB: The night before the wedding, we organised a Yok Yor Chao Phraya River Cruise. We took out all our guests to enjoy the river and invited a traditional busker to join us. She was only about 14 years old and was there with her parents. As a bunch of us are musicians, we were amazed by this type of music and her skills. Q What else was important to you? NB: Everything was plastic-free. We really wanted minimal waste - no plastic - and our planners were 100 percent supportive. Dishes were served in banana leaves and any take-away cups were made from recycled paper. Adrianna Papell, adriannapapell.com HAIR: Showru, www.instagram.com/showryu SUIT: Siam Emporium, www.siamemporiumtailors.com CUSTOM PIÑATA: facebook.com/manee.pinatas WEDDING PLANNERS: Iad and Jill, www.iadandjill.com
Sweet escapes Pack your bags for paradise - with your nearest and dearest in tow. By Kate Springer
1 QUOC OUT A quick flight from Ho Chi Minh City, Phu Quoc island is an easy spot for a wedding or honeymoon. The newly opened JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay is the first luxury address on the island, offering nature lovers a whimsical setting and beachfront location. The hotel marries an imaginative colonial vibe with vibrant shades of turquoise, high ceilings, and four-poster beds. There are seven different event venues including a Grand Ballroom that hosts up to 200 people for a sit-down banquet. Another perk is the handy online and mobile services: Couples can use the digital guest RSVPtracking tools, enjoy group rates, and even embed a personal wedding website. Bai Khem, Phu Quoc District, An Thoi Town, Vietnam, +84-297-377-9999, www.marriott.com.
2 BELLE OF THE GALLE A grand dame in the heart of Colombo, the historic Galle Face Hotel just unveiled a major makeover and a slew of wedding packages. Inside the 19th-century beauty, couples will find a lofty grand ballroom for up to 1,400 that looks straight out of a movie set. Ask about the Imperial Package, which includes bagpiper performances, drummers, complimentary couple’s spa treatments, a sword for cake-cutting, and a Bridal Suite that’s ready and waiting with a bottle of bubbly. Best part? You’ll get to arrive in the hotel’s 1954 Cadillac. Talk about a grand entrance! Packages from $935 per person. 2 Galle Rd., Colombo 3, Sri Lanka, +94-11-254-1010, gallefacehotel.com.
After the big day of your dreams, it’s time to get cast away in style. Not very excited about vacationing in cliché destinations? We totally get it. That’s why we’ve uncovered some exclusive, unusual honeymoon destinations for the more adventurous you. It’s time to unleash that wanderlust, channel your inner Hemmingway and break out your well-worn journal with an epic adventure from our selection of off-the-beaten-path destinations.
SUGGESTED ITINERARY Cape Town > Franschhoek > Hermanus > Cape Town
GUIDED ITINERARY Buenos Aires > Puerto Iguazu > Rio de Janeiro > Ilha Grande
To book one of these getaways, call + 852 2830 2730 | email email@example.com | visit flightcentre.com.hk
3 PRETTY IN PHUKET One of the hottest wedding destinations in Asia just got hotter: The Rosewood Phuket debuted in November as the brand’s first resort in Southeast Asia. With 600 metres of beach on Emerald Bay (southwest of Patong) and 71 romantic villas, couples can host an intimate celebration at one of the gorgeous venues: the all-glass Pavilion, a quiet courtyard, tropical garden, or on the beach. The resort is an adventure in itself with various ecosystems across the grounds, from lakes and wetlands to a full-on forest. And in case you need a breather before the big day, the Asaya spa should soothe your soul with a mix of fitness, meditation, massages, and life coaching. From $7,535 per night. 88/28 Muen-Ngern Rd., Patong, Phuket 83150, Thailand, +66-76-356-88, www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/phuket.
5 FROZEN IN TIME Fluffy white snow, towering mountains, cosy hot springs... winter weddings can be breathtaking, especially when they’re in Japan. Need some inspiration? Check out the Club Med Tomamu Hokkaido, opening this month. Not only is the address all-inclusive, but it’s located in one of Japan’s most scenic corners. At this winter wonderland, sporty types can take advantage of 20-some powdery ski slopes, ice skating, snow biking (yes, that’s a thing!) and hiking trails. As for the ceremony, the hotel provides comprehensive packages , plus an ethereal ice chapel (built fresh each year) that will melt your heart. Wedding packages from $39,206. Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu District, Hokkaido 079-2204, Japan, 31119388, www.clubmed.com.hk/l/tomamu.
4 TAKE A SWING Golfers, listen up: Anantara Chiang Mai Resort’s “His & Her” golf and wellness package might be the ideal mini-moon. The sporty promotion provides three days of relaxation, wellness and golfing - on the 18-hole course at Chiang Mai Green Summit Valley, no less. On the menu? A 90-minute Thai massage, a complimentary golf session with a cart, daily breakfast and a few surprises along the way. And when you’re not hitting the greens, couples can relax at the 34-metre riverside pool or experience Chiang Mai’s colourful markets, delicious food and ancient temples. Package from $2,097 for three nights. 123-123/1 Charoen Prathet Rd., Changklan, Muang, Chiang Mai 50100, Thailand, +66-53-253-333, chiang-mai.anantara.com.
Dream Destination InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula
THE LOCATION: Situated about a half-hour’s drive from Danang International Airport, The InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula sits on a secluded bay surrounded by lush tropical jungle. Far from the main drag of hotels in downtown Danang, the property is built on a cliffside, with an outdoor elevator to take you from the hills down to the sea. With its own private beach, it’s a perfect destination for weddings and mini-moons alike.
THE VIBE: Designed by legendary architect Bill Bensley, the predominantly black and white Indochine-chic palette makes for an elegant backdrop that can be customised in so many ways. As it’s located in the Son Tra Peninsula Nature Reserve, the hotel has taken great care to minimise its environmental impact, meaning that you’ll see plenty of wildlife, including the mischievous monkeys that also call the resort home. FOR WEDDINGS: You’re spoiled for choice here, with venues to suit all tastes and budgets. The private beach
and gardens are perfect for sunset ceremonies. Foodie couples may want to book out La Maison 1888, the resort’s French restaurant run in partnership with Pierre Gagnaire. For big blowouts, the 900-square-metre dedicated events space can cater to even the largest of events. WHAT ELSE: There’s a seriously luxe karaoke lounge where you can keep the party going all night long. WHEN TO BOOK: April is Danang’s driest month. Monsoon season runs from September to December. danang.intercontinental.com.
The best way to create a memorable wedding day? To make every detail your very own. By Karen Chiang
Instead of shying behind a veil, why not try something a bit funkier? Irish milliner NOELEEN handcrafts all styles of hats and headpieces in her Hong Kong studio. From custom made headpieces to chic beret-style bridal hats, every piece is as individual as the bride herself. www.noeleenmillinery.com.
Pumped up kicks
Let’s be honest, Hong Kong was not made for heels. Ditch the stilettos on your wedding day and give Ked’s new bridal collection a go. Equally sparkly but infinitely more comfy your feet will thank you after a long day (and night) of celebrating. www.facebook.com/KedsHK.
Adding a personal touch to your wedding stationery takes a split second with a custom chop. Apart from visiting Man Wa Lane in Sheung Wan for more traditional Chinese stone stamps, you can also order bespoke rubber stamps from local crafters like Twinkle.Studio. Find them on Instagram @sandyma17.
It’s tea time
If you haven’t said “Yes!” to a dress yet, consider skipping the usual ball gown altogether. Instead, try a trendy mid-calf tealength gown from local designer Sau Lee. These beautiful lace numbers and deep-V necklines will add some vintage glam to your look. www.sau-lee.com. 60
Get your squad together for a healthy hen do that doesn’t revolve around alcohol (though bubbly’s an option!). With a bouquet-making party at van der Bloom, you’ll be able to de-stress and spend valuable time with your best gals while learning the meditative art of flower arrangement. You can even make you own bridal bouquets or flower crowns! www.vanderbloom.com.hk.
Event Planners 3 Degrees Event Styling A boutique event planning company that has recently launched a wedding planning service, offering everything from theme conceptualization and liaising with vendors to on-the-day event management. You can meet with the friendly team, decide what kind of help you need, and a package will be created for you accordingly. 3degrees.com.hk.
Antonella Weddings Thinking about a European wedding in Italy? Antonella Genovesio is a certified wedding planner who specialises in Italian weddings. Antonella and her team can help you overcome language and cultural barriers, negotiate and book all your vendors. With her insider knowledge of the country, sheâ€™ll be able to recommend beautiful under-theradar locations. weddingsbyantonella.com.
Revel Events Specialising in destination weddings and large-scale event production, Revel Events is well-known in Hong Kong for its professionalism and ability to execute a stylish, stress-free event. From conception to decoration and vendor booking, every detail is taken care of, leaving you to relax and enjoy the party. 2155-9860, reveleventshk.com.
Bridal Style Belier Design Founded by designer Vien Lee in 2007, Belier Design specialises in gorgeous gowns made with fabrics sourced from around the world, from European lace to Shanghai silk. You can try on up to three gown free of charge. Check their useful website for tips on how to choose the right gown for your body type. Room 1502, 15/F, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok St., Sheung Wan, 2869-9030, belierdesign.com.
HITCHED! Bridal The atelier of choice for brides with a unique sense of style, HITCHED! offers gowns from international designers such as Augusta Jones, Temperley London and David Fielden, with popular US-based brand Salon St. Patrick newly arrived. Room 1501-2, 15/F, Hing Lung Commercial Building, 68-74 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, 2815-8330, hitchedbridal.com.
Noir Bridal Shoes Looking for a seriously comfy pair of wedding shoes? Noir creates stylish wedding heels with extra padding in the footbed, meaning youâ€™ll be happy on your feet all day and night. Also offers heels for Chinese wedding dresses. pure-noir.com.
Florists Tomasina Designs A floral artist based in Hong Kong and LA, Tomasina Designs creates modern floral artworks using a combination of imported blooms and lush botanicals. With plenty of corporate and fashion clients - think Swire, Art Basel, Net-a-Porter and White Cube, to name a few - you can rest assured that Tomasina will produce the fashion-forward florals of your dreams. 13H, Block 2, Kingley Industrial Building, 33 Yip Kan St., Wong Chuk Hang, 9010-2521, instagram.com/ tomasina.designs.
van der Bloom A new florist on Hollywood Road, van der Bloom specializes in haute bouquets and wedding flowers, with modern arrangements using the freshest in-season flowers. 61 Hollywood Rd., Central, 5505-1661, vanderbloom.com.hk.
Sweets & Cakes Oookie Cookie A new bakery based in Quarry Bay, Oookie Cookie offers modern, stylish wedding cakes, as well as macarons, cookies and other small bites that make for perfect gift favours. If you’re looking for something with an industrial edge, try the buttercream concrete cake in sleek grey; or if you really want to be on trend the twotier metallic and marble cake is an edible sculpture that’s as tasty as it is stylish .
Photography Ali G Studios One of the city’s top event photographers, Ali G has snapped hundreds of corporate functions and society weddings all over Hong Kong. With a friendly and outgoing personality, he is able to work under all kinds of lighting conditions and gently directs guests to ensure the most flattering shots. www.aligstudios.com.
Pixta Pod Photobooths are a fun addition to any party, and Pixta Pods are sleek, chic and take up hardly any room. The
inbuilt light ring ensures that all the snaps are super flattering, too! Add your logos and hashtags, and your guests can upload their images and gifs in real-time. www.pixtasocial.com.
Tanarak Photography Originally from Thailand, awardwinning photographer Tanarak has worked in Singapore and Paris, and now calls Hong Kong home. He has worked with hundred of couples to help them capture their big days, and favours a photojournalistic style to help capture spontaneous moments. He is an active member of various wedding photographer associations. www.tanarakphotography.com.
Westlands Centre, 20 Westlands Rd., Tai Koo, 9220-9622 (WhatsApp), oookie-cookie.com.
Sim’s Sweetshop Looking for a candy table to really wow your wedding guests? Sim’s Sweetshop creates displays using beautiful glass jars and vintage English sweets - the table can even be colour-coordinated to match your event. Bags or cups are provided so that guests can nibble on the night, or take home some sweeties as a souvenir.
Ali G Studios
Venues Amour Located in a secluded corner of Kowloon Tong, Amour is a converted private residence that can fit more than 200 people. Its big draw is the outdoor walled garden surrounded by trees; the rest of the venue is a blank canvas that can be dressed up however you like. It’s also available for cocktail parties, corporate events, kids’ parties and barbecues. 147 Waterloo Rd., Kowloon Tong, 2147 1477, amourhk.com.
Mira Hotel Located in the heart of TST, this accredited Design Hotel offers a stylish backdrop to your nuptials. With a pillarless ballroom on the roof of the hotel, chic suites where you can prep for the ceremony, and a gorgeous open-air private terrace dotted with frangipani trees, there are venues galore to choose from. 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2368-1111, themirahotel.com.
Spiga With two private terraces that are perfect for events, Spiga offers Italian dining in a design-led space, right in the heart of Central. With decor inspired by the cinematic romance of Italy in the 1950s. The restaurant is a perfect spot for a chic reception or cocktail party, and with its location smack bang in the middle of Central, it’s convenient too. 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, 2871-0055, diningconcepts.com.
Wooloomooloo Steakhouse With its panoramic views of Wan Chai and Happy Valley, the vast outdoor terrace at Wooloomooloo 64
Spiga is a perfect space for a city wedding - and with a lively bar area there’s a built in rain plan too. If your guests are carnivores, they’ll appreciate the quality Australian steaks on the menu too. 31/F, The Hennessy, 256 Hennessy Rd., Wan Chai, 2893-6960, woo-steakhouse.com.
Health & Beauty Cabanee Dedicated to natural skincare, Cabanee offers organic niche brands from all over the world, including Verite Spa Organics, Penny Frances Apothecary and 5YINA. The perfect pit stop for all-natural brides. Cabanee.com
Glow Spa Offers hair and spa services in a warm and welcoming environment. The large open-plan salon space is perfect for bridal showers and for the bridal party to get ready on the
morning of the big day. 9/F, Parker House, 72 Queen’s Road Central, 2525-5198, glowspa.hk.
Medi Spa If you’re looking for aesthetic treatments led by doctors, MediSpa offers a full range of non-invasive firming and tightening treatments, laser facials, injectibles, resurfacing and more - all in a professional and hygienic setting. 23/F, Siki Centre, 23 Jardine’s Bazaar, Causeway Bay, 2104-1933, medispahk.com.
Ultimate Performance Want to get real results, and fast? Ultimate Performance take-noprisoners approach to personal training will have you looking dramatically different in just 12 weeks - so long as you follow the intensive program set by your trainer. 3/F, Unicorn Trade Centre, 127 Des Voeux Road Central, 2798-9000. Also has an outlet in Causeway Bay. upfitness.com.hk.
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If you want to look your healthiest before the big day, Urban Greenosophy offers health supplements and natural skincare products, all of which are ecofriendly and free from chemicals. Try the Superfood supplements by Kiki Health to keep your body running at its best, or the mango and chia body butter for naturally glowing skin.
With almost 50 years in the jewellery and gems industry, Didi’s Jewellery provides a bespoke service to create and design beautiful accessories. Its designers can create an engagement ring and wedding band set according to your personal tastes - if you want to go for something a little different, try a sapphire instead of a traditional diamond setting.
Whether it’s a march-in, banquet or after party, Mrs Robinson provides the finest live music to accompany every couple’s romantic day. The band recently shot a music video for their rendition of “Beauty and the Beast” - check it out at tinyurl.com/ mrsrobinsonlive
Jewellery Austy Lee Newly launched in April, Austy Lee is a fine jewellery design studio that specialises in jade and gemstones. The whimsical, intricate, vintagestyle pieces look straight out of a fairytale and are perfect for a modern bride looking for a hint of edginess. Shop A, G/F, Kam On Building, 176 Queen’s Road Central, 2388-0212, austyleeartjewellery.com.
Suite 311, 3/F, Office Tower, Lippo Sun Plaza, 28 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3114-7111, didisgroup.com.
Entertainment Mobile Disco With regular clients such as Hong Kong Tatler, The Masonic Lodge and The Peter Bennett Foundation, DJ Fred Fung is a sure-fire hit with anyone who appreciates good music. Whether it’s a retro-inspired event or you just love to boogie to the classics, he’ll get the dance floor bopping. WhatsApp 9834-4320 for rates and availability.
www.instagram.com/ mrsrobinsonlive; www.facebook.com/ MrsRobinsonLive
Travel Flight Centre One of Hong Kong’s most popular travel agencies, Flight Centre offers tailored packages for all kinds of honeymooners, from those. seeking laid-back romantic escapes to adventures and once-in-alifetime experiences. Their team of passionate travel concierges will be able to plan every detail to make sure your holiday goes off without a hitch. www.flightcentre.com.hk.
Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai Ever thought about a destination wedding in Northern Thailand? The Four Seasons Chiang Mai offers a Lanna-style wedding package at its beautiful property, which includes a ceremony and blessing, floral decorations, corsages, spa treatments and more. The best bit about choosing this location is that you can have an intimate ceremony or a big bash with all your nearest and dearest. www.fourseasons.com/chiangmai.
Four Seasons Chiang Mai
Mobile Disco “The Oldest Swinger in Town,” DJ Fred Fung has been providing quality music entertainment in Hong Kong since the 1970s. From Motown to rock n’ roll, right up to the latest hits, his chart-toppers through the ages will delight everyone. Whether you want background music for a cocktail reception or to fill up a dance floor, DJ Fred will get the party started. Clients include: The Masonic Lodge | Hong Kong Tatler The Peter Bennett Foundation | KCC | USRC WhatsApp 9834-4320 for rates and availability. Bridal Weddings Proms Special Events Party Makeup
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How We Met
Newlyweds Jenni and Jerome Tam hit it off in an unlikely place: IKEA. During Jenni’s first week in Hong Kong, the England native went shopping with her flatmate. They had hired a van to transport newly bought furniture, but the van cancelled last-minute. Stranded in the showroom, Jenni’s roommate phoned a friend for help... and in walked Jerome. He sorted out a new van (via his parents), and the roommates crammed in the back with all their gear. Sparks flew immediately, but a first date didn’t follow until a few months later when Jenni and Jerome dined at The Boathouse in Stanley. The date went so well that dinner turned into late-night drinks, which eventually blossomed into a relationship. Three years later, Jerome popped the question on Stanley Pier followed by a celebratory dinner at their first date spot. And, naturally, IKEA still has a special place in their hearts.
Photo: Hannah Mia