SPRING 2017 | m y h k w e d d i n g . c o m
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Alfresco wedding ideas to swoon over
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
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 | S P R I N G 2 0 1 7
PERFECT 10 The latest happenings in the wedding world
PHOTOGRAPHY Tips on how to pick the perfect photographer
10 MOOD BOARD Wedding ideas to inspire
12 THE GIFT REGISTRY Design-driven gifts for your love nest
Thierry and Peter
42 FITNESS Bridal bootcamps to whip you into shape
44 PAMPERING Bridal spa trials, reviewed
COVER STORY Meet the couples who said “I Do” outdoors
TRAVEL The new destination wedding hotspots
VENUES Hong Kong’s finest outdoor venues
DIRECTORY Our favourite wedding vendors
GOWNS 2017’s bridal trends, from illusion necklines to off-the-shoulder
HOW WE MET Thierry Chow and Peter Yuill
New Beginnings We are thrilled to launch My Hong Kong Wedding - a quarterly bible for soon-to-be-brides and nostalgic newlyweds that covers everything you need to know about throwing an unforgettable celebration in Hong Kong. And since there’s nothing more romantic than an intimate alfresco wedding, we’ve dedicated our inaugural issue to beautiful outdoor weddings in - and out - of the city. In our cover story (p.16), we talked with real brides and grooms who recently recited their vows. Between them, we’ve covered every corner of Hong Kong, from a hidden beachside spot in Sai Kung to an intimate clubhouse terrace in Aberdeen. You’ll find lots more alfresco venue inspiration in our roundup on p.24, as well as expert tips from makeup artists (p.46), photographers (p.36), and wedding planners (p.54) who patiently answered all of our nagging questions about how to throw a picture-perfect celebration Hong Kong. Feeling stressed? Not to worry: Along the way, we’ve heard about all kinds of indulgent pampering ideas (p.44) from the city’s best zen dens. Yes, you totally deserve it. For brides with the travel bug, we’ve also rounded up all the envyinducing destination wedding ideas and swoon-worthy honeymoon inspiration we could find on p.52. No matter where you celebrate your big day, we hope you’re surrounded by loved ones and big blue skies. But, just remember, this is Hong Kong - don’t forget a rain plan!
Fion and Pierre
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Send invites and info to: Makerhive, 10/F, Cheung Hing Industrial Building, 12P Smithfield, Kennedy Town PUBLISHER SARAH FUNG SALES MANAGER AILEEN CHAN SOCIAL MEDIA STACEY MARCELO ADMINISTRATOR JASMIN BLUNCK GRAPHIC DESIGN LING, LAUNCH EDITOR KATE SPRINGER CONTRIBUTOR SUSIE RIZA COVER JAMIE OUSBY (JAMIEOUSBYPHOTOGRAPHY.COM) 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.
Perfect Ten Wedding news you need to know
DRESSES TO IMPRESS A brand new wedding atelier for fashion-forward brides Newly launched at the end of December, The Wedding Gown is the newest bridal gown shop on the scene. With a collection of gowns from the likes of Liz Martinez, Nicole + Felicia and Sivan Ben David, the dresses here focus on fashion-forward detailing, romantic embellishment, and unexpected cuts. In fact, many of the gowns eschew the classic ivory in favour of nude and cream shades. Price hover around the $30,000 mark, with rental options also available. 22/F, C Wisdom Centre, 37 Hollywood Rd., Central, 9189-3997, www.facebook.com/TheWeddingGown.
PIXTA PERFECT A photo booth that lets guests share in real time Pixta is an interactive photo-taking pod that lets guests instantly share images with social media platforms. It offers lots of customisation options, from wedding hashtags, to background graphics and filters, GIFs, and even a photo live stream so you can watch all your guests cut loose in real time. www.pixtasocial.com.
SUITS YOU, SQUAD Bridesmaids dresses to sigh for Your girls will forever remember you as the world’s best bride if you turn to online gown shop TH&TH for their ensembles. Launched just last year, the brand’s ready-to-wear collection features elegant yet affordable gowns in lush fabrics and modern colours. The debut collection borrowed inspiration from the English countryside, featuring a blush and blue palette, pretty scalloped lace, plunging backs and delicate details. Prices start at around 150 pounds for a dress, making it an affordable treat. www.thandth.com.
LOVE AND LACE Saucy knickers to go under your gown What you wear under your dress is almost as important as the dress itself, and Hong Kong lingerie shop Avec Amour offers a new influx of gorgeous looks from its Spring/Summer 2017 collections. Take your vixen inspiration from the lacy, peek-a-boo Idalia playsuit - designed by Penelope Cruz for L’Agent by AP - or go ultra-feminine with a white Mimi Holliday Honeysuckle bra and undies combo. Sexy time? Sorted. 8/F VPlus, 68-70 Wellington St., Central, 2978-3998, www.avecamour.com.hk.
HE’S SO FLY Handmade pocket squares for the dapper groom This one’s for the guys: Hong Kongbased accessories brand Novel recently introduced a line of beautiful, handcrafted pocket squares. Dubbed Pocket Art, these silk beauties take inspiration from butterflies - each designed by a different artist for a unique flair. It takes roughly 35 hours to make each pocket square, resulting in a handsome keepsake that’s perfect for the big day. novelfineries.com.
SWEET THINGS Adorable flower girl frocks that might just steal the show Forget poofy shoulders and overwhelming tulle. From Hong Kong bridal designer Vivian Luk comes Little Miss Luk, a sophisticated new flower girl collection that embraces contemporary aesthetics, minimalist cuts and soft colours. “I envision little girls in dresses that are bold and make a statement yet also look very clean and simple,” says Luk, of her inspiration. In these cute-as-a-button getups, your flower girls will be the best dressed at the party. www.littlemissluk.com.
HERITAGE HALL A new red-brick wedding venue-slashheritage project Looking for a wedding venue that hasn’t been overdone? Yi’s Kitchen, run by the Epicurean Group, is a new two-storey restaurant serving Asian and Western cuisine. Located in the Jao Tsung-I Academy, a Grade-III heritage building and hostel that has previously served as a hospital and as accommodation for labourers, the red-brick structure and its surrounding gardens make for a one-of-akind backdrop that your guests will be talking about for months. Block H, Jao Tsung-I Academy, 800 Castle Peak Rd., Mei Foo, 2811-9398, yiskitchen.com.hk.
SECRET GARDEN A romantic terrace in the heart of Central The spot where Lupa used to be recently got a massive overhaul with the help of Joyce Wang Studio, one of Hong Kong’s most renowned interior designers. The newly opened Spiga will still embody a Mediterranean flare, but with a more cinematic design, paying homage to 1950s Italian glamour - think vintage musical instruments, silk wallpaper, a pendulum chandelier, terrazzo flooring and antique lighting fixtures. Sound like a good backdrop to a city wedding? We think so too! The 7,000-square-foot space also welcomes two new outdoor terraces: the intimate Secret Garden, and Portico, a spacious botanical rooftop terrace. 3/F, LHT Tower, 31 Queen’s Road Central, 2871-0055, www.diningconcepts.com.
ONE STAR WEDDING PARTY Hipster pop-up banquet menu at the W Who doesn’t want a red-carpet worthy wedding? Gourmands will love the new menu at W Hong Kong. Designed by James Sharman - of the nomadic One Star House Party pop-up restaurant - the creative “Wed Like a Celeb” banquet menu turns traditional Chinese food on its head. Look for suckling pig served with pickled radish and char siu-pickled wolfberries; pan-seared scallops with broccoli puree and crispy lotus root; and an iced milk tea dessert with walnut butter and ginger. W Hong Kong, 1 Austin Road West, West Kowloon, 3717-2222, w-hongkong.com.
JUST CAN IT Cocktails in a can for laid-back events If you’re a low-key bride who’s into mixology, the new Kwoon canned cocktails might be up your alley. Made by the bartenders at The Woods mixology bar in Central, these convenient mixed drinks mean you can enjoy a fresh tipple no matter where your wedding takes place - on a boat, on a beach, or on a campground. Expect a few signature concoctions from The Woods menu, like the High Tea (gin and chrysanthemum) or the dark rum and ginger Madam Ching. Ask about the customisation option, which allows you to cover the cans in personalised messages, wedding colours or meaningful artwork. www.kwoonbythewoods.com.
It’s so easy being green What’s rocking our socks for Spring? Oversized botanicals, back-to-nature palettes, naked cakes and white bridesmaids dresses.
TAKE A LEAF The bigger the botanicals, the better. This year’s Pantone colour is “greenery” so expect enormous floral displays in every corner, from leafy photo backdrops to garlands, hanging centrepiece installations and cascading bouquets.
BACK TO NATURE The past few years were all about blush shades, but 2017 will see a return to earthy tones as more couples opt to tie the knot in all-natural venues. Expect shades of green, outdoor ceremonies, wood and stone, and big beautiful bouquets. 10
Dates for your wedding journal April 23
Peninsula Bridal Showcase
Flare bespoke invitations
UNIQUE INVITES Forget gold foil and letterpress. Invitations made of unconventional materials like plexiglas, wood, and even glow-in-the-dark ink will wow guests.
Mingle with the crème de la crème of the wedding industry at The Peninsula’s annual Bridal Showcase, where you’ll get to tour the heritage hotel’s various venues and taste its culinary creations. While you’re there, catch the bridal runway show and hear from luxury vendors, covering invitations to photography, jewellery, and more. The Peninsula, Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2920-2888, www.peninsula.com.
QUICK TIP: If you confirm your wedding day at the event, you’ll enjoy a few added perks, including a complimentary threenight stay at The Peninsula Paris or Tokyo. Through March 18
Temperley Bridal Pop-Up Make a beeline to Central Weddings to check out the new Jasmin collection from Temperley Bridal. The ethereal new designs blend together British elegance and romantic silhouettes, plus a few more unconventional ensembles - like a lace jumpsuit or flapper-inspired sequined gowns. Central Weddings, Suite 3510, Edinburgh Tower, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, 2869-8666, www.centralweddings.com. Complete Deelite
NEARLY NAKED CAKES Last year, the unfrosted ‘naked cake’ took the wedding world by storm. This year, the ‘translucent cake’ is putting a little something back on. The result? A casual cake with a light layer of buttercream icing that lets a bit of cake show through.
WHITE ON WHITE Don’t wear white to a wedding? Forget that old rule. Brides are dressing their maids in all-white ensembles, resulting in a minimalist palette that makes accent colours pop.
Hong Kong Wedding & Overseas Wedding Expo 2017 Presented by Kee Wah bakery, this wedding expo takes place at KITEC, with more than 300 booths, a fashion show and vendors from Hong Kong, Taiwan and Korea. KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, 2367-8385, www.wedding.expo.com.hk
The 87th Hong Kong Wedding Fair A massive wedding fair, with vendors galore and a heavy emphasis on pre-wedding photography services. The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2591-9823, wedding-show.com.hk.
The Gift Registry
What do Moscow Mule mugs, backgammon sets, and a slow juicer have in common? Theyâ€™ll all look fabulous in your new love nest, of course. Rock your registry (or spend those gift cheques) with these design-driven ideas.
1. Canterbury champagne goblets
3. Alessi Anna G & Alessandro corkscrews
$4,200 from Lane Crawford Home
$299 each from Indigo Living
$530-$640 from Town House
2. Paul Smith & Caran dâ€™Ache pen set
4. Moscow Mule copper mugs
6. Tom Dixon Spot Pendant lamps
$160 each from Vinoble
$2,600 up from Tom Dixon
$320 from Eslite
5. Jonathan Adler lacquer backgammon set
7. Kuvings slow juicer $4,488 from Lane Crawford
Giveaways Win goodies with My Hong Kong Wedding!
WIN: A Diamond-studded Signature Bangle by Monica Vinader Add a little sparkle with this gorgeous bangle from Londonbased jewellery brand Monica Vinader. With 0.35 carats of pavé-set diamonds in a rose-gold finish, this bracelet is both modern and yet classically wearable - a perfect “something new” for any bride’s trousseau. Plus, all readers can enjoy 15% off their next purchase in any Monica Vinader Hong Kong store or online by using the discount code “LivWeddings15.” Code is valid until March 31, 2017. Monica Vinader • Shop 1025C, L/3, IFC Mall, 3568-6628 • Shop OT310B, L/3, Harbour City 3102-9262 • B1/F, New Wing, SOGO Causeway Bay 2831-8518 monicavinader.com.
WIN: A Jasmine & Vanilla nourishing body set from Verité Spa Organics
This romantic body scrub and butter set from online store Cabanee will leave your skin glowing for the big day. An organic skincare brand from New Zealand, Verité Spa Organics uses shea and cocoa butters as well as raw organic sugar to scrub away dry skin. Natural jasmine and vanilla fragrance boosts your mood and leaves skin delicately scented. We have two sets up for grabs. cabanee.com.
Winners will be announced at the end of May. Enter at myhkwedding.com/giveaways
Throwing an outdoor bash is always a bit of a gamble in rainy Hong Kong, but when it works, thereâ€™s nothing better. We chat with three newlywed couples about their alfresco celebrations.
Designers and artists who met at work, Pierre Pang and Fion Chio tied the knot at The Helena May on November 27, 2016.
Why did you choose The Helena May? Pierre Pang : When we found this place, we knew this was it. Itâ€™s a beautiful and unique heritage building with a garden for the ceremony and a main lounge for dinner. We didn't want to have to move from location to location - we were more concerned about having good food and good people in one elegant place. What were you most worried about? PP: Rain, of course! The day before our wedding it was raining like crazy. I was checking the cloud patterns every hour.
If you really fancy an outdoor venue, you have to take the risk. Prepare a rain plan and hope for the best. How were you feeling before the ceremony? PP: I was so, so nervous. Not about the rain anymore, as it had stopped. But we just wanted to make sure everything was perfect. What was your favourite moment of the wedding? PP: The ceremony. We held the
ceremony at about five in the afternoon. The sun was like a golden yellow drop and the leaves from the trees cast shadows on the wall. In front of all the guests, I was holding Fion’s hands and looking at her face. That moment was just unreal. How would you describe your wedding’s aesthetic? PP: We love things to be simple and elegant. We were the art directors of our own wedding, and treated it like a visual identity project. We built the colour scheme first and all the decisions followed from there. "Love is the perfect gift" was our theme, so our letterpress invitations were designed to look like a framed picture with a ribbon, so guests would feel like they were opening a present.
WHO HELPED US: Caterer: The Helena May Florist: We bought flowers from the market and prepared them ourselves Makeup: Elysemakeupbox (www.
How were your personalities reflected ? PP: I wanted to show my love by creating something. I am an artist, so I designed Fion’s ring and our invitations. I also painted our welcome sign and the backdrop by hand. Any advice for other couples? PP: Eat enough and sleep enough. It’s your big day. Enjoy it! In hindsight... Glad I spent on: A great photographer. Glad I saved on: Pre-wedding photography. Wish I spent on: A gift for guests or a photo album display. Wish I saved on: The wedding dress - we paid extra after choosing the wrong one at the beginning.
facebook.com/Elysemakeupbox) Photographers: Jacky Lau and Sumsum from MaryAnn (www. maryann.com.hk) Hair: Circle Chong from Annie G Chan
Makeup Centre (www.facebook.com/ AnnieGChanMakeup) Dress: YeeChoo (www.facebook.com/ theyeechoo) Tux: TCNY (www.tcny.com.hk)
After meeting at university in Canada, this stylish couple dated for eight years before getting hitched. The college sweethearts exchanged vows at the Aberdeen Marina Club on December 22, 2015.
Give us a brief rundown - howâ€™d the day kick off? Thierry Chow: In the morning, we started out at the Lanson Place Hotel in Causeway Bay with the traditional groomsmen games. They had to play a series of games before they could come in and see the bride. We also performed a tea ceremony with our parents. What was the wedding ceremony like? TC: In the afternoon, we headed to the Aberdeen Marina Club for lunch and the ceremony at Portside restaurant. We had a
beautiful wooden altar with red and burgundy florals. We had prepared some flower petal confetti for the ceremony as we walked out as husband and wife! Where did you have dinner? TC: We had about 180 guests in the ballroom. The tables were decorated with tiny potted plants. We prepared coffee and cinnamon packages as wedding gifts for our guests. In hindsight... Glad I spent on: A wedding planner. Glad I saved on: Decorations. Wish I spent on: Backdrop decorations. Wish I saved on: Hair accessories, jewelry, gloves, head pieces - I didnâ€™t end up using most of what I purchased!
WHO HELPED US: Caterer: Aberdeen Marina Club (www.aberdeenmarinaclub.com) Florist, Decor & Wedding Planner: Flos on the Folk (www. facebook.com/FlosOnTheFolk) and Tiara (www.tiara.hk) Makeup & Hair: Yvonne Makeup (www.facebook.com/ yvonne.amakeup) Dress: Rosa Clara from Designer Bridal Room (designerbridalroom.com.hk) Cheongsam and head piece: Koon Nam Wah (www. koonnamwahbridal.com) Tux: Hola Classic (www.facebook.com/holaclassic) Entertainment: DJ Reflex (IG: @the_reflex) Guest Favours: Common Ground Cafe (www.facebook.com/ Commongroundhk) Photographer: Martin Lui (www.facebook.com/ martinaesthetics) Videographer: Sun Destination Photography (IG: @Sundestinationphotography) Photo Booth: V Photo Booth, vphotobooth.hk Cupcakes: Sift Desserts, www.siftdesserts.com
Why did you want to have an outdoor wedding? Both Matt and I have always been drawn to the outdoors and, specifically, the sea. We lived in Thailand for four years together and loved spending time at the southern beaches. This venue made us feel like we were back in Thailand, yet it was very Hong Kong, so it was sort of the best of both worlds. What did you love about this venue? The view was stunning and we really loved how secluded it was! We were the only ones in the cove and it felt like it was our little corner of the world. Howâ€™d you prepare for inclement weather? We worried about it raining or being too cold, so we had backup plans for everything. We had umbrellas on hand, all the bridesmaids got matching shawls in case it was cold, and we even had a backup venue in case it poured.
Outdoor enthusiasts Heather and Matt Gibbs celebrated a unique wedding at Jaspas Beach Club, complete with junk boat rides out to Sai Kung, on October 20, 2015.
What were you most stressed about before the ceremony? Overall, I was stressing about everything being absolutely perfect. In the end, it really didn't matter if everything turned out that way. All that mattered was that everyone had fun. On the actual day of the wedding, as we started getting ready, I suddenly realised all that worrying was really for nothing!
Facebook. The display of all of our pictures was such a great reflection of the people in our life. How else did you make the details meaningful? As part of our gifts to our guests we gave out Hong Kong Dog Rescue tote bags, which conveniently worked well with our colour scheme. We’re big supporters of the HKDR - it’s where we got our fur-son Charlie. It was a way to include him in the wedding as well.
What was your favourite moment of the day? Our venue at Jaspas Beach Club was so secluded that all of our guests and the wedding party had to take boats to get there. The bridal party left from Central pier on a stunning yacht - we had the greatest time drinking champagne, blasting music and living in the moment. How were your personalities reflected in the wedding details? Literally everywhere! There was a theme of “memories” throughout the whole wedding. All of our place cards were attached to framed photos of our friends, which I found by scouring
In hindsight... Glad I spent on: Junks to get the guests out to the wedding; a great photographer, and incredible entertainment. Glad I saved on: The cake - we did cupcakes instead. Wish I spent on: A venue decorator. Wish I saved on: The garter belt. We were so busy dancing and celebrating I completely forgot to throw it!
WHO HELPED US: Caterer: Jaspas (www. casteloconcepts.com) Florist: The flower market Makeup: Liz Bohan (bit.ly/2krm85S) Hair: Catherine Law (facebook. com/caddylaw) Dress: Designed by a friend, Susan Couch
Entertainment: Pete Moore (www.petemooreband.com) Guest Favours: Flip-flops, photo frames and Hong Kong Dog Rescue tote bags Photographer: Jayga Photography (jaygamcmullen.com)
LET’S TAKE IT
Say ‘I Do’ in the open air at these awesome alfresco wedding spots. By Susie Riza
rban metropolis though it may be, Hong Kong is home to a handful of outdoor locations that make for a picture-perfect wedding day. From foodie favourites to lesser-known venues, we’ve rounded up a few of our top picks for alfresco nuptials.
Hullett House FAST FACTS Catering: The western and Chinese menus will suit picky palates. Capacity: Up to 250 guests. Rain plan: As a backup, the hotel is home to several indoor event spaces and restaurants.
THE VIBE: Formerly the Marine Police Headquarters, Hullett House has since transformed into a romantic and ultra-stylish heritage hotel. One of Hong Kong’s most sought-after wedding venues, the romantic alfresco garden offers harbour views, lush surrounds and a convenient location. WEDDING STYLE: Colonial chic, urban glamour, black-tie affair. BEST PART: If you’ve eaten at Hullett House before, we don’t need to tell you the food is fantastic. Award-winning Chinese and Western fare will take your wedding to the
next level. Guests will be sure to take the after party to the Mariner’s Rest, which has an impressive selection of craft beer. GETTING THERE: Hullett House is hard to miss - just next to the Star Ferry, in Tsim Sha Tsui. PSST... Booking includes an overnight stay for newlyweds, plus a twilight sail on the Aqua Luna on your first anniversary. 2A Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3988-0000, www.hullethouse.com.
Hong Kong Gold Coast Hotel THE VIBE: It’s named the Gold Coast Hotel for a reason - the seaside spot overlooks Castle Peak Bay and offers easy access to the beach. It’s also home to one of Hong Kong’s most iconic wedding venues: The Lawn. Ideal for outdoor ceremonies with up to 500 guests, the landscaped greenery makes for a secluded, romantic affair. WEDDING STYLE: Ocean bliss, destination vibes, manicured lawns. BEST PART: Guests staying the night will love the ocean-view hotel rooms, various bars and restaurants, and enormous pool. GETTING THERE: About a 30-minute drive from the city, the hotel offers shuttle bus services for guests. PSST... The garden pavilion is great Instagram material. 1 Castle Peak Rd., Gold Coast, Tuen Mun, 2452-8888, www.sino-hotels.com.
FAST FACTS Catering: Choose from a set menu or buffet - both organised with the hotel. Capacity: Up to 700 guests in the ballroom. Rain plan: There’s a protective marquee that can accommodate even the biggest wedding parties.
Secret Garden THE VIBE: Lush gardens, colourful flowers, manicured topiary - the Secret Garden lives up to its name. WEDDING STYLE: Garden cocktails, dinner banquets, laid-back romance. BEST PART: The privately managed property is home to a spacious lawn, as well as an indoor reception hall to bring the festivities inside as the party revs up. FAST FACTS Catering: The owners will arrange a menu to suit your needs. Capacity: Up to 100 guests Rain plan: There is an indoor banquet hall on site should it start spitting.
GETTING THERE: Located in Sai Kung, this quaint venue has proven a popular destination for intimate weddings. PSST... The palm trees sprouting from the garden will give your wedding a tropical flair. Wo Mei Hung Min Road, Sai Kung, 2882-2776, www.secretgarden.hk.
Beas River Country Club THE VIBE: A one-of-a-kind venue for heritage lovers, Beas River boasts sweeping lawns and a stable full of Shetland ponies for photo opps.
GETTING THERE: The country club is located on Kam Tsin Road in Sheung Shui - about 30 minutes from Central by cab.
WEDDING STYLE: Country-club chic, refined but relaxed.
PSST... Wedding packages allow parties to bump into the wee hours, but you need to be referred by a member of the Hong Kong Jockey Club. Time to call in a favour.
BEST PART: Located on the outskirts of Hong Kong up by the border, a wedding here is a truly private affair - perfect for those who dig intimate settings, lawn games and manicured gardens.
The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Kam Tsin Road, Kwu Tung, 2966-1977, member.hkjc.com.
FAST FACTS Catering: Beas River has a Western menu available, covering everything from lobster to scallops to big fat ribeyes.
Capacity: 100 to 300 guests. Rain plan: You can set up a marquee on request, plus there is plenty of indoor space.
The Repulse Bay THE VIBE: Built on the site of the former Repulse Bay Hotel, this heritage address is home to three venues: The Verandah, The Front Lawn and The Marquee. Each has its own distinct personality - and all three come with panoramic sea views. WEDDING STYLE: Nautical romance, old-world charm, heritage-chic. BEST PART: Aside from the views, itâ€™s also worth noting that The Repulse Bay has a team of experienced event
planners to handle every little detail.
GETTING THERE: Itâ€™s about a 20-minute taxi from Central to Repulse Bay.
Catering: Western food buffet or sit-down style.
PSST...The Repulse Bay is one of the most popular venues in Hong Kong, so book far ahead.
Rain plan: Take it indoors to The Verandah, which serves Continental cuisine with a modern twist.
109 Repulse Bay Rd., Repulse Bay, 2292-2830, www.therepulsebay.com.
Capacity: 100 to 400 guests.
The Upper Garden THE VIBE: With 180-degree views of the South China Sea, The Upper Garden on the Clearwater Bay peninsula is one of Hong Kong’s most breathtaking outdoor venues. WEDDING STYLE: Bohemian belle, tropical flair, all-natural beauty. BEST PART: With palm trees, gardens and crazy good views - it’s about as scenic as they come. GETTING THERE: Accessible by car and helicopter, Upper Garden is on the outskirts of Hong Kong in Clearwater Bay. PSST... The venue is BYOB, which will save you big bucks. Lot 1, DD 238, Hang Hau Wing Lung Road, Clearwater Bay, tinyurl.com/uppergardenhk.
FAST FACTS Catering: Cocktails and canapes only, but The Upper Garden welcomes outdoor catering companies. Capacity: 70 to 200 guests. Rain plan: There is no indoor area here but marquees and tents are available.
OneThirtyone THE VIBE: Hidden away in the New Territories, One-Thirtyone offers a heavy dose of old-world charm in a three-storey house set amid lush green lawns. WEDDING STYLE: Elegant and relaxed, lush and botanical, or allout English glamour - dress it up however you like.
make the most of Hong Kong’s green backyard.
BEST PART: The views! This green gem is perched on a cliffside, overlooking Three Fathoms Cove.
PSST... There’s a helipad for those who want to arrive in style.
GETTING THERE: One-Thirtyone is located about 30 minutes from Central by cab - just far enough to
131 Tseung Tau Village, Shap Sze Heung, New Territories, 27912694, www.one-thirtyone.com.
FAST FACTS Catering: Unless you’re planning an intimate affair, you’ll want to organise your own catering at One-Thirtyone as the kitchen can’t accommodate big parties. Capacity: 50 to 200 guests. Rain plan: A covered area will keep you dry if the heavens open.
J AM I E O U S B Y P H OTO G R A P H Y
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This image, inset and upper right: Limor Rosen at HITCHED! Bridal
FRESH FROCKS W
hile finding the perfect wedding dress will ultimately come down to your personal style, it doesnâ€™t hurt to take a few fashion cues from the runways. To give you a head start, weâ€™ve picked the brains of some bridal experts for upcoming trends to get you inspired. By Susie Riza
THE TREND: OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESSES THE TREND: 3D TEXTURES The romantic sheer lace trend continues from previous seasons, taking a turn towards 3D textures and embroidery. Dainty details, such as flowers or butterflies, seem to come to life on these dresses - usually sewn onto a sheer bodice or skirt.
Elegant and flattering, off-the-shoulder dresses are going to be huge in 2017. Featured in a wide range of designer collections, this trend has become synonymous with femininity.
Why brides are loving it: “This trend has been such a hit with brides because the dresses are still all about lace but the embroidery’s texture adds structure,” says designer Vivian Luk. “This style suits a wide range of body types - it is very forgiving yet still accentuates your shape.”
Why brides are loving it: “Amal Clooney started this trend when she wore an offthe-shoulder Oscar de la Renta gown,” says Cecile Chen, cofounder and managing director at Trinity Bridal. “This cut is perfect for ladies who want to show off their décolletage in the most elegantly flattering way whilst still sticking to tradition. Brides who are conscious of their arms will also find this look favourable.” Trinity Bridal: 8/F, W Place, 52 Wyndham St., Central, 2978-3987, www.trinitybridal.com.hk.
THE TREND: PLUNGING NECKLINES Dresses with plunging necklines are heating up in 2017 and, while certainly sexy, there’s a reason this style is popular - a plunging neckline flatters your figure, creating a longer and leaner silhouette.
Why brides are loving it: “Plunging necklines on wedding dresses can be super sexy, modern and flattering if done tastefully,” says Dana Trang of HITCHED! Bridal. “If traditional family members won’t be too pleased, a detachable panel can be added to raise the neckline for the ceremony and removed for the reception and after party!” Trinity Bridal 33
THE TREND: VERSATILE SEPARATES
THE TREND: ILLUSION NECKLINES
Separates allow for endless combinations to suit your style, says HITCHED! Bridal’s owner Dana Trang. Unconventional brides love to mix-and-match tops and skirts to create a one-of-akind wedding gown.
Illusion designs were all over Pinterest last year, and they’re getting even saucier in 2017. Made with fine transparent tulle, illusion necklines add a little hint of sensuality to a classic silhouette.
Why brides are loving it: “Separates are great as it allows brides of all figures to choose both the top and bottom items that are most flattering for their body type,” says Trang. “Designer David Fielden is the best, in my opinion, for this style of wedding dress.”
Why brides are loving it: “Illusion necklines are the perfect way for a bride to show some skin, while still remaining modest,” says Noel Chu, a bridal designer based in Sheung Wan. “This style is perfect for an alfresco wedding since it’s lightweight and breathable.”
HITCHED! Bridal: Room 1501-2, Hing Lung Commercial Building, 68-74 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, 2815-8330, www.hitchedbridal.com.
Noel Chu Atelier: Unit 2201, 22/F, Arion Commercial Centre, 2-12 Queen’s Road West, Sheung Wan, 2380-6381, www.noelchuatelier.com.
THE TREND: ALTERNATIVES TO WHITE Wedding dresses are moving away from whites, creams and ivories and venturing into bolder territory - think gold, blue or pastel tones. Brides who are keen to incorporate their personality into the mix will appreciate this offbeat trend.
Why brides are loving it: “Colour is the perfect way for brides to show their fun side,” says Luk. “Colour is very important in everything else throughout the wedding - from flowers to cake to décor - why shouldn’t it be the same for the wedding gown? Colourful wedding gowns can be romantic and timeless and add that special touch to any wedding.” Vivian Luk: Mezzanine 13-15 Yik Yam St., Happy Valley, www.vivianluk.com.
Vivian Luk Atelier
Noel Chu Atelier
Snap Happy So youâ€™ve picked a venue and found the dress - but what about a photographer to help you capture the perfect day? Tiffany Luk, Events Manager at Quintessentially Weddings, offers her insider tips to ensure your wedding is absolutely picture-perfect.
Photo: Patrick Photography
Trust your gut Personally meeting with the photographer will give you a sense of whether you click with them. That’s crucial on your big day! The photographer’s artistic direction and attitude will affect how comfortable you are in front their lens and, ultimately, the outcome of the photos.
Test drive It’s a good idea to do a trial session to test your compatibility with the photographer. And for shy couples, this will give you a glimpse of how it feels to be photographed, so you don’t feel camera shy or uneasy on your wedding day.
Photo: Amee Cheung Photogrphy
Photo: Amee Cheung Photogrphy
Make a list When you’ve found your dream photographer, create a list of people or moments you would like them to capture on your big day. Don’t forget to include cultural traditions, so that they know to snap these important memories. 37
Private or public? A lot of photographers tend to share photos onto social media platforms to build their portfolio. Make sure to communicate your preference, if you’d like your wedding photos kept private.
Photo: Patrick Photography
Photo: Patrick Photography
Don’t hire a photographer without asking three important questions. • Ask for reference photos to ensure their photographic style is in line with your vision - be it reportage, illustrative, editorial, film, digital or dramatic.
• Weddings call for unexpected requests and shuffled timelines, so how flexible is the photographer? Easygoing photographers who are willing to accommodate will help to ease any unnecessary stress on the day.
Social studies On the other hand, some photographers charge copyrights fee if you share their pictures on social media, so be sure to ask what their policy is.
Cost it out Often photographers will charge fees if touch-ups are required after the final product is delivered. Or, they’ll charge an overtime fee. Be sure to ask about potential extra fees that might not be included in the package.
• How comfortable will your guests feel? Aside from the two of you, the photographer will be capturing your guests, so think of them too. For instance, you might want to consider language barriers if you’re hosting a diverse group of people.
Let loose Nothing speaks more than a candid photo with genuine smiles on the most important day of your life, Be sure to embrace the attention, and smile from the bottom of your heart.
Photo: Amee Cheung Photogrphy
Photo: Amee Cheung Photogrphy
Here are Quintessentially’s preferred photography partners in Hong Kong.
Amee Cheung Taking a fine arts approach, Amee’s photographic style feels like a romantic film, featuring soft hues and neutral tones. ameecheungphotography.com.
Philip Tsang Equipped with an impressive portfolio of high-profile weddings, Philip’s approachable and reassuring attitude will put you at ease. philipphoto.com.
Patrick Law With an ability to capture the natural and candid moments, Patrick’s images reflect the unique personalities of every couple he works with. www.patrick-photography.com.
Fitness In and in Health Youâ€™ll be running down the aisle in no time with these tough-love boot camps and challenging fitness regimes that are perfect for busy brides. By Susie Riza
F45 F45 is an all-in-one workout that passes by in a blink. The 45-minute sessions sculpt your figure with high-intensity interval training and weight resistance in a fast-paced circuit-style workout. There are more than 5,000 routines in the repertoire so no two workouts are ever the same - meaning that the body is constantly challenged. F45 workouts are great for fat burning and muscle definition, allowing brides to tone up quickly if they attend regularly. And to help keep your diet on track, complimentary online nutrition programmes take place every three months. $300 per class or $2,400 per month. Several locations including F45 Sheung Wan, 1/F, 135 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 6990-2403, www.f45training.hk.
Ursus Fitness Build strength and get lean with the Ursus Fitness bridal bootcamp challenge. With three to four hours of personal training per week, nutritional advice and daily monitoring to keep you on target, the team here expects you to use your wedding as a motivator to make healthy changes for life. 64-68 Pok Fu Lam Rd., Sai Ying Pun, 2803-2774, ursusfitness.com.
Ultimate Performance Ultimate Performance offers a six-week bridal personal training programme that will whip you into shape with a tailor-made regimen, measured using a BioPrint Analysis. Stick with it, and you should start noticing changes within 10 days - and potentially dramatic changes over six weeks, depending how closely you follow the nutrition and training advice. Want to work out with friends? Ask about the threeweek plan for your entire bridal party and sweat it out in good company. Personal training from $950 per session. 3/F, Unicorn Trade Centre, 127 Des Voeux Road Central, 2798-9000. Also has an outlet in Causeway Bay. upfitness.com.hk.
H-Kore A favourite among Pilates gurus and fitness enthusiasts around town, H-Kore is the only Lagree fitness studio in Hong Kong. This Central spot offers “turbocharged Pilates” classes - 45 minutes of low-impact training that is extremely effective thanks to a moving Lagree machine. Essentially, the machine provides a mix of resistance training and targeted muscle burn. The combination is designed to strengthen, tighten and tone making this an efficient way to get fit fast for those backless and strapless dresses. $2,000 per month (three classes per week). 3/F Wincome Centre, 39 Des Voeux Road Central, 2441-9000, www.h-kore.com.
Flex Graceful and deliberate, Flex provides allover body workouts targeting bums, thighs, abs and arms - all the parts you need to look fantastic in the wedding photos. Not just for dancers, Barre burns serious calories and increases your metabolism whilst being fun at the same time. Flex offers a range of energetic group classes inspired by classic and modern dance. And for something that’s totally tailored to brides, ask about the Bridal Bootcamp - two- and three-month packages that include guidance on caloric intake, tips for staying Zen as the big day approaches and slimming recipes. Bridal Bootcamp from $5,300 for eight weeks and $7,200 for 12 weeks. 3/F, Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham St., Central, 2813-2399. Also has an outlet in Wong Chuk Hang. flexhk.com.
Reebok Crossfit Asphodel Hong Kong’s first CrossFit gym, Reebok CrossFit Asphodel isn’t just for brides - but it can definitely help drop some pre-wedding weight or put on some muscle. Borrowing from a mix of weightlifting, Strongman training, track, field and gymnastics, this CrossFit workout emphasizes functional movement patterns, which will tone your body and build strength - not to mention make you more athletic in general. The team says that brides-to-be have shed up to 20 pounds training at Asphodel with guidance from trainers and careful nutrition planning. $230 per class. $2,700 for one month of unlimited classes. Personal training from $850 per session; $7,500 for 10 sessions. G/F Fook Hing Factory Building, 33 Lee Chung St., Chai Wan, 3568-7719, www.crossfitasphodel.com.
Flawless TREATMENT: Shellac mani-pedi PRICE: $450 (manicure); $100 extra (nail art); $550 (pedicure) TIME: 1.25 hours
THE VIBE: A fresh white space, big comfy chairs and an abundance of natural light make Flawless one of the more luxurious manicure spots in town.
us towards a host of design ideas and polish options. The array is impressive, including a lineup of OPI, CND, MoYou and the healthier Bio Seaweed Gel.
WHEN TO GO: Pamper your paws about 24 to 48 hours before the wedding to ensure those beautiful talons hold up.
ABOUT THE SNACKS: Choose from organic tea or a glass of bubbly. If you’re hungry, there’s a selection of healthy snacks on hand - think chia bars, fruit bars and coconut chips.
THE GIST: We settled on a Shellac white base with a subtle silver glitter accent. Though more time consuming, the glittery finish added a nice touch without feeling gaudy. For the pedicure, we kept it simple with a few coats of CND polish in “Be Demure” - an elegant pale pink. HOW’S THE SERVICE? The team is attentive and thoughtful, pointing
BEST PART: All Flawless treatments come with a 24-hour guarantee for normal polish and a one-week guarantee for Shellac manicures and pedicures - a huge plus for brides worried about chips or smudges. 4/F, Sea Bird House, 22-28 Wyndham St., Central, 2869-5868, www.flawless.hk.com.
Browhaus TREATMENT: Basic Brow Shaping
PRICE: $230 TIME: 30-45 minutes
Plateau Spa TREATMENT: Marine Hydrating Facial
PRICE: $1,250 TIME: 1 hour
THE VIBE: Plateau Spa has been designed with a Japanese zen aesthetic in mind. Think warm wood, lots of greenery and enormous stone bathtubs in the spa suites for a pre- or post-treatment soak. WHEN TO GO: Facials are typically recommended about a week ahead - in case of any adverse reactions.
THE VIBE: It’s creative and quirky. Treatments take place in circus-like tents, to add a colourful twist on typically clinical surrounds. WHEN TO GO: For popping peepers come wedding day, the experts at Browhaus recommend getting a shaping treatment about a week before nuptials. THE GIST: We tried the Basic Brow Shaping service, which includes classic threading and tweezing. We were impressed with how meticulously the therapist went about evening out our hair. She kept them thick enough to look natural, but slimmed strategic sections to create an elegant arch. HOW’S THE SERVICE? The team is friendly, helpful and knowledgable. Voice any concerns and they will be sure to come up with a solution.
THE GIST: Constantly battling dry skin, we tried the Marine Hydrating Facial. The hour-long treatment harnesses a clutch of Thalgo’s Source Marine products, all powered by marine ingredients such as algae and minerals. After the usual cleansing and toning came the mask. The therapist brushed a thick layer of Ultra Hydra Marine Mask all over our skin even covering our lips. It slowly hardened and was peeled off after about 10 minutes. A relaxing head, shoulder, neck and arm massage put us to sleep as we waited. HOW’S THE SERVICE? You’re in good hands. The therapists are warm and highly skilled, tailoring treatments to your personal skin goals and concerns. ABOUT THE SNACKS: The treatment finished with a pot of steamy ginger tea and a bowl of fresh fruit. WHAT ELSE: A few of the spa suites double as hotel rooms, in case you’re keen to treat yourself to a relaxing staycation ahead of the big day. 11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2584-7688, hongkong.grand.hyatt.com.
ABOUT THE SNACKS: A handful of chocolate bites and sweets are on offer at the front desk for before or after the treatment. WHAT ELSE: Browhaus also offers a semi-permanent Brow Resurrection service ($6,660). 10/F, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 3950-3950, www.browhaus.com.
Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer “Just dab with your ring finger under the eyes and this creamy concealer will cover most dark circles. My tip: don’t apply the concealer directly to skin to prevent germs from entering the tube.”
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette “This is my favourite finishing powder! A stroke of this conceals pores, wrinkles and imperfection, creating a multidimensional glow.”
Tatcha Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate “Although it says ‘overnight’ I use this before I apply any makeup, as it deeply moisturizes skin and brings out a natural glow.”
Hong Kong-based wedding makeup artist Kalam Chu recommends her go-to products to bring out that natural glow on the big day.
Addiction Skin Care Foundation "This liquid foundation is ultra-fine but still provides medium to good coverage, along with sun protection. It’s easy to blend and, once it applied, skin looks flawless and glowy.”
Addiction Cheek Polish “I love using a liquid or cream blush, as it creates a more natural finish that looks like the skin is blushing from the inside.”
Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer “Applying this mineralbased primer before liquid foundation helps to create a smoother canvas, cover visible pores, reduce shine and neutralise the skin.”
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow “If you want to slim, sculpt, shorten, trim and highlight your features in a natural way, this is the bomb!”
The owner of Kalamakeup, Kalam Chu and her team have helped more than 500 brides prep for their big day. She has also worked with major international brands such as Elle, Marie Claire and Cosmopolitan, Valentino, Chanel and Burberry. Room 101, Ivy House, 18-20 Wyndham St., Central, 9757-4220, www.kalamakeup.com.
Lights, Camera, Action Great makeup can hide a multitude of sins, but healthy, radiant skin is key to looking great on your big day. Luckily, most common skin problems can be solved with some expert help. Justine Grier, aesthetician at Optimal Skin, helps you troubleshoot your pre-wedding complexion woes.
S AY I N G I DO?
The problem: gaping pores “Microdermabrasion is a winner for smoothing out uneven texture and to minimise the depth of your pores and make them appear smaller. We all know you can’t actually change the size of your pores, but you can clean them out with professional extractions performed under sanitary conditions. Don’t go performing home operations in front of the bathroom mirror!” The problem: dry skin “Combine microdermabrasion with some light enzyme, glycolic or other light chemical peels to exfoliate layers of skin, allowing better product penetration and hydration on the day. One of my biggest tips is to hydrate skin from the inside - drink plenty of water.” The problem: flaky lips “Gently brushing your lips before bedtime with a soft toothbrush will remove dry skin. Follow that with a generous dose of a thick lip balm that contains shea butter, beeswax and other lush oils. This should revive your dried-out pout and leave your lips glossy and flake-free.” And for travelling brides? “I love the Alpha Beta peel sachets from Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare. It’s like a mini facial every other day, or once a week. The exfoliation will help combat serious breakouts, moisturise dry skin and give you that wedding day glow.” Justine offers customised skincare plans, including peels, microdermabrasion, tightening and home care regimes. Find her at Optimal Skin: Room 1903A, 19/F, The Centrium, 60 Wyndham St., Central, 2666-6300, optimalfamilyhealth.com.hk.
LO O K I N G
L I K E
GODDESS Sign up for our Bridal Bootcamp - nip your waist, trim thighs, tone arms and bring out your best on the big day. Two and three month Bootcamp packages available. Includes personal guidance on caloric intake, bride-to- be fitness, tips for staying Zen and slimming recipes. It’s never too soon (or too late) to start your wedding workout.
CALL OR EMAIL US NOW Shops 308-310, One Island South, Wong Chuk Hang T 2813 2212 e email@example.com 3/F Man Cheung Bldg, 15-17 Wyndham St, Central T 2813 2399 e firstname.lastname@example.org flexstudiohk
www.flexhk.com | intelligent movement
D W ream
Photo: Love Train Studios Couples in Asia are spoiled for choice when it comes to dreamy destination wedding venues. We caught up with Sonya Yeung, creative director of destination wedding planner Bliss Creations, to hear her top picks of the regionâ€™s most under-the-radar wedding spots. By Kate Springer 48
Zone, offers tremendous city charm with temples, local food and a mix of Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and British architecture. PHOTO OPPS: George Town is home to picturesque Chinese temples in Little India and mosques in China Town. Taking photos alongside street art and the beautiful terraced buildings will result in amazing photos.
Photos: KENNFOO Weddings
THE HIGHLIGHTS: The cultural capital of Malaysia, Penang has a rich history, delicious food and wonderful architecture. George Town, a Unesco World Heritage
HOT VENUES: There are many wonderful colonial hotels and old mansions, plus spice gardens, Buddhist temples and beachfront locations. USP: For multi-cultural couples, Penang also offers a wide range of themed weddings including traditional Peranakan, Chinese
Malay and Indian. Chinese is also widely spoken in Penang, which makes it easier for Cantonese-speaking wedding parties to get around. INSIDER TIP: With the Malaysian Ringgit low against the Hong Kong Dollar, Penang also offers great value for money. BEST SEASON: It’s best to visit Penang between December and March to avoid the rainy season. Penang is often hot and humid, so if you’re having an alfresco event, keep guests cool with refreshments, cold towels and fans. GETTING THERE: Penang is about a three-hour direct flight from Hong Kong.
Fiji THE HIGHLIGHTS: Blessed with clear blue water, sandy beaches and jungle rivers, Fiji is home to more than 300 islands. The archipelago offers beautiful scenery, marine life and rich culture with some of the friendliest people in the world. PHOTO OPPS: Fiji has pictureperfect beaches and tropical island scenery - both great for wedding photos. There are hundreds of islands available to ensure privacy when taking those special photos.
HOT VENUES: The wedding chapel at the Westin Denarau Weddings can take place anywhere from a the Lavena Coastal Walk, which rainforest surrounded by singing passes by white sandy beaches tropical birds to a white sandy and a cascading waterfall. beach paired with crisp blue BEST SEASON: Visit Fiji waters, high-end beach resorts between June and September to with chapels to secluded caves. experience the best weather. Popular wedding destinations GETTING THERE: Fiji is about a include Sheraton Fiji Resort, 10-hour direct flight from Hong Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, and Kong, operated by Fiji Airways. The Westin on Denarau Island. INSIDER TIP: Taveuni is known as the ‘Garden Island of Fiji’ with its lush jungles, tropical birds and flowers. It is also home to
Get in touch with Bliss Creations: 2982-0192, www.blissweddings.asia.
Photo: Aidan Dockery
THE HIGHLIGHTS: Vietnam is a great place to tie the knot - it is fairly inexpensive, while offering beautiful surroundings and fantastic food. Decked out in French architecture, Hanoi has a wealth of restaurants and hotels, plus easy-access to the nearby Unesco Heritage site of Halong Bay. PHOTO OPPS: Hanoi is more than 1,000 years old, so there is a colourful history in the buzzing
French Quarter, ancient citadels and nearby wilderness. For a natural touch, head to Hoan Kiem Lake and Bach Thao Park. HOT VENUES: Hanoi is home to some beautiful colonial hotels, like the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi - one of the grand dames of Southeast Asia. The hotel has planners on staff to make logistics a breeze. In Halong Bay you can take an overnight cruise aboard a luxury boat.
USP: In Halong Bay, your ceremony can take place on the boat by the water, followed by a beautiful dinner in a cave in one of the many limestone karst mountains. Light it up with hundreds of candles and you have a truly amazing wedding to remember. INSIDER TIP: Vietnam requires visas for most passport holders, so remember to check with your consulate.
Chiang Mai, Thailand THE HIGHLIGHTS: Full of culture, natural beauty and hospitable people, Chiang Mai is a beloved wedding destination. The old city is set around a moat, while the surrounding countryside is home to mountains and lush vegetation. PHOTO OPPS: The whole area is very picturesque, so there is no shortage of photo opportunities. The beautiful gardens of Royal Park Rajapruek are a great place to capture special moments. HOT VENUES: Chiang Mai is home to lush tropical garden venues that can’t be found elsewhere in Asia - they’re great
places for wedding ceremonies. 137 Pillars House is also a heritage-style venue to tie the knot in style. On the pricier side, The Four Seasons Chiang Mai is located between lush rice fields in Mae Rim and is one of the most popular wedding venues in the area, with top-notch service. USP: Thai food is, of course, delicious - and there are so many activities for guests to enjoy, including trekking, handicraft workshops, cooking courses, zip-lining, and more. INSIDER TIP: As Thailand is a Buddhist country and there’s a
The Four Seasons Chiang Mai
new king, it is important to be respectful of any dress codes and code of conduct. BEST SEASON: It’s best to avoid mid-February to mid-April as the air is very smoggy. You’ll experience the best temperatures between October and January. GETTING THERE: Chiang Mai is about a 2.5-hour direct flight from Hong Kong.
1 SHANGHAI, China Amanyangyun is opening outside of Shanghai later this year, and is so much more than your typical city break. From the luxurious Aman resort brand, this new address will transport you off the grid into an ancient village that recalls Qing dynasty dwellings. Surrounded by a lush camphor forest, each of the 50 village homes was painstakingly dismantled and reconstructed as a heritage preservation project to retain its cultural and historic integrity. www.aman.com/resorts/amanyangyun.
Where to, Honey
Plan your dream honeymoon with inspiration from all
2 BALI, Indonesia Beautiful beaches, great food, a sanctuary-like spa it’s hard to argue with stalwart favourite Fivelements in Bali. The eco resort is best known for its spa and wellness offerings, but it’s also a perfect spot for celebrating special occasions thanks to its romantic atmosphere and beautiful Balinese design. Aimed at couples, the resort offers a stable of thoughtful services - like couple’s spa treatments, private dinners, Balinese ceremonies and saucy bath rituals. Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa Banjar Baturning, Mambal, Bali, Indonesia, +62-361-469-260, www.fivelements.org.
3 CHIANG RAI, Thailand If you’re adventurous enough to sleep in a tent on your honeymoon, but can’t be parted from fine wines and king-sized beds, then The Four Seasons Golden Triangle Tented Camp is your dream honeymoon destination. The all-inclusive tented camp spoils travellers with old-world furnishings, enormous private decks, outdoor rainshowers... and rescue elephants. Chiang Saen Post Office, Chiang Rai 57150, Thailand, +66-53-910-200, www.fourseasons.com/goldentriangle.
over Asia - and beyond.
4 QUY NHON, Vietnam A promising all-inclusive option for spa seekers, AVANI Quy Nhon Resort & Spa recently launched a “Total Wellbeing Renewal” experience. The beachfront resort in Central Vietnam mixes together spa pampering and physical activities - perfect for health-conscious honeymooners. Ghenh Rang, Bai Dai Beach, Qui Nhon, Binh Dinh Province, Vietnam, +84-56-3840-132, www.minorhotels.com.
5 HARADS, Sweden If a middle-of-nowhere getaway is more your speed, then look up the 7th Room - a new addition to the Treehotel in the Laplands of Sweden. Designed by international architecture firm Snohetta, the Nordic-style cabin seems to float above the pine forest in Northern Sweden, offering cosy accommodations and wrap-around views of the forest by day and the Aurora Borealis by night. Each of the cabins offer ultimate intimacy, so when you tuck in, it’s just you and the stars. Treehotel, Brittas Pensionat, Edeforsväg 2 A, 960 24 Harads, Sverige, +46-928-103 00, treehotel.se.
Ask An Expert
to Perfection From awkward seating arrangements to budget troubles, the devil is in the details when it comes to weddings. Karen Wang, founder of TIARA wedding planning and event management service, weighs in on common questions and concerns. Q What’s the one thing every bride struggles with? One thing we often find is that couples have no concept of how much a wedding should cost. As a wedding planner, it is very important that we clearly explain what a budget is and tell them roughly how much they need to spend based on their wedding venue. Q What details do you suggest brides save on? There really isn’t a fixed answer, as it is different for every bride. But having a budget is the key to saving. We ask brides to identify their priorities, which can help paint a clear picture. Sometimes you want to wow with decorations - but for others, they really enjoy dancing and music. For example, if you are looking for a great after party, spend more on the band and a bit less on decorations. Not everyone can have everything they want weddings in Hong Kong are very expensive. Q So how much are we talking, for say, a luxury hotel venue? I would say nowadays for a five-star hotel with a decoration budget of about $100,000, you are looking at about a $400,000 wedding, on average. Q What’s the most expensive part? Decorations, definitely. You can spend $10,000 or $1 million. The various photographers and designers and vendors are all somewhat similar in price, but decorations fluctuate depending on your taste. 54
Photos: Princeton Boutique Gallery Decoration: The Wood
Q How do you tackle seating arrangements? Start as soon as guests reply. Begin by putting them into groups according to who they will know or have something in common with - then assign them to tables. Ask for your parents' opinion to see if there are certain guests that should be on specific tables or kept separate. Q Any words of wisdom for alfresco weddings? Have realistic expectations. You have to keep in mind that Hong Kong is a city. There aren’t too many venues that will give you that dreamy
ask me, I'm...
The Fairy Godmother
Our all-knowing matrimonial maven solves your wedding woes Dear Fairy Godmother, I'd like to get my bridesmaids a gift. Something they can keep, like a piece of jewellery. They all have quite different tastes so something pretty but neutral would be ideal. My budget is around $1,000 per bridesmaid. Pinterest image - we are limited here in terms of venues, but that being said, we can do a lot to recreate a vision with decorations. Q Should guests bring gifts or money to a Hong Kong wedding? The majority of people in Hong Kong will prefer lai see packets filled with money. A gift registry in Hong Kong is not very common. Traditionally, the amount depends on the venue and how long youâ€™ve known the couple. A good gauge is how much the dinner costs you can always call the venue to find out. TIARA, Room 19B, Carfield Commercial Building, 75-77 Wyndham St., Central, 2840-0401, www.tiara.hk.
I've got just the thing for you! Monica Vinader has a collection of friendship bracelets that come in 36 colours and finishes. You can buy them to match with your wedding colours, or mix and match according to your squad's individual taste. They squeak in at $950 - just under your budget. You can even engrave them for an extra personal touch. There's a flagship store in IFC, or you can buy online at www.monicavinader.com. Dear Fairy Godmother, I have about 20 out-of-town guests arriving for my wedding. I'd like to take them out to dinner. Where would be a good place to take them? I'd like something quintessentially Hong Kong but chic, not too expensive and able to cater to a wide range of dietary needs. You're in luck - Dragon Noodles Academy, which just opened a few months ago, fits your bill perfectly. This stylish but fun restaurant pays tribute to Hong Kong dining culture. There's a show-stopping Peking Duck, as well as lobster noodles, sous-vide beef short rib and dumplings. There are also plenty of vegetarian and grandma-accessible options too. Everything is plated gorgeously - this is definitely a place to impress out-of-towners. The price depends on what you order, but we reckon it'll ring in at $300 a head (including drinks). Oh, and private rooms are available too. Find it at G/F, Shop G04, Man Yee Building, 68 Des Voeux Road Central, 2561-6688, dragon-noodles.com. Got a wedding-related conundrum that needs solving? Email email@example.com and weâ€™ll be delighted to assist!
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.
Cordis Hong Kong This popular five-star hotel in Mong Kok does hundreds of weddings per year. We love the Star room on the top floor of the hotel, which offers spectacular city views, as well as a deck that leads out to the rooftop pool. Right now it’s offering a Swarovski-studded signing book, ring pillow and planning diary to all wedding bookings. 555 Shanghai St., Mong Kok, 3552-3388, cordishotels.com.
Hyatt Regency Sha Tin This popular venue is a little out of town, but that means that you get treated to gorgeous greenery and picture-perfect views of the Tolo Harbour. Get married alfresco at the landscaped garden, surrounded by trees and flowers. Want to avoid the function rooms? The private outdoor terrace of Sha Tin 18, the highly acclaimed Chinese restaurant, can also be booked for a private function 56
of up to eight tables. 18 Chak Cheung St., Sha Tin, 3723-1234, hongkongshatin.regency. hyatt.com.
The Peninsula An oldie but a goodie. If you’re looking for a heritage venue, it’s hard to do better than the Peninsula. If it’s an outdoor experience you’re after with a smaller guest list, the garden suite opens out onto an alfresco deck overlooking the harbour. With excellent service and details such as cakes and transportation all accounted for, this hotel is popular for a reason. Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2920-2888, peninsula.com.
Fitness Ursus Fitness Hong Kong’s strongman gym, Ursus focuses on getting brides lean and toned - not just thin - with its 12-week bridal bootcamp program. With personal training three or four hours a week, nutrition advice and before-and-after testing so you can really track results, it’s a great option if you’re looking for a tough but fun workout. 64-68 Pok Fu Lam Rd., Sai Ying Pun, 2803-2774, www.ursusfitness.com.
Ultimate Performance Want to get real results, and fast? Ultimate Performance’s take-noprisoners approach to personal training will have you looking dramatically different in no time - so long as you follow the intensive diet and exercise program set by your
Ursus Fitness trainer. Want to do it in a group? Ultimate also offers packages for bridal parties and couples. 3/F, Unicorn Trade Centre, 127 Des Voeux Road Central, 2798-9000. Also has an outlet in Causeway Bay. upfitness.com.hk.
Flex This Pilates- and barre-focused wellness centre offers a bridal bootcamp that promises to sculpt and tone up your waist, thighs and arms. Depending on your timeline, two- or three-month packages are available, and include personal nutrition advice, workouts, classes to keep you calm and collected, and healthy recipes. 3/F, Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham St., Central, 2813-2399. Also has an outlet in Wong Chuk Hang. flexhk.com.
Beauty BloomMe Whether you want to book a manipedi for your bridesmaids, a series of skin-perfecting facials, a de-stressing massage or an expert brow tidy, Bloom Me has you covered. This spa and salon booking app has more than 500 venues on its books. Also a great option for wedding guests. bloomme.com.hk.
Cabanee An online eco-friendly beauty store that stocks niche brands, all of which are free from chemicals and other nasties. Prep your skin with natural skincare, or pick up some gorgeous products (such as perfume and refreshing mist sprays) to place in the bathrooms on the day. cabanee.com.
Glow Spa Glow offers hair and spa services in a warm and welcoming environment and will get you - shall we say glowing just in time for your nuptials. 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.
Smile Center Want a dazzling smile to match your dress? Smile Centre offers peroxidefree effective whitening that takes around 40 minutes and can whiten your smile up to 10 shades. 17/F, 1 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 2110-9757, www.smile-center.com.
Photographers History Studio Dreamy, romantic and sweet are words that spring to mind when scrolling through History Studio’s portfolio. Photographer Kongwai knows how to capture unscripted moments, but even his pre-wedding and staged shots capture loving moments on camera. history-studio.com.
Jamie Ousby Photography If you’re looking for an award-winning photographer who can capture
special, spontaneous moments, get in touch with Jamie Ousby. His photojournalistic style allows him to capture the day as it unfolds - forget having a swarm of photographers capturing every second - you’ll hardly notice he’s there as he discreetly snaps away to deliver truly spontaneous images. www.jamieousbyphotography.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.
Jewellery Didi’s Jewellery 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. Suite 311, 3/F, Office Tower, Lippo Sun Plaza, 28 Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3114-7111, didisgroup.com.
Jamie Ousby Photography
The 5th C Looking for a ring that’s tailored just for you? At The 5th C, it’s all about the diamond, and you choose your rock before you talk about settings and styles. Once your have your personalised consultation, you’ll see plenty of renderings and drafts, before the craftsmen get to work bringing your creation to life. Unit A&B, 11/F, World Trust Tower, 50 Stanley St., Central, 2654-6288,
Adele Bridal Couture Look like a princess in Adele’s dreamy, vintage-style gowns, featuring embroidery, billowing skirts and masses of tulle. One highlight is the sheer chiffon cape, which will make you look like a queen for a day. Evening gowns and photography services also available. 8B, Vienna Mansion, 55 Paterson St.,
Causeway Bay, www.adelehk.com.
Looking for a piece of jewellery with ethical credentials? Platinum Heart carries only certified conflictfree diamonds, ensures fair trade practices, and employs eco-friendly practices, from packaging to production techniques.
A high-end bridal salon in the heart of Central, Audella Bridal House offers designer collections from Berta, Lee Petra Grebenau and Alon Livne, to name just a few. It also partners with various high-end wedding vendors across Hong Kong - from florist to photographers - so you’ll be able to get more done in one go.
1 Lan Kwai Fong, Central, 2801-6161, ptheart.com.
Bridesmaids ASOS Wedding Shop Sort your squad with affordable ASOS dresses from its wedding store. There are several cuts available in a wide range of colours, so you're bound to find something to suit everyone. Dresses ring in at around $500 and there’s free delivery worldwide. asos.com.
TH&TH This London-Hong Kong bridesmaid dress brand launched just last year, but has already garnered some serious acclaim in the UK for its affordable yet luxurious gowns that will have your bridal party looking perfectly coordinated. Prices start at 150 pounds (around $1,500). thandth.com.
19/F, C Wisdom Centre, 37 Hollywood Rd., Central, 5406-0306, audellabridal.com.
HITCHED! Bridal This stylish bridal gown store is popular with brides looking for something a little different. Set in a chic, loft-like space, HITCHED! offers edgy looks from international designers, including Augusta Jones, David Fielden, Lela Rose and more. Room 1501-2 Hing Lung Commercial Building, 68-74 Bonham Strand East, Sheung Wan, 2815-8330, www.hitchedbridal.com
Catering Invisible Kitchen Make sure your guests are well fed with Invisible Kitchen, an awardwinning catering company that can create bites for just about any kind
Invisible Kitchen of occasion - no job is too big or too small. From a casual barbecue to fancy canapes, the friendly team will cater to your every need. www.invisiblekitchen.com.
Pajama In addition to offering catering options, Pajama also specialises in equipment rental, from linens and furniture to marquees, AV equipment… even generators. It has great connections with various venues across the city, so drop them a line and see if they can help you plan your event. www.pyjamahk.com.
Entertainment African Drumming and Dance Connection Looking for something a little different to wow your guests? How about some African drumming? This exciting and vibrant music form will add a dash of excitement to your day, and guests can even get involved drumming themselves. www.africandrumdance.com.
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My Hong Kong Wedding can be found at more than 100 premium wedding-centric venues across Hong Kong. We also place copies in with deliveries of our sister publication, Liv Magazine.
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The Wedding Company Ltd.
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The Restaurant by The Kinnett
Avec Amour Lingerie
Barre 2 Barre
A Day With Fe
The Repulse Bay
Russ Dance Factory
Seasoning Makeup Studio
The Theme Wedding
Life Clinic Pause
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The London Medical Clinic
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How We Met
Instant Draw Thierry Chow and Peter Yuill were college sweethearts. They met while at university in Canada, where the creative couple both studied illustration. Peter was a year older, but when they passed each other in the hallways, they both recall feeling a spark. The romance started online - years before Tinder and Bumble - where they hit it off right away in a chatroom. Seven years later, Peter proposed in Hong
Kong. “It was simple and sweet,” recalls Thierry. “He made me dinner on our anniversary, then got down on one knee!” Read their wedding story on page 20.
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