Issue 238 15 May 2015
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T h e M a g a z i n e T h at K n o w s
Wedding Belles The List has your back on your big day
05 Editor’s Letter
What’s In Dress those feet up at Nine West.
06 hot tickets
Pop the Questions
Art, drama, film and food: bienvenue Le French May!
Don’t sweat the small stuff: Three wedding professionals solve all your bridal woes.
42 mrs. Know-it-all
Get ready for junk season with bikinis that pop from Sukigi Swim.
Wear a cheongsam to a Chinese wedding. Just be sure to read this first.
50 HIDDEN GEMS
Self-styled entrepreneur and fashionista Gabriella Zavatti shows us how she does it.
Café de Country Art
Beauty and Wellness
A surprising café-slash-art gallery in Tai Mei Tuk.
Get the look: it’s all about the pastel eyes.
KNOW & TEL
Th e M aga z i n e That K n ow s
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Congratulations! Wedding season is upon us, so congratulations if you’re just about to tie the knot, or—I think this is even more fun—you’ve just got engaged. If you’re still flying high on your proposal, it’s time to get down to business. Whether you’ve got six months, a year or even two until “I do,” it will fly by. Trust me, planning is stressful, so turn to our Pop the Questions feature (p.14) to avoid the common pitfalls. Then we can help you plan all the essentials of your big day: from the all-important dress (p.22) and matching accessories (p.26), to the perfect venue (p.30), photographer (p.34) and caterer (p.38). Your wedding is without a doubt the best party you’re ever going to throw (as well as being the happiest day of your life, of course) and it’s all in the hands of you: The Bride. So start planning and enjoy!
Wedding Memories Although I got married two years ago, I still had fun putting this issue together because it brought back so many memories. Here are just a few: • The first time we laid eyes on our venue (an Australian vineyard), it took our breath away. • Fighting over the guestlist: do we really invite those second cousins? (We didn’t). • Trying not to cry as I walked down the aisle—it was all a bit emotional. • Forgetting the steps to our choreographed dance, despite all those lessons.
I’d love to hear from you! Email me at email@example.com or follow us at www.facebook.com/TheList.HongKong
Flagship Designer Showroom: 1/F, Horizon Plaza, Ap Lei Chau. 2877 3295 www.tequilakola.com
Read our bridal horror stories (p.36), they’ll make you laugh and cringe!
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Make a Date Our picks for the month
Fair Play The Affordable Art Fair famously showcases a wide variety of art, all priced between $1,000 and $100,000: but more importantly, it has also been a springboard for plenty of young Hong Kong talent. The artists featured in previous years have gone on to garner plenty of international exposure and gallery representation. Be sure to check out the kickoff party, “Art After Dark Evening” on May 22 at 6pm. Hong Kong Convention Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wan Chai. $80-150 from www.hkticketing.com
May, Oui The annual Francophile festival Le French May returns to Hong Kong. Taking place from now through to the end of June (yes—the name is somewhat deceiving), Le French May presents over 120 acts, exhibits, films, and a host of foodie promotions. Among a slew of classicand contemporary-themed programs, don’t miss a retrospective on legendary architect Le Corbusier (through May 28), the father of functionalism as well as the Bauhaus school. Various times and locations. Visit www.frenchmay.com for info
May 24 Music to Your Ears
The Yoga Room brings us an unlikely combo of relaxation in the form of a Silent Disco Yoga Class. You’ll have music and instructions coming through from illuminated wireless disco headsets—all against a picture-perfect sunset at Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park. Remember to bring your own yoga mat. Registration from 5:45-6pm; class from 6-7pm. Sun Yat Sen Memorial Park, Sai Ying Pun. $150 from www.eventbrite.hk
May 21 & 28, June 4
An annual market peddling a little of everything, the Kowloon Bazaar hosts myriad local vendors selling everything from handicrafts and household items to fashion accessories and designer gear. Shop your heart out!
11am-8pm. The Mira, 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui
Hullett Houseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Whisky@Stables bar plays host to Ladies Who Whisky, a series of 90-minute classes aimed at getting women to learn more about the tipple. There are different workshops all bringing something new to the table such as a chocolate and whisky pairing session from Pierre HermĂŠ (May 21) and a Nordic whisky experience (June 4) helmed by chef Jaakko Sorsa of Scandinavian restaurant FINDS. 7pm. Whisky@Stables, Hullett House, 1881 Heritage, 2A Canton Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 3988-0104. $500 on May 21; $398 on May 28; $350 on June 4
Kitchen Confidential Chef-slash-restaurateur Margaret Xu has moved her private kitchen, Yin Yang, from Wan Chai to a secluded beach in Ting Kau Village. The done-up village house sports a front yard covered in fragrant plants and fruit trees, a back room housing a custombuilt terracotta oven and other equipment reminiscent of ancient China. Margaret offers three scrumptious tasting menus ranging from $880 to $2,000 per head. Her dishes are nominally Cantonese but she plays with awesome flavor combinations and unusual textural contrasts. This takes private dining to another level. House 117, Ting Kau Village, Ting Kau, Tsuen Wan, 2866-0868, www.yinyang.hk
Life in the Hong Kong lane with Charley Mulliner Lumos Maxima! Something that’s caught my eye this fortnight: the quirky new Lumio lamp by San Francisco architect and industrial designer Max Gunawan. Playing on the word lumio— meaning light and knowledge—the lamp resembles a book that you can cleverly open like a concertina. This collapsible, portable lamp uses LEDs and rechargeable batteries to wirelessly power it for up to eight hours, plus you can control its brightness simply by adjusting how far you open the wood cover. Plug it in, suspend it from the ceiling or even attach it to anything metal with the magnets in the book’s binding.
$1,900 from Homeless, 29 Gough St., Sheung Wan, 2581-1880
Swim Sisters Junk season has officially started! That means it’s time to get your bikini wardrobe sorted and I’m loving this season’s offerings from Sukigi Swim, a Hong Kong collab between sisters Suki and Gigi. These aren’t just runway bikinis—they’re made to fit really well so you can swim, run and exercise in them all without worrying about falling out. Their shape is really flattering, especially the high-neck tops (although the medium bottoms do come up on the small side) and the colors really pop. Free shipping in Hong Kong. Suits from US$99 ($767), www.sukigiswim.com
More Mayarya Following its success in Sheung Wan and Stanley Plaza, “more than maternity” brand Mayarya is opening a new store in Mira Mall next month. Look out for Hong Kong brand Predict, which has a refreshing range of summer dresses that—following Mayarya’s signature ethos—are tailored to be bump friendly but not bump only. Meanwhile Mayarya’s home-styling service for new moms is worth shouting about: if you find yourself stuck at home in desperate need of a new maternity bra or breastfeeding top, give the team here a call with your specifications and they’ll bring a range of clothing to your door. Opening June 1. Shop 103A, Mira Mall, 118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2968-0929, www.mayarya.com
LOOKBOOK The stylish Gabriella Zavatti set up popular drinks brand Zavva Shots in Hong Kong in 2011. She’s also the co-founder of fashion and lifestyle blog The Duality. She shares some of her favorite things with The List. www.theduality.com, www.zavvashots.com
1. Citrus Zinger
3. Scratch Map
5. Ciak’s Bombolone
I am a big nerd when it comes to these things, but this is pretty awesome— all-day lemon water with no fuss.
I travel a lot for work and love to explore new places! This beats any other travel accessory—and helps me realize how much more there is still to explore.
These are the best in town. This classic Italian version of the donut is dusted with sugar and filled with the lightest vanilla cream. Doesn’t get much better than this.
2. Spiral Hair Tie Small change, big impact! My blog partner Nat introduced me to these and we swear by them. They don’t crease, rip or break your hair like regular hair ties. Grab a bunch from Pottinger Street!
4. Davines Hair Mask A hot bath is my prime time for a hair mask and some reading. Davines was formed as a family-owned company in Italy during the 80s and creates quality products with a conscience. Ethics and sustainability is a big part of the business model—and my hair feels great afterwards.
6. Love Me Lychee I’m loving everything lychee lately, hence the idea for our newest Zavva flavor, vodka lychee. It’s super light and fresh. I must confess, I always have one in my handbag…
Beauty & Wellness Your guide to looking fit and fabulous
Tried and tested
The Test Subject: Kate Springer The Place: One of Hong Kong’s oldest and most popular hair salons, The Firm overlooks Graham Street’s graffiti in Central. The modern, open space is flooded with light thanks to big floor-to-ceiling wraparound windows, which are especially great for admiring a new hair color. And The Firm does more than hair, too, with a dedicated area for mani-pedis, massages and waxing services. Thanks to removable salon stations, the space can also transform into a venue for parties or product launches. The Experience: I brought in my go-to photo of Jessica Biel, and my stylist Sandy Ng immediately knew what to do. She tells me what I need: natural on top, with sunny streaks towards my ends—an effect that can be achieved with a balayage. That’s the “it” hair coloring technique of the moment, as natural roots mean easy maintenance. Sandy used a vertical tin-foil strategy, so I had some metal dreadlocks for a spell. My bangs came out a little too blonde, but Sandy adjusted them as soon as I mentioned. The end result was just what I wanted. The Takeaway: When it comes to great hair—and great view of SoHo—The Firm stands firmly among our top Hong Kong salons. Cuts from $550, color from $650. 1/F Hilltop Plaza, 49 Hollywood Rd., Central, www.thefirmhk.com
The Art of Yoga Yoga is known to play well with other activities—take Doga or Sup yoga, for example—so it’s no surprise that it pairs perfectly with art too. The creative yogis at Yoga Bam Bam are fusing the two practices, with several upcoming exhibitions from local artists. The next artist up is self-taught artist Bao Ho, who will draw goddess illustrations all over the yoga studio’s main doors and mirrors. Should give you something to ponder during your next downward dog. 28 Pound Lane, Sheung Wan, 5511-8141, www.yogabambam.com
Get the Look: Pastel Eyes Couture Color
Yves Saint Laurent’s latest Couture palettes are like an outfit for the eyes—11 different compacts containing five colors, each with its own personality.
Take a tip from Monet with Laura Mercier’s new Watercolour Clouds line. The Watercolour Mist palette comes with two cheek colors and six eyeshadow shades: purple rain, storm, cloud, mist, wind and fog.
Make Up For Ever rang in its 30th anniversary with its 210-color Artistic Maestro eye shadow series. Expect ultra-creamy, long-lasting shades in all kinds of effects, from matte to metallic.
Heart & Soleil
As part of its limitededition Soleil summer collection, Tom Ford has introduced a pretty pink cream and powder eye color that’s perfect for summer. $775, www.tomford.com/beauty
WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s IN Nine West Shop 1097, IFC Mall, 8 Finance St., Central, 2234-7337, www.ninewest.com
Colorblock Tote $TBC
Platform Sandals $1,200
Two-tone Sandals $1,200
Kitten Heels $1,200
Denim Platforms $2,500
Gladiator Sandals $1,400
Shoulder Bag $900
Pop the Questions
Planning for your big day doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to be all tears and tantrums. Andrea Lo puts some tricky questions to three wedding planning experts to help you get a handle on any potential issues.
Meet the Experts Sonya Yeung, creative director, Bliss Creations With tons of experience in planning exotic destination weddings—be it Hong Kong, Cambodia or New Zealand—Bliss Creations can help with everything from decorations to entertainment. www.blissweddings.asia
Michele Li, founder, The Wedding Company The Wedding Company specializes in planning luxury weddings across Asia, working on the minutiae to create your perfect big day. www.theweddingco.hk
Rani Moriani, founder, Revel Events Revel Events specializes in destination Indian weddings, with a team of experts on hand to manage every aspect of your dream day. reveleventshk.com
Keep smiling— your candid shots are being taken, which is what you will remember 20 years down memory lane… Not the cherry or blush-pink drapes! – Rani Moriani
“Our budget can’t stretch to cover plus-ones. What’s the best way to deal with this?”
Solution: Sonya Yeung: Bliss always suggests that clients start by making an “A-list” of those they must invite, and then creating B- and C-lists for those they would like to invite, pending replies and capacity. An early save the date invitation can provide a preliminary yes or no from guests to give you a better sense of how many can attend. If guests are requesting to bring a long-term partner then you must include, but if it is a new acquaintance and space is limited, you can politely let your guest know in advance. Rani Moriani: If [the plus-one] doesn’t know your fiancé, you could easily say that he wants a very intimate wedding with only the nearest and dearest for this special day. No one would argue with that. However, if it’s a mutual friend, then it gets tricky. Then too, you could state the same reason and hope they understand. After all, this day is all about you and your significant other.
Problem: “Weddings are so expensive. How can I keep costs down but still have all the fancy trimmings that make a day special?”
Solution: ML: Consider having a wedding on a week day,
Stressing out over small details can put a damper on the day. If you can’t afford a planner throughout, engage one to take care of the day itself! It will be the best money spent. –Sonya Yeung
Problem: “We’re short on space and want to invite guests just to the evening party, rather than to the ceremony and meal. How do we do this?”
Solution: Michele Li: We would suggest printing two separate invitations: one for the ceremony, one for the evening. SY: The best etiquette is to create different invitation cards with the correct information for each group of guests. Ensuring the events flow smoothly and that the couple has time to mingle with guests at each part of the day is important, so everyone gets to help celebrate.
or a lunch or cocktail reception instead of a formal sit-down banquet. Minimize the number of guests and spend time on the small details of the wedding to add personalized touches— from calligraphy place cards to unique napkin treatments, perhaps wrapping a ribbon or tucking a small flower into each place setting. RM: When you plan well in advance, it saves a lot of unnecessary expenses last-minute—so book your vendors earlier, as they will give a cheaper price. You can omit traditional invites and set up a website with all the necessary information and details leading up to the day. Opt for a buffet dinner—a larger spread makes it more value for money and it’s much cheaper than having a five- or seven-course meal served to each guest.
SY: Reducing your guest list and managing the alcohol consumption can help to save costs. If you have time, you can make special items such as invitations, place cards and seating plans that make the day special while saving you money.
“Can we exclude children?”
“I’m planning to lose a lot more weight before the wedding but I have to choose my dress so early. How will I be sure it fits on the day?”
Solution: SY: If you are having a destination wedding, you will
need to decide whether people might not attend if you exclude their kids. If you are having your wedding at home then it is more acceptable to exclude kids from your event. RM: As always, the emphasis is that it’s the couple’s
special day and how do they view having little guests at their wedding? It certainly does add the cute factor many times. They need not necessarily invite all children, just the important children from the immediate families, nieces and nephews.
The day passes so quickly so relax and really enjoy every second of it! – Michele Li
Solution: RM: For fittings, have a deal with the store so that you
will have two to three sessions. The last fitting would be a month before the wedding and any last-minute alterations will have to be urgently handled. SY: The biggest thing to remember when gownfitting is to be realistic about how much time you have and how motivated you will be if aiming to lose weight for the wedding. Making a dress smaller is easier than making it bigger so we suggest brides do a fitting approximately four weeks before the wedding date for final alterations, bearing in mind there should be no drastic changes from then on. Most importantly, make sure it is comfortable and has a little room for give. You want to enjoy those desserts on the day!
Problem: “Some of my guests haven’t sent their RSVPs yet. What should I do?”
Solution: ML: Follow up with a phone call or an email. We
Problem: “Planning a top table is a nightmare! How do we do this?”
suggest to do this twice—around one- to two months prior to the wedding, and the second time one week prior to ensure that their plans have not changed.
Solution: RM: The top table is necessary, because it’s where
all the key people from the wedding will be seated. It’s usually in the middle so it is easier to watch the speeches. I would recommend keeping it to immediate family members from both sides, best man and head bridesmaid. SY: For smaller weddings, we suggest mixing your guests around to create more of an inclusive feel, while for larger weddings you may want to keep certain groups together, for example work friends vs aunties and uncles. ML: In traditional weddings this is the bride and groom, their parents and closest family. For a younger, more fun wedding it’s the bride and groom, bridesmaids and groomsmen. The parents can then each “host” their own table.
Wedding Checklist Take the worry out of wedding preparations with our prenuptial planner
NINE TO 12 MONTHS BEFORE He finally popped the question and now you’re engaged. Congrats! But now what?
oo If people are coming from overseas, arrange accommodation for them oo Buy bridesmaids accessories and shoes
copy to vendors and the wedding party oo Get a floor plan for the reception venue and create a tentative seating plan
oo Select wedding date
oo Buy lingerie
oo Hire a wedding planner
oo Choose wedding bands
oo Follow up with guests who haven’t sent their RSVP yet
oo Choose and book your reception venue
oo Start planning honeymoon
oo Pick up wedding rings
TWO TO FOUR MONTHS BEFORE
oo Pick up tickets and travel itinerary for the honeymoon
oo Decide on the type of wedding you want. Formal or relaxed? Romantic or contemporary? oo Lay out your budget and decide who’s paying for what
Now’s when you need to sort out the fiddly bits that can’t be done any sooner.
THE WEEK BEFORE
oo Order party favors
Everything should be sorted now, but chances are there’s tons left to do. Delegate!
oo Start addressing invitations
oo Give the caterer/venue a final headcount
oo Start doing makeup and hair trials
oo Pack for the honeymoon
oo Send out invitations
oo Collect and wrap party favors
oo Pick your ushers and MC and give them a rundown of what they need to do
oo Get all your waxing and tweezing sorted
It’s time to book your vendors and choose the friends who are going to stand next to you on your big day. Choose your...
SIX TO EIGHT WEEKS BEFORE
THE DAY BEFORE
oo As RSVPs start coming back, keep a record of who’s coming and who’s not. If not provided by the venue, buy accessories for the ceremony and reception, including guest book, ring pillow and signing pen
oo Create a rough guest list. Are you inviting children? What’s your ideal wedding size? oo Pick your wedding gown oo Paperwork: Find out what you need to apply for a marriage license
SIX TO NINE MONTHS BEFORE
oo Videographer oo Caterer oo Musicians oo Florist oo Organize your wedding party oo Select the best man and ushers oo Select the maid of honor, bridesmaids and flower girls and organize their outfits oo Assign the wedding party their responsibilities oo Set up a gift registry
FOUR TO SIX MONTHS BEFORE Time’s ticking, so finalize your guest list and start planning the honeymoon. oo Book a venue decorator oo Have fittings for bridesmaids’ dresses oo Finalize your guest list oo Pick invitations and wedding stationery oo Book wedding day hotel room
oo Order your wedding cake oo Book a car for on-the day transportation
People will be starting to RSVP, so make a note of who’s coming, and stay calm!
oo Finalize seating plan for reception
The calm before the storm. Get a good night’s sleep and try not to fret about minor details. oo Drop all accessories, decorations and signage at the venue oo Pack vendor fees into envelopes, so they’re ready to give out at the end of the night
oo Make sure the groom, best men, and fathers of the bride and the groom all have suits
oo Make sure men all have black socks
TWO TO SIX WEEKS BEFORE
DAH DA-DA DAAAHN... DAH DA-DA DAAAHN...
Get your vendors to confirm. Detect any problems? There’s still time for a Plan B. oo Make final call on F&B oo Final confirmation of rundown with officiant
oo Get a manicure
THE DAY ITSELF
oo Be sure to eat a big breakfast oo If you need to bring anything else to the venue, make sure it’s packed
oo Finalize all details with vendors
oo Move your engagement ring to your right hand
oo Give your photographer a list of any particular shots you want
oo Hand a wedding day itinerary to someone responsible
oo Final fitting for wedding gown and bridesmaids’ dresses
oo And above all, remember to relax and enjoy yourself!
oo Make an on-the-day itinerary and give a
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A series of stories, recommendations and tips on Hong Kong from people in the know. Explore our city based on the travel experiences that interest you and get itineraries for off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods.
Traditions and Spirituality Manifestations of Hong Kong’s deeply spiritual nature are everywhere: you’ll see shops make offerings to the gods to ensure good luck and fortune; and worshippers burn paper offerings and joss sticks on the side of the road. Although the city is underpinned by some of these spiritual traditions, it’s home to Buddhists, Taoists, Confucians, Muslims, Catholics and more besides. Maritime Worshippers Hong Kong’s important relationship with its harbor is evident in the number of temples devoted to Tin Hau, the goddess of the sea. Fishermen throughout the centuries have worshipped her for protection in waterfront temples. The oldest and largest of these is Tin Hau Temple in Joss House Bay, Sai Kung, which was built in 1266 and is now a Grade I historical building. Temple Time The Chinese culture is rooted in superstitions and you’ll often see these acted out in daily life. During the annual Ching Ming Festival or on the anniversary of a relative’s death, people burn offerings to “send” to their loved ones in the afterlife and bestow blessings on the living. Many of these ancient beliefs are tied to Chinese New Year, when locals flock to temples for good fortune. Religious Offerings As a multicultural city, there are numerous places of worship for other religions around Hong Kong: St. Paul’s Church is a prominent Anglican church that was established in 1911; and the Jamia Mosque, built in 1849 in a traditional Islamic style, was then renovated and expanded in 1915. For more insider info on Hong Kong, head to www.DiscoverHongKong.com/InsidersGuide
Spotlight on: Wong Tai Sin Spiritual, hard-working and proud of their district: these characteristics are indicative of the spirit of the 400,000 people that congregate in Wong Tai Sin. As much as six percent of Hong Kong’s population lives in this area, which is backed by mountains to the north, dominated by residential estates and punctuated by sprawling spiritual oases.
Spiritual Havens Spanning some 18,000 square meters, Sik Sik Yuen Wong Tai Sin Temple is one of the major attractions in Hong Kong and worshippers flock here for a practice called kau cim—the shaking of bamboo fortune sticks. Another spiritual haven is the Chi Lin Nunnery, a graceful Buddhist nunnery and the largest building in the world to be constructed entirely without nails. A short walk away lies the Nan Lian Garden, where lots of valuable trees and rocks make it a great place for photo buffs. Zen Escapes Escape up into the mountains to the north of Wong Tai Sin and you’ll experience a different kind of Zen. The Lion Rock Country Park is where you can try to spot the monumental Lion Rock—a well-known landmark that,
thanks to the rock formation at the top, bears an uncanny resemblance to a lion. Some of Hong Kong’s best-loved trails, including major hiking routes such as the MacLehose Trail and Wilson Trail pass through these uplands. Guangdong Flavors As Wong Tai Sin is home to a large number of refugees from mainland China who moved to Hong Kong in the late 1940s, Guangdong cuisine is very widespread here. A common sight in public housing estates is the “mushroom pavilion”—a cooked food stall with a pointed roof, serving tasty home-style comforts. Apart from Guangdong delicacies, you can also find some of the city’s hottest Sichuan cuisine here. Head online to www.DiscoverHongKong.com/ InsidersGuide to create your personalized itinerary for Wong Tai Sin.
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Know & Tel
dresses The perfect fit
Anaiss On Weddings Anaiss’ bespoke gowns are simple, elegant and understated. The showroom features wedding gowns from Canadian designer Anaiss, bridesmaids dresses from New York-based designer Bill Levkoff and an impressive collection of evening gowns. Look for everything from minimalist chic to elaborate, embellished designs. A tailor-made dress will take six months to make, with prices starting from $10,000. 301, 3/F, Tak Woo House, 17-19 D’Aguilar St., Central, 2522-2030, www.anaissonweddings.com
Belier Design From evening gowns to cocktail dresses, modern qipaos to pretty frocks, Paris-educated local designer Vien Lee creates bespoke European-inspired styles. Vien loves to use classy fabrics including silk chiffon, lace, embroidered Shanghai silk and two-toned Thai silk. Meanwhile, add-ons such as Swarovski crystal and rhinestones make evening gowns stand out from the crowd. By appointment only. Room 1502, CS Tower, 50 Wing Lok St.,
Sheung Wan, 2896-9030, www.belierdesign.com
Blush Bridal Couture This bridal shop stocks gowns by designers from Rome and New York, namely Selia Yang, Peter Langer and Junko Yoshioka. For bridesmaids, designer Jenny Yoo offers a range of single-color, well-cut dresses that can be used for any occasion—something your bridal party will certainly appreciate. Suite 7B, Man Cheung Building, 15-17 Wyndham St., Central, 2899-2739, www.blushbridalcouture.com
Central Weddings And Occasions Located in The Landmark, this bridal salon offers exquisite gowns ranging from big fairytale dresses to romantic, lacey numbers. The collection includes the work of a number of talented designers, like Christos, Marchesa, and more.
Consultants are available to help you find the perfect gown, so make sure to call in advance to set up an appointment. Shop 3510, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Rd., Central, 2869-8666, www.centralweddings.com
Designer Bridal Room Like the name suggests, this is the place to find wedding gown collections from some of the world’s most prominent fashion designers, including Christian Lacroix, Elie Saab and Karl Lagerfeld. The comprehensive selection ranges from contemporary designs and vintage glamour to luxurious haute couture. Shop 205, 2/F, Grand Millenium Plaza, 181 Queen’s Rd., Central, 2167-8708, www.designerbridalroom.com.hk
Dorian Ho Wedding Hong Kong’s very own fashion designer extraordinaire Dorian Ho showcases his elegant ready-to-wear collections and subtly sexy evening wear at Harvey Nichols. For custommade wedding gowns you have to make an appointment at the showroom, where
Know & Tel Vera Wang Bride It’s hard to miss this ostentatious showroom on Staunton Street. Renowned designer Vera Wang has created wedding dresses and evening gowns for the rich and famous: from Alicia Keys and Michelle Obama to the Kardashians. Now you can peruse her designs all in one place and maybe take one of her dresses home for yourself. The flagship store opened in 2012 and has remained popular among brides with some cash to spare. 39 Staunton St., Central, 2869-7002, www.verawang.com
Noel Chu Wedding Gallery
Blush Bridal Couture
you can also find vintage and modern tiaras and wedding jewelry, as well as bespoke veils in a variety of fabrics. The bespoke gowns start at $20,000. By appointment only. 12/F, Block A, 106 King Fuk St., San Pok Kong, 2321-3288, dorianohk.com
Eclat Couture This chic boutique makes fabulous made-to-measure bridal gowns, ensuring your dress fits like a glove. It is known for its classic designs and bridesto-be can choose from a wide range of luxe fabrics, beadwork and embroidery. Gowns can take up to six months to complete, and range from $4,000 to $40,000, so set aside some time and money for that dream dress. Room 206, 2/F, Workingview Commercial Building, 21 Yiu Wa St., Causeway Bay, 3590-4898, www. eclatcouture.com
Hong Kong couturier Noel Chu’s unique one-of-a-kind designs are enhanced with luxurious European fabrics with hand-crafted embroidery, beading and lace. Her acclaimed gowns can be modified into party dresses after the big day to fit future occasions. Noel focuses on tailor-made couture and styling services, with gown prices starting at at $20,000. By appointment only. Shop 2201, 22/F, Arion Commercial Center, 2-12 Queen’s Rd. East, Central, 2380-6381, www.noelchuwedding.com
Scent Of Bride If you don’t want to fork out a fortune for a dress you’ll only wear once, then pay a visit to Scent of Bride, which offers everything from rental gowns to tailor-made bridal dresses (which are reasonably priced from $8,000). It also offers bridesmaid dresses from $3,500, plus richly embroidered Chinese wedding qipaos and kwa, which are made to fit by Shanghainese tailors. Flat D, 1/F, 19-25 Jervois St., Sheung Wan, 3904-6444, www.scentofbride.com
Noel Chu Wedding Gallery
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Bridal Beauty Tips Freelance makeup artist Saint Warren gives us his top dos and don’ts when it comes to looking perfect on your big day
Go First Make sure when the bridal party has their makeup done on the day that the bride goes first. If you let others get their makeup done first there might be timing issues later. The makeup artist can apply the last little touches just before you go down the aisle.
Plaster it On Applying foundation is an art—and people can often be heavy handed to get the coverage they want. Most cameras these days are high-definition and you can see absolutely everything. You can always add more rather than putting too much on and having to start again.
Be Yourself It’s so important to feel and look like yourself on your wedding day—but of course you’ll be a more “polished” version!
Over-Pluck Do not decide to play around with your eyebrows the day before, or the day of, your wedding day. Of course the makeup artist can correct them with products such as eyebrow pencils and powders but even then you might look a little odd in the photos because you over-tweezed.
Mind the Lighting Have your makeup trial done in natural light, in the day time. This will give you an idea of what it will look like on the day. Artificial lights can look fantastic inside but one step into natural light can change the makeup a lot! Take a Selfie Take photos of your makeup after your trial—looking at yourself on a computer is great as you can see if the makeup is more natural or softer than what you see in person. Maybe you’ll see your image and think “I can go a little stronger on the eyes” or “maybe a shade warmer on my lips.” Wear a white T-shirt when having your makeup trial. This isn’t the same as your dress but gives you a more complete visual. Touch it Up It’s going to be a long day so make sure your makeup artist uses products that will be long lasting but not heavy on your skin. Using a primer under your foundation is a life-saver as is using a waterproof mascara. Have your bridesmaid carry a small bag with them at all times with tissues, concealer, powder and lipstick so you can reapply the small details later in the day.
Need a makeup maven for your big day? Get in touch: 6295-7625, www.saintwarren.com
Get Upstaged You’re the star and it’s your special day: keep your bridesmaids makeup similar to each other or toned down. If you have chosen the bridesmaid dresses, then talk to the makeup artist about what will be most suitable. Be Too Spontaneous If you are absolutely happy with the makeup trial, don’t change the makeup on the day. I would not recommend trying false lashes if you didn’t do in the trial, or adding a smoky eye as you might hate the end result. Stick with your instincts, and you’ll look and feel absolutely great on your special day.
Own a piece of HK Magazine history with a limited edition print of our stunning 1,000th issue cover. Each print is authenticated by a numbered certificate.
52cm (W) x 37.6cm (H)
PRINT ONLY HK$450 FRAMED PRINT HK$1,288
Other vintage covers also available on hk-magazine.com/store
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Accessories Bring the bling
easy ip hone access !
#GetSmartBag, From $3,700, Kotur @ Harvey Nichols
Garter Set, $550, Laneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bridal
Veil Headpiece, US$98 ($939), Down the Aisle Atelier
Shoes, $1,480, DYOS
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BHLDN www.bhldn.com Harvey Nichols Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Admiralty, 3968-2668, www.harveynichols.com Lane’s Bridal Suite 801, 8/F, Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, www.lanes.com.hk
Ring Pillow, $1,080, Lane’s Bridal
Aruna Seth arunaseth.com Miss Bride 1/F, 2 Queen Victoria St., Central, 2840-0108 DYOS 1/F, 33 Yiu Wa St., Causeway Bay, 2204-3043 Down the Aisle Atelier downtheaisleatelier.com
Bracelet, US$100 ($775), BHLDN
Bolero, US$280 ($2,170), BHLDN
Crystal Hair Vine, $1,250, Twigs and Honey @ Miss Bride
Ballerina Flats, £450, Aruna Seth
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Silver Sixpence Meaning: A wish for good fortune and prosperity Lucky Sixpence in Gift Box, $88 (£7.50), from The Wedding of My Dreams. Available at www. otonthehighstreet.com
Something Old Meaning: Continuity 1950s Vintage Veiled Hat, $680 from Mrs Vintage. 1/F, 108 Queen’s Rd. West, Sheung Wan, 9784-8124, www.mrs-vintage.com
“Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe” Originating as part of an old Victorian England rhyme, these five little tokens have been appearing in a bride’s traditional preparations ever since. They can take the form of anything you like: from family heirlooms to new shoes to blue stitching inside your dress.
Meaning: Optimism for the future Shoes, $7,980 from Rupert Sanderson.
Meaning: Borrowed happiness Jimmy Choo Clutch, $420 for four-day rental from Yeechoo.com.
Meaning: Purity, love and fidelity DIY shoes with blue insole and personalized inscription, from $3,987 (£340), from Upper Street London.
Shop 1064, 1/F, Elements, 1 Austin Rd. West, WestKowloon, 2406-2338
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VENUES Meet your match
Auberge Discovery Bay A romantic seaside chapel awaits at the Auberge Discovery Bay. With Lantau’s lush mountains as a backdrop, the ocean-front hotel offers photogenic scenery that’s far removed from the buzzing city. And after you tie the knot in the striking 16-meter-tall White Chapel? You can trot off in a horse-drawn carriage, or sail off into the sunset on a boat. No, seriously, Auberge’s event planners will help you plan the ceremony
down to every last idiosyncratic touch. Should you want to take the party indoors, there’s a 700-square-meter ballroom that can house up to 700 people for celebratory cocktails. 88 Siena Avenue, Discovery Bay, 22958288, www.aubergediscoverybay.com
people on the double-deckers and the open-air rooftops promise fresh air and an awesome city backdrop for a small reception. Hire the red trams for $1,400-1,750 per hour, though you’ll need to arrange your own catering. 2118-6301, www.hktramways.com
Hong Kong Tramways
Hyatt Regency Sha Tin
For a unique and intimate setting, hop aboard a vintage Hong Kong “ding ding.” You can fit up to about 25
The Hyatt Regency Sha Tin has a variety of wedding packages to suit all tastes and styles. Couples looking for a big bash may want to book out the 4,500-square-foot Regency Ballroom, which has 20-foot-high ceilings and can host up to 30 banquet tables. There are also three other “Salons” that connect with an outdoor terrace and a spacious landscaped garden boasting views of nearby Kau To Shan. Everything is factored in, from the catering to pre-wedding pampering to
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Sha Tin
Know & Tel function room and at $14,888 (plus 10 percent) per table for the ballroom. 18 Salisbury Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2721-1211, www.hongkong-ic. intercontinental.com
LCSD Wedding Venues Yep, that’s right, the Hong Kong government has designated six public areas for wedding ceremonies: the pretty seaside pavilion on the west side of Repulse Bay Beach, the Bauhinia Garden in Kowloon Tsai Park, Tai Po Waterfront Park’s ampitheater and lawn, Lei Yue Mun Park and Holiday Village’s assembly hall, Sai Kung Waterfront Park and the bamboo pavilion in the Kowloon Walled City Park. You’ll have to plan within the opening hours for wedding ceremonies (usually before sunset) as well as pay a hiring fee (from $2,500 for the first four hours). You will also have to submit an application at least two months ahead of time, though a year is recommended. The rest is up to you! www.lcsd.gov.hk/en/wedding
Palm Beach Teepee Village
InterContinental Hong Kong
mahjong facilities. 8 Chak Cheung St., Sha Tin, 3723-1234, hongkong.shatin.hyatt.com
InterContinental Hong Kong No cookie-cutter weddings here: each event held at the InterCon is unique, thanks to the hotel’s personalized wedding specialists. There are several great venues to choose from, including harborview function rooms, Spoon restaurant and of course the grand ballroom with its signature white marble staircase. For something more intimate, ask about holding your ceremony in the glamorous Presidential Suite, a recent addition to the hotel’s long list of wedding options. Choose from contemporary Chinese or a Western-style wedding: Prices start at $12,388 (plus 10 percent service charge) per table for the harborview
For something a little different, you can tie the knot at Palm Beach Teepee Village on Lantau Island. This scenic spot counts mountains, forests and the 6 kilometers of beach among its photo-worthy surrounds—and you can rent it out for four-hour time slots. If you want the place to yourself, rates start at $11,300, plus a surcharge if the party lasts past 7pm. The 16,000-square-foot lawn area comes complete with American Indian-style teepee tents, which are available for overnight stays for $620-4,000, depending on tent size.
backdrop couples tend to swoon over. The venue can accomodate up to 600 people—so no need to whittle down the guestlist. As for food, the Chinese wedding menu is popular and costs from $10,988 per table (10-12 guests). 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai, 2802-8888, www.marriott.com
Secret Garden A newcomer to the wedding venue circuit, Secret Garden in Sai Kung opened in November 2014. The enchanting alfresco property is home to the best of both worlds: a pretty private garden that can hold cermonies, as well as a 3,000-square-foot pillarfree banquet hall. The catering arm can handle all kinds of functions—from simple cocktails to all-out buffets to Chinese banquets. Good news for animal lovers: cats and dogs are welcome at the venue. Wo Mei Hung Rd., Sai Kung, 2882-2776, www.secretgarden.hk
Spasso The 6,000-square-foot space at Spasso, an Italian restaurant helmed by Michele Senigaglia, offers awesome views of Victoria Harbour, making it a top choice for alfresco weddings. The terrace can seat up to 100 people, or about 200 for cocktails—but it’s nice to have the indoor area as a backup in case it rains on the big day. You can arrange for special menus, canapés, drinks and décor—just ask Spasso’s events team. Empire Centre, 68 Mody Rd., 2730-8027, www.spassoristorante-bar.com.hk
Palm Beach, Cheung Sha, Lantau Island, 2980-4822, www.palmbeach.com.hk
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong The undisputed highlight of having a wedding at this hotel is the stunning vista of Victoria Harbour. Both the Concord and Oasis rooms offer great views through full-length windows and cool glass ceillings—a picturesque
Renaissance Harbour View Hotel Hong Kong
Know & Tel Tai O Heritage Hotel This colonial retreat adds a touch of timelessness to your nuptials. With seaside views on one side and the hotel’s striking white façade on the other, it’s hard to take a bad photo at this historic address. To make your big day that much easier, the hotel offers several Bridal Photography Packages (from $888-1,688), which includes a meal and three-hours of photo shooting at the hotel. Plus, you can feel good about spending money on this not-for-profit property, since all proceeds go towards heritage conservation and the Tai O community. Expect to have an intimate gathering though, as the capacity is limited to 60 guests.
sea bass, and sticky toffee pudding. There are also dozens of canapés to choose from, as well as ample booze packages: get three hours of free-flow, including champers, for around $580 per head. 62 Johnston Rd., Wan Chai, 2866-3444, www.thepawn.com.hk
The Verandah The Verandah at The Repulse Bay is a laid-back yet sophisticated venue with an airy dining room. The colonial-style spot has been around since 1920, and you can feel the history oozing from the wood fixtures and marble stairways. The outdoor lawn, which
Shek Tsai Po St., Tai O, 2985-8383, www.taioheritagehotel.com
The Mira Hong Kong Following its extensive revamp, this ultra-modern hotel has become one of the hottest wedding venues on Kowloon side, with in-house planners to help you along the way. Celebrity event planner Colin Cowie helped to design six different and elaborate color schemes for the grand ballroom. You can also exchange vows on its pretty outdoor terrace, Vibes. Packages start at $1,488 per head for a western wedding.
118 Nathan Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 2368-1111, www.themirahotel.com
Tai O Heritage Hotel
Photo: Patrick Law
Be one of the first to get hitched on The Pawn’s new intimate, romantic rooftop. Formerly a pawnshop, the British gastropub underwent a huge renovation in 2014, revealing lighter colors and leafy motifs. In addition to the rooftop,which serves canapés and barbecues, there’s more space on the first and second floors for semi-private dining. Of course, your wedding meal doesn’t have to consist of Scotch eggs: The chefs here can whip up custom menus tailored to your tastes. For example, a sharing menu costing around $600 per person might include house-made ricotta, braised short rib,
Know & Tel looks beautiful on its own, can host 400 people—a romantic and timeless choice that’s immensely popular with couples. The Repulse Bay is managed by The Peninsula, so you can expect top-notch service. The Repulse Bay Hotel, 109 Repulse Bay Rd., Repulse Bay, 2292-2822, www.therepulsebay.com
United Services Recreation Club Opened in 1911, the United Services Recreation Club was once home to a British military club. Today, it’s mainly used for recreation, sports and lots of events. For a wedding venue, it checks all the boxes: a pretty outdoor garden, lovely architecture, historical appeal, versatile menus and lots of space—all while being surprisingly affordable. The manicured lawns can handle up to 250 for dinner or 450 guests for cocktails, so you don’t have to skimp on invites. 1 Gascoigne Rd., Jordan, 3966-8633, www.usrc.org.hk
InterContinental Hong Kong
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photographers Picture of happiness
Ann Choi honed her craft in Germany and the US, and produces truly original wedding portraits. She lets the moment speak for itself, producing natural, candid shots rather than stuffy, posed photographs. For pre-wedding shots, she uses unique backdrops around the city to create fun, contemporary wedding albums. Check out her extensive portfolio online. A whole-day shoot costs $40,000 and up, while an overseas shoot is $50,000-plus for 8 hours.
With more than a decade of photography experience, Dennis Mok specializes in wedding portraits, using a mix of candid and posed shots to capture your special day. He has shot more than 1,000 couples from around the world, and includes engagement and pre-wedding shoots in his repertoire. Check his website for examples of his work and contact him with your dates for pricings.
2/F, 6 Stewart Rd., Wan Chai, 5171-0810, www.annchoi.com
602, 6/F, Workington Tower, 78 Bonham Strand, Sheung Wan, 8106-8024, www.dennismok.com
CM Leung Award-winning photographer CM Leung is a member of the Wedding Photojournalists Association. His naturalistic shots are the perfect way to capture your big day. Leung enjoys creating original perspectives and backdrops that capture the emotion and atmosphere of your special moments. A whole-day local shoot costs $50,000 and up for 6 hours. By appointment only. 4/F, 21 Cameron Rd., Tsim Sha Tsui, 8334-1317, www.cmleung.com
personalities or hobbies. Pricing starts around $20,000. 1/F., 6B Peace Avenue, Mong Kok, 9210-5404, www.dotworkshop.com.hk
Dot Workshop Besides being an advertising company, Dot Workshop will record your wedding memories. Owner Tony Leung has more than 20 years’ experience of cinematography—so he will film your wedding video—while his partner Kit shoots the photos for your big day. The creative team are pros at special effects and can use interesting backdrops to help tailor your photographs to mirror your
Know & Tel of personalized props. Contact the company for pricing information. 2406-2802, www.hkphotobox.com
Joyce Yung Productions Professional photographer and founder of Random Art Workshop, Joyce Yung has plenty of experience with various kinds of shoots, from product shots to fashion editorials to, of course, weddings. Backed by a strong team of lighting, visual and production experts, and with a welcoming photo studio, your imagination can really be given free rein here. 9248-9986, www.joyceyung.com
Emily Chu Photography With a diploma in digital photography as well as interior design, it’s clear that Emily Chu has a keen eye for an artistic shot. Emily specializes in outdoor photography that makes the most of the natural light—a great asset for newlyweds looking for those perfect natural shots. She also enjoys working with women on creating beautiful, elegant poses that enhance their features. It’s worth getting in touch well in advance, as Emily divides her time between Macau and Hong Kong. Packages from $13,800. Room 8, 10/F, Thriving Industrial Centre, 26-38 Sha Tsui Rd., Tsuen Wan, 9261-2423, www.emilychu.hk
HK Photobox If you want to add a bit of fun to your wedding day for guests, why not hire a photobooth? HK Photoshop provides photoboxes, which are installed with a 14-plus megapixel camera to ensure you quality photos in a variety of formats. Photo can be customized, with personal messages added—and you can even provide a dress-up box
Own and run by Rance Ho, Me Photography is an emerging new force in town. Having majored in graphic design, Rance is good at using lighting effects to creating different moods. With nine years’ experience in shooting loved-up couples, Rance’s work is at once elegant, classy and unique. Pricing is around $20,000, depending on location.
you’re after something a bit different, Ben is your man. He’s always keen to try new themes and elements to make your photos trendy and unique—his “bubble bath wedding dress” last year was a big hit. Wedding day packages are $6,000. Flat T, 13/F, Everest Industrial Centre, 396 Kwun Tong Rd., Kwun Tong, 9707-3424, www.photobyben.hk
Your Overseas Wedding Don’t be put off by the company name—Your Overseas Wedding does offer wedding photography here in Hong Kong, as well as many destinations around the world. Packages including a videographer are available, as well as pre-wedding shoots. Look out for the monthly overseas shoot promotions: this month, it’s offering a Guam package for $29,800, including direct flights and accommodation for the happy couple for two nights. 8102-2243, www.youroverseaswedding.comDe
Room 5A, 5/F, Wing Hong Centre, 18 Wing Hong St., Lai Chi Kok, 6828-3399, www.mephotohk.com
Philip Tsang Photography Property lawyer Philip Tsang ditched his successful career to follow his teenage passion for photography—and he’s since gone on to become an award-winning photographer. He’s an expert at capturing the most touching and profound moments with his artistic eye, which is probably why he’s one of Hong Kong’s most soughtafter photographers. Tsang provides wedding day photo packages starting at $62,000 as well as pre-wedding shoots from $42,000. Studio 4B, 285 Des Voeux Rd., Central, 9688-7461, philipphoto.com
Photobyben As one of the top wedding photographers in town, the awardwinning Ben Tan has eight years of experience shooting weddings. He’s most well known for injecting crazy creative images into his work—so if
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Nuptial Nightmares Your wedding day may be the most memorable day of your life—but not always for the reasons you imagine. We asked our Facebook fans about their wedding day horror stories. My photographer’s assistant decided that she needed to insert herself into the process of hooking up my bustle. She proceeded to pull out the stitching and then repeatedly tried to blame it on my stepmom! What should have been a 30-second process turned into a 30-minute ordeal. Overall it did turn out
OK. A friend of mine did my bustle— she was able to make me a temporary one by putting safety pins into my US$800 dress. I won’t lie; I still kind of want to punch that assistant! Jessica Drury
I forgot our rings and marriage license in the hotel and had to send someone back to get them before the ceremony could start! Carissa Rosselli-Redmond
This is a first-hand story from my friends in Japan: four parents had a huge fight before the reception and were conspicuously absent. The groom had eloped with another girl who the family forbade him to marry, just before wedding started. Sae Takai
I played double duty—wedding singer and bridesmaid—at a friend’s wedding at an estate outside of New Orleans. First, the store gave me the wrong dress. So I looked different than the rest of the bridesmaids. Then, the band that was in control of the sound system and bell recordings for the hallelujah was late to the ceremony. We went ahead without them but the bells were on a timer. I was in the middle of singing the hallelujah when the bells went off (they were supposed to go off at the beginning). I had to figure out what to do. Do I stop and start over? Do I keep going? Do I stop, let the bells finish, then pick up where I paused? Yeah, that’s what I’ll do. Everyone laughed hysterically. Even the bride. Sarah Martin
Available on the HK Magazine Online Store!
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There’s an urban legend about the one where they completed the ceremony and then the groom called out the bride for cheating on him with the best man. The incriminating pictures were on every table at the banquet. Everyone says a friend of a friend was at that wedding.
A friend of mine from high school got married. His family paid for the wedding because she was broke. Then the morning after the wedding, she woke up and said she wanted a divorce. Yeah.
Angela Cheng Matsuzawa
There was a couple who had a wedding booked at the lovely venue on the beach where the Beach 5s were taking place. All beautifully set up with gorgeous flowers, etc. Can you imagine their horror showing up to find the 5s happening right in front of the wedding?
I had organized everything for my wedding myself as my husband was busy working—apart from the taxis to get the groomsmen and my mom to the ceremony. I had booked them: it was just up to the groom to confirm and make sure everyone got there. Easy? Apparently not… Only one car turned up and they decided to take guests first rather than
my mom. Turns out, there were no more taxis. So my wedding car had to cram my mom and brother in, as well as my dad and two bridesmaids. It meant I was 40 minutes late to say “I do”, plus a tad stressed! At least we all got there I guess… Charley Mulliner, The List Editor
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Caterers Eat your heart out
Culinart As its name suggests, Culinart’s concept is all about artistically designed, delicious dishes. Chef Cyrus So, aka “Mr. Molecule,” runs a private kitchen in Wong Chuk Hang as well as a catering arm which is tailored towards luxury, large-scale weddings. Expect canapés including smoked duck tartlets with kumquat jam, yellow sashimi on crispy brioche, and truffled potato mousse. You can also choose from a lip-smacking range of sweet—and savory!—macarons: think Iberico ham, manchego and tomato, maple bacon buttercream, and black sesame and raspberry. Canapés from $30 per piece, minimum order of 360 pieces. A drinks package is also available, from $55-150 per person per hour. 2580-0919, culinart.com.hk
Gingers This veteran caterer not only provides your food, but will set up the venue, look after the cake and pour the champagne too. What’s on the menu? There are a lot of options to suit all wedding styles— whether you’re after a cocktail reception,
sit-down dinner, buffet or BBQ. You can expect pretty, mouthwatering dishes such as sage-and-bacon stuffed quail or coconut and cardamom slow-roasted lamb shank. Prices are around $168 per head for a simple cocktail party to $720 and above for dinner parties. Drinks packages can also be added.
entertainment. Seated dinners start at around $550 per person, with buffets $450-650 and an afternoon tea wedding menu between $200 and $400. The dessert bar, full of decadent sweet treats—macarons, brownies, tarts, homemade chocolates and more— is an option your guests will love.
Magnolia Private Kitchen, one of the city’s finest Creole kitchens, has its own party planning and catering arm: Go Gourmet serves up the same New Orleans-style Cajun food for wedding parties. The team will work within your budget and come up with a party, and a menu, that suits. They can also supply all equipment and coordinate
Executive chef Tom Burney worked for Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK before starting gourmet catering company and online store Invisible Kitchen in Hong Kong to promote healthy eating. Tom has just branched into weddings and parties with new canapé menus—from $165 per head— that can fit with any theme: pick the Classic canapés for treats such as Thai prawn sugarcane lollipops and sesame chicken; an Italian option featuring seared tuna steaks; or an all-vegetarian menu which includes delicious-sounding
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to the four elements or even providing an afternoon tea service. Take your pick from an international buffet lunch ($888 per guest) that includes a cheese platter, a dinner menu complete with a selection of sashimi ($1,388 per guest), a classic range of cocktail canapés ($838), plus much more besides. Ask the Mandarin about its cakes too— they’re sure to be extravagant! 2825-4821, email@example.com, www.mandarinoriental.com
wedding, then get in touch with Relish Kitchen. This catering company can just provide the food, or can take care of all the planning—even thinking of the small things such as parasols for the guests on the day. Sample canapé and dinner menus are available online, with an extensive range of vegetarian and gluten free options on offer. We love the platter option: think whisky cured tea-smoked salmon ($1,800) or marmalade-caramel glazed roast beef tenderloin ($1,900). 3481-1924, www.relish-kitchen.com
Pomegranate Invisible Kitchen
asparagus, parmesan and black truffle “sausage rolls.” www.invisiblekitchen.com
M Cuisine The “M” behind private kitchen and catering company M Cuisine is Israeliborn, French-trained chef Michael Erlik. His food is redolent of his background: think burek pastries, vine leaves with foie gras and meat-laden tagines. For weddings, the menu will be tailored to you and can include anything from tapas and cocktails to a lavish oyster and champagne bar—all inspired by the Mediterranean. M Cuisine can also organize equipment rental, flower arrangements and personalized chocolate boxes as wedding favors. Get in touch for sample menus and pricing.
With roots firmly planted in the Eastern Mediterranean, Pomegranate’s founder Maria Bizri adds in a twist of South Asia to her catering company and private kitchen. Pomegranate provides a full front-of-house team of wait and bar staff for your wedding, along with a wide selection of menus to choose from—whether you’re after cocktail food, sharing platters or a elegant sitdown affair. The Eastern Mediterranean thread runs through everything, so expect dashes of harissa, cumin and coriander flavoring the food. Canapés start at $18 a piece (minimum order of 30 pieces), running up to fine-dine mains around the $300 mark.
If you’ve got a guest list as long as your arm, then you can rely on Shamrock’s 15 years of catering experience to see you right. Its team specializes in big events, with clients such as Red Bull’s Flugtag under its belt. Shamrock can provide a full range of catering options such as equipment and entertainment as well as waiting staff. Your difficulty here will be choosing from its more than 1,000-plus items on the menu—you’ve got everything from a simple tea reception to a lunch buffet, Shamrock’s signature spit roast or a fancy cocktail event. Prices start at $300 per head. These guys also have a list of venues they work with, if you’re yet to choose your special location. 2547-8155, www.shamrock.com.hk
Relish Kitchen If you’re after unique ideas and the personal touch for your
Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong Add that wow factor to your wedding with catering by the creative culinary team behind the Mandarin Oriental. The menus are out of this world: picture food that’s been designed around fashion collections, matched M Cuisine
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Chinese Wedding 101 Going to a Chinese wedding, but have no idea what to expect? Here’s the lowdown. Cheongsam The cheongsam is a traditional Chinese dress worn in one of several costume changes at the evening reception. Red is the customary color for weddings, with most brides opting for a demure, family-appropriate fit. For guests, however, the only limit is your own creativity—have fun with sleeves, clasps and fabric—but avoid red. Get it: For a modern take on the cheongsam, try Grace Choi’s designs at Yi Ming (Flat A, 8/F, Kimley Commercial Building, 142 Queen’s Rd. Central, 3111-2268, yi-ming.asia).
Wedding Cakes While western weddings will have a cake at the reception, Chinese wedding cakes are sent out with the invites. Many Chinese bakeries around town specialize in these goodies, which come in a variety of flavors such as lotus seed paste, mung bean, walnut and assorted nuts. They are always given in boxes of four, six or eight to symbolize pairs. However, if you only give two cakes, it means that you are not planning to invite those guests to the wedding. Get it: If you’re having a western wedding but fancy a Chinese touch, Kee Wah Bakery has a selection of individual heart-shaped wedding cakes as table gifts (outlets citywide
including Shop 2, 8 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, 2520-2029, www.keewah.com).
Gold Jewelry In Chinese tradition, it is considered lucky for the bride’s family to give the bride gold jewelry for when she begins married life. This can be bought new, or passed down through the family. It’s a chance for families to show off their wealth by loading their daughter down with necklaces and bangles. The tradition, however, is as pragmatic as it is showy—if the couple falls on hard times, the wife can sell her jewelry.
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Get it: Gold jewelery is easy to come by, but Emphasis Jewellery combines auspicious characters and symbols with style (outlets citywide including Shop 139, 1/F, Pacific Place, Admiralty, 3107-0260, www.emphasis.com).
A few more tips... • Don’t be surprised to see guests in jeans and sneakers. While close family members may dress up, many will just wear casual clothes. • Don’t wear black or white—both are considered unlucky. • Leave all inauspicious topics at the door—Chinese weddings are rooted in superstition, and any talk of illness and death are very much off-limits. HOHK_GeneralAd_102.5mmx155mm_FA_OL.pdf
MrS. Know-it-all The List’s very own mom-in-theknow shares her Hong Kong tips and tricks with readers.
Dear Mrs. Know-It-All, I’ve been invited to my first Chinese wedding and I’ve no idea what to do. What’s the etiquette? — Worried Banqueter
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Well, Worried Banqueter, the most important thing you need to know and the biggest difference you’ll encounter to western weddings is the tradition of giving lai see. It’s customary for guests to help pay for the banquet at a Chinese wedding so the traditional gift (and let’s face it, the most desirable present in most situations) is money. Wedding lai see is known as yun tsing, which translates roughly to “person-emotion.” Yun tsing serves two functions: 1) It’s a quantifiable measure of how much you care for the newlyweds, and 2) It’s how those newlyweds are going to pay for the wedding banquet. Wedding receptions tend to be held either at a restaurant or a hotel. One costs more than the other. But the basic rule for yun tsing is this: find out how much it costs for a table of 12. Then divide that sum by 12,
and pay it. Generally, you’re talking a minimum of $800 up to $1,000-plus. Then it also depends on who you are: If you’re a close friend, throw in at least an extra thousand, or run the risk of being labeled a skinflint behind your back. If you’re a boss, a healthy sum will guarantee good work from your employee for at least a month. If you’re a relative—hope you have an overdraft. Total gweilo? You can probably get away with sticking 100 bucks in a packet and everyone will generously chalk it up to your cultural ineptitude. At some point, before the meal, everyone will line up to present the bride and groom with their yun tsing. This is your cue to do it too. You’ll present the lai see, pose for a photo, and then your job is done. The couple will hand your lai see to the groomsmen or bridesmaids, who make a note of who it’s come from. A tip: make their lives easier and write your name on the back of the packet. After the issue of money is out of the way, it’s all about the food. Remember to pace yourself at the evening reception if it takes place at a Chinese restaurant. At the wedding banquet you can expect to be served 12 dishes among a table, sometimes more. Serving oranges at the end of a banquet is a sign that you are free to leave, so don’t be surprised when everyone gets up and departs en masse. But do feel free to ask if you can take some of the leftovers home—it’s a sign of appreciation. Oh and don’t forget to wish the couple “Bak leen ho hup” (百年好合)—literally “A good match for a hundred years.”
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Beth and Stu, why did you move to Hong Kong? We were getting married and felt like starting off our married life with a new adventure! We got married on 8 March 2015 and moved 4 days later. We’re both lawyers so Hong Kong seemed like a good fit as the Law System and Courts are very similar; both Australian and Hong Kong sharing similar colonial history. So why Hong Kong, and not London like a lot of Australians? Simple, Hong Kong has delicious food, a good climate, and is not *that* far from Australia, making it a lot easier for our family and friends to visit. Where did you two decide to settle in HK? We have decided to live in Sheung Wan because its where a lot of our friends are, and with all its bars and restaurants, reminds us a lot of Surry Hills in Sydney where we used to live. How did JLL help you two? A friend in Sydney put us in touch with Stella Abraham when we were thinking of moving here. Stella was wonderful, and spent lots of time with us explaining how Hong Kong works, both the property market (including the astronomical rents!) and life in Hong Kong more generally. atrice Leung Be When we landed on the ground Stella handed us over to her fabulous sidekick Beatrice Leung, who was both extremely tireless and patient in assisting us in our quest for the perfect apartment.
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Café de Country Art This quirky café-slash-museum is hidden out of the way in Tai Mei Tuk—however if you’re out for the day around Plover Cove Reservoir it’s well worth a pit stop. You’ll find the bright, funky works of owner and watercolor artist Kinsan Chung decorating the venue: everything from the walls and floors, to the chair covers and even the table settings. Foodwise, you’ve got a mix of Spanish, Portuguese and Chinese fare you can
enjoy outdoors under the fairy lights, such as tasty French cinnamon toast ($34). Don’t forget to check out Chung’s Country Art Museum on the second floor before you leave.
64B Lung Mei Village, Tai Mei Tuk, Tai Po, 2824-1812, www.countryartmuseum.com
Getting there: Take minibus 75K from Tai Po Market Station to the Tai Mei Tuk terminus.