Vanessa Bell Jewellery

 

Looking for the perfect wedding accessories, gifts for your bridesmaids or even an unconventional (and less spendy) engagement ring? Father-daughter duo Vanessa Bell Jewellery recently released its SS17 “Desert Plantland” collection. The stylish lineup combines romantic, timeless pieces with coloured gemstones such as rubies and emeralds. Handmade in Hong Kong, Vanessa Bell’s 18-carat gold rings take inspiration from nature, featuring subtle nods to clouds, flowers, fruits, and plants. Prices range from around HK$3,000- $6,000.
www.vanessabell.co.uk.

Up-and-coming destination wedding spots

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 region’s most under-the-radar wedding spots. By Kate Springer

Destination: Penang

The highlights: The cultural capital of Malaysia, Penang has a rich history, delicious food and wonderful architecture. George Town, a Unesco World Heritage 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.

Hot venues: There are many wonderful colonial hotels and old mansions, plus spice gardens, Buddhist temples and beach-front 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.

Destination: 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 picture-perfect 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:
Weddings can take place anywhere from a rainforest surrounded by singing tropical birds to a white sandy beach paired with crisp blue waters, high-end beach resorts with chapels to secluded caves. Popular wedding destinations include Sheraton Fiji Resort, Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa, and 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 the Lavena Coastal Walk, which passes by white sandy beaches and a cascading waterfall.

Best season: Visit Fiji between June and September to experience the best weather.

Getting there: Fiji is about a 10-hour direct flight from Hong Kong, operated by Fiji Airways.

Destination: Hanoi

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.

Best season: Visit Hanoi between December and March for the best temperatures.

Getting there: Hanoi is about a 2-hour direct flight from Hong Kong.

Destination: Chiang Mai

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 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.

Get in touch with Bliss Creations: 2982-0192, www.blissweddings.asia.

Treehotel, 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

Avani 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.

Four Seasons Tented Camp, Chiang Rai

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.

Spa Escape: Fivelements Bali

Five private residences at Fivelements boast open air baths and private terraces overlooking the Auyng River. Materials include recycled teak, bamboo, thatch and volcanic stone, all sourced locally from Java and Bali.

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

New resort: Amanyangyun in 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.

Real Weddings: Thierry and Peter

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 – how’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 didn’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)