Prestigious French photography group Studio Harcourt opened up shop in Hong Kong this summer, bringing with it a classic black-and-white aesthetic that will make you feel like a film star. That’s not too far off the mark, seeing as they’ve photographed more than 1,500 celebrities over the years. Ready to book your closeup? A “Wedding Albums” session will leave you with 15 to 30 gorgeous images – all in the studio’s signature monochrome style.
Packages from $15,000, including makeup artist and pre-shoot consultation. 18/F, 18 On Lan St., Central, 2662-0030, studio-harcourt.hk.
Newly launched back in April, Austy Lee is a fine jewellery design studio that specialises in jade and gemstones. Founder and chief designer Austy himself has been in the industry for more than a decade and has designed jewels for international celebrities and artists. The whimsical, intricate, vintage-style pieces look straight out of a fairytale and are perfect for a modern bride looking for a hint of edginess.
Looking for the perfect wedding jewels? Check out Niya K. This Hong Kong-based designer creates bespoke diamond pieces to suit your personal style. Best part? Every purchase comes with a complimentary bottle of prosecco. It goes without saying this is a great engagement service too….
B4, 5/F, Coral Court, 51-67 Cloud View Rd., North Point, 9105-1516,
Inspired by a mix of Japan’s cutesy “kawaii” culture and English heritage, designer Lisa Swinbanks has just the thing to inject a bit of whimsy into your wedding style: a custom capelet. These pretty lace tops provide a fresh twist on tradition. Wear it with a skirt in lieu of a typical wedding gown, or go with a crop-top look for bridesmaids dresses. Who doesn’t love this vintage-glam vibe?
Lantau’s Lower Cheung Sha Beach just welcomed a fresh face: Bathers beach restaurant. Awash in a chic palette of charcoal and white, the gorgeous waterfront property serves up quality cocktails and food to match – 900g steaks, salmon ceviche, and roasted red snapper headline the European menu. Better yet, the open-air space includes private packages for those booking engagement parties and intimate weddings for up to 100 people.
After meeting on New Year’s Eve, Dervla Louli and Alister Musgrave had a whirlwind Hong Kong romance, which culminated in a civil ceremony and intimate dinner in Hong Kong. Dervla, founder of wellness travel portal Compare Retreats, tells us about the 11-person celebration.
How did you and your husband meet?
DL: Our best friends introduced us at Alister’s New Year’s Eve party in London. I was living in Hong Kong and he asked me if he could come over to take me on a date. I said ‘yes’ and the rest is history.
How did you whittle down the guest list to 11?
DL: The private dining room in Café Gray at The Upper House only fits 12 people, so that determined the size of our guest list.The room has one large, round table so our party could all chat easily together, and the view is beautiful, especially in the evening. We invited friends who are like family to us in Hong Kong and who know us both very well.
Why did you choose The Upper House?
DL: I was formerly the editor of Upper House magazine and have great memories. Our first date, engagement dinner and many other events have been celebrated at the hotel and it was a natural choice. The all-star team made it perfect.
How would you describe your wedding aesthetic?
DL :The Upper House has a very chic and symmetrical aesthetic so we didn’t need to do much when it came to decor and ambiance. We wanted everything to be very relaxed and elegant so there was no set menu or drinks list. Everyone ordered whatever they felt like.
How were your personalities reflected?
DL: Great food, music and drinks are all important to Alister when it comes to throwing a party, and they were all there in abundance. The iDecorate brass pineapples on the table reflected a small obsession I have. I fell in love with some Casa Capriz vintage pineapples as I was walking along Aberdeen Street a few years ago, and have collected them ever since.
What else did you do a little differently?
DL: We made sure that waste was kept to a minimum, so guests went home with flowers. In that sense, we tried to keep the aesthetic very natural with lots of flowers. We stayed away from balloons, plastic and props that would have been thrown away after.
Any advice for other couples?
DL: Go with your gut. If you love a venue, book it straight away. The same goes for the dress, cake, florist, photographer, band… Once you start to overthink things, you just end up in a Pinterest spiral.
Glad I spent on:The photography, which I’ll treasure forever.
Glad I saved on:Clothes and shoes. I wore a pair of gold Jimmy Choos and a beautiful SAU Collection crop top and skirt that I had in my wardrobe. Best decision ever.
Who helped them:
Venue: Café Gray Deluxe, The Upper House Hong Kong,
Surrounded by 100 of their closest family and friends, Nathan and Koscina Green tied the knot at Duddell’s restaurant last year.
Why did you choose Duddell’s?
NG: Duddell’s offered everything we wanted, all in one space, and fantastic food that both our western and local guests could enjoy. The layout is perfect and allowed us to have our reception on the terrace followed by dinner downstairs, then back up to the terrace for evening drinks.
Why did you choose an intimate wedding, rather than a big banquet?
NG: We wanted to keep the wedding small and simple, so we only invited our close friends and immediate family. We have never liked the notion that this should be the happiest day of our lives – we always thought that was a sad idea. We just wanted everyone to have fun.
How else did you save some cash?
NG: We invited a limited number of our nearest and dearest for the ceremony and dinner, then we invited everyone else for drinks in the evening. My suit cost about $3,000. Kos chose a beautiful simple dress which only cost $2,500.
How did the wedding details reflect your personalities?
NG: We are both tattooed and have a great passion for tattoos. One of our very good friends Jennifer is the owner and cake designer of Cake It Studio. She designed our wedding cake, inspired by our tattoo-themed invitation. She even put our dogs Trixie and Lollie on the cake, as they couldn’t join our wedding.
Kos, you were pregnant, right? Where did you get your dress?
Kos: In the beginning, I chose a simple wedding dress from Shopbop. However, I was five months’ pregnant before our big day. My original dress couldn’t fit my baby belly, so I had to look for a maternity wedding dress. In the end, I found it online at tiffanyrose.com.
Glad I spent on: The food. The guests loved all the dishes.
Glad I saved on: Decorations – you don’t have to spend loads to have a beautiful wedding.
Hongkonger Janice Ng and Italian Francesco Benazzi celebrated their marriage in the Chinese Garden of Kowloon Park, followed by a celebration at The Pawn, with about 80 people.
Why did you choose The Pawn?
JN: Since we’re from different cultures, wewanted to have some Hong Kong and European touches on our big day. We had an intimate family lunch at Hullett House and a more lively and friendly dinner at the Pawn – two historical places with two completely different rhythms.
What did you like about The Pawn?
JN: The rooftop of The Pawn is a perfect spot in the heart of Wan Chai. We started with a welcome cocktail on the balcony and then had dinner in the main hall. We decorated the roof with colourful lanterns that we put together the day before – it was a lot of fun. We created a historical path through our lives with pictures of us from when we were born to now – a total of 88 pictures.
How did you put your own stamp on your nuptials?
JN: My husband and I are both creative so we tried to do as much as we could by ourselves. We designed our own wedding logo for our invitations, cards, boards and menus. My husband had the idea of sealing our invitations with hot wax – we almost burned the kitchen down but it was worth it!
How did your wedding veer from tradition?
JN: We had to merge two nationalities and cultures. We had a traditional Chinese wedding with a less traditional dinner. I think the furthest we veered from tradition was when we dressed our best man – Panda, our beloved husky – up in a purple bow-tie.
What was the most memorable moment of the day?
JN: The entire day was magical and memorable! I can still remember every single step from the early morning until night. The most touching part was when we had our wedding celebration under the Pagoda in the Chinese Garden of Kowloon Park – it was very emotional for us both.