The Clarks celebrated their big day at Wooloomooloo in Wan Chai on October 27, 2016 after dating for four years.
Q When did you get engaged?
Susanne Clark: We were on holiday in Vietnam at a riverside resort. There was a beautiful garden where we were staying, which was lit up by lanterns. On the final night of our trip, Matt disappeared (to give himself a pep talk) leaving me to take in the scenery. When he returned he got down on one knee and took me by surprise. We celebrated with a meal and drinks in Hoi An and topped it off with a river cruise. Very romantic!
Q What did you envision for your wedding?
SC: We wanted a relatively small wedding for family who could make the trip to Hong Kong, and our closest friends. We are not religious, so we had a civil ceremony.
Q Why did you choose Wooloomooloo for your wedding?
SC: We went for a meal at our venue and fell in love with the view and the food! Later, once we were engaged and started researching venues, Wooloomooloo popped up so we went back to investigate and get a quote. We knew that our friends and family from home would enjoy the venue by day, and that it would add a special and unique element at night.
Q What does the Hong Kong harbour mean to you?
SC: Matt grew up in Hong Kong and I have been here almost seven years. When we decided to get married in Asia, we did consider other destinations but decided that there was no place like Hong Kong for us and a view of the city and the harbour would give our day that true sense of location.
Q Any tips for working with photographers?
SC: We had a consultation with our photographer, Claire, at the venue a few weeks before to get an idea of the setting for photos. This was well worth the time, as we didn’t have to discuss with her on the day.
Q What else was special or different about your wedding?
SC: We didn’t want a long engagement and also wanted to start a family, so it turned out that I was almost seven months pregnant on our wedding day. This added extra excitement to our day and gave us more to celebrate.
Q How did this affect your plans or experience?
SC: Being pregnant didn’t change our plans, but it did mean I had to rethink the dress. I had a bit of a mourning period for the dress I had carefully chosen in England. This had been generously purchased for me by my mum and meant a lot to me. Friends here in Hong Kong took me to a tailor where I had a new dress made. The tailor, who has sadly since closed, did a beautiful job and the dress was so comfortable. I wish I could wear it to work every day!
Q What personal touches did you add?
SC: We put our own music playlists together and we used our favourite colours in the scheme. We had mostly candid photos apart from a few posed shots, which meant that the photos were a lovely surprise when we got them.
Glad I spent on: Food, drinks and photography
Glad I saved on: My second wedding dress
WHO HELPED THEM:
Caterer: Wooloomooloo (www.wooloo-mooloo.com)
Photographer: High Jump Photography (highjumpphotography. com) Florist: A friend did the flowers
Venue Decor: Sourced by the couple, arranged by friends
Makeup/Hair: Airplay (airplaybar.com)
Suit: Ash Custom Tailor (www.ashtailor.com)
Bridesmaids Dresses: Hoi An Tailor, Vietnam
Flower Girl Dress: She chose her own dress and shoes from the Hong Kong Lanes.
Entertainment: Bride and groom’s playlist
Gift Favours: Toffees and vintage-style key bottle openers
Mark And Laine Koon Murray
Interview: Kate Springer
After meeting on a dragon boat team in London, Mark and Laine married in Hong Kong eight years later. The ceremony took place on the Star Ferry’s Meridian Star in the middle the harbour, followed by a reception at The Secret Kitchen by The Butchers Club in Wong Chuk Hang.
Q How’d Mark pop the question?
Laine Murray: It was a complete surprise and out-of-character PDA… he asked in the queue at the departure gate just before a flight back to the UK for Christmas. I turned around and Mark was on one knee! We have great memories every time we see “our” departure gate at Hong Kong Airport.
Q Why the Star Ferry for the ceremony?
LM: The Star Ferry and Victoria Harbour are so iconic. We wanted to incorporate a part of Hong Kong history into our wedding since we have spent the majority of our time as a couple here. As with Hong Kong Airport, we do get a little nostalgic whenever we find ourselves down at Central Pier, and always try to spot the Meridian Star crossing the harbour.
Q What advice would you give to couples looking for outdoor venues?
LM: Prepare for the unpredictable Hong Kong weather – heat, humidity and typhoons! We gave customised wooden Chinese fans as a wedding favour for the ceremony on the Star Ferry, and kept our fingers firmly crossed for calm seas. As a backup, we did make sure we were able to hold the ceremony at The Butchers Club.
Q What were you most stressed about before the ceremony?
LM: We had a few hiccups on the day including a champagne delivery fail and a missing bus driver. But we quickly realised that we didn’t need everything to be perfect, the important thing was that we were getting married, with family and closest friends to celebrate our big day.
Q What was your favourite moment?
LM: Just before the ceremony was due to start, David, our celebrant, came into the bridal area looking very serious and quietly announced that my part of the vows had blown overboard! Then the ferry staff didn’t know how to work the sound system, and we ended up playing the “Wedding March” three times. We found it hilarious!
Q What did guests enjoy the most?
LM: The boys were on great form for the door games before the Chinese tea ceremony in the morning. Let’s just say that mankinis, Beyonce and bananas were involved! For the rest of our guests, I’d say the open top bus ride from Central Ferry Pier to the reception in Aberdeen.
Glad I spent on: Having our families out from the UK; an amazing photographer and fantastic decor for the reception.
Glad I saved on: Favours, by ordering from Taobao and customising; I also designed our invitations.
Wish I spent on: A decor team to jazz up the ferry.
Wish I saved on: My cheongsam and evening dress. I didn’t want to change out of my wedding dress.
WHO HELPED THEM:
Caterer: The Butchers Club (thebutchers.club)
Transport: Star Ferry (www.starferry.com.hk); Big Bus (www. bigbustours.com)
Dress: elDevere Bridal (180 Queen’s Road Central, 6488-8330)
Rings: Haywards of Hong Kong (www.haywards.com.hk)
Suit: Misurino Tailors (www.misurino.com)
Entertainment: Mark and a friend took care of the music.
Gift Favours: Taobao (taobao.com)
Invitations: Ringo Ching, M-Forest Production (mforest1998.wixsite. com/mforest)
Hong Kong-based makeup artist Jaime Smith of Smudge Makeup Artistry shares her go-to beauty products for a gorgeous glow on the big day.