Real Weddings: Nissa and Andy Cornish

Nissa and Andy met while both were working at environmental NGOs. In 2015, the pair celebrated their marriage on an organic farm in Fanling.

When you started planning, which details were most important to you?

Nissa Cornish: It was important that our wedding be not just a beautiful event, but a reflection of who we are. We considered a destination wedding, but quickly realized that with many of our friends and family living far away, Hong Kong is a destination… and a great one! So we decided to do right it here, where our story is. We knew we didn’t want a typical Hong Kong wedding, in a hotel or restaurant. We also wanted to do it as sustainably as possible, and incorporate the outdoors if possible.

Which venues did you settle on?

NC: We had our ceremony at WWF’s Island House Conservation Studies Centre, in Tai Po. It’s a beautiful colonial-style heritage building built in 1905, and has an enormous private garden overlooking the sea. Our reception was at Zen Organic Farms in Fanling. I loved the idea of a rustic barn wedding. At first we didn’t think it would be possible, but then we visited Zen and discovered this open-air shed overlooking the fields… and something in our imaginations just said, “YES.”

How did you discover them?

NC: At the time, the Island House wasn’t open to the public [though it’s now open for event bookings], so very few people knew of it. Because Andy worked for WWF, we were able to make a special request to book it. As for Zen, we knew that the farm supplied organic produce to one of my favourite restaurants, Posto Pubblico. So we asked the kind folks at Posto (who also ended up being our caterers) to connect us. 

Did you encounter any complications?

NC: At first, Zen flat-out refused because they had never hosted anything like a wedding. It took a lot of coaxing from us and our amazing wedding planner to get them on board. But once they agreed, they were super kind and helpful all the way.

What else was special about your wedding?

NC: We enjoyed adding a lot of homemade touches. I designed the invitations, and found a woman who hand-made amazing fabric bunting to decorate the barn. Andy designed and built custom lighting for the head table, which went perfectly with the vintage mirrors we used as a backdrop. 

How were your personalities reflected?

NC: Our ceremony “altar” was decorated simply with two potted banyan trees, which now live on our roof as a memento. Andy hung vintage Hong Kong romantic-film posters from his personal collection in the barn, and selected organic wines and locally-brewed beers to serve.

What other details did your guests love?

NC: The kids’ area seemed to go over well! We had fun things like a teepee, wedding-themed colouring books, games, sidewalk chalk, and bubbles. Guests also made their own pizzas in a wood-burning oven. 

In hindsight…

Glad I spent on: A wedding planner. Sonya from Bliss Creations took care of all the boring details, which left us free to do the fun stuff.

Glad I saved on: The dress. It was a simple, classic dress by a local designer, and that’s all I needed. 

Wish I spent on: Live music all night. We hired an amazing live trio to serenade us during sunset, then switched to a DJ after dinner.

Wish I saved on: Nothing I can think of! 

Wedding Planner: Bliss Creations, blissweddings.asia

Caterer: Posto Pubblico, www.postopubblico.com

Photographer: Sean Creamer, facebook.com/SeanCreamerPhotography

Transport: Tesla Motors, tesla.com

Bouquet Flowers: Tiffany Flowers, www.tiffannyflowers.com.hk

Venue Decor: DIY

Makeup: Liz Bohan, bit.ly/2krm85S

Hair: Catherine Law

Entertainment: Cecillia Tang, facebook.com/CecilliaTangMorgana

Rings: Nathalie Melville Fine Jewellery, melvillejewellery.com

Mood Board: Ideas and trends for winter weddings

Two-piece wedding gowns

Limor Rosen at HITCHED! Bridal

Two-piece wedding gowns aren’t just flattering and fresh, but they’re also perfect for the chilly winter season. If you’re throwing a snow-kissed celebration abroad, consider pairing a fitted cashmere top with a classic round skirt.

Winter whites


Photo: The Wedding Company

If the movie Frozen taught us anything, it’s that winter can be absolutely ethereal. Even without snow, you can still get the look by decking out the venue in soft shades of white. When the palette’s kept simple you can go wild with contrasting textures – think white roses, marble, crystals, wood, and more.

Statement earrings


Cassouto

When done right, statement earrings can add a serious dose of glamour to your bridal look. And to be really on trend, consider a retro choker to match.

Seasonal cocktails

Put down that aperol spritz! This season is all about warming welcome cocktails that channel that winter wonderland – think cinnamon-imbued ciders, negronis, and pomegranate martinis.

Eye-popping colours

Your makeup says just as much about your style as the dress, which is why bold brides are embracing surprising eyeshadow shades. A shock of blue, mint, or a bit of gold leaf can change the look completely.

Party portraits

Creative couples will love this photobooth alternative. Instead of stocking up on Polaroid film, hire a Hong Kong illustrator – like Kitty Wong (@kittynwong) – to sketch portraits of your guests and perhaps even capture your ceremony. Now that’s a personal touch!

Go green

It’s cool to be eco-friendly – and not that difficult either. One of the easiest ways to reduce waste at an event is to avoid disposable straws. Instead, opt for stainless steel or glass straws which can double as a wedding favour! We love these from The Pineapple Company, which are $170 per set from Lane Crawford Home.

Emerald elements


The Silver Lining Wedding Journal

Timeless and regal, it’s no surprise this stylish shade is popping up everywhere this year, from bouquets to bridesmaid dresses. You can easily incorporate emerald into your big day, whether it’s a tiny pop of colour in the centrepieces or as a major player in your wedding palette.

ready-made stationery at Kikki.K

Once the party’s over, there’s one thing left to do: thank-you notes. The aptly named “Fall In Love with Your Life” collection from Kikki.K should help you get the job done without spending a fortune on gold foil and letterpressing. The energetic designs include high-voltage shades of yellows, pinks, and greys – each with a sweet note. And while you’re at it, stock up on journals, diaries, or a heart-printed mug for yourself. 

www.kikki-k.com.

Five-ways-to-wear earrings at The 5th C

Can’t find earrings to match every mood? Hong Kong-based diamond jeweller The 5th C just introduced an innovative solution. The brand’s transformer-like “My 5-Ways” earrings provide five styles in one, from dramatic chandeliers to drop stones to simple studs. These made-to-order earrings can be crafted with rose gold, emeralds, diamonds, pearls – just be sure to order ahead, as the process takes three to six weeks. 

www.the5thc.com.

Pre-wedding photo sessions at Ocean Park

What do pandas and penguins have in common? They can both star in your pre-wedding photos at Ocean Park! Depending on the package, couples can pick two to four locations across the park, including the Grand Aquarium, Ferris Wheel, merry-go-round or Old Hong Kong Street. Wedding packages and banquet menus (including free tickets for guests) are also available, just in case riding a roller coaster in your wedding dress is an item on your bucket list.
Packages start from $17,888.
www.oceanpark.com.hk.

Bridal Spa & Tea at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

What could be more magical for a bridal shower than an elegant afternoon of bespoke tea and pampering at Grand Hyatt Hong Kong?

First, indulge in a 90-minute signature body massage at the luxuriously appointed Plateau Spa, and let the expert therapists ease away wedding stress.

Afterwards, head down to the newly refurbished Tiffin Lounge for a classic high tea set with your closest friends – think finger sandwiches, dainty cakes, and scones with jam and cream. Don’t miss the unlimited homemade ice cream counter, classic crepes and made-to-order obanyaki.

Visit the hotel’s spectacular pool deck or sip champagne at the Waterfall Bar, to make the day even more memorable.

Cost:
$1,800 +10% per person  (includes a 90-minute massage and afternoon tea set)

Plateau Spa:
11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai

Bookings:
2584-7688 or plateau.hkggh@hyatt.com.

(Presented by Grand Hyatt Hong Kong)

Photographers share their perfect moments

We speak to three photographers about the special memories
they’ve captured on camera. By Mahira Jamshed

Jamie Ousby Photography

A self-proclaimed “photo ninja,” Jamie Ousby Photography has mastered the art of blending in and capturing those unstaged moments of joy. www.jamieousbyphotography.com

Forever love: “I try to be like a guest with a camera, and the result are moments like this between the bride and her grandmother. I love how close together they are and the tear running down Lixi’s face sets it apart. This is such an important scene to capture – the kind of moment the couple can treasure for years to come.”

Private words: “I wasn’t close enough to hear what they were talking about – but that was a good thing! This was a moment that needed to be captured without interruption..”

A tearjerker: “Eric’s reaction to Blu’s vows are so heartwarming and genuine. When he took off his glasses to wipe his eyes, it happened in a split second so I had to be ready. I was so happy when I looked back on this shot. I knew it was a lovely moment that they would remember from their day.”

Ali G Studios

A go-to photographer for some of Hong Kong’s biggest society bashes, Ali G Studios immortalizes the day’s emotions in images that are loaded with details and colour. www.aligstudios.com

  

Epic moments: “Set against the backdrop of some incredible palaces in Jaipur, India, this four-day destination wedding was one of the grandest I have ever photographed. I wanted something epic and memorable for the couple, while staying true to their style and the majestic backdrop.”

Red dress: “The couple had informed me they wanted to create images with the look and feel of the famous Hong Kong movie, ‘In The Mood For Love.’ The challenge was to get the perfect lighting and post production on the image, which was shot at The China Club in Central.”

Flower shower: “This was an amazing destination wedding of a Hong Kong couple at The Peninsula Hotel in Bangkok. The key was to inform the guests not to step into the aisle and to throw as many flower petals as they could to get a great effect!”

Kenneth Lim Photography

With a skilled eye for personal and authentic moments, Kenneth Lim Photography beautifully captures the honest, raw emotions that make a wedding so special. www.kennethlimphotography.com

Dad’s dance: “The father-daughter dance is one of the old-school wedding traditions I love. It’s a unique few minutes towards the end of the wedding day, when the bride can give thanks to her parents and honour the special bond between father and daughter one last time.”

Let it rain: “After the wedding ceremony, it began to rain during our portrait session in Sheung Wan. The bride and groom took cover from the rain and I kept shooting. Just as with marriage, sometimes you just have to stick together and make the best of a bad situation!”