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)
11/F, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, 1 Harbour Rd., Wan Chai
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!”
There’s no one way to wear a lace wedding dress. The delicate fabric evokes a timeless elegance, but it’s also surprisingly versatile. Within the world of lace, the materials range from fine and feathery to thick and textured. The cuts vary too, so brides can veer from the classic silhouette for a look that’s as contemporary as they please. We quiz Dana Trang, owner of HITCHED! Bridal, on how to choose a lace you’ll love.
Follow the Pattern
“If a bride is concerned about the quality and texture, then she should go for French lace. French lace tends to be ivory, not white, and is generally more fine and intricate with interesting patterns. Laces manufactured in other countries, such as China, tends to be rigid and heavier. But of course,
French lace is much pricier.”
Own Your Style
“Lace is feminine and romantic and that’s how many brides would like to look and feel on the day,” says Trang. “There are so many types of lace and designers are always coming up with different ways to work with it, so there is something for everyone.”
“I think it’s a very personal choice, so the first thing is to find the type of lace and pattern that you like. Then try it on to see if it suits because, interestingly enough, different types of lace suit different people.”
Give it a Twist “For a more contemporary look, I’d suggest illusion necklines with lace appliqué; a lace dress with a nude or blush lining; a fitted gown with a detachable lace train; and unusual necklines.”
“Another playful way to use lace is with a different lace pattern on every layer of the dress, so when you look at it as a whole, you see intricate patterns shining through. If a bride wants a cleaner look, they can choose a dress with a lace bodice but with a crepe skirt.”
Take Good Care “Care for it the same as you would any other wedding dress, but of course be careful not to get rings and bracelets caught on the lace. Lace dresses generally don’t crease as easily, so you actually don’t need to spend as much time steaming it!”
Add a Memento “Some brides actually wear their mother’s or grandmother’s lace dress by altering it to a more modern version. If brides don’t want to go to such extremes, they can see if the lace appliqué of their mother’s or grandmother’s dress works when added to their gown. The same could be said of veils – provided that the colour and length work, the lace hem could be used to make a veil.”
“Some lace photographs better than others. Corded lace – since it’s more 3D – and laces with intricate patterns will definitely photograph better. Brides can also consider choosing a cream, nude or blush lining so that the lace pops against a contrasting colour.”
“Ivory on ivory lace will always be a classic, and generally works on all skin tones, but with a darker beige or nude lining, you will need to be more careful. Depending on skin tone, there’s a chance of looking too ‘naked’ or washed out!”
From calligraphy-ing your cocktail list to flirty pink gowns and deep berry tones, these fall wedding trends are coming your way. By Mahira Jamshed
Pitch a tent
If you’re getting hitched during the most beautiful time of year, why not enjoy it? Decor is getting an all-natural spin this fall, and so too are venues. The next big thing? Tented weddings in remote outdoor settings. A challenge in Hong Kong, but it can be done!
Pretty in pink
Who says you have to wear white on your wedding day? A dash of colour can work wonders on some skin tones and might make you feel more like yourself. Effortlessly romantic blush and rose tones have modern brides looking elegant and ethereal all at once.
Bring it inside
Of course, we don’t want mud on our heels. So if you’re dreaming of an indoor wedding with a rustic touch, an easy way to pull it off is with wooden pallet art, which can double as escort boards. Print seating cards on creamy paper, pin it to the board, and you’ve got instant nature – without stepping foot outside.
Very berry A wonderful twist on classic red. Not only do shades of burgundy and plum match this season’s Pantone palette, but these rich colours make for gorgeous bouquets, centrepieces – and wine, of course!
Creative couples are writing their signature drinks on mirrors, chalkboards, and even wooden boards. After a more refined look? Have your cocktail list custom designed by a calligraphy artist, like this one by Hong Kong lettering artist, Jeremy Tow (IG @jeremytow_lcsc). Fancy!
All that glitters
Rustic copper accents are making their way into invitations, decorative bowls and table settings. The metal’s vintage vibe accentuates the warmer autumn tones and brightens up a room with minimal effort – a little goes a long way.
A new take on finger food, DIY taco bars are a seriously delicious trend. Match the tacos with a signature drinks – a margarita, perhaps? – and you’ve just won wedding of the year.
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?
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.