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!”

Real Weddings: Dervla and Alister

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.

In hindsight…

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,
www.upperhouse.com.

Event Planner: Lauren Roberts, Sweet Soirees,
www.sweetsoireeshk.com.

Photographer: Sam Wong (Sam is Home), www.samishome.com

Cake: Whisk, The Mira, www.themirahotel.com.

Wedding Top and Skirt: SAU Clothing, www.sauclothing.com.

Real Weddings: Nathan and Koscina

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.

In hindsight…

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.

Who helped us:

Suit: Empire Taylors, www.empiretailors.com

Venue: Duddell’s, duddells.co.

Bride’s hair and makeup: Karen Lam, delicateface.co.

Groom’s hair: Kelvin Yu, Hair House Barbershop by Adam Chen, www.facebook.com/hairhousebyadamchan.

Flowers: Bloomy Villa, www.bloomyvilla.com.

Photographer: One Light Photographer, tinyurl.com/onelightphotography
Cake: Cake It Studio, www.facebook.com/cakeitstudio.

Wedding Dress: Tiffany Rose, www.tiffanyrose.com.

Celebrant: Margaret Ma Wai-lam, Civil Celebrant of Marriages.

Real Weddings: Janice and Francesco

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, we  wanted 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.

Who helped us:

Cake: Jeffery Koo, facebook.com/patisseriejefferykoo.

Photographer: Anthony Ho, together.hk.

Flowers: Ines Weddings, inesweddings.com.hk.

Music: Kai Djuric, kaidjuric.com.

Makeup: Dickie Chan, www.facebook.com/pg/dickieworkshop.

Celebrant: Anna Hung, facebook.com/annahung.morethanhoneymoon.

Tuxedo: Luxe Tuxedo, luxetuxedo.com.

Real Weddings: Susanne and Matt Clark

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.

 

In hindsight…

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

Real Weddings: Mark And Laine Koon Murray

 

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.

 

In hindsight…

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)

Photographer: Justin Lim Photography (www.justlimphoto.com) Florist and venue decor: Workshop Weddings (www. workshopweddings.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)

Honeymoon and travel news for June

Whether you’re dreaming up a destination wedding or an epic honeymoon, these awesome packages will make wedding planning a breeze.
 By Kate Springer
1. QUEEN FOR A DAY
Over in Macau, The Banyan Tree is turning up the charm with an “Ultimate Bridal Shower” package that takes place – where else, but the Presidential Suite. This 888-square-metre retreat stretches across two floors, featuring beautiful views, a spa treatment room, relaxation pool, several lounge areas and a full-service kitchen. With room for up to 20 friends and family
members, the bride-to-be will be showered with free- flow wines and soft drinks, five bottles of champagne, and canapes. To keep the party going, four guests get to stay overnight in the suite with breakfast included.
Banyan Tree Macau, Avenida Marginal Flor de Lotus,
Cotai, Macau, China, +853-8883-8833,
2. LONDON CALLING
More and more couples are taking their pre-wedding photos or engagement photos in far-away land. For the ultimate pre-wedding photoshoot, it’s hard to
beat Claridge’s in London. The hotel’s new “Pre- Wedding Experience” offers a picturesque itinerary through London’s most romantic corners and historical
landmarks, complete with a photoshoot coordinator and an afternoon with wedding photographer Xander Casey. Ladies will also appreciate the pampering perks – expect makeup, hair and personal styling ahead of
the shoot to ensure you’re looking glam for the cam.
From $56,000, including two-night stay, transfers,
styling services, and three-hour shoot. Claridge’s,
Brook Street, Mayfair, London W1K 4HR, United
Kingdom, +44-20-7629-8860, www.claridges.co.uk.
3. CLEAN SLATE
Phuket is a popular destination wedding for a reason – it’s relatively convenient, affordable, and beautiful, depending where you stay. That’s where The Slate comes in. A contemporary resort on Phuket’s northern shore,
The Slate is sandwiched between a rainforest and Nai Yang beach, with 13 venues and lots of photogenic spots. The wedding services here are bespoke, with an in-house planner who manages the itineraries, menus, decor, florists, and photographers so you can focus on the all-too fleeting moments. Need a test drive? The Slate is currently offering a complimentary stay and food tasting, with optional pre-wedding shoots, for couples who book the resort.
The Slate, Nai Yang Beach, 116 Moo 1,
Sakhu, Thalang, Phuket 83110,
Thailand, +66-76-327-006,
4. WOOLLOO MARRY ME?
If you’re heading down under for your nuptials, check out
Ovolo Woolloomooloo’s wedding packages. Just like the hotel, the wedding celebrations here are creative and unique, with a hard-to-beat location on the
Sydney Harbour. The planning team will help each couple identify their signature style and bring the event to life in the venue of their choice, from the intimate Kitchen Table to the urban Piper Rooms. From there, the hotel manages a la carte catering, room hire, table settings, service and day-of details. Couples can also elect to say their vows on the 100-year-old Woollomooloo wharf, surrounded by the Sydney Skyline. Yes, we do!
Ovolo Woolloomooloo, 6 Cowper Wharf, Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia, +61-2-9331-9000, www.ovolohotels.com.au

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)