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.
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