You said yes! So, now the ring is firmly planted on your finger, what next?
Organising your big day can be stressful if you don’t know where to start, so we’ve put together this handy Hong Kong wedding planning guide to help break down some of the key things you will need to think about. Of course, our tips are particularly useful if you’re planning to host your wedding right here in the 852, but for others tying the knot in their home country, it should also provide some much-needed inspiration.
First things first, deciding which country and city you want to host your wedding in is a very good starting point. You’ll most likely want to visit several options to see what tops the list for you and your significant other (unless, of course, you picked your ideal venue in your childhood!). Some places get booked up years in advance (yes, really) so it’s best not to get too ahead of yourself with other planning until you’ve locked this down. Here are some of the best hotel wedding venues on offer in Hong Kong. Of course, you’re not just tied to Hong Kong, there are plenty of other great wedding destinations across Asia to check out too.
Now you’ve got the venue secured and most likely paid a hefty deposit (no one ever said weddings were cheap), it’s time to sort your outfit! Thankfully, there are lots of great places to go wedding dress shopping in Hong Kong that will cater to all tastes and budgets, whether to want to rent something, buy off the rail and go for something bespoke. Most bridal boutiques require you to book an appointment and some may even charge a fee for trying on their dresses (redeemable against purchase). It’s worth going prepared so you get the most out of the experience, whether that’s knowing in advance the style of dress you want or the designer you admire, to wearing appropriate underwear (note to self: no big black pants!) and bringing along a pair of heels (although most shops can lend you a pair). Don’t be afraid to ask if it’s possible to do some alterations, for example if you want sleeves added/removed or a longer train. A lot of designers will be able to accommodate your requests – and as they say, if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
You’ll also need to think about what florist to choose and what exactly you need from their services. Is it just bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids, and button holes for the groom and his groomsmen? Or do you also need table centrepieces and some standalone arrangements to decorate your venue? You’ll need to answer these questions before you even get to picking out a colour scheme and the types of flowers you want! Remember what’s in season varies throughout the year, so make sure you don’t have your heart set on daffodils if your wedding is in the winter.
Hair and Makeup
You should decide what to do about your hair and makeup. Lots of people don’t want the pressure of having to do their own on their big day, so it makes sense to employ the help of a professional. It’s best to book in a trial to make sure you don’t have an unwanted surprise when you look in the mirror just before walking down the aisle. Browse Pinterest ahead of time so you can show your makeup artist or hairdresser exactly what you’re after. And don’t forget to make sure your nails are in tip top condition too, by booking a manicure in the days leading up to the wedding.
One of the most important things is planning on how to keep your guests fed and watered throughout the day. That’s a task that’s very easy if you’re in a hotel or a venue with in-house caterers. But what about if you need to sort your own wedding catering? It’s a great way to be able to have more control over what makes it on to the menu, rather than being limited to several options on a set menu. But you might find you have the opposite problem and there’s almost too much choice! The bride and groom should be given the chance to taste their full menu well before the big day so that if any changes need to be made, there’s still time.
There will be plenty of memories you’ll want captured on camera throughout your day, right from the getting ready all the way through to the drunken dancing. So choosing a wedding photographer is one of the most important decisions you will make. Do you want more formal portrait photography or would you prefer some fly on the wall candid shots? Or perhaps a mix of both? It’s worth taking the time to go through different photographer’s websites and social media accounts to get a sense of their style and make sure it fits in with your vision of how you want your big day recorded. Do let them know well ahead of the day itself what group shots you want (whether that’s lots of shots with granny or the girls).
Now let’s talk about the cake! Not only do you want this to be extremely tasty but it also has to look the part, because the cake-cutting and eating will inevitably end up featuring in lots of your photos. You’ll be spoilt for choice trying to decide where to get your wedding cake made in Hong Kong and that’s before you even get to talking about flavour, the type of icing, number of tiers, decorations etc. Just make sure you get some tasting sessions in too (after all, there’s no such thing as too much red velvet!).
It’s up to you whether you decide to give your wedding guests a little gift on the day, but if you do, it’s worth putting some thought into how you can make these individual or unique to you as a couple. There are plenty of wedding favour ideas to suit every budget out there, so you certainly won’t be short of options. If in doubt, alcohol miniatures always go down well, just don’t expect them to last beyond the meal! Having small favours at place settings can also help to decorate your tables.
Once you’ve got your venue ticked off the list and sorted whether your ceremony will be held in the same place or somewhere else, you can also start to think about when to get your invites out. Traditionally it’s six to eight weeks ahead of the big day, but that time frame should be longer if you are expecting your guests to travel a long distance. Most couples now send out a save the date ahead of time to give them a rough idea of who can and can’t make it. There are lots of online options for ordering wedding stationery, but if you want to be able to see things in person and deal face to face with someone, here’s our pick of the best brands available here in Hong Kong.
The Wedding Planner
If the thought of all this organising seems a bit much to you and you feel like you need some hand holding along the way, it may be worth employing the services of a wedding planner. Not only will they be able to point you in the right direction when it comes to vendors, but they will also be able to get quotes and do the booking on your behalf. Of course, some might say that takes the fun out of the planning process, but it’s certainly something to consider if you can afford it. It could save you a lot of blood, sweat and tears in the long run.
One thing that’s well worth taking some time to think about before you get too far down the planning path, is how you can make your wedding more eco-friendly, or even zero waste. There are plenty of companies that can help make sure you are making “greener” choices, so you cut down on unnecessary wedding waste. Just a few tweaks here and there can make all the difference!
The Hen Do/Bachelorette
Don’t forget about the hen do! Amidst all the wedding planning every bride deserves the chance to kick back and relax with her girlfriends before the big day. Whether you want a full on party night in Wan Chai or LKF (perhaps even both!), or a more sedate afternoon tea and a day of pampering at the spa, check out this list of the best places to host bridal showers in the 852.
The main thing to remember throughout the whole planning process is to have fun. Don’t get too wrapped up in the tiny details. We promise you will be the only one who notices if your table centrepieces contain two less flowers than you expected, or if the shade of icing on your cake is slightly yellower than you imagined. Let the wedmin begin!
Featured image courtesy of Getty Images, image 1 courtesy of The Upper House via Instagram, image 2 courtesy of Tom Pumford via Unsplash, image 3 courtesy of HNBS via Pixabay, image 4 courtesy of Ron James via Unsplash, image 5 courtesy of Micheile Henderson via Unsplash, image courtesy of Clem Onojeghuo via Unsplash.