Continuing our series on international weddings, we welcome Sonia Yeung of Bliss Creations. Based in Hong Kong, the company specialises in destination weddings in exotic locations around Asia Pacific (China, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines as well as many other wonderful destinations). Sonia has answered here on more traditional “local” wedding ideas from China but “western style” weddings are their forte and incredibly popular in these parts of the world for both locals and those travelling to these destinations to marry!
How does a typical wedding day run in your country? A typical timetable of the day.
You can have any style of wedding you would like in HK but a traditional HK wedding usually runs the whole day. It usually starts with the groom and groomsmen going to pick up the bride where there are games and challenges played followed by a tea ceremony with the families. Depending on what time this takes place (an auspicious time is usually allocated to the couple) there may be time for lunch or all will go directly into a ceremony followed by a reception dinner.
Traditionally the ceremony is less important so some will have a ceremony at the reception dinner if there is nothing formal ahead of time.
What type of location do most wedding ceremonies themselves take place?
You can get married anywhere in HK so more and more couples are requesting outdoor ceremonies in parks or gardens, beaches and even on boats but many couples also choose to do the ceremony during the dinner reception.
What type of location do most wedding receptions take place?
Receptions are usually held in hotel ballrooms or restaurants depending on size of the event.
How many guests are usual to such a wedding?
No of guests can range from 100 pax up to 600 people. In HK the reception is a banquet and really a chance for the parents to show off and show pride in having their child marry.
What customs/traditions are most common in your weddings?
Picking up of the bride is something that is very common with Chinese weddings. This is a fun part of the day where the bridesmaids come up with challenges/games in which the groomsmen and groom must “prove” themselves in order to win over the bride. The bride does not take part in these activities and is kept hidden from all until the groom succeeds in his challenges.
The tea ceremony is also an important part of the day where the couple must serve tea to family and relatives of both sides. In return they receive gifts and “lai see” packets (containing money) and well wishes.
What does a typical wedding cost?
Varies tremendously based on the size of the event but starts at probably $800 HKD per person for a 10-12 course banquet dinner.
How important are independent wedding planners in your country?
Depends on the work schedules of the couples usually and whether they want to have the wedding in HK or elsewhere. If there is only the banquet dinner, usually the venue can take care of this. Couples sometimes enlist the assistance of a “dai kum tze” who helps to ensure all the traditional rituals are followed on the wedding day.
Any anecdotes/comments/tips on planning a wedding in your country.
HK has certain limitations due to the size and limited space but there are some fantastic venues that offer great views of the city as well as quintessential experiences which can be incorporated into your wedding to ensure that it is unique and memorable for all. Should western couples choose to marry in HK the procedure is simple and straightforward and there are many options to choose from.