Found the love of your life and planning to get married? Congrats!
Here comes the next question: How to plan the perfect wedding in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is an amazing city to get married in: you can find pretty much everything here! No matter if you are after a Western, Chinese, or an Indian wedding! The city is small enough that everyone can enjoy a great all-night-long party and head home by taxi, or you can have an intimate wedding by booking a private room at one of Hong Kong's beautiful 5-star hotels.
However, there is still a lot to consider while planning an amazing big day in Hong Kong. Let me share with you some insider tips to organize the best wedding in Hong Kong.
Why You Should Trust Me?
Hi, I'm Ali G and I'm your guide today! Having worked as a professional wedding photographer in Hong Kong for over 10 years, I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings, from giant-sized luxury weddings to destination weddings to many warm and cozy weddings.
Other than capturing beautiful photos from western, Chinese, and Indian weddings, I have worked with many wedding planners, venues, make-up artists, and so on.
In this article, I will share with you some great insider tips so you can plan your perfect wedding in Hong Kong!
Who Should Read This Article?
Whether you or your beloved ones are the lucky couples who are planning to get married, or you are a newbie to the wedding industry, you can benefit from the tips I'm suggesting below.
For beginner wedding photographers, you may find the following articles very useful for choosing the best cameras, lenses, and gear, plus some great tips about how to prepare your clients for their wedding day shoots:
- Best cameras for wedding photography - from how to pick tips and my recommendations
- Best lenses for wedding photography - covering all the lenses you need for a wedding
- Cool camera accessories and best photography equipment - I have suggested some great accessories for wedding photography
- Best portraits and headshot lens - helping you to find the best lens for taking amazing wedding portraits
- Best Hong Kong photo spots for couple photography - so you know where are the best spots in Hong Kong
- Black and white wedding photography - open your door to the stylish world of wedding photography
The Ultimate Hong Kong Wedding Tips and Guide
Prioritize Your Wishes and Needs
It is very important to think about what are the most important things for your wedding. Is it the food? The venue? The atmosphere? The Wedding photos and Video?
Prioritize your wishes and needs so it would be easier to set the budget plans. For sure, as a wedding photographer, I always tell couples not to cut corners on photography, but there's a great reason for that.
After 5 to 10 years, or even after 50 years from your wedding, you may not remember what brand of champagne was served, what main courses you had, or who did the chicken dance on the dance floor, but your wedding photos will remind you how much you loved your other half and all those special moments you had with him or her, as well as friends and family who may have traveled several continents just to share your big day in Hong Kong!
Set a plan, but be flexible
Over 95% of the couples I’ve photographed all agree that a wedding is one of the biggest projects in their lives. And unfortunately, you won’t have a lot of experience in planning a wedding since most of you have never been married before!
Therefore, you need to set a plan for everything, but be flexible for changes. As mentioned in tip no. 1: "set your priority". When possible changes come up, go back to check out the priority list and make a decision accordingly.
Engage a Wedding Planner
A good wedding planner can save your wedding, or turn your wedding from “a nice wedding” into “a super-duper memorable wedding”.
You may think that arranging everything by yourself is the way to go for the perfect big day, but honestly, the best weddings always happen while the couples are enjoying their big day. If you need to worry about the setting up the decor, whether the microphone is working for the speeches, who will arrange the flowers and when or a million other things, then for sure, you cannot totally immerse yourself in the wedding experience!
Other than that, a good wedding planner can act as the bridge of communication between you and your loved ones as well.
If you can’t afford a wedding planner, try to at least get a reliable friend who has excellent communication skills, a high EQ, is reliable and has great knowledge regarding weddings to help you coordinate.
Find the Most Suitable Hong Kong Wedding Venues and Hotels
Choose a venue with an experienced staff and management team because when you need to get things done, you need them to be done properly and on time!
As a Hong Kong-based professional wedding photographer, I have been working with many wedding venues and hotels. Below are some of the best Hong Kong venues that my clients and I can agree on:
- Four Seasons Hotel HK - beyond a doubt, one of the best venues in all Asia, not just Hong Kong. Check out the staircase!
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong - With a a big ballroom, this hotel is by far one of the top choices for Hong Kong weddings.
- The Rosewood Hong Kong - One of the newest hotels in the city with excellent food and service.
- Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong - One of Hong Kong's most iconic hotels, you can feel the history when you walk in!
- The Repulse Bay - Classy venue with an amazing sunset view, both indoor and outdoor options!
- The Upper House - In the heart of the city, the service of the hotel is absolutely 5-star!
Wedding Dresses and Outfits
There are many bridal boutiques in Hong Kong, however, most of the good ones would require prior booking because they are often very busy! Sometimes you may even be required to pay a fee for trying their dresses. Usually, the fee is refunded upon purchase.
Here are some great tips I would recommend for the bride and groom to be:
- Look at different wedding magazines and find the style you love - you may even want to have your outfits made!
- Ask your photographer and makeup artists for their opinions
- Bring proper underwear like you would be wearing on your big day when you try on your wedding clothes to make sure "everything' fits
- Ask the shops if they can alter the dresses for you in case you gain or lose weight when you reach the wedding date
- For the groom to be, please do get a tailor-made suit or tuxedo so it’s not oversized
If purchasing a designer dress is out of your budget, you can consider renting one too!
Find Your Perfect Wedding Photographer
Here are some great tips for finding the best wedding photographer for you:
- Ask for their portfolio and check if you like their work. It would be a great idea if you can hire one with solid experience and expert knowledge
- Set up a call to make sure you are happy to communicate with them, you need to find someone you are happy to work with!
- Arrange a pre-wedding shoot so you can see how they work with you
- Trust your photographer: let them do their work and make you shine!
I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing wedding clients as a Hong Kong based professional photographer. I have been fortunate to have some of my work published in the New York Times, Hello Mag, Vogue, SCMP, and so on. Please check out my portfolio here and drop me a message!
What About Hair and Makeup?
Doing your makeup and hair by yourself on the big day is not a wise decision. Why? This is your big day, and you should be treated like a King and Queen!
Here are some important tips for choosing your wedding makeup artist and hair stylist:
Make sure you always book a trial with them so you can see if you get along, if they understand what you like and most importantly, you can look and exactly how you want to be on the big day.
Arranging an engagement/ pre-wedding photo shoot with the same photographer and makeup artists would be a great idea as well! Quite often, what we see through our lens is not the same intensity, color or shading due to different lighting conditions, so it's a great idea to understand how your makeup looks on camera!
If you are planning to book a facial or manicure before the wedding, try to book it 2-3 days ahead. This will allow the redness to go away, which is very common after facial treatments. Furthermore, in case something comes up right before the wedding, you have less worries to try and fit things into your schedule.
Putting on a hydration mask the night before your big day is a great idea to keep your skin moist and in great condition as well!
On your big day, most events will take longer than you think, so be prepared!
From unexpected weather conditions to traffic to not being able to find that lucky pendant, make sure to give yourself enough time for all these. This will help minimize your stress level, and who doesn't want less stress?
If you think 2 hours will be enough? Make it 2.5 hours, or even 3 hours. Having some breaks during the day and enjoying this memorable day with your beloved ones over some bubbly is also a great idea!
Food, Drinks, and the Wedding Cake!
If you are hosting your wedding in a hotel, most of the time they can sort out the wedding catering part easily. However, it is a great idea for you to ask your guests for their preference first and set the menu accordingly.
Do make sure you can try out the full menu before the wedding day and make sure they are willing to make appropriate changes if needed.
Pro Tip: negotiate a corkage fee so you can bring some of your favorite bottles of wine to share with close friends and family.
Have a Great Time and Enjoy Yourselves!
After photographing hundreds of weddings over the years, I honestly feel that the best weddings are the ones where the bride and grrom, their friends and family are all enjoying themselves.
Yes, you want the perfect wedding and the details are important, but at the end of the day, it’s your BIG DAY! And you should be enjoying it with your friends and family!
Don’t get so caught up on things that may go wrong that you actually don't enjoy all the things that do go right!
Great Weddings have Great Music!
Music is such an important part of a wedding party! It sets the mood, creates positive vibes and who doesn't want to see cousin John do the funky chicken dance? It is always a great idea to hire a live band or a DJ who is at the top of their game, whether it's just for your wedding lunch or a big reception!
Pro Tip: make sure to get the list of equipment and connection types that the venue can provide in order to share it with your music talent. Once my clients had a DJ who couldn't properly connect to the hotel's sound system!
Combine your civil wedding with a couple's photo shoot
If you're planning to have a small civil wedding ceremony, why not combine it with a couple's photoshoot?
After all, you will probably be dressed to impress and your makeup and hair would be on par too!
Hong Kong Wedding Guide and Tips - FAQs
How much do you give for a wedding in Hong Kong? Is there a gift registry?
Traditionally if you receive the invitation card but cannot make it to the wedding, you may give HKD 300. For a wedding banquet held in a Chinese restaurant or hotel, you are looking at HKD 500 - 800, or HKD 800 - 1000, depending on your relationship with the bride or groom.
In Hong Kong, there are normally no gift registries, something which is very typical for most weddings in the west!
What are the 5 things a bride needs?
For Western weddings, a bride needs the following 5 things to bring you good luck: something old, something new, something borrowed (preferable from someone who is married and with children), something blue (to protect the bride against the Evil Eyes), and a sixpence in your shoe.
The ultimate Hong Kong Wedding Guide and Tips - Final Words
Getting married in Hong Kong can be an amazing experience. With some careful planning, you are just a step away from the most iconic and impressive wedding. Feel free to message me if you have any questions, I'm always happy to help!
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A big thanks to Phottix for the professional lighting equipment provided to Ali G Studios.
All photos are © Ali Ghorbani and Ali G Studios
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