With Hong Kong as one of the most densely-packed urban metropolises on Earth, you might be surprised to learn that this bustling city is actually made up of 70% green space. Photographer Brumley and Wells certainly was! He captured this darling duo in some of the quietest garden areas of the city, and this gallery couldn’t be any lovelier.
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From Brumley and Wells… Hong Kong is surprisingly green. As a film photographer who typically seeks out the serene beauty of remote landscapes, I was nervous about the prospects of shooting in Hong Kong. I didn’t know what to expect. Turns out, Hong Kong is made up of 70% green space, and the possibilities were endless – mountains, water, beaches, orchards. For Stefen and Yoyo’s engagement session, we focussed on the soft colors of bougainvilleas and a small orchard near the shore, where we finished the shoot at sunset looking back towards Hong Kong Island.
This adorable international couple (he from London; she from California) wanted their engagement session to fully represent where they met and fell in love, and if this stunningly vibrant gallery of images from Ann-Kathrin Koch, set in the multi-cultural epicenter of Hong Kong, doesn’t inspire some serious wanderlust in you, then I don’t know what will.
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From The Bride…Tim and I met in Hong Kong where only a vibrant, multi-cultural city like Hong Kong could bring together an English-Malaysian boy and a Taiwanese-American girl. We had both moved to Hong Kong for the same company, although Tim from London and I from California. Sparks didn’t fly until a year later when we went on an accidental date (a group dinner where everyone else canceled. Really!) and realized we had so much in common despite growing up in very different places. Not long after, I knew that Tim was “the one” as we just clicked and our lives intertwined so seamlessly together. Three years later, Tim proposed on a sunrise hot air balloon ride in Myanmar and I have been floating on cloud nine ever since.
Although we are planning a destination wedding, I wanted to take our engagement photos in the place we met and fell in love, and I could not have asked for a more incredible backdrop than Hong Kong. As cliche as it is to say, Hong Kong really is a unique fusion of the East and West and old and new, which translates to countless photo opportunities! To take advantage of the city’s visually stunning juxtapositions, I chose places like Man Mo Temple, a vibrant red temple tucked in between towering skyscrapers, and the Star Ferry, a cross-harbor ferry that offers beautiful harbor and skyline views and has been operating since 1888. These places are also special to us as they are either within walking distance of our home or somewhere we frequent.
The right photographer was very important to us as we wanted to avoid cheesy engagement photos (otherwise Tim wouldn’t have agreed to take the portraits!). After much wedding blog-researching, I immediately knew Ann-Kathrin Koch was also “the one” as soon as I saw her work. She has a keen ability to capture natural and candid but still well-crafted portraits, complimented by her incredible use of light. We also really appreciated Ann’s laidback style that helped put us at ease during a process that can feel very awkward! We are so grateful to Ann for so elegantly capturing our love story on film, which I know we will look back on fondly in our old age and hopefully living somewhere less hectic.
Elopements seem to be coming across our desk more and more. Not just city hall style versions though, full scale weddings built only for two. And we sort of love it. So needless to say, this inspiration from Alea Lovely and Victorian Gardens, hit a note of perfection in our book. With a handful of different style options (not all shown so make sure to click the gallery!) and table decor, this is the very definition of pretty.
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From Alea Lovely… From engagement session to honeymoon, we have created a fashion elopement storied editorial to inspire women to go with a little color and perhaps a few different gowns to accentuate their personalities and journey through the wedding process.All the gowns were made by the talented Vivian Luk.
Starting with a striking non-traditional high-low lavender gown for the couple’s mountain peak engagement session, we subtly coordinated the colors without being too matchy-matchy as a nice way to show how to bring a theme to your photo shoot without stifling each person’s personal style. We took this engagement session just a notch up by adding a flower crown and bouquet because who doesn’t love a reason to carry a beautiful bouquet. The Groom-to-be wore a nice brown tweed vest and matching pants that complemented the natural lavender and green color palette of this beautiful location.
For the ceremony, we used a more traditional (in the color sense) white gown. But when you look at the gown, it’s anything but ordinary. The gorgeous sheer sleeves, intricate detail and A-line structure would make any bride feel like a princess. The custom gold flower crown added a vintage touch to this modern fairytale. Adding a little bit of blush for the reception gown and making it strapless for a bit more comfort, it seems that more and more brides are opting for a second dress to be able to honor their traditions and personal style during their day. But in this shoot we did not only focus on the Bride; the Groom needed to look just as stylish to rival such beautiful gowns.
Our Groom, sporting a grey velvet tie complementing a fitted blue European-style suit, is on trend with any gown a modern bride would wear. I think it’s important to think about your groom during this process in making sure he is comfortable but also looks just as good. You are the bride but this day is about two people so the groom should look and feel as great as you do. I learned a world of things this year about grooms’ style from www.mrbaldwinstyle.com, and there is more to dressing men than just a suit. The ins and outs about fit, neck size, sleeve length, inseam, lapel pins… the works, seems even more complex than what us girls have to deal with getting dressed. It’s important to make your groom a priority and learn together about what he likes and how to make him look good.
Sometimes we get very wrapped up in the details. So we wanted to simplify things a little bit for the Bride, who wants all the beauty but scaled down. Flowers are a way to make anything look more beautiful and the usage of bouquets and centerpieces were stunning arrangements that would make any small gathering look glamorous.
I’ve always thought it would be fun to be a honeymoon photographer (shameless plug for anyone interested haha) but I know a lot of brides have that moment after it’s all over where they feel like it went by way too fast. One way we wanted to extend your wedding bliss into your honeymoon is by implementing a gorgeous couture cape as a beachy statement piece for onlookers that says, ” Hey, we we just got married,” because who doesn’t love the added “Congratulations!” The piece was a perfect addition that gave our Bride just a little more frosting to the honeymoon cake.
This Hong Kong fete right here? It’s everything a beach wedding should be. A laid back celebration on the sand, King Proteas for a pop of color and palm trees for days. Bliss Creations planned the soiree to perfection and with Derek Ko behind the lens, you can kick back in one lovely gallery!
From Bliss Creations… Bride Noortje and Groom Rutger met while at university in the Netherlands, moved to South Africa for a few years when they were dating, and finally ended in Hong Kong as an engaged couple ready to celebrate their union. They wanted a wedding that “perfectly reflected their lives in Hong Kong” while still showing some of their history in other parts of the world.
The day started on a secluded beach on Lantau Island in Hong Kong, just steps away from the couple’s home. After an intimate ceremony and cocktails on the beach, the guests moved to a nearby beach lounge and had a sit down dinner on the lawn. A family style dinner, live guitarist and speeches from the parents of the couple gave a romantic atmosphere. “We lived in South Africa for a few years before moving to HK, and thus wanted to incorporate some of that into the wedding. We had a spitroast of lamb and King Protea flowers in the bridal bouquet and other arrangements. Also, we used South African wines and champagne,” says bride Noortje of incorporating the couple’s time abroad into the wedding.
After dinner the party moved onto two private boats which whisked everyone away to Central Hong Kong where guests partied until late in the night while overlooking the infamous Hong Kong skyline. “For the Hong Kong touch, we had a traditional lion dance when we got to the pier in Central,” she adds.
The couple wanted to ensure that it was a very special event incorporating their time together. “Being on the beach, seeing how beautiful everything and everyone looked was the most special part of the day. Having people from all our walks of life there to celebrate this day with us – we had 36 people flying in from all over the world. All these people, combined with the presence of our HK friends, made it truly special.” Guests commented that it was an amazing, unique day and reflected Noortje and Rutger’s lives perfectly.
The couple knew that they had a complex wedding, even though it looked effortless. “I loved the fact that there we so many components but it all felt very natural, I don’t think the guests realized how much could have gone wrong, so very it was a successful planning and execution from Bliss Creations. Guests commented on how everything was arranged into such details, they all felt pampered,” says Noortje.
The couple honeymooned in Phu Quoc, Vietnam for four days following the celebrations.
Inspired by chinoiserie and intimate weddings of East Asia, Carmen Weddings teamed up with a group of mega-talented vendors including Jada Poon Photography, Bridelicious and Divine Floreal to craft this dream of a shoot. Think a gorgeous palette of peach and moody blues, the perfect alfresco setting and details that can easily be tucked into your upcoming destination wedding and you have a little inkling of what this photo shoot entails. Have a look at the full gallery for more as well as the film behind the day captured by Allora Visuals below.
From Carmen Weddings… Inspired by intimate weddings and East Asia, Bridelicious and I created this Chinoiserie Chic shoot, which was designed on the premise of multi-cultured couples, by modernising traditional Chinese props and bringing it in line with Western concepts.
Our idea was to show how weddings in this vibrant city can be small and personalised, with an emphasis on DIY details and decorative items that can be easily found in Hong Kong; Bridelicious had birdcages and bamboo steamers painted, napkin rings were made using Chinese motifs and the bride and groom’s chair decoration were made using jade beads. We used a mixture of soft, elegant flowers and bright coral flowers gorgeously put together by Divine Floreal and paired with pops of teal coloured tea tins and bamboo steamers to create a modern and playful setting. Carnations are rarely used in Hong Kong weddings and we wanted to show how versatile and pretty this type of flower could be.
Most of the weddings in Hong Kong are held in hotel ballrooms which can sometimes be stifling, not only for the bride and groom but also the guests. From the outset, our aim was to team up with a venue that is both intimate and beautiful; to create a feeling of being a million miles away from the bustling city. One Thirty One in Sai Kung was the perfect location for our shoot, with the outdoor space as well as the British inspired wooden panelled interior, which added a sophisticated touch. We were also mindful that the shoot was a reflection of Hong Kong talent and therefore, chose mainly Hong Kong based vendors to collaborate with.
We chose this particular dress by Ranee K as she creatively transforms the Cheongsam (the Chinese dress that’s traditionally long with short sleeves) into a gown that can be worn by modern brides who usually seek for more Western-styled wedding dresses. As much as we could, we made sure to tie in the different elements from different vendors together, be it the water coloured invitation suite designed by Kalo Make Art with the dessert table that was deliciously created by Patisseries A Legna.
We were both in awe of Jada Poon’s photography, and her perfection in creating fine art images was exactly what we had in mind. She beautifully captured the details and the fabulous views at this stunning venue, bringing out the best in all the vendors.