This is the original post from my past blog detailing the day with photographs if you are interested in reading about my experience!
“Yep, it’s here, my Hong Kong wedding blog post! I know I said I would blog during my holiday, but really, I didn’t get a chance to sit down we were that incredibly busy. But I hope the wait has been worth it! I feel so happy when I look back our photos, (video coming soon) almost like I can’t believe that was me on my wedding day! It was an amazing experience, and I’ll remember it always as one of the happiest and exciting days of my life.
Another first was, the days before the wedding, I had my hair cut and colored at a salon in Festive Walk. I wasn’t too sure on how the experience would go as I’ve heard a lot about Asian countries not really knowing how to deal with western hair. I shouldn’t have worried because my brother in law served as a good translator! Four hours later and my hair was a perfect dark brown with lighter brown highlights and it was such a good result. I just hope my salon here in Australia can keep up with that reputation.
We picked up my traditional dress the day before, and did one last fitting before taking it home. It’s such a beautifully crafted dress, the red and gold stitching together is just spectacular. At first I said I wasn’t going to keep it (as I had the option to buy) but after putting it on, I decided right then and there it was coming home with me as this was now ‘my dress’ and had my ‘memories’ on it. I may not wear it again in my life, but it’s one of those sentimental items you keep.
We woke up on Saturday the 15th at 6.45am, with Kane nudging me & saying ‘wake up baby it’s our wedding day!’ which I thought was cute. I didn’t really sleep during the night so I was quite tired but I had a long day ahead of me. A shower and a cup of jasmine tea does wonders for relaxing though!
My hair & makeup started just before 8am, and all the while I was sitting there, there were two cameras and a video camera filming. The constant sound of the shutter clicking and the flash was enough to make me think I was starring in my own movie and I was the star!! The girls did a brilliant job with everything, and I was in love with my hair, it was just what I wanted, especially using the berry & flower combination which I’d seen so many times and thought it was a really lovely hair accessory.
We had enough time to relax a little after getting ready, before I was helped into changing into my traditional dress which was SO exciting, I could not wipe the smile off my face the entire time! I think mum was just so proud & my dad cried when he saw me before he walked me out to give me away to Kane. It was a very special moment between us, and I’m so glad they were there with me. As you can see by the photos, I think they looked like very puffed up birds filled with pride!
I remember being so nervous performing the tea ceremony I was afraid I’d drop the cup! But Kane was whispering instructions along the way so I felt a little more comfortable. My dad was his usual self, cracking jokes – I scolded him saying ‘Dad! Now’s not the time!’, but I think my parents were nervous, if not more than I was! But they did very well, and I was very proud to give respect to them like this.
After the tea ceremony, we were now heading around to the next building to give respect to our ancestors, and to perform the ceremony with Kane’s Grandma. This was the really fun part, as not only were there cameras everywhere, people on the street stopped and looked and took photos, taxis pulled over to watch, it was all very exciting! (My parents told me the day after the wedding when they came for dinner, that whilst they were in the cab on their way to Kane’s parent’s house, the taxi driver asked if their daughter was the one getting married!)
My work colleague came all the way from Australia as well to be there for my big day, she has always said ‘from day one of you dating Kane, we were already planning your wedding!’ which is true because in a way, so was I! (But don’t tell Kane I said that!) She was asked to be apart of the procession by throwing rice over the bride and groom. My mum pictured on the left below- held red umbrella and opened it whilst we were outside, this protects the bride from evil spirits before she’s married, and the rice is somewhat a cleansing ritual. My work colleague was very honoured to do this and she said thank you for having a wedding in Hong Kong!
(I’m so happy with all the photos, Kane’s brother and his team did an amazing job, and I can’t wait to see the final video. They actually have company in HK called C & Co Video, which you can check them out here. They do amazing work and the cutest music videos and wedding MV’s for couples. I really do recommend them! And plus they are the nicest people you’ll meet).
After we had finished the tea ceremony with my parents and headed over to Kane’s Grandma (who conveniently lives just around the block!) we were welcomed into her house by many family members – some who I’d met previously, and some I hadn’t. Everyone was so lovely and welcoming and I felt truly like I had been given a place in this amazing family.
Once we arrived, we paid our respects to the ancestors. There is this gorgeous shine Kane’s Grandma keeps with photos & tea cups and burning incense. We bowed, offered tea, and received red envelopes in return. (If you’re not familiar with red envelopes, or red packet money, it’s a Chinese tradition. They are a gift given during celebrations, weddings and CNY. The red symbolises good luck and wards of evil spirits. Usually it’s only married couples that offer them to you. )
We then performed the tea ceremony with Grandma, where she presented me with two gold bangles.
They are the most perfectly beautiful bracelets and I feel I had great honour in wearing them. We laughed as she gave her speech afterwards, hoping that we’ll have good fortune, and make lots of babies!!
Kane’s parents were next, and they surprised us with a few gifts. Kane received a medal, which was the ‘Year Of The Dog’. Apparently they are quite hard to come by, so he was very happy with it! I received two more gold bangles from my mother in law and a pearl necklace which is so beautiful. I think it was my favourite thing I wore all night! We continued with the tea ceremony with a few other family members before stopping just before 12pm, & going back to Kane’s parent’s apartment for lunch with the family and film crew.
I finally had a bit of time to reply back to a few messages, and relax and have something to eat. It’s funny how having a permanent smile plastered on your face for an hour can start to hurt, but I guarantee by the end of the night – we both had very sore faces! I had about two hours to unwind and fill my tummy with yummy pizza from Pizza Hut, however Kane had to leave a bit earlier to go check into our hotel for the night at the The Mira Hotel.
Finally we headed to the banquet venue which was at the BP International Hotel, a family favourite as Kane’s mother is a member there. We arrived to see the crew hanging decorations, and putting the final touches up on the stage. I can say, that I have never, in my life, seen anything that looked so regal and like it was from a different time. We decided to not go with the usual pretty backdrops that most couples use for their weddings- we went entirely different.
The stage was a blaze of red and gold satin, and in the middle of the stage was a stand that held the ‘Imperial Edict’. An Imperial Edict was something that was used back in the Chinese Dynasty’s by the Emperor to make orders the law. This was basically a little bit of fun, and we opened the Edict up during our speeches and found both sets of parents had written well wishes for us. A very interesting and fun idea! We were also told our stage decorations was something the entire hotel staff had not seen before. So that was special, and kudos to all the crew for making it happen!
We made an exchange of rings, and finally got to eat a bit of food before I changed costumes numerous times during the course of the night. We spent a lot of time standing and taking photos on stage with all our family members, and I may have just got a bit clucky when gorgeous baby cousins were bought up on stage and would just stare at me. But lucky me even got a kiss, so I was happy!
The night finally came to a close at around 11pm, and it was so sad to see everyone go as it had been a truly amazing night. One I will remember always. But at the same time I was feeling for my face and feeling for my poor feet! Luckily it was a short walk to the Mira Hotel, but a refreshing one to be out in the night, with people still bustling around, and staring at me in my purple lace cheongsam and red and gold shoes.
The hotel was a good relief, and I found out the Kane, the sneaky thing, had upgraded up to a swanky suite when he checked in earlier in the day! It was divine, and I spent a good amount of time soaking in the bubble bath!
I have hundreds photos and video and memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life, and somehow I wish I could do it all again, but I think once is enough. It may not be a Chinese wedding in September, but it’s the big one, and I can’t wait for the day to arrive! Just under 6 months to go!”