Stress relievers

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 June, 2012, 12:00am


Surrounded by fresh flowers, ivory linen and a host of family and friends, a young lady dressed in a pure white wedding dress walks along a red carpet. The veil does not quite cover the blush of light pink on her face. Her husband-to-be is waiting at the end of the aisle. She is the whole world in his eyes.

This could be a wedding scene many young women dream of. Everything on the big day seems romantic and beautiful. But talking about the wedding and pulling off that dreamy day - possibly the biggest day of any couple's life - is another story.

All the planning, from designing invitations and booking photographers and videographers to selecting a venue, can turn any romantic dream into a nightmare.

Catherine Low and Clifton Ng live in Australia, but always wanted to get married in Hong Kong. Their dreams came true in January this year. They had seen various relatives and friends spend a lot of time and effort organising their weddings.

'It would have been so daunting, not only trying to organise everything ourselves, but also trying to organise it all from another country,' Low says.

Therefore, like many new couples, they opted to seek help from a professional - the wedding planner.

Compared with several years ago, the wedding-planning industry has matured and has become popular in Hong Kong. Many provide full wedding-planning services, starting with discussing the overall proposal with the couple. All the details, such as arranging photographers, organising the wedding day and even the banquet, are all part of the service. A new trend is to provide services in other destinations; popular choices with Hong Kong couples include the mainland, Japan, Bali and Europe.

While some wedding planners have developed their own style and incorporate clients' needs within those, others custom-make the wedding according to the couple's ideas.

Morris Lee, co-founder of The One Wedding, says: 'A great wedding is not only about how beautiful everything is, but also about how the couple are able to enjoy the wedding, not just their guests.'

That statement reflects every couple's expectation of their wedding planner. 'We have hardly ever escaped from being given a job at weddings. We don't want our guests to come all the way for us and then ask them to perform a duty on the day. We want guests to simply enjoy themselves,' Low says.

According to Conway Lau, director of Pink Wedding, the more open the society, the more ideas people will have. He also points out that 'while the Chinese traditional wedding style plays an important part in Hong Kong people's weddings, seeing more Westernised Hong Kong people growing up and becoming parents, there are more Western wedding styles than ever before'.

Despite people choosing to go for ordinary wedding styles, there are other groups of clients who like the vintage-chic style, using lace and items such as bicycles, shabby wooden boxes, jam jars, leather luggage and photo frames. The latter focus on every detail, says Cecilia Choy from The One Wedding.

Spending from HK$30,000 to HK$140,000 to hire someone to plan their wedding may seem extravagant to couples who could put the money directly towards wedding necessities.

However, every newlywed wants their wedding to be truly memorable. For the busy and stressful Hong Kong couple, hiring a wedding planner seems to be a good option as it saves time and effort.