Wealth of choice for all
Wedding gifts, rather than lucky money, are becoming a popular option among Hong Kong couples who see them as a chance to fill the gaps in their home or serve as a reminder of their big day.
A gift registry at a department store or boutique outlet takes the stress out of the search, especially for guests less familiar with a couple's likes and dislikes. Stores such as Inside, White Contemporary Homes and Bed & Bath offer a list service on items such as linens and accessories, while outlets such as Lane Crawford offer a one-stop-shop for home accessories.
Everyday items including dining sets, bedding, kitchen and spa items are perennial favourites, but for something that truly reflects the couple 'the sky is the limit', says Ross Urwin, creative director of home and lifestyle at Lane Crawford.
A digital photograph frame may trigger a desire with couples into innovative gadgets, but a designer chandelier, or a lamp by British artist Alex Randall renowned for using discarded items such as musical instruments, will strike a chord among those with an eye for design and guests with a big budget.
Alternatively, wall art or a portrait can make a lasting impression in a couple's home.
Cat Street Gallery represents English figurative artist Mark Demsteader, who can be commissioned to create a portrait, as well as Canadian-born, Hong Kong-based artist Peter Yuill, who specialises in urban scenes. He also takes on commissions.
The gallery can also create gift packages where one or more guests club together to buy art. A private viewing with the gallery director at its new warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang is included, though the gallery's marketing manager, Emma French, says it's a good idea to ask the couple to browse the company's website, or speak to the director in advance about their tastes. 'We can then pull out a selection of works for them to browse over and create a mini show of things we think they'd like,' French says.
For budding wine connoisseurs, an exceptional bottle can help lay down a wine cellar.
Nicola Buswell, managing director of Essential Fine Wines, says Bordeaux, high-end Italian and occasionally, top-notch Spanish wines and Champagne are classic options, with Super Tuscans especially popular.
New Zealand whites are still well-liked for everyday styles but a wedding gift is an opportunity to encourage people to try new things. Couples can set up a customised gift list that is, 'a unique opportunity for those who want to build a cellar. Especially if they have all the more traditional gift ideas already covered', Buswell says.
Leaf Tea Boutique specialises in high quality varieties with an assortment of green, red, black, white and oolong as well herbals and special blends. Andrea Chung, executive director at Tea Leaf Boutique, says its sweet-smelling rose tea and Aspiration and Bettitude blends are its best-selling wedding-gift teas.
Porcelain tea sets are also popular, while its Cornerstone teapot with two boxes of tea 'is a popular choice for those with a smaller budget', Chung says.