Destination weddings have always been popular with Hong Kong couples, wedding specialists say. Until the changes in legislation last year, laws here were restrictive, and hopping on a plane offered more options for couples who wanted a non-registry marriage.
Sonya Yeung, creative director of Bliss Creations, a firm that specialises in arranging destination weddings, says even though the law has now changed, people are still looking for an alternative that is exotic and unique.
'There are many places now catering to couples with newly built chapels on the property, combination packages for wedding-moons, and special amenities for the couple.'
According to Ms Yeung a destination wedding can often be a cheaper option than holding the celebrations at home because the size of the wedding is usually much smaller. That makes it more intimate, more relaxed and less stressful. Asian destinations are still the most popular destinations for Hong Kong couples, she says, with Bali a hot favourite because it is 'very affordable and has many options'. Thailand and Hawaii are also popular spots, she says.
Start planning six to eight months ahead, because popular destinations get busy. The earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting your preferred venue and date. It also gives guests plenty of notice.
Send out a 'save the date' notice for guests who will need to book flights and take time off work.
Manage guests: they are coming from various places around the world. Many are experienced travellers, others are not. It is important to make them feel welcome and comfortable in a new place, and supply them with enough information so that they can really enjoy themselves and relax. Make the event not just a wedding, but an experience for all the guests. Plan activities or outings where they can take home a memorable holiday as well as having attended a beautiful wedding.
Choose the best season for your destination. 'Couples usually have a vision of what they expect and monsoon rain is not usually on the list,' says Sonya Yeung, creative director of Bliss Creations, which specialises in destination weddings.