Lucky year to remember
The Year of the Dragon is considered the luckiest year in the Chinese zodiac, so couples planning to tie the knot this year may have an advantage for a happy and prosperous marriage.
According to Bobo Choy, assistant banquet sales manager, food and beverage at Ocean Park, the amusement and marine biology venue has already received more wedding bookings than last year.
The park has designed a Dragon Wedding banquet with three menus featuring dragon-presented dishes and a dragon-head wedding cake.
In addition to flower archways and heart-shaped balloons, Ocean Park can set up decorations, such as hanging dragons.
'Some of our customers met at Ocean Park, so that's why they want to celebrate their wedding here,' Choy says.
'They don't want just a church and dinner wedding, they want to have a big day out with some entertainment and to go on rides.'
Many animal-loving couples say 'I do' at the Ocean Theatre, with live dolphins and sea lions in the background. More adventurous brides and grooms could take their vows while riding a roller coaster.
Ocean Park offers a handful of venues for the banquet, including Panda Cafe and Terrace Cafe, both with outdoor seating; The Bayview Restaurant and Neptune's Restaurant that features an indoor aquarium.
The theme park was one of the earliest establishments in Hong Kong to adopt a shark's fin soup-free policy for wedding banquets in 1996, along with menus that only feature eco-friendly and sustainable seafood choices.
At Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, the vice-president of sales and distribution marketing, Terruce Wang, agrees the Year of the Dragon is an auspicious year to get married, with many dates already booked for banquets.
'We project a 40 per cent year-on-year business growth compared to last year,' Wang says.
For couples planning to tie the knot at the land of fairy tales, the resort has developed three themes inspired by Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Mickey and Minnie Mouse that correspond with the d?cor, reception area, lighting, centrepieces, and menus, wedding cakes and floral arrangements.
Disney characters, such as Mickey and Minnie, Donald and Daisy, Chip and Dale, will be on hand to make the day memorable and the characters are also ready to hit the dance floor with the bride or groom.
At Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong, director of public relations Claire Blackshaw says the number of weddings each year tends to remain consistent and, while the Year of the Dragon is an auspicious year to marry, it doesn't seem to make a difference in bookings.
'All of our weekend dates have already been booked up, so if they suddenly thought to book now, they wouldn't be able to have a weekend choice,' Blackshaw says.