Alternative wedding venue: Temples offer Hong Kong couples Chinese-style marriage ceremonies
Three landmark temples in the city offer such services to Hong Kong identity card holders
Hong Kong couples can now get married in a temple as three such institutions in the city started to provide Chinese wedding services, offering an alternative to church ceremonies.
The three are Lin Fa Temple in Tai Hang, Hau Wong Temple in Kowloon City and Che Kung Temple in Sha Tin. The first two are declared monuments in the city while the last is popular among local believers and tourists.
The services for one such wedding will cost between HK$1,399 and HK$2,280, according to the Chinese Temples Committee. The body operates 24 temples across the city, including the three offering the wedding services.
So far only Hong Kong identity card holders can apply to have a wedding in the temples.
“Many believers of traditional Chinese religions would like a Chinese-style wedding,” said Nicole Tsang Yu-mei, the committee’s promotion officer.
Tsang, who said the temples started the services in December, explained that the committee chose the three landmarks as it wanted to serve Hongkongers. Lin Fa and Hau Wong were both better known to locals while Che Kung had many loyal believers.
Agnes Lee Wai-ling, assistant promotion manager of the body, said the temples would provide Chinese-style gowns and offerings, with a temple master to officiate the wedding.
The master would chant scriptures and pray for the couple, before conducting rituals such as burning paper offerings and helping the pair put on ceremonial flowers.
Couples can even have a small, no-alcohol party in the gardens of Hau Wong and Che Kung.
Chinese-style wedding consultant Sharon Au Wai-fong said very few temples in Hong Kong currently offered wedding services – and these were strictly for loyal patrons – so there was a relatively big market for such services.
“Churches have developed a ... procedure where lawyers can[register the couples at the institutions] after priests finish their ceremonial rituals,” Au said. “Temples can learn from this.”