Andrea and Marcus chose me as their Hong Kong Wedding Photographer following their engagement shoot in the Lake District, Cumbria UK. As a destination wedding photographer, I feel blessed when couples choose me to document their weddings abroad. Hong Kong is possibly one of my favourite locations, so I was especially pleased Marcus & Andrea chose me to capture their wedding there.
From Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony to a more Modern Wedding ceremony
When Marcus and Andrea told me of their plans for their wedding celebrations, I knew it was going to be special. The couple wanted balance for their wedding celebrations. It was to be every bit of a traditional wedding as to a modern-day affair. They wanted to reflect their culture, respect their families and yet still make it feel modern. So Marcus & Andrea had opted to split their wedding celebrations into two separate days.
Day One was to be an intimate traditional Chinese tea ceremony with close family and friends. Day Two was to be a much larger modern Hong Kong wedding. A ceremony at St Margarets Church on Leighton Hill followed by a reception at The Hong Kong Country Club in Deep Water Bay. This gave them a wonderful combination and balance of traditions. A fusion of East meets west making their wedding celebrations totally unique.
Getting Ready for a Traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony
Andrea was getting ready at home on the Peak, which has the most incredible views across Hong Kong Island. All the ‘bridesmaids’ get ready together, with the grandparents waiting downstairs to see Andrea in her traditional Quipao dress.
The Quipao Dress
The Quipao dress is a beautiful red traditional wedding dress worn by brides in Hong Kong. Quipao dresses are traditionally red. Symbolising good luck, happiness and prosperity they feature the most incredible detail you will ever see in a wedding dress. Family members and friends all help the bride get into the dress, a symbol of giving support for the future.
Jip San Leung – The Door Games
I left Andrea to make the finishing touches making a quick dash across Hong Kong to meet Marcus. Together, we made our way back to Andrea for Jip San Leung 接新娘 more commonly known as the door games.
As a wedding photographer, I’ve got to admit that I love every minute of Jip San Leung. It is just a brilliant Hong Kong Wedding tradition, which adds a lot of fun and energy to the day. Jip San Leung has historical roots, but it is essentially when the groom goes to pick up his bride. However, it’s not that simple. Along with his groomsmen, he must complete a series of tasks to prove his worthiness.
To clarify, the bridesmaids will demand a “gate-crashing” fee before the groom and groomsmen can enter the home. After paying this, the guys will then have to endure numerous games, pranks and physically challenging activities. Subsequently, the groom will then read a letter to his bride to be during which she will be listening. Finally escorted by her parents she comes out to greet her future husband. It is incredible to be part of and document and everyone gets involved and provides a lot of fun.
Ging Chaa – The Tea Ceremony
Among all the rituals of a Hong Kong wedding, the traditional tea ceremony is by far the most important. Known as Ging Chaa 敬茶, this ceremony is a way of paying respect to your parents and elderly relatives. The happy couple kneels down and serve tea to their relatives. During which the couple’s loved ones will give advice and share their knowledge for a happy life together.
Inside each teacup presented, there must be lotus seeds and red dates. These represent prosperity and a blessing for the years to come. It’s an intimate and very special part of a traditional Hong Kong wedding day. Above all, this tradition symbolises the joining of two families as they become one.
Reception at JW Marriot Hotel in Pacific Place, Hong Hong
After Ging Chaa Andrea and Marcus had opted for a relaxed afternoon with their family at a local restaurant. Following this, they headed to the JW Marriott Hotel in Pacific Place for an evening of celebrations, with wider family and friends.
The JW Marriot Hotel Hong Kong is located in Pacific Place, in the Admiralty district. This popular hotel provided a wonderful location for the couple to get ready before an evening of food, drinks and heartwarming speeches.
Keeping with Hong Kong wedding traditions Andrea changed into several outfits throughout the evening reception, all of which were stunning.
To finish off the evening it’s a tradition for brides and grooms to greet every table and toast all their guests for attending. They do this alongside their families and bridal party.