If it isn’t hard enough for one couple to plan two wedding events, try planning them half way around the world! That’s what Hong Kong based couple, Alice and Carl did. First up was a traditional Chinese banquet ceremony in a Cantonese dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong, celebrating all the Chinese traditions from tea ceremony to the banquet dinner. Next, the bride and groom headed to Stockholm, Sweden where they hosted a festive ceremony and reception on a 17th century farm. From Swedish moose to Hong Kong pineapple buns, you can tell that the couple put a lot of love into each of their ceremonies:
From the bride: “We had previously had a Chinese banquet wedding in Hong Kong for local friends and relatives, but felt we also wanted to do something with friends and family in Sweden. Our wedding was a countryside, DIY wedding set in a 17th century farmstead in Ransäter, Sweden. The nuptial took place by the river, and the reception was held in a barn on the stead. Friends from not just Sweden, but all over the world (Norway, Canada, France, U.K., USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, all over really) joined us for the weekend. The guests stayed in these ‘hobbitlike’, grass-roofed cottages connected to the barns. Throughout the weekend we served a mixture of Swedish and Hong Kong delights, from moose to pineapple buns. It was a fusion of Swedish and Chinese traditions.”
Flashback question - how did you two meet? “We found each other online (OK Cupid) five years ago, and now we share an apartment in Hong Kong!
You rave about your pre-wedding session in Stockholm - tell us more about it! “Our wonderful photographer Jamie had offered to do a shoot in Stockholm (the capital of Sweden) a few days prior to the wedding, and since we were going there anyway to pick up her (now our) parents, we were able to find a perfect day for both! The weather was perfect the entire day, and we could not just do a photo shoot but also enjoy a walk around the old town district and take in the sights, such as the museums, the parliament house and the royal castle.”
What kind of emotions did you feel throughout the wedding day?
Bride: “Having spent half my life in Hong Kong and half in Canada, I now have my friends spread all over the world. This wedding was not just a celebration of our love, but also a once in a life time opportunity for all our friends and family to be in one place at the same time. I was so happy to see my family and friends bond, not just with each other but also making new friendships with his friends and family. In a way, we all became one big family this weekend. Oh! And I secretly learnt Swedish for my vows, to “wow” my groom! He would love that pun!”
Groom: “The whole weekend was a whirlwind of amazing emotions, but one moment that will always stand out to me was when I opened the ring box just before the ceremony, just to make sure we had two rings in there. It was first then I found out that she (the Bride) had replaced my intended ring with a new one commemorating my heritage and birth year. It was far from the most memorable moment of the weekend (such as when she said her vows in Swedish!), but I will always remember it for making me realize how much care and love she had put into it.”
Advice for future couples? “Spend time early on planning together. Be honest, and flexible, so the day meets your expectations and is as beautiful as you both want it to be. Weddings are often portrayed as the ‘Brides big day’, but it is an equally big day for the groom. Enjoy the process together, and have fun! Oh, and put 5% of your wedding budget in a box and lock it right now; you will need it on the wedding day when the sound equipment breaks, a racoon steals the groom’s shoes and someone forgets to bring that one bag with all the important things in it. Making it a weekend also allowed us (and our guests) more time to hang out and socialise. Depending on the venue, it can be hard to make the wedding an all-weekend event, but try to leave time in the schedule for relaxed moments. The less stressful the schedule, the more quality time you will have.”
Photography: Jamie Ousby Photography & Green Tea Photography | Venue (Hong Kong): Jade Garden | Venue (Sweden): Ransäters Hembygdsgård | Wedding Dress: 1.618 Couture & Bridal | Groom: Sam's Tailor | Rings: Catbird (Bride) & Dee Gogh (Groom) | Hair: Savor Hair