I already wrote about our wedding day three years ago, but it was more in the context of all the unfortunate things that happened and that made it a very difficult. If you’re interested – click here.
Aside of all the things that went wrong, our venue was pretty special. With our limited budget we settled on a Hong Kong tram party.
We were young, preparing to live together in the US so our budget was pretty tight. I guess that’s a struggle for a lot of couples – want to feel special, but they also didn’t rob a bank. Especially in Hong Kong, all the nice, fancy venues are incredibly expensive. Actually there’s even a series on Netflix called ‘The cheapest weddings’ and I came to realize that people on that show still spend twice/three times more on their weddings that we did!
Just to be clear: if you want and can afford a big wedding – go for it! You will regret not getting it your way as that’s a very special day to remember! Make sure you and your partner get closest to your dream day, and I say it from personal experience.
If I had the money, I would do it so differently – garden boho-style wedding with our close family and friends, nice jazz music or a live band in the background… But since we were in the situation we were, we wanted to do something different, something that would be in our memories other than because Momzilla yelled at both of us for not getting ready at the time she wanted us to get ready.
To make sure your dream day goes smooth, make sure you have a maid of honour to help you out. So many things would have gone better if we didn’t need to do them personally on the wedding day! Ensuring food is loaded, drinks are cold and in place, the perfect playlist is on the music device.
Here are some of other tips and ideas for budget wedding in Hong Kong (all prices in HKD – 0.13 USD):
We decided to enjoy few hours of ride on an antique Hong Kong tram through Hong Kong Island.
It costs $1900 per hour (min. 2 hours rental) to rent an antique tram during the weekend, $1550 during weekdays, and only $1300/$1000 to rent a commercial tram. You ride around HKI with a break for toilet, you can play your own music and I’ve been told there’s finally an aircon inside! It’s also very fun experience as the tram rides along the regular trams and people will congratulate you and just make you feel even more like a princess! I remember one of our friends start giving out beer to strangers on a tram in front of us so they can celebrate the day with us! – https://hktramways.com/en/book-your-party-tram/
If you’re not big fan of a city and you had a beach wedding in your mind you can try Repulse Bay, but you need to keep in mind the transportation might cost more.
The LCSD offers hiring fee of $2,500 for 4 hours, plus $170 for every additional hour for the use of the seaside pavilion on Repulse Bay Beach, which holds 100 guests. The adjacent garden and 400 square metre sandy area is also open for use. 1 table and 50 chairs are available to hire from the department. Book in advance from the LCSD website. – firstname.lastname@example.org
If the wedding is small enough you may also want to look into getting a private room at a restaurant with Harbour view, as normal wedding venues have a minimum size-list. There are plenty of restaurants with a great view, so there’s plenty to choose from.
- CATERING and CAKE
Depending on the venue, you will either have to take care of the food on your own, or you can buy it as a package.
We went for Cafe De Coral package (did not include drinks, we bought them and brought them to the wedding separately – that’s why you need a maid of honour and a best man to do the dirty job for you ;-)) and there was enough decent food for 20 people. We mostly chose it because there’s CDC right next to Tram Depot so the staff was able to move it onto the tram without too much trouble.
CDC party menu for 20 people includes salad, chicken, shrimps, seafood platter, duck, sandwiches, spaghetti, curry and many more for $2598 (standard price, some banks offer a discount on CC which drops that to $2338). You can find different menus for your own reference here – http://www.cafedecoralfastfood.com/takeaway_party100.php?lang=en . If you’re not a fan of CDC, you can always look up FairWoods. Both will provide you with good food at low prices.
Wedding cakes can be super expensive as well, but you can find plenty of good looking cakes in regular bakeries. We decided to go for Arome, a Japanese-style bakery chain. Current price of heart-shaped fruit cake with our name is $188 per pound (2-10 pounds available to order) – you have plenty to choose from! – https://www.aromebakery.com.hk/Client/Portal/Category .
You can also give it a shot to local bakeries, as they can do as good job as chains!
If your budget is bit higher than ours you may want to check this store: https://www.msbscakery.hk/ – I love how beautiful their cakes are!
I know it will sound very vain, and it has nothing to do with power of social media. It’s simply just a great feeling to look at beautiful pictures from your very special day. But good photographer costs a lot. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT.
However, if your friend is a photographer, you can try to make a deal – as a wedding gift, you would like to get few nice shots of your special day.
I know photographers reading this right now are mentally killing me, as I do know the prices of the whole wedding day shoot package (red pocket money seems like pocket change to this), but if you’re really good friends, and you know your fellow can’t afford to have it done any other way, why not helping them?
- MAKE UP AND HAIR
Same as with a photographer, you can check if one of your friends could do your hair and make-up as a wedding gift. The way you look and feel that day is important, and people can rip you off easily the moment they hear ‘Wedding!’ – price will raise immediately. My sister in law was happy to help us out!
There are also a lot of make-up pop-up stores that will give you a make-over for free if you buy the products they use on you – this way you can kill two birds with one stone. You get a great look and cosmetics to use for future. However, make sure you go to the same person twice and get your picture taken if you’re happy with the look. Don’t leave it for the wedding morning to have your first make-up done, you won’t want to take a risk!
There are plenty of really good florists in Hong Kong, but I think it can’t get any better than bouquets you can get at Flower Market at Prince Edward’s!
I got my red-rose flower bouquet from them as well. Just remember to bargain!
- WEDDING DRESS AND GOWN
Getting a tailored suit in Hong Kong is supposed to be very affordable. Try going around Tsim Sha Tsui and you will be offered plenty business cards from tailors. The suit you get can be then used for a different occasion.
As for the wedding dress I would recommend getting a visa and going to Guangzhou to visit their famous Wedding street. Never been there myself but plenty of our Hong Kong friends went there to get beautiful and affordable wedding dresses.
I wish my cheongsam was bit more westernized, like a long-red dress, as a symbol of our two cultures, but I got a good bargain on it so I can’t complain!
Our wedding wasn’t a typical Hong Kong or Polish wedding, but it was definitely a special one! We didn’t have a tea ceremony or games played like during ‘oczepiny’ ceremony, yet it had a little bit of both traditions.
I don’t want to put you on pressure, I know myself I often catch myself thinking it could went better.
I love Sing and I would marry him again, but I wish I had more happy memories of that day. One wedding day comparing to life-time together seems like nothing, but it’s always better to look back at the pictures and see a smile than worry!
Plan well, make sure you have that friend that you can count on next to you, don’t get yourself into silly debt and hope everything goes as you wish – because even with all the money in the world you can’t change weather or eliminate human errors! 🙂
Dear Readers, what are your tips on budget wedding, or how to make it more affordable for your couples?
Let’s share so other engaged couples can have it easier than we did!