A Wedding in Threes
What do you do when you can’t decide where to hold your wedding? For Joanna Lui and Troy Hickox, the answer was simple: three celebrations on three continents, writes Melissa Twigg
What do you do when you can’t decide where to hold your wedding? For Joanna Lui and Troy Hickox, the answer is simple: three celebrations on three continents
When you’re as international a couple as Joanna Lui and Troy Hickox, it’s not the engagement, the vows, the dress or even the seating plan that’s the most difficult part of wedding planning—it’s choosing which time zone to hold your celebration in. And so instead of picking between her hometown of Hong Kong, his birth city of Sydney, or their mutual love of Monaco, the pair decided to celebrate in all three.
The summer of festivities kicked off with the all-important civil ceremony, which took place in Monaco on a warm spring day in May. “Troy studied French and lived in France in his youth, and he had visited Monaco in his younger days. He had long harboured a dream to return to Monaco one day to marry—albeit probably to quietly elope!” says Joanna.
“We were looking for something exclusive and intimate for a small group,” she explains. “We were very lucky to get access to one of Monaco’s most exclusive and beautiful mansions: Villa La Vigie, Karl Lagerfeld’s former home, which is rarely available.”
While they decided not to add too much embellishment to the decor— understandable, given that Lagerfeld himself designed much of the villa— they did work on a few choice details to ensure the venue fit their exacting standards.
“We felt it should be elegant and provincial to be true to Monaco and
“Get a wedding planner who has similar taste and style to your own—it will save you a lot of time and help minimise the stress!” – Joanna & Troy
the Riviera, but we wanted it to have a contemporary feel,” says Joanna.
“We did carpet the outdoor areas to soften the atmosphere, and went very heavy with flowers. Otherwise, we leveraged the beauty of the architecture of the mansion. We used a base of off-white, and then embellished with a palette of dusty pink and soft lavender.”
The most notable decorations were the extraordinarily luscious flowers—although considering that their florist had previously catered to royalty, it’s no surprise that the blooms became an instant Instagram hit.
“The flowers totally stole the show,” says Joanna. “Perrine of Miss Rose also did the flowers for the royal wedding of Prince Albert to Princess Charlene and they were truly amazing.” With the bride in a dress by Atelier Pronovias, jewellery by Chaumet and Bulgari and shoes from Jimmy Choo, the elegance of the day was reminiscent of that other great Monte Carlo wedding: Princess Grace and Prince Rainier.
This being France, the quality of the food was just as important as the visual spectacle. “We asked chef Paolo Sari, probably the only Michelin-starred chef in the world with a totally organic and bio-friendly restaurant, to plan the menu,” says Joanna. “Each course was inspired by ingredients from some of the destinations that were key moments in our relationship.”
This included Cuban-inspired food from Miami where the couple had their first kiss, and Italian dishes from Portofino where they first met, and from Capri, where Troy proposed. And of course, they couldn’t leave out dim sum from Hong Kong.
So how were the couple going to top their modern-day fairytale in their next two events?
The Hong Kong wedding came first, in the steamy month of June at the Grand Hyatt. The colour scheme was pink, with colourful flowers from Rococo adorning the entire ballroom.
“After our intimate wedding in Monaco, we had a rather overwhelming 900 guests in Hong Kong. We missed most of the event just taking photos with people as they arrived, but we heard from guests that the food in particular was very impressive,” says Joanna.
An impressive two days later, the couple boarded a plane for Sydney for their final celebration. Wanting something more relaxed
after the opulence of the last two venues, the pair decided on a seafront retreat in Vaucluse with dramatic views along the coast to Harbour Bridge. And while the décor was subdued to allow nature to take centre stage, the floral arrangements—once again— stood out.
“The flowers in Sydney by Sophia Kaplan really wowed us, and we had her set up a wrapping station at the end of the event so people could take them home with them,” says Joanna. “The naked cake was also our favourite of the three.”
Rustic as it was, there was some James Bond glamour in the form of a Comitti wooden speedboat, fittingly named La Dolce Vita. Guests lined up on the pier to wave goodbye a final time, and watch them speed off into the Australian sunset: three weddings down, and with a lifetime ahead of them.