Flo­ral Par­adise

Sur­rounded by fam­ily, friends and count­less flow­ers in bloom, the wed­ding of Car­men Yim and Jef­frey Char was noth­ing short of a real-life fairy­tale

Hong Kong Tatler Weddings - - CONTENTS - BY ERICA FONG

Sur­rounded by fam­ily, friends and count­less flow­ers in bloom, the wed­ding of Car­men Yim and Jef­frey Char was noth­ing short of a real-life fairy­tale

Car­men Yim and Jef­frey Char’s wed­ding was destined to be leg­endary— if their sto­ry­book ro­mance and en­gage­ment were any­thing to go by.

The cou­ple first met at a mu­tual friend’s birth­day party and soon re­alised they were per­fect for each other. “I can’t re­mem­ber ex­actly when we started dat­ing be­cause the tran­si­tion was so nat­u­ral,” says Car­men, daugh­ter of man­u­fac­tur­ing mag­nate Stan­ley Yim of SAS Dragon Hold­ings, and an en­tre­pre­neur be­hind fash­ion e-com­merce web­sites Goxip and Re­wardS­nap. “It must’ve been around a month af­ter we met.”

In Fe­bru­ary 2018 Jef­frey, whose fam­ily runs a com­pany pro­duc­ing con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als in Hong Kong, sur­prised Car­men at the five-star Mon­tage Bev­erly Hills ho­tel in Los Angeles with an event space dec­o­rated with red roses, can­dles and pho­tos of the cou­ple’s most mem­o­rable mo­ments lin­ing the walk­way to a back­drop that read, “Will You Marry Me?”—all while Ed Sheeran’s Per­fect played in the back­ground. Jef­frey got down on one knee and popped the ques­tion, to which Car­men, who was moved to tears, said yes.

For their of­fi­cial en­gage­ment pho­tos, the cou­ple flew to France to be shot by renowned photograph­er Jose Villa at the 17th-cen­tury Château de Vaux le Vi­comte.

“I fell head over heels with the grand­ness of its ar­chi­tec­ture, the spec­tac­u­larly or­nate in­te­ri­ors and the im­pres­sive gar­dens that ex­tended across 1,200 acres [ap­prox­i­mately 500 hectares] of land,” says Car­men, who looked ev­ery part the princess in

stun­ning gowns by Monique Lhuil­lier, March­esa and Hong Kong de­signer Kevin Yiu.

Although the pre-wed­ding ac­tiv­i­ties criss-crossed the globe, in­clud­ing Car­men’s bach­e­lorette party in Bangkok, the cou­ple chose Hong Kong for their of­fi­cial wed­ding cer­e­mony and ban­quet in June 2019.

“Jeff and I did con­tem­plate hav­ing a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding but we de­cided that Hong Kong would be best so that our older fam­ily mem­bers and guests could be with us on this im­por­tant oc­ca­sion,” says Car­men.

Work­ing with event plan­ner Joan Auyang of White Bridal Sa­lon, Car­men turned her dream wed­ding theme, Blooms of Love, into re­al­ity, with jewel tones of fuschia and pur­ple as the main colour pal­ette, com­ple­mented by pas­tel pinks, creams and gold.

“I knew that my wed­ding had to be a grandiose affair, from the in­vi­ta­tions and venue dec­o­ra­tions to the food, bev­er­ages and en­ter­tain­ment,” she says—and grand it was indeed.

The two-day affair be­gan with a day­time wed­ding cer­e­mony at­tended by close fam­ily and friends on Fri­day af­ter­noon at the Grand Hy­att Hong Kong’s Tif­fin, where Car­men and Jef­frey ex­changed heart­felt vows un­der a glass-pil­lared gazebo topped with a two-tiered flo­ral roof of gar­den roses, orchids and wis­te­ria, some of Car­men’s favourite flow­ers.

The wed­ding ban­quet took place the next day in the Grand Hy­att Hong Kong ball­room with more than 500 guests in at­ten­dance, who were awestruck by the gorgeous flower-lined hall­way and gi­ant ceil­ing cen­tre­piece in the ball­room, again made

mostly of gar­den roses, wis­te­ria and pe­onies. Op­u­lence was on the agenda, with sev­eral ta­bles of guests din­ing un­der golden framed gaze­bos crowned with flow­ers.

As guests took their seats, the wed­ding ban­quet opened with Filip­ina-Hong Kong singer and ac­tress Crisel Con­sunji per­form­ing the bal­lad from Beauty and The Beast, How Does A Mo­ment Last For­ever, in front of an LED wall, which showed a video trailer of Car­men and Jef­frey at Château de Vaux le Vi­comte.

Half­way through the song, an en­sem­ble of bal­leri­nas in il­lu­mi­nated tu­tus en­tered the ball­room, to the guests’ de­light, danc­ing in be­tween ta­bles and lead­ing the groom on­stage to await his bride. Car­men stepped on­stage in a stun­ning back­less Tony Ward dress, and the air was ab­so­lutely elec­tric as she stepped closer and closer to Jef­frey; when their lips fi­nally touched, sil­very streams of in­door cold fire­works went off in the back­ground as the au­di­ence ex­ploded in cheers and happy tears.

A sump­tu­ous nine-course din­ner fol­lowed, with dishes in­clud­ing suck­ling pig, black truf­fle dumplings and Car­men’s favourite food, uni (sea urchin).

“I knew I’d hit the spot when I heard guests say­ing, ‘That dish is so you,’ and ‘This cock­tail made me think of you’,” says Car­men, who had cus­tomised all the food and drinks for the wed­ding. Even the wed­ding favours were unique, fea­tur­ing Jo Malone can­dles and Fred­eric Blon­deel cho­co­lates in a cus­tom

“En­gage ven­dors who un­der­stand you. Also, since hav­ing a happy re­la­tion­ship with your other half and your re­spec­tive fam­i­lies is im­por­tant, take the time to com­mu­ni­cate with ev­ery­one and put ef­fort into man­ag­ing each per­son’s expectatio­ns” Car­men & Jef­frey

de­signed “CJ” logo bag with a per­sonal mes­sage from the cou­ple.

In true wed­ding tra­di­tion, Car­men’s maid of hon­our, Jan­ice Man, and Jef­frey’s best man, Jonathan Kim, poked fun at the new­ly­weds with hi­lar­i­ous speeches dur­ing din­ner, while the speeches by the bride and groom’s fam­ily and the cou­ple them­selves tugged at ev­ery­one’s heart­strings.

“I was moved to tears when I thanked my mom in my speech,” says Car­men, who by then had changed into a cus­tom-made red evening gown by Bar­ney Cheng. “My mom isn’t just some­one I love dearly. She’s some­one with the big­gest heart, whom I aspire to be—as a per­son, wife and fu­ture mom.”

Af­ter din­ner, the feast­ing con­tin­ued in the foyer with a pic­ture per­fect dessert sta­tion stacked high with the cou­ple’s favourite sweets, while guests cap­tured beau­ti­ful mem­o­ries on In­sta­gram against the fra­grant flo­ral back­drops.

Chang­ing one last time into a gold dress also de­signed by Bar­ney Cheng, Car­men and Jef­frey headed up to the Grand Hy­att’s Pres­i­den­tial Suite for the of­fi­cial af­ter-party, where a live DJ had the new­ly­weds and their party friends danc­ing the night away.

And so, Car­men Yim and Jef­frey Char of­fi­cially sealed the deal (#YimCharSea­ledTheDeal) with a fairy­tale wed­ding that many will be us­ing as their ul­ti­mate dream wed­ding in­spi­ra­tion for years to come. And while this chap­ter may have come to an end for this in­spi­ra­tional cou­ple, we have no doubt that Car­men and Jef­frey’s “hap­pily ever af­ter” will be just as spec­tac­u­lar.

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