GLAMAMAMA MONDAYS talks Weddings with Wedding Planner Extraordinaire: MICHELE LI

I’m sure you recognise this week’s GLAMAMAMA. You’ve either read about her, met her, or seen her. You can’t miss her actually… She’s gorgeous!


Michele standing

Photo courtesy of GAFENCU  

She’s a half-British, half-Chinese beauty. Anyone who knows her will offer the same testimonial: simply a class act. She’s a generous soul, kind, understated, elegant, with impeccable manners.  Over the past 20 years she’s been featured in the pages of Hong Kong Tatler, Prestige, Elle, GAFENCU, Ming Pao Weekly etc  etc etc  and has been photographed by several internationally acclaimed photographers for just that, her classic beauty and elegance. However these days, you will see her making headlines for more than just her pretty face. Over the past 10 years,  this weeks GLAMAMAMA has carved a solid  niche for herself  in Asia as the go-to Wedding Planner in and around Asia.

GLAMAROSS talks Weddings and planning with this week’s GLAMAMAMA MONDAYS: MICHELE LI

GR: WHEN DID YOU START THE WEDDING COMPANY?

ML:  I started The Wedding Company (TWC) with Caroline Shaw in the Spring of 2003. Our first client was a Mr. Husband which we thought was a good sign! 

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Michele Li and Caroline Shaw, the founding partners of The Wedding Company

Photo courtesy of themarriage.com.hk 2009

GR: WHO DESIGNED YOUR WEDDING GOWN?

ML: Sylvia Yeh (I think… it was a long long time ago) She had a dressmaking atelier using beautiful fabrics and laces from Europe. This was before the days of Vera Wang and Monique L’huillier..

Michele Burberry

Photos courtesy of GAFENCU

GR:  WHAT’S THE FIRST QUESTION YOU ASK COUPLES WHO COME TO SEE YOU?

 ML: I try to understand them as individuals as well as a couple and to that end, I discreetly ask as many questions as I can, from practical questions such as where they will have their ceremony and reception to what type of wedding they would like.

Michele Sitting

Photo courtesy of GAFENCU

GR: PLEASE SHARE 4 OF THE MOST CHALLENGING MOMENTS IN YOUR CAREER.
ML:  1) We recently had a wedding which had to move from an outdoor venue to a hotel ballroom with less than 24 hours notice. We were lucky to have such a good team to set up the venue in four hours time and the hotel was incredibly flexible and accommodating. They were able to prepare a full buffet menu to feed 300 guests. I must admit, it was a little stressful and we very nearly ran out of time but we did what we could and everyone was happy.

2)  Some of our challenging moments involve Mother-in-laws. They are very well meaning, often very pragmatic and practical with many years of experience attending and arranging events. At times though, they have different ideas and opinions than their daughter-in-laws to-be and that can cause some stress and anxiety. We try to balance the needs of all parties which can be somewhat challenging. 

3) Last year, we worked on a wedding in Bali at a private estate which was one of the most challenging weddings we have ever worked on. The bride had a clear vision of what she wanted and that included a marquee, chandeliers and flooring. We spent 18 months on this wedding, uprooted and replanted three 30′ palm trees to accommodate the marquee and achieved her vision. This wedding was featured in this issue of Inside Weddings, a national U.S wedding publication. It’s my favourite wedding so far. 

4)   Ummmmm..

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GR: FUNNIEST WEDDING PLANNING MOMENT

ML:  Oh there have been many… 

Grooms and groomsmen are often ‘hazed’ by the bridesmaids on the morning of the wedding. We have seen everything from eating wasabi flavoured marshmallows to spelling out yoga poses all whilst wearing feather boas and ballet tutus. 
 
Quite a few funny memories include alcohol of course… we have had to pull inebriated speakers off the stage before they embarrassed themselves (or the couple). Once in Tokyo, we had to herd 150 drunken Hong Kong guests out of a restaurant into their respective tour buses back to their hotel.
 
Another time, a groom called to ask Caroline whether his corsage was plastic, she mis-heard him to say that it was ‘fantastic’ and some confusion reigned. 
 
There’s never a dull moment!
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GR: HOW DO YOU MANAGE YOUR TIME BETWEEN YOUR FAMILY AND WORK?
ML: I have two teenage daughters and they are at school between 8:30 to 5:30 so I try to get as much done during that time. I try to work only on alternate Saturday mornings and pick them up from school when I can. Most weeknights, we sit down to a family meal together and spend time together on weekends as well. 
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Alana Li, Michele Li, Didier Li and Tea Li
GR: DO EITHER OF YOUR GIRLS HAVE THE CREATIVE GENE OF THEIR MUM?

ML: Yes, I have to admit, Alana, my eldest daughter definitely has a creative gene. She notices everything and last year, helped me and my team set up the InterContinental Wedding Showcase, she was 15 at the time and enjoyed it immensely. 

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GR:  WHAT WAS THE MOST HUMBLING MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE?

ML: There hasn’t been a defining humbling moment in my life but all the births and deaths I have experienced makes me realise how precious life is and how fleeting. 

GR:  WHO ARE YOUR TOP 3 FLORISTS IN HONG KONG ?

 
ML: 1)  Kenny Chan from Greenfingers — He has a vast knowledge of horticulture and so much patience.
2)  Gary K Florist — For a more modern and contemporary feel, Gary always delivers. She has great connections with floral suppliers across the globe and has access to the best floral varieties. Her ‘On the day’ team is rock solid. 
3)  Diane Ellermann – Whilst I have not yet had the chance to work with her, I admire her work, having recently spent a lovely afternoon at her atelier to get to know her better.
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GR: YOUR CHOICE OF THE GREATEST LOCATIONS FOR RE-WEDDINGS/ WEDDINGS/ ANNIVERSARIES:
For ceremonies — Bethanie Chapel is a small chapel tucked away in Pokfulam which is managed by the HK Academy of Performing Arts and can be rented by anyone. 
 
For parties — Gaia Restaurant, run by the über chic Pino Piano, is a great setting for intimate anniversaries and parties. In fact, I recently held a birthday there for 70 friends and had the best time!
 
For weddings – Gaddi’s at The Peninsula has that old-world elegance and top-notch service and for larger events, the ballrooms at Grand Hyatt, Four Seasons and InterContinental all have great service. 
So you know who to contact if you are looking for a renew your vows in style, or have your dream second or third wedding…
x
Glamaross
All photos courtesty of GAFENCU, The Wedding Company Hong Kong and themarriage.com.hk

2 thoughts on “GLAMAMAMA MONDAYS talks Weddings with Wedding Planner Extraordinaire: MICHELE LI

  1. Pingback: Weddings and the single girl - not just for the miserable - Wealthy Single Mommy | Wealthy Single Mommywealthy single mommy

  2. Pingback: Hello, my name is Emma and I use men for their stories - Wealthy Single Mommy | Wealthy Single Mommywealthy single mommy

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