Hong Kong wedding planning. There are so many things to be aware of. I’m writing this post to warn those about to get married of the pitfalls to avoid.
Guys: go to a jeweller you trust. Ideally not those chain store jewellers you see every 100 meters like the one that recently published an advertisement based in Cambodia, because you’ll end up getting butchered. Think of how much they spend on the storefront, the ads, the staff that wait on you with tea the moment you walk into the store. It’s not what you should be paying for. Do your research online about the 4Cs, go onto websites like bluenile.com, jamesallen.com to get an idea of the price range, then look at the brick and mortar stores to see if you can get a good deal. If you’re buying from Hong Kong I say make use of the relatively cheap but high quality workmanship here on diamond ring settings. You’ll get the best and latest designs at a relatively reasonable price. Alternatively, take the plunge and order online – some excellent quality diamonds are out there at a discount, but you run the risk of not having after-purchase service because the internet vendor often isn’t located in or near Hong Kong (though consider myjewelry.com.hk). Research, research, research! Also a reminder that the displayed prices at physical jewellery stores offer a discount if you ask. The discounts vary greatly, but can be anywhere from 5-30% of the asking price. Insist to see the GIA or equivalent certificate, and if they refuse, walk. A reputable jeweller will always let you see the GIA certificate without further questions.
Ask your girlfriend what she likes. Last thing you want is to end up with a ring that isn’t her style and you’re asked to exchange it…If you want to be discreet, talk to her friends because she probably has hinted to them what she wants.
For those who don’t want to buy into the global diamond scam, opt for rubies, sapphires or other precious stones. They are usually more economical but just as beautiful.
Before you put down the 30-50% deposit required to secure a date for a venue, haggle haggle haggle! I didn’t know about this before it was too late. Friends who have more experience tell me the weeks or days before you sign the venue contract and pay your deposit to secure the date, is the golden time to bargain. Popular venues usually will not lower their prices, but they may be able to gift you an extra pound of cake, offer an extra 60 seater bus to transport your guests, or extend an hour of their beverage serving. The moment you pay that deposit, you’ve lost all bargaining power. As mentioned in my “Wedding Venue Hunting” post, ideally you’ll need one year in advance to book your venue in order to secure your first choice. If you’re not too fussed about which venue, then 6-7 months is ample. Better still if you’re not superstitious, it shouldn’t be a problem because the “cursed” dates are usually still wide open.