Real Weddings: Inside Joanna Lui And Troy Hickox's Three Gorgeous Weddings Around The World
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.
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 their love in all three.
The venue in Monaco
The 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.
The floral decorations
“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.
See also: Blooming Bride: The Most Stunning Autumn Bouquet And Jewellery Pairings
“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.
“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
“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.
The Hong Kong celebration
“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. The Hong Kong wedding took place at the Grand Hyatt, with colourful flowers from Rococo adorning the entire ballroom that perfectly matched the pink colour scheme.
The getaway in Sydney
Just two days later, the couple boarded a plane for Sydney for their final celebration. After the opulence of the last two venues, the pair wanted something more relaxed and decided on a seafront retreat in Vaucluse with dramatic views along the coast to Harbour Bridge.
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 one final time and watch them speed off into the Australian sunset: three weddings down, and a lifetime ahead of them.