Thailand Destination WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Gina Smith Photography
Laura and Chris are a Canadian couple who have lived all over the World and currently reside in South Africa. While some of their family may have wanted them to host their wedding in Canada, Laura says planning a large wedding from half way around the World, just wasn’t something she wanted to do. Since saying “I do” in their hometown wasn’t viable, the couple knew they wanted to go somewhere exotic where their guests would have the time of their lives.
“We used to live in Thailand and we absolutely loved it there,” says the bride. “When we made the decision to have a destination wedding, Thailand was the obvious choice.” The couple also loved the fact that with a destination wedding, they were given the freedom to do just about anything they wanted when it came to the ceremony and reception. “[With a hometown wedding], people come and expect certain things that they’re used to seeing in traditional weddings, everything from bridesmaids, to a certain type of wedding dress and venue – things my husband and I didn’t care much for as we aren’t the traditional type. Having a destination wedding freed us from the constraints of tradition [and allowed us] to do whatever we wanted.”
When it came to the planning process, these two wanted to keep things as simple as possible. Thus, Laura and Chris spent most of their time researching venues. “Our solution was to pick one of the most reputable venues on the island,” says Laura. “We also judged [venues] based on how punctual they were with answering emails. If you have to send them reminders regarding an email you sent or a question you had, forget about them and move on to another venue.
“Pick a venue that will do it all. Don’t try to coordinate your own flowers and what not. The beauty of this type of wedding is the simplicity it can provide – take advantage of it!”
Come W-day, the couple was ecstatic to have 40 of their friends and family in attendance at their Koh Samui nuptials. “We wished to have everyone there, however, the nature of a destination wedding is that it’s usually more intimate since everyone is not able to make it,” recall the newlyweds. “However, that is something we knew from the beginning and we expected it. We ended up having 40 family and friends who flew from more than seven different countries, representing both sides of the family. We were pleasantly surprised by the turnout and we feel so grateful to have had everyone there.”
Thankfully, the couple’s extensive research finding their dream venue paid off and they were able to relax on their wedding day and not worry about the details. “Fantastic, easy and stress-free” is how Laura described the overall planning process. She had seen the stress her friends went through planning their own hometown weddings and that’s something her and Chris wanted to avoid. Mission accomplished – not only did the couple have an amazing time, but so did their guests.
Vendors: Photographer: Gina Smith Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site & Wedding Coordination: Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa, Gown: Ordered from Lightinthebox.com, Florist: Zazen Boutique Resort and Spa, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Custom-made in Thailand
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