Thailand Destination Wedding at The Surin Phuket


June 21, 2024
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Aidan Dockery

Andrew and Kenji embarked on a journey of love and celebration as they tied the knot in a breathtaking destination wedding in the tropical paradise of Phuket, Thailand. Surrounded by the beauty of nature and the enchantment of the Thai islands, the couple created unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.

“We’ve always been drawn to the beauty of islands and beaches,” Andrew says, “and Thailand has a special place in our hearts.”

The couple sought a venue that was secluded, with sunset views and had the capacity to accommodate their loved ones. At this point, they discovered The Surin Phuket, a hidden gem that fulfilled all their desires.

Andrew and Kenji have some valuable advice for couples looking to choose the perfect venue. “Define your must-haves and nice-to-haves,” Andrew says, “then trust your gut!” For them, an air-conditioned indoor space for up to 80 guests was crucial, while beach access was a bonus. “Sometimes you just know,” Kenji adds, “like finding your soulmate!”

Several cultural experiences and local traditions were incorporated into the grooms’ destination wedding, embracing the vibrant Phuket culture. The wedding menu consisted entirely of Thai cuisine, allowing their guests to savor the flavors of the region prepared by talented local chefs. As a special touch, they chose a Thai song, “Paradise” by Belle Nuntita, as their ‘march out’ song after the ceremony, adding a touch of authenticity to their celebration.

Ensuring a smooth travel experience to Phuket for their loved ones was of utmost importance to Andrew and Kenji. They created a wedding website and utilized the Appy Couple platform to provide clear instructions and information regarding guest accommodations and travel logistics. Regular email communications and text messages via WhatsApp kept everyone informed, and their dedicated wedding planner, Michele Li from The Wedding Company, was readily available to answer any queries.

No wedding is complete without a few unexpected challenges or surprises. One such challenge Andrew and Kenji faced arose when they discovered that the hotel’s champagne glasses were too tall to fit their custom champagne wall. “Our wedding planner very smartly leveraged her relationship with the hotel next door and borrowed 60 glasses from them and had them delivered instantly,” the grooms say.

Another hiccup occurred with the video wall, which failed to function until the last minute. Thankfully, the professional production crew worked their magic, and the wall came to life, showcasing the couple’s cherished videos.

When it comes to budgeting and managing expenses for a destination wedding, Andrew and Kenji advise couples to prioritize items that truly matter to them. They allocated a larger budget for finer champagne, spectacular fireworks, and an impeccable sound system for the band while cutting back on table decorations and guest souvenirs. They believe that weddings are special events worth saving up for and recommend urging guests to RSVP early to secure discounted flights and accommodations.

“We wanted the theme to be more of a ‘glamourous cool’ style. Think black and gold, think James Bond. So we incorporated a lot of these elements into the decorations and have also set the dress code to be black tie formal. Everyone dressed up and felt like celebrities having cocktails by the beach in their shades!”

The couple opted for a simple color palette for the overall event, featuring predominantly white flowers with abundant greenery, creating an elegant and timeless atmosphere.

Local vendors played a significant role in Andrew and Kenji’s destination wedding. Their wedding planner facilitated communication and coordination with these vendors, ensuring a seamless experience. For couples navigating communication with vendors in a different location, they suggest seeking assistance from the hotel or considering the expertise of a wedding planner to avoid any misunderstandings.

Reflecting on their destination wedding, Andrew and Kenji share some valuable lessons learned and offer advice to other couples planning a similar celebration. “The video wall incident almost made us faint so I would say ask the technical production crew to set up at the venue earlier just to make sure everything is in good order. Sometimes technology has its own way of playing jokes on us!”

Additionally, Andrew and Kenji emphasize: “Guests of destination weddings travel all the way – sometimes very long haul – to the events so it is only the right thing to do for the couple to try to interact with all of them as much as they can.”

Vendors: Photographer: Aidan Dockery; Wedding Venue: The Surin Phuket; Wedding Planner: The Wedding Company; Second Photographer: Aht Yomyai; Videographer: Mattography; Florist: iamflower; Wedding Music: Eka Soundz; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Saville Row

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