Oct 30 2012
Thinking of a beach wedding? Ko Samui has a selection of professional wedding planners you can turn to for all the organising, and with postcard-view beach backdrops, it makes an ideal wedding location.
If you’re coming here from the West, in general favourable currency exchanges — in Thailand and elsewhere in Southeast Asia — mean you’ll get a fancy affair for the same price as a simple shindig back home. Many of the top resorts on Ko Samui offer wedding packages that can be tailored to suit even the most pedantic bride’s whims. With an endless selection of spas on the island, arriving at the “altar” looking preened and perfect is easy as well.
Resorts usually offer reduced room rates for wedding guests, and work with surrounding resorts across several price ranges. Flush relatives can stay in the fancy five-star spots, while those watching their pennies stay in the 500-baht backpacker bungalows next door.
With tailors being so reasonable on the island, it is also much cheaper to have not only the bride’s dress made here, but also the wedding party’s outfits. Do take the heat into account; often a simple lightweight strappy dress is more flattering than a more mainstream wedding ensemble, saving the bride from embarrassing perspiration.
Ceremonies can either be Western-style, traditional Thai complete with monks, or a combination of East-meets-West, depending. Buddhist, other religious or simple blessing ceremonies can be performed as well as vow renewal, should you decide to make your Samui holiday a second honeymoon. Wedding companies can also assist with the legalities and paperwork, avoiding days spent in Bangkok at embassies and government offices.
Some couples have very specific ideas about what they want from their wedding day, and wedding planners need to be able to handle the most bizarre requests. Whether you are in favour of the idea or not, an elephant dressed in wedding colours is a regular feature of nuptials on the island. How about getting married underwater with tropical fish swimming among scuba gear-clad guests? No problem. Pretty much anything you want can be organised, for less expense than one would likely imagine. Other wedding highlights include letting off fireworks or hundreds of wish-lanterns to light up the sky, or entertaining guests with traditional Thai dancing and music to add a touch of local culture.
When friends and family are travelling far for the special occasion, often the celebrations span across several days with guests entertained by way of pre- and post-wedding events. Think boat trips around the island, group cooking classes and beachside dinners and barbecues.
Haven’t popped the question yet? Then maybe Samui is the place for just that.
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