Weddings! the beginning of an adventure for two.
Exciting… it’s been a whole 12 months since I married Mr Elf. Mr Elf and I decided to celebrate our 10-year anniversary by getting married. But with family and friends spread all over the world, our first issue is where to undertake this hitching! We briefly think about a UK based wedding but we opt for a “Destination Wedding”.
There are lots of reasons to choose a destination wedding, ours are probably the common ones, wanting to make it easier for everyone to be able to get to the big day. Aside from this we also research the costs and the kind of experience that you are able to get overseas just takes your breath away. Also…planning, I very much understand for some people the planning and the adventure that takes you on is very important, colour schemes, cake tasting…but us Elves…not so much. In fact, the idea of the planning is possibly why it’s taken 10 years for us to do this! For us it was more important to spend the money on maximising the amount of time that we got with friends and family rather than the planning process. We look at a few different locations, Bali, Italy, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand.
We narrow it down to Cambodia and Thailand, but choose Thailand in the end mostly just because there seemed to be a lack of options for Cambodia, aside from a couple of top end hotels there really were not that many choices.
Once we settled on Thailand we had to arrow down the options again. We spent a lot of time looking though blogs and websites filled with different locations. We found http://www.thailand-wedding.com/ a very helpful website for looking at the different types of weddings that available. Ultimately we decide on Koh Samui.
We created our wedding list so we had an idea of what sized venue we would need. Considering that we did all the planning for the wedding remotely without visiting Koh Samui we also placed a lot of importance on the communication and connection with the wedding planner.
We narrowed it down to:
All of these hotels offered graduated packages, our biggest tip is to have a look on trip advisor at the hotels, but in particular look at the traveller photos. These will give you a much more honest idea of what the hotel actually looks like. In the end because of a combination of communication, price, location and look we chose The Kala. http://www.thekalasamui.com/wedding.php
Its small, breathtakingly beautiful, Fern the resident wedding planner is wonderful from the start, and everything is very reasonably priced.
We give ourselves and guests 12 months planning time. The more time you can give people, the more likely people will be able to plan to be with you. We try to make the experience the easiest we can for our guests, we ask them not to get us gifts because of the cost of coming all the way to be with us. We get my sister to design the invitations and print them up ourselves. Also, we opt out of the RSVPs and set up an email for people to reply to so all the RSPVs all go to the same place and are easy to collect with no extra mail costs for anyone! Some people might find this tacky, but it really saved a lot of trouble and hassle for everyone, and you can have a lot of fun with the email name its self.
In the end 40 people join us, we arrive 8 days before the big day and lots of people join us for this as well. Honestly, the best fun! It’s ends up as a huge holiday filled with all our friends and family. We organise days out, communal meals, activity days. We trip about and hire bikes and enjoy the food and partying. Then for the big day…
Some helpful websites:
UK Government site, lots of information on here about the rules, regulations and realities of getting married abroad.
Very helpful sites for the ins and outs of making your marriage in Thailand legal!
Thailand Embassy website
Helpful websites for for USA citizens getting married abroad