Weddings on Samui
Are you considering tying the knot on Koh Samui? Here’re some reasons why weddings are so popular on the tropical island of Samui.
He popped the question, and the answer was ‘yes’. Now what? Where should you get married? Who should you invite, and who won’t crack the nod? What should you wear? What food should you serve? Should you have a religious ceremony to keep the parents happy? Stop the lorry!
Planning a wedding should be a memorable occasion, for the right reasons, not because it caused so much stress you were divorced before the nuptials even happened. Luckily, Samui has a plethora of professional wedding planners to take all the stress out of the organising, and with picture-perfect beach backdrops, it makes a perfect wedding location.
Favourable currency exchanges mean that you get a lot more for your euro, pound or dollar, making an elaborate affair the same cost as a simple wedding back home. Many of the leading resorts offer wedding packages that can be tailor-made to suit even the most discerning bride’s whimsical wants. Imagine having your every wish fulfilled with just the send of an email? All you have to do is arrive, looking relaxed and gorgeous. And of course Samui has enough spas and beauty treatments to help you do just that.
So what is the catch you ask? Well, you do still have to make SOME decisions yourself, such as should you invite rude Uncle Al, who chews with his mouth open, or Cousin Phyllis who always drinks too much at such events and throws her name away. But that’s about it really. The hotels usually offer discounted room rates for wedding guests, and work with neighbouring resorts across several price ranges. Wealthier relatives can stay in the swish 5-star spots, and your brother working two jobs to pay his way through college can 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, but also the wedding party’s outfits made here too. Should you have an elaborate meringue-inspired frock and veil, or just a simple white slip with flower in your hair? Should the groom don coattails and top hat, or wear a white shirt and board shorts? As the bride, the choice is yours really.
But do take the tropical climate into account. You may have always dreamed about that full-length multi-layered dress, but when the thermometer hits 35°C, you don’t want to be smelling like the boys after the bachelor party, and have mascara running down your cheeks as you sweat, or rather ‘perspire’, or should we say ‘glow’. Let the glow be from happiness, not from the heat.
Speaking of outfits, fancy arriving at the ceremony on an elephant dressed in the wedding colours? No problem. Want to get married under water with tropical fish swimming among scuba gear-clad guests? No problem. Pretty much anything you want can be organised on the island, probably for less than you would imagine. Other favourites include letting off fireworks or hundreds of wish-lanterns to light up the sky. Traditional Thai dancing and music adds a bit of local culture too. Samui’s wedding co-ordinators have DJ’s, duets, one-man-bands, dancers, magicians, contortionists and just about every act imaginable on speed dial, so you name it, you get it.
Ceremonies can either be traditional Thai complete with three monks, western-style, or a merry mix of east-meets-west depending on what the wedding couple desires. Buddhist, other religions 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 freeing the bridal couple of days spent in Bangkok at embassies and government offices; a huge relief.
Other than the bachelor or bachelorette parties, weddings in the couple’s home town would usually only involve the day itself. However, when guests travel far to witness the special occasion, they often expect the festivities to span over several days. Pre-wedding parties, dinners and events are quite common, and sometimes require nearly as much planning as the actual wedding thankfully left up to the ever-efficient planner.
So how could you fill the days building up to the main event? The in-laws may not have met before, so these activities can be an ideal way of building rapport and bonding both sides of the family. Or, it could have the opposite effect if Uncle Al and cousin Phyllis do get an invite. So think carefully of fun events that can span across ages, or do separate ones for the youngsters or young at heart. Boat trips around Samui or to the marine park are a great activity for all, and with Samui’s calm waters, few should get seasick. Cooking classes, beachside dining and spa packages for the wedding party are all great ways for family and friends to enjoy the island together prior to the big ‘I do’.
The mark of a good wedding planner is one that plans so well, that the occasion comes across as effortless and no hassle whatsoever. Simple weddings have less that can go wrong. Affairs with all the bells and whistles mean more mishaps are possible. What if that pachyderm decides the flower arrangements would make a delectable treat? What if there’s a power failure and the DJ can’t play? A good wedding planner can’t guarantee that nothing will go wrong. They do however have the experience to deal with any obstacles without disturbing the happy couple, who would most probably never even be aware that there was a problem.
Samui’s ideal weather, photogenic background, accommodation galore, delicious food and friendly people, all co-ordinated (well, except the weather) by efficient wedding planners, mean that the bridal couple can concentrate on the marriage, rather than fussing about the wedding itself.