Exotic locations have always been the popular among honeymooners, but recently a new trend has emerged of ‘destination weddings’. Many couples are ditching the conventional wedding in favour of exchanging vows on paradise beaches in the tropics, and obviously Thailand is a popular choice.
Koh Samui weddings
It isn’t surprising that Koh Samui tops the list of popular locations for destinations weddings. The island is blessed with idyllic scenery, and this combined with the nation’s warm hospitality, make it the perfect choice for a beach wedding in Thailand.
Koh Samui offers many different styles of venue for your ceremony and celebration. You can choose from luxury villas, secluded beaches and plush resorts. The tranquillity of the island also makes a Koh Samui wedding a truly magical occasion.
Type of Koh Samui wedding ceremony
Both Thai-style and Western ceremonies can be arranged in Samui. Regardless of religion, everyone can have a Buddhist wedding in Samui. This traditional style often appeals to couples who are interested in Buddhism or traditional Thai rituals.
As this ceremony is led by authentic Buddhist monks from the local temple, all Buddhist Koh Samui weddings take place in the morning. The format of the ceremony varies depending on the venue or planner, but it is usually just a shorter version of the traditional Thai ceremony, covering the main elements such as the almsgiving, crowns of sacred thread, and the water pouring ceremony.
Koh Samui weddings with Western ceremonies usually consist of a ring and vow exchange followed by a petal shower and champagne toast.
Koh Samui wedding planners
Booking your Koh Samui wedding through a professional wedding planner is highly recommended. Having a native-speaking wedding planner to guide you through the various stages of organising your ceremony is invaluable. Koh Samui wedding planners can answer your questions and find solutions to your queries, allowing you to relax and enjoy the planning process.
While five star resorts usually offer a well-polished standard of service and high level of English, booking through a Koh Samui wedding planner means you can pick the same package and also enjoy all the benefits of having a native-speaking contact checking the finer details.
Your wedding planner will liaise between you and your resort to ensure your wedding is fine-tuned to perfection. Even at the pre-planning stage, you can consult your Koh Samui wedding planner, and they will continue to offer you advice and information right through until the actual day, when they will be on site for the duration of the event.
Wedding planners usually stipulate that you arrange your wedding and accommodation booking through them, as they receive commission from the resort. They may also charge a fee for their services; this can vary depending on the location of your Koh Samui wedding and the degree of planning required.
If you have a particular theme in mind, wedding planners will be happy to work with you to create your dream event. Most wedding planners have a ‘can do’ attitude and will plan your wedding with meticulous attention to detail.
One Perfect Day, a highly reputable company based in Koh Samui, has extensive experience of organising weddings on the island. They will guide you through the various options such as location, flowers, entertainment and many other aspects of your wedding day.
Thai the Knot is another wedding planning company who can arrange weddings in resorts and villas in Koh Samui. They are experienced in arranging many different styles of ceremonies including Muslim, Chinese and Catholic. (16/9 Moo 3, Mae Nam, Tel: 084 747 2681, Email.
Resort weddings on Koh Samui
Most high-end beach resorts in Koh Samui offer both Western and traditional Thai Buddhist ceremonies. Individual packages vary from resort to resort, but they usually consist of a list of basic essentials which can be expanded by choosing from additional options at an extra charge.
The basic package content list usually includes flowers, a celebrant and covered chairs for your guests. Additional options cover entertainment, upgraded flowers, dinner, photography and videography.
Entertainment covers a wide range of options and requires careful consideration. Bands, DJs and musicians are available, or if you opt for the Thai-style wedding ceremony, Thai dancers and traditional musicians would be the ideal accompaniment. Pavilion Samui Villas & Resort is a popular choice. They offer both Thai and Western-style ceremonies, as well as honeymoon packages.
Rocky’s Boutique Resort also offer beach weddings and can cater for up to 85 guests. Their package covers all the essential elements of your wedding such as flowers, celebrant and a wedding cake, but there is also a wide range of additional options so you can upgrade your package.
More on Koh Samui honeymoons.
Other Koh Samui wedding packages
Many wedding planners work independent of resorts and offer their own signature packages. These are usually best suited to smaller groups and lower budgets. A simple Google search will bring up a number of companies based in Koh Samui.
A Beach Affaire not only plans weddings at private villas, they can arrange underwater weddings. This novel wedding package is for couples who dream of sealing their love with a rainbow of fish as their witnesses. It is only available to certified divers and couples with a clear health record for six months before the wedding. (Samui Beach Weddings: 157/15 Moo 1 Bo Phut, Koh Samui, Tel: 089 590 8823)
Faraway Weddings creates unique wedding experiences at the island’s only dedicated wedding venue, the Faraway Villa. This venue has an exceptional beachfront location perfectly placed for Samui sunsets. The gardens are home to a large bar area, dance floor and lawns for outdoor dinner receptions. The wooden sala acts as a stylish back-up in the event of rain and inside there’s a large function room, groom’s room and bride’s room complete with hair dressing and make-up stations. (Faraway: 64/22 Moo3 Bophut,Koh Samui, Tel: (077) 231 417, fax: (077) 231 418)
Legalities for Koh Samui weddings
Your wedding ceremony in Thailand isn’t legally binding on its own. A large proportion of couples complete the relevant paperwork to register their marriage in their homeland before leaving for Thailand. You can do this in the Kingdom, but it means spending a day or two in Bangkok to receive a statutory declaration from your embassy. Many venues and planners offer assistance with rest of the process, but you still need to make a stop in Bangkok first to visit your embassy.