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Koh Samui is gaining popularity as a dream wedding destination thanks to its white sandy beaches, exotic cuisines, and fabulous villa and resort locations and of course compared to having a wedding in the West – the cost!
What lends Samui particularly well to weddings is the vast choice of locations. Samui really is a ‘something for everybody’ wedding destination with idyllic beach locations close to or miles away from the local nightlife as well as hillside and garden locations.
We spoke to Judy Clarke from the UK who is busy planning her wedding for the end of 2014 in Samui with a local wedding planner in Samui to find out what it is really like to plan a wedding via the internet!
My fiancé and I have been on holiday in Koh Samui three times over the last ten years and we love the island. We considered many locations for our wedding before we chose Koh Samui. It was really always our first choice but you have to think about who you want to invite and how hard it will be for them to come along. Roger, my fiancé, is from Australia and his family still live there, although obviously he lives in the UK, and we found some great deals on airline travel from both locations and it seemed to us to be a sensible midway point for both families.
What sort of wedding are you planning here?
Well originally we were going to go for a Thai style wedding, although neither of us are Buddhist, but for us we thought that doing a traditional Thai style wedding would be something different and unique, but after we weighed up the options and looked at literally hundreds of photographs of weddings in Koh Samui we realized how beautiful more traditional weddings can be and decided that a beach wedding with a reception in a marquee or in one of the amazing villas would be a spectacular way to exchange vows.
Will you legally marry in Thailand or in the UK?
We did look at getting legally married in Thailand but although it is not that difficult it would mean spending few days in Bangkok and for us, only having ten days, we wanted to maximize our time in Koh Samui . We will arrive three days before the wedding so we can make the final wedding preparations with our wedding planners and then still have a week to enjoy a honeymoon with our guests who will also use this time for a holiday.
What do your family and guests think about traveling so far for your wedding?
Most of them were really excited from the get go, some who are less well traveled were a little daunted, but thanks to the internet they have all had a chance to really explore the island already and everybody is very happy to be flying out to enjoy all Samui has to offer. There is so much do to and see in Samui and some of our guest will be staying on after we leave to spend more time on the island. One of the reasons that we chose Samui, other than our love of the island is that it offers such a diverse range of activities for our guests who come from different parts of the world, have different interests and are in different age groups. I love that there are picture perfect beaches for those who just want to kick back and relax, there are a great range of day trips for those that want to visit the Marine Park and Koh Phangan and some of our group are really keen on Scuba Diving so the proximity to Koh Tao is great for them too. There is also plenty to keep the kids happy what with things like Coco Splash and Fairways and other things like going on safari, football golf and crazy golf. There are few places in the world with the sort of climate that Samui has that offer so much for so many.
How hard it is to plan a wedding with a planner that you have never met?
It is not as hard as you think really, my wedding planner has skype so we regularly chat on there and I feel like I really know her already and today with the internet it is very easy to get across what you like and your thoughts and what you want. I email twice a week with ideas and suggestions and my wedding planner always gets back to me and tells me what we can and cannot achieve but one of the aspects that I really enjoy is the suggestions that she gives to me, there have been quite a few things, like the dove release that I am planning, butterfly release and the sand ceremony that I didn’t know about before and there are lots of different flowers available on Samui that I would not have known about so between us we are creating a wedding that is actually going beyond my expectations.
What would you suggest, in terms of choosing a wedding planner, to somebody else in your position?
I spoke to three planners before I chose the one I am with, I think you just get a feeling about somebody and having the option of using skype is really good as you need to establish a bond with anybody that you are trusting with any part of your wedding and being able to see a person and speak real time really helps. I also think having a lot of photos to send it a good idea because you really need to get your vision across to the person that is planning your wedding and you need to be sure they understand what you want. I know I am probably a bit of a bridezilla but I do understand that it is just as important for me to accurately get across what I want in order for anybody else to achieve it. I put myself in mind of the planner and thought if I was organizing a wedding that was not for me, what sort of information would I need to get in order to get it right. I do feel like I have bombarded her with information but the end result is that nothing is left to chance and she is always very honest with me if I come up with an idea that will not work or if I want something that is not feasible in Samui. So my advice would be choose a planner with skype, be honest about your expectations and have a lot of images and also be a little bit flexible. I had my eye on one villa as a location but it had nowhere to go if it rains on the day, things like that I just didn’t think about, you just assume it will be hot so things like that are important. Another villa I chose was next to a hotel so our party would have to be stopped, at least in terms of the DJ by 11pm. I think it is really important you find a planner with a lot of experience that knows about critical aspects like that or you could end up with a disaster on your hands.
For more information on getting married in Koh Samui visit Weddings Koh Samui by clicking HERE