Our guide to getting married in Thailand
Are you thinking about getting married in Thailand? We know the perfect place for an intimate wedding, where you’ll feel like family and get the special treatment on your big day. Rocky’s Boutique Resort on the island of Koh Samui is a boutique gem and Jessica Thorne and her wife Denise tell us about their own wedding experience. Our weddings expert also shares her top tips for getting married in Thailand.
When we started looking for a wedding destination, we wanted somewhere exclusive but traditional and in keeping with Thai culture. Rocky’s Boutique Resort has one wedding a day, and a day in between ceremonies, so you are not a conveyor-belt wedding here. This hotel was recommended to us by both a Thai friend and Kerry Finlay from Kuoni Brighton, as they both had personal experience of this secluded resort.
Booking our wedding with Kerry was excellent. She organised our holiday, became one point of contact for all our guests’ bookings and was always on the end of the phone or on email when needed. She was reassuring, professional (even when we were stressing out about baggage allowance) and, by the time we flew out to Thailand, we felt like we’d booked with a friend.
Planning a Thailand wedding
Our wedding planner at Rocky’s Boutique Resort was Ann, who was brilliant. Before flying out, we talked over the wedding theme with her – colours, types of flowers, chair set-ups, menus and any extras that we might need.
Ann sent us her recommended list of photographers so we could look at their work before choosing one that was right for us. He was outstanding and we received the photos within four weeks of the wedding.
Make-up and hair was also organised through Ann. The talent of the make-up and hair artist was incredible. I took my own make up and showed her pictures and she delivered this with her own twist on it. I was so happy and had lots of lovely comments.
We also arranged to film a ‘Marryoke’ music video through Ann, rather than a traditional wedding video. This kept us and our guests entertained throughout the day and we received this within two weeks of our wedding. It’s brilliant as we can watch the video and re-live our wedding day over and over. We were also able to show friends and family who couldn’t make it to Thailand, so it gave them an insight as to how the day felt – full of love and laughter.
The expertise of the Rocky’s staff was priceless. The attention to detail was unreal and nothing was too much trouble for them. Ann arranged for us to get ready separately and we had an amazing villa with a pool to relax in. The organisation of the day was superb and it ran seamlessly. The beach was prepared early that morning by the staff, which ran like a well-oiled machine; and all the elements worked so well together – they are such a great team and family!
Beach wedding ceremony
The wedding venue was on the hotel’s secluded beach. Because we had talked over the design and flowers beforehand, we had a flower arch with bright pink flowers, with a matching bouquet and buttonholes.
The fact that it was a small ceremony with very close friends and family made it so special to us. It was conducted by Reverend Paul Rambo. We met with him a few days beforehand to discuss our vows. We were delighted he was such a spiritual man and we were the first same-sex couple he had married in Koh Samui. It was a wonderful experience for all of us.
For our wedding breakfast, we opted for the banquet room, which was a private room with a balcony and bar set-up. It was beautifully decorated with our colour theme and the flower arch from the beach. We took lots of decorations out with us, including lights and photos, which the staff had placed around the room and they looked stunning. It gave it a really personal touch from home. Ann also arranged extras, such as Thai fire dancers who performed before the speeches and dessert, which was absolutely brilliant.
Tips for getting married in Thailand
If you would like a dream idyllic beach wedding in Thailand, Rocky’s Boutique Resort is the place. The setting is unreal and a little bit of heaven. The service we experienced in Thailand, the ‘land of smiles’, is beyond anything we’ve ever had before, and you don’t need to worry about planning your big day when you have help from the likes of your Kuoni Personal Travel Expert and a wedding planner like Ann. We had a clear vision of our wedding day and, with Kerry and Ann’s help, our dream came true. It was the best day of our lives.
Our guide to getting married in Thailand
Sam Brooker, part of the Kuoni Weddings team, shares her advice about getting married abroad in Thailand.
Is the wedding a legal ceremony that’s recognised in the UK?
Weddings in Thailand can either be celebrated as a full legal wedding or a blessing at your chosen beach hotel. For a legal wedding, you’ll need to stay at least four working days in Bangkok to affirm the wedding with the British Embassy and complete the paperwork ready for registration with the local Thai office. It isn’t possible for LGBT couples to have a legal ceremony in Thailand, however it is possible to have an incredible blessing ceremony.
What would the ceremony and reception look like in Thailand?
Your wedding ceremony will take place in the grounds of your hotel and most couples opt for a wedding on the beach, but you could have a Buddhist-style ceremony involving monks and the lighting of the candles (not available to same-sex couples); or a modern ceremony in the gardens or inside a limestone cave. Talk to us about what you want and we’ll find the right venue for you. The reception can also be tailored just for you – whether it’s chartering a private yacht or a candle-lit feast on the beach.
Planning your wedding in Thailand
Once you have booked your holiday and wedding date with us, we’ll arrange a follow-up appointment with one of our Weddings Experts to talk about all the details. We’ll then take care of it all, so once you arrive at your hotel you can sit back, relax and prepare for the big day.
This feature was published on 20 November 2018. The information within this feature is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time of print.