Tom Waite recalls his wedding at Phuket’s romantic Chapel-on-the-Lagoon in Thailand. 

Whilst planning our wedding, my fiancé (as she was) and I soon decided that we didn’t want a big traditional wedding in the UK.  We are both holiday obsessed having travelled extensively and collectively sharing nearly 20 years working in the travel industry, so we decided early on that we would like to marry abroad.

Even though we didn’t want a big wedding at home, we still wanted something fairly traditional. We wanted something with a bit of style and class, and most importantly, we also wanted our family and closest friends to share our day with us, so the venue was of critical importance. We also weren’t keen on a beach wedding. Soon into our research, we stumbled upon the ‘Chapel-on-the-Lagoon’ in Phuket. To us, the chapel looked enchanted, elegant and classy but also exotic and interesting. The chapel certainly looked like a special place to get married.

Phuket

Located in the Laguna development on the west coast of the Thai holiday island of Phuket, the chapel enjoys pride of place amongst an array of upscale hotels, manicured golf courses and refined holiday villas, and is right by one of the Phuket’s most beautiful beaches. The added convenience of a choice of accommodation options onsite that cover most budgets and tastes was helpful to our guests, as well as providing a host of potential reception venues. It was perfect, so went out on a limb and booked it, having never actually been there.

When we did finally see the chapel itself, we were certainly not disappointed – it is just gorgeous, standing resplendent in white over the tranquil and private waters of a lagoon. The crisp white colours and glass walls give the chapel a contemporary simplicity that is perfectly complemented by the exotic sweeping lines of its roof. The bright sunshine, blue skies and fabulous lagoon views, combined with the all-white structure and glass flood the interior with natural light. The purple orchids that we chose for décor then brought the whole chapel to life. It was just beautiful.

Phuket

The day itself went perfectly, which was no surprise given the attentive service provided by the planners from the Chapel. Thai people are generally so friendly, they love family and love big occasions, so service and hospitality is typically excellent wherever you go. But at the chapel it was first class and we were treated like royalty throughout. Always helpful, always reassuring, always available, the planners were so accommodating, encouraging us to relax and take the stress out of the experience by letting them deal with pretty much every detail. Not many people spend the day before their wedding lounging by the pool without a care in the world. Everything was taken care of, from the paperwork in Bangkok before to the celebrant to the flowers, the photographers (there were two so as to capture every angle). There was transport for everyone and the Champagne for toasting, music in the chapel and they even ensured chilled water was on hand before the service to help mitigate the heat and cool an anxious groom.

The Laguna complex has its own fleet of tuk-tuks ferrying guests from hotel to hotel, or to the golf course, and for us they laid on a special service to transfer our guests to the chapel. For added effect, the bridal party all arrived in style across the lagoon on a specially decorated boat that serenely carried them direct to the chapel’s own jetty.

One thing we were especially grateful for was the chapel’s excellent air-conditioning system, especially considering the heat and humidity outside and the building’s greenhouse-like glass walls. By all intents and purposes we should have melted, but instead we were pleasantly cooled throughout.

Phuket

Once the service was over, the planners gathered everyone for Champagne toasting and the customary photographs. Our guests were then all ferried on the decorated bridal boat to the reception venue. This cruise (although only about 10 minutes) is just lovely, meandering through tropical gardens, luxury hotels and around the Laguna complex’s attractive grounds. It proved a real highlight for many of our guests.

Phuket

The two local photographers employed by the Chapel were also excellent, I couldn’t fault their professionalism and the end results were testament to their flair with the lens. I like to think I know my way round a camera, but I was more than reassured by their equipment and their approach. They also stayed until about 10 o’clock so as to record the reception as well.

Of course, everyone thinks their wedding day is special, and my wife and I are certainly no exception. The Laguna Wedding Chapel is just lovely and the perfect place for a wedding abroad. Small and intimate enough for small and intimate weddings, but also large enough to host bigger groups (the chapel has capacity for 50 people). We had a party of 28 which seemed just about perfect to us, but then again, so did everything.

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