Getting Married in Thailand
With the average UK wedding now costing an eye watering £30,000 (according to Brides Magazine anyway), small wonder more and more couples are looking to save money and get married abroad. Not only do you get your honeymoon as part of the deal but, if you want to, you can also invite family and friends to join you on the holiday of a lifetime. What’s not to love?
Getting married in Thailand
By Cathy Bartrop
Over the years I have filmed many different weddings around the world, in particular in the Caribbean, but the one that stands out most in my memory is the intimate ceremony we witnessed at one of my favourite hotels, The Sarojin in Khao Lak, Thailand. Set in 10 acres of beautifully tended tropical gardens leading down to a glorious 11 kms of white sand beach, not only is the setting sublime but, the level of privacy and personalized luxury here is hard to beat. It’s 5 star but not in the least bit showy or ostentatious. In other words… pure class.
The wedding we filmed was held beneath the shade of a beachside grove, far enough away from the hotel to give the bride a ‘journey’ to the ceremony and away from prying eyes and uninvited beachgoers. Pale pink and white orchid arrangements were strung from the trees to create a magical setting and a ceremonial circle of matching flowers laid down to mark the spot for the bride and groom. Much raking of sand beforehand ensured that this barefoot ceremony would not be spoilt by so much as a stray leaf. A simple, heartfelt ceremony followed, with personal vows exchanged and witnessed by a dozen or so family members and friends. Drummers, dancers and even an elephant added to the exotic feel and afterwards the wedding party returned along the beach to the hotel for a celebratory wedding meal and photographs with a tropical backdrop.
One thing I was especially struck by at The Sarojin was their commitment to have no more than one wedding a week in the hotel. This makes a massive difference – the bride and wedding party are made to feel very special and it allows the hotel staff to focus on creating a unique and personalized event. The devil is always in the detail with these things and The Sarojin’s staff are masters at it.
Wedding packages at The Sarojin start from around £2000 – this includes a Thai or Western style ceremony, the services of a personal wedding planner, tailor-made vows, readings and music, a Buddhist monk or celebrant, a tiered wedding cake and a bottle of sparkling wine. It also includes all the flower arrangements at the venue and 4 hours of photography.
Recently the hotel has gone even further and offered the possibility of a complete hotel takeover. The new ‘Exclusive Use’ offer accommodates up to 130 guests in the 56 deluxe rooms and simultaneously grants exclusive access to all facilities, including two gourmet restaurants and the newly-developed beach bar, the multi-award winning spa, fully-equipped fitness centre, watersports and an infinity pool complete with a sunken Jacuzzi lounge area. The price tag in low season ( June to September) is from 430,000 Thai Baht per night (around £9300 or £166 per room). Okay, your guests are going to have to find their way there but two hosted nights including the wedding ceremony would still set you back less than the ‘average’ UK wedding.
And, of course, the takeover option is not just limited to weddings – the hotel would make the most perfect venue for any kind of blow out celebration. All I need now is some wealthy friends with a big birthday looming… any offers?
The Sarojin is located in Khao Lak, 55 minutes drive north of Phuket Airport. It is surrounded by five stunning National Parks and offers easy boat access to the world famous diving sites of the Similan and Surin Islands. For more details, hotel rates and takeover options visit www.sarojin.com
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