|Wed In Bliss|
Outrigger Koh Samui Resort and Spa has the perfect beach setting for a dream wedding.
Deciding to get married is one thing. But making a leap of faith by having the ceremony half-way around the world is something else altogether. And yet hundreds of couples choose to do just that every year on Samui’s golden shores.
Many of the top resorts have both the facilities and the setting to make that special day picture perfect. And they have experienced wedding planners and events teams that take all of the worry and hassle away from the couple and their guests. That alone is worth the trip although, in reality, as strange as it may seem, it can also work out more cost effective than having a big wedding at home. And as Thailand is a popular honeymoon destination, it makes all the more sense to actually tie the knot here as well.
Khun Parichat Choosuwan co-ordinates all of the weddings for Outrigger Koh Samui Resort and Spa, which sits right on the beach in Plai Laem on the north-east of the island. “All of our enquiries are by email and our couples tend to come from Australia, the UK, some from other European countries and a few from Asia. Sometimes the couples have been on holiday to Samui before but most haven’t and it’s part of my role to give them as much information about the island and the resort as possible. Couples, particularly the brides, do an immense amount of research before committing to a booking and are very well informed. They usually have a good idea of how they envision the day and then it’s our job to make that happen.”
Outrigger Resort does have a fantastic location on a quiet bay that overlooks the giant Big Buddha image. The sand is white and there’s a man-made causeway that’s ideal for sunset photographs with local fishing boats bobbing in the background. Most couples want to get married on the beach but Outrigger also has a raised terrace area around the pool and a beautiful garden if couples wish to have some privacy.
Khun Parichat offers two distinct wedding packages for couples which include everything that’s needed for the ceremony. However, every wedding is different and each couple’s big day is completely tailor-made for them. The ‘Western Wedded Bliss Package’ (55,000 baht) starts off with a relaxing 90 minutes in the in-house Navasana Spa where couples can have body scrubs and wraps, facial treatments and oil massages before getting ready. Outrigger Resort has its own florists and they spend the day decorating the archway on the beach and the aisle and pathways through the resort. Also included is a professional wedding celebrant to conduct the ceremony; a bouquet for the bride and buttonhole for the groom; hair and make-up for the bride; a professional photographer; a day-room for the bride or groom to get ready in; a musical duo for the ceremony; a wedding cake; a bottle of sparkling wine and a commemorative wedding certificate from the resort. And later, the couple is invited to plant a ‘love tree’ in the garden which has a commemorative plaque planted beside it with the couple’s name and the date of their wedding. It’s a delightful touch and the tree will be there for many decades to come to mark the happy occasion. It’s considered very good luck to plant the tree together as it symbolizes growth, strength and longevity, just as your marriage should.
Outrigger also offers a ‘Taste of Thailand Wedding Package’ (85,000 baht). This includes all of the above but with some very special additions. Again, the morning of the ceremony begins with a ‘Lover Forever’ spa package which includes a Jacuzzi, a rose body scrub, an aromatic Swedish massage and tropical fruits and drinks. One night’s accommodation in a Deluxe Suite or Grand Pool Villa with a honeymoon set-up is also included. And there’s a traditional Thai ceremony at the nearby Plai Laem Temple. Here, three monks give their blessing to the union; there’s a traditional water blessing ceremony that involves all of the guests; a long drum parade with traditional Thai dancers escort the couple to the monks; food and donations to the temple are made on behalf of the couple; and the couple also take part in a ceremony that releases fish into the lake at the temple. Khun Parichat explains everything that happens at the temple in detail beforehand so there’s no need to worry. And there’s a candlelight dinner for two on the beach also included that can be taken at any time.
You can also add in special touches, such as being transported from the resort to the temple on an elephant. And the evening reception can go off with a bang with a firework display or by releasing lit Chinese lanterns into the night sky. And there’s a whole range of bands, musicians and DJ’s available on the island to get the party started. Outrigger Resort also has a wonderful beachside restaurant and bar and their chefs can create all manner of tempting dishes for the reception. Not only can you get married on the beach, you can also have a beach barbecue as part of the festivities. And there’s a full range of canapés, international dishes, regional Thai favourites and fresh seafood caught by the local fishermen that day to choose from. Khun Parichat and the chefs have many years of top-class experience catering to couples from all around the world. Simply put, just tell them what you’d like and they’ll do the rest.
Plai Laem beach is well away from the busy tourist areas and is a dream location for a wedding. Add in the fact that all you, as a couple, have to do is make a booking and then turn up on time and it’ll all be perfect. And in years to come you can always return and renew your vows beside your very own, unique ‘Love Tree’ in the garden. It really is ‘wedding bliss’.