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Saying “I do” on a tropical beach paradise is a common fantasy. Thailand’s gorgeous islands offer a plethora of beautiful locations for weddings. A luxurious wedding in Southeast Asia is a dream come true, but you must be practical when organizing this particular day.
Your wedding day is the one day of your life when you want everything to go as smoothly as possible. The tropical romance will undoubtedly be present if you choose an island setting such as here on Koh Phangan. However, you must ensure that all of the details are in place in order for everything to operate well. If you’re going to such lengths to get married in a far-flung part of the globe, you and your guests deserve nothing less than perfection.
The famous parties of the island attract a large number of visitors to Koh Phangan.
But this lovely island has so much more to offer.
The beaches are beautiful, and the water is very clear. The palm-lined roads wind their way through the lush surroundings, creating magnificent curves.
The lack of traffic on most roads makes touring Koh Phangan on your own two wheels a joy.
The culinary options are plenty, particularly if you choose to eat healthily. Fresh fruit, as well as entirely vegan restaurants and cafés, are plentiful.
For the most part, the weather is ideal. And, as is customary in Thailand, the folks will make you grin repeatedly.
It may be more convenient to legally marry in your own nation and then have the celebration on Koh Phangan. The following are your two choices:
(A) Get married legally in Thailand.
(This will be for you if you live here long term and don’t have the option to marry in your country of nationality)
You’ll need to spend 3-5 days in Bangkok to finish the formalities (with errands concentrating around your country’s embassy). There’s a checklist of procedures to follow, and you’ll either have to do some running around or hire an agency/liaison to expedite the process (as quickly as half a day in Bangkok). When employing this help, you’ll need your street smarts, as scams aren’t uncommon. To finish this phase, rely on the assistance and guidance of your wedding planner – it’s part of their service, and they’ll be able to simplify exactly what you need to do.
(B) Leave the legal issues at home and rejoice in Thailand.
Many couples chose to finish the “boring part” at home and then fly to Thailand to celebrate — possibly with a beach ceremony. Check with the person who will be your local wedding contact – whether it’s through an agency or a hotel – to see what paperwork you’ll need to bring from home. These will contain documents such as birth certificates and, if necessary, documentation relating to any prior marriages.
As well as your passport, an Affidavit of Freedom to Marry is another vital document required for a foreigner marrying in Thailand. After arriving in Thailand, this Affidavit must be obtained from the Thai Embassy of your Country. After receiving the Affidavit, get it translated into Thai and validated at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before going to the local district office to register the marriage.
After the union is properly registered at the district office, each party receives a Certificate of Marriage. Because the certificate is written in Thai, the foreign party will need to translate it into English before submitting it to his home state. The document must be taken to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for certification after it has been translated.
Some foreign nationals must notify their marriage to their home country’s embassy in Thailand. When applying for an Affidavit of Freedom to Marry, inquire about this so you’ll know if you’ll need to return for reporting. Show the certified translation of your marriage certificate to your Embassy if you need to record your marriage.
Traditional Thai weddings are common because they have been practised for centuries to honour the Thai people’s history and heritage. There are numerous ceremonies and traditions involved in a wedding. The ritual begins with a Blessing ceremony, in which monks are called in odd numbers to bless the couple, followed by the Khan Mak rite. After entering each door of the house, the Groom gives gifts to the bride’s family members in the Door ceremony. Counting the Dowry is the main ritual, followed by the Engagement and Thread ceremony. Before the couple is escorted to their chamber, the final ceremony involves preparing the bridal bed.
Destination weddings are becoming more popular in Thailand as more people want to exchange vows in stunning natural settings that will make their wedding stand out. Whether you want a wedding in a magnificent private villa, a beach wedding, or something even more unique, all you have to do is choose a destination and your own ideal setting.
A secular wedding ceremony on a beach is the most popular option, and many people, both locals and foreigners, participate in it. The ceremony will be conducted according to the bride and groom’s wishes. In addition, the pair can compose their own wedding vows.
If you want to be safe, it’s best to avoid most of October, all of November, and most of December. This is because the island has the highest chance of rain in these months.
Inquire about the wet weather backup preparations as you narrow down your venue choices as they may have some in place for these situations.
February and June are popular wedding months, as is April (however, given the heat, you may want to serve your champagne with ice cubes).
Take it easy on your guests when choosing a date that is months away. Consider their expenses, both in terms of peak and low season lodging rates.
During the northern hemisphere’s prime summer months (June/July/August) and especially around Christmas, many villas and resorts charge higher hotel rates. (Christmas rates, for instance, can be more than twice as high as summer rates.) These times fill up rapidly as well.
If you’re inviting guests to travel, give them plenty of notice - possibly as much as a year or more. This way, they’ll be more inclined to plan their trip as a vacation and will have more time to save.
Are you arranging a wedding on Koh Phangan from afar? How many browser tabs have you ever had open at the same time? It can be crazy to plan a wedding in the same city, let alone an island, country, or continent you’re not as familiar with (or perhaps not as an inquisitive bride- or groom-to-be).
If you plan to entrust your wedding to an independent/outside planner, try to speak with the candidates over the phone before making a decision. Even if it takes a little time zone adjustment, you’ll have a far better understanding of the greatest personality match and be able to answer many questions right immediately, saving you dozens of emails back and forth. Large resorts, as well as the larger villa rental businesses, may have English-speaking planners on their staff.
emails? Don’t rush your selection; with a wedding date still months away, you have plenty of time to do it properly (and remember what I said above about payments upfront).
There are many benefits to hiring a wedding planner or enlisting the services of the staff at resorts to help you, some may even have wedding packages in different price ranges to choose from which will cover all areas such as the photographer, make-up and hair, food, decorations and more. A typical package can include, upgrades of accommodation, wedding Gazebo for the beach or venue, dinner centrepieces, fresh flower confetti, bridal bouquet, and boutonniere for the Groom, champagne, wedding cake, bride’s hair and makeup and speedboat transfer from Koh Samui airport.
As Koh Phangan is known for its parties, any wish is your reality when it comes to celebrating after the ceremony. Fire dancers, performers, unique decor and themes are all available here and if using a wedding planner they will surely have contacts. If not, just search the local facebook groups and you’ll surely find what you wish for.
Transitioning from wedding mode to honeymoon mode can be tricky, especially if your guests have chosen to stay at the same resort as you. Say your goodbyes amid the hoopla of a post-reception send-off or next-day brunch to be explicit about your leaving (even if you’re staying on the property). Move to a separate portion of the hotel if you want privacy (without insulting your loved ones). Some resorts feature elevated accommodations that are separated from other rooms (think premium suites, over-water villas, or autonomous cabins).
Getting married on Koh Phangan is idyllic, it will be a life-long memorable experience for both you and your guests if you choose to invite anyone of course! Whether you go for a traditional large ceremony or something intimate, just being in this beautiful paradise will add a little extra dash of love to your day. Plus hopefully you will feel more relaxed because of the island’s calming atmosphere.