Ohhh we are spoiling you with destination weddings today! This morning we visited Piedmont in Italy and this lunchtime we’re off to Thailand (check back at 5pm for a home-spun UK wedding if you’re feeling home sick…)
Sarah & Kate had a gorgeous beach escape wedding at Villa Mia Koh Samui and it looks like a proper party. The images of the reception as night fell and the fairy lights and fire dancing began to sparkle are just magical and it’s got me longing for far-away shores and warmer climes. There’s something so relaxed and carefree about destination weddings, probably because they are essentially like one big group holiday…and this looks like a REALLY good one!
Sarah The Bride: We always knew that we wanted to be two brides in two dresses. We are quite traditional and didn’t want to see each other’s dresses before the day, so I sent Kate’s sister a picture of my dress so that when they went dress shopping she could steer her away from anything that might be too similar or clash. Due to the heat we both opted for quite light dresses, but Kate still had to have a few layers removed during the alterations.
As I’m from England and Kate is from Australia we knew we wanted to have a destination wedding somewhere in the middle. After settling on Koh Samui (Thailand) we did a lot of research to find the perfect venue. We looked at plenty of hotels and resorts but decided we wanted something more private and intimate. That’s when we found Villa Mia and we could instantly picture the whole day.
Our wedding planner was absolutely amazing; she did all the liaising with the venue and different suppliers and made the whole process of planning a destination wedding, in a non-English speaking country in a private villa so easy.
As the ceremony and the reception was held outside on the lawn of the villa looking out to the beach, we knew we wanted to keep it very simple and let the back drop steal the show. We chose an all-white colour scheme with lots of flowers, candles and fairy lights.
Our wedding planner organised the florist and we asked for white flowers with a hint of green. The bouquets and centrepieces were made up of roses, lotus flowers, lisianthus and orchids. We had a budget for flowers, but at the last minute (without speaking to Kate) I called our wedding planner and doubled it. I just asked that they put flowers everywhere! I’m so glad I did.
The Wedding Party
We knew we wanted our bridesmaids to be happy in whatever they were wearing on the day. So after a lot of discussions, we finally decided on a blush pink colour (something light and summery) and asked our girls to choose their own dresses.
We gave each of our bridesmaids a goodie bag to say thank you for being so special to us. The bag included a Kate Spade bracelet, earrings, a robe to get ready in and a make-up bag full of goodies.
Our wedding celebrant was a gorgeous Scottish man called Johnny. Johnny spent the time to get to know us before the day and filled the ceremony with love and laughter. We had two readings during the ceremony. The first was by Kate’s Aunty, Sallie-Anne, who is especially close to both Kate and I. The second reading was by one of our closest friends, Rebecca Vassel. Both Rebecca and Sallie-Anne chose to write their own readings, which had everyone in tears including both brides. The love and thought that went into the readings is something that we will cherish forever.
Kate’s Mum surprised us during the speeches by singing a re-worded personalised version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with Spud accompanying her on the guitar. It had everyone there singing along to the chorus with arms swaying in the air.
One of our great friends, Spud Macbain, is an amazing musician, and he played acoustic guitar after the ceremony while the guests had drinks and canapés. After dinner we asked our guests head down to the beach and set off sky lanterns. We also organised a fire dancer which ended in a move called the human firework. Absolutely amazing! We had a DJ in the evening to get everyone up and dancing. But when the DJ finished at midnight no one wanted to leave so Spud pulled out the guitar again and we all headed down to the beach until the early hours of the morning.
After the ceremony we had Hunter Valley sparkling wine and canapés served while Kate and I dashed off for a few photos. For dinner we went for an all Thai sharing style menu, so everyone could try lots of different traditional dishes. For dessert we had a three tier cake, with alternate layers of chocolate and vanilla. We also had a dessert bar with mini Tiramisu, blueberry cheesecakes and tropical fruits.
Our photographer was absolutely amazing. The wonderful Anne Sophie captured the most beautiful, natural and intimate moments of the day. We knew we wanted a more relaxed style of photography and Anne Sophie made the whole process seem easy.