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Real Wedding in Phuket – Bang Tao Bay, Phuket, Thailand - Tiffany & Dave

Wedding Beach Ceremony – Tiffany & Dave – Bang Tao Bay, Phuket, Thailand
Wedding Beach Ceremony – Tiffany & Dave – Bang Tao Bay, Phuket, Thailand

Wedding Tiffany & Dave – 8th December 2016

The Love Story
How did the two of you meet?

At work, although the funny story is the day, I started working in the company was the day David (my future) husband left to go overseas, to travel for a few years.

Fate brought us back together 3 years later when he returned to Sydney and was hired back again into the same company, same team but this time he was my senior. Over the years we became friends and one thing led to another and the next minute we were dating.


How did he propose?

Dave arranged an early start for us to go on a hot air balloon ride, when we were in mid-air, he got on one knee (in the confined space) and popped the question.

 

Preparation for The Wedding
How did you find the experience of planning a wedding? From where did you take your inspiration?

After we settled on a date, 8th December 2016, we then started to plan. We were lucky, we had almost a year to prepare for the special day.

There was so much to prepare for this one day! This was ranged from,

  1. Date of the event
  2. Number of guests & who to invite
  3. Ceremony & Reception
  4. Whether we would have bridesmaids & groomsmen
  5. Hens & Bucks Day or night
  6. Wedding gowns, accessories
  7. Transport to Thailand
  8. Transport for the guests from the airport to the hotel & to other venues
  9. Invitations
  10. Honeymoon
  11. Makeup & hairstylist
  12. Gifts for guests
  13. DJ for the wedding
  14. Celebrant

And the list went on….

We knew that we didn’t want a big wedding, so we kept the guest list minimal. This meant we could spend a bit more on the venue and other things, to make this day memorable.

Our initial thought was to have the wedding in Sydney, Hunter Valley, Australia as this would allow more guests to attend the event with ease but after obtaining some quotes with some venues, we felt this was getting too expensive.

“Our love for travel was the deciding factor for a destination wedding!”

 

Where to hold the event, we were not sure

Saii Phuket Laguna
Saii Phuket Laguna (previously named Bang Tao Bay)

Credit: Saii Phuket Laguna

We selected the venue not only on price but also what the country could provide for our guests.  

We looked at venues in Fiji to New Zealand, finally deciding to hold the wedding in Bang Tao Bay (now named Saii Phuket Laguna), Phuket, Thailand.  The area and resort were highly recommended by a family member who had been there before. Both of us had also been to Thailand on numerous occasions and we had always enjoyed it.

We started researching and thought perhaps hiring a local wedding planner to assist us would be a good move, considering we didn’t know the local area. We located our planner online, some were Australian expats and some were from other English countries who knew the country well enough to have connections, to be able to organize the wedding.

We requested quotes from these event planners but soon realized they charged a far bit for their services and by this stage we knew the resort we would hold the reception at - Outtrigger at BangTao Bay (now named Saii Phuket Laguna). Luckily, we realized they had their own event/wedding coordinator.

At the beginning it was hard to communicate and understand what the event coordinator was trying tell us but eventually after months of planning we nutted out the main details for the wedding, this included the following;

  1. What packages are available & what’s included in the package, there were different options to select from. This could affect the pricing and what is provided to you on the day.
  2. What is extra that is not included in the package, this included booking the celebrant, music, hair & makeup, entertainment etc.
  3. Accommodation – special deal for us and our guests.

 

Wedding Breakdown of Expenses

Wedding Reception Outdoors Sitting Arrangement – Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, Bang Tao Beach, Phuket
Wedding Reception Outdoors Sitting Arrangement – Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort (now named Saii Phuket Laguna), Bang Tao Beach, Phuket

The wedding package didn’t include a lot, only the big-ticket items, reception, food, basic beverages including alcohol, floral arrangements, cakes, photographer, 3 nights of accommodation and pick up and drop off from airport. Anything additional will cost, like entertainment (photobooth, fire dance or fireworks), music, celebrant, pre-wedding reception canapes, additional alcohol was out of our own pocket.

Most of the additional services required were recommended by the hotel.

Throughout the year we had to go back and forth communicating with the event coordinator, so at times it became quiet frustrating as we couldn’t just pick up a phone and call them directly, especially with the difference in time zone. We managed to get most of the organizing completed on time.

We even decided to visit the resort to finalize everything in person. Due to the location and timing of when the wedding was, there were some restrictions that were placed on the ceremony, as finishing at midnight.  In addition, as the location of the wedding was close to the airport, we were not permitted to release the Thai Lanterns on the night nor could we have any fireworks on the night.

During our visit, we managed to catchup with the event coordinator, celebrant, musician (DJ and a cello player), photographer and also the hair & makeup artist.

Whilst we were there, we visited the local bars, restaurants, clubs, which allowed us to organize and put an itinerary together for our guests, which we later disbursed with the wedding invitation. For our wedding invitations, the ideas were from Pinterest and Instagram and any design was assisted by graphic designers on Fivver.

Our final guest list reduced to a total of 40 guests. This included family and friends.

Our wedding was simple, so most of the traditional outlay like bridal party, first dance, change of wedding clothes etc. was omitted from the day. By the end of the day, we just wanted to have fun and make it a memorable event, not just us but for our guests.

At this stage the reception was organized but there was still a lot to arrange. This ranged from designing our own invitations, the bride and grooms wedding gown, jewelry, hens & bucks day (even though this was in Thailand), gifts for the guests on the wedding night and also upon arrival, along with the decorations for the wedding ceremony & reception.

Guest Favors – Eat Drink and Be Marriedi
Guest Favors – Eat Drink and Be Marriedi

We had a week’s itinerary for our guests ranging from the welcome dinner to arranging alternative days out for the girls (being the Hen’s outing) then for the boys (Bucks outing).

Hens Day Out – girlfriends on our cruise
Hens Day Out – girlfriends on our cruise

The wedding ceremony commenced at around 4pm, the ceremony was by the beachfront. We hired an English celebrant and a cello musician.

Since Thailand is a tropical country, we arranged for hand held fans for each guest and drinks were available.

The ceremony was short and sweet, including the exchange of vows, a quick tea ceremony to pay respect for the elders considering my Vietnamese background and then photos.

Once this was completed, we had a short break for our guests to continue to mingle with the extra refreshments and nibbles arranged on the side whilst Dave and I took some wedding photos on the beach. The photographer was hired by the resort themselves and inclusive of the wedding package deal.

The reception was beautiful as it was set next to the pool. The theme was based on burgundy, red wine color. All tables, chairs and sashes were arranged in this color, which were brought from home. We also provided the name tags, gifts, signature puzzle.

Reception Outdoors– Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort, Bang Tao Beach, Phuket
Reception Outdoors– Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort (now named Saii Phuket Laguna), Bang Tao Beach, Phuket

With the time restriction, this meant we could not party until the early hours of the morning and we were limited to ending the event at midnight, however this didn’t stop us from having a great time. We organized a DJ along with a photobooth for some entertainment. Food, cake and alcohol were included in the wedding package.

As the pool was nearby and the weather was hot and humid, it didn’t take much convincing for us all to end the night by the pool.

Once the wedding was over, a few of us continued the party at the resort’s bar, whilst others retired for the night.

The following day some guests flew back home, others travelled further and for us we had another 4 weeks of our honeymoon to enjoy. Our first stop was Bangkok, then off to Vietnam for a week which meant we spent Christmas there and for our last week we flew to Malaysia, to enjoy New Year’s Eve. 

 I believe our wedding was a success!

We planned a long way in advance to allow us to research the venue, the surrounding area and of course what’s best and what fitted into our budget. We contacted the hosting venue quiet regularly to see if they were on track with our plan. Above all, it was a day to remember!


Wedding Venue: Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort , Bang Tao Beach (management has changed, so it’s no longer know as Outrigger as of the 1/2/21 but now named Saii Phuket Laguna)

We wanted to keep the overall wedding cost minimal, so we organized a lot of the extras ourselves.

Dress:  Dress purchased at Abbey Bridal – Sydney. Brand of the dress was Maggie Sottero

Veil: A friend made

Photography: Resort organized

Videography:  N/A

Wedding Planner: we arranged

Ceremony Officiant: we arranged

Accommodation: Outrigger

Invitations & Stationery: we arranged

Table & Venue Decorations: we arranged

Singer/Entertainment: we arranged

Florist: Resort

Cake: Resort

Catering: Resort

Hair & Makeup:  Neil Donkin Makeup artist Phuket– expat living in Thailand.

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