In 2010, my husband-to-be (HTB) and I returned to Kaw Kwang Beach where he had proposed one year earlier, to get married.
The idea had been planted by the Cha Da Beach Resort & Spa manager as we had left post engagement in 2009. We didn’t want a big wedding, but we love to travel; and so the decision to have a destination wedding was made.
The resort were quite happy to accommodate our request and provide their first Western wedding ceremony (and third wedding ever), including accommodation upgrade to a Diamond Villa with private plunge pool.
We politely declined the offer of a Thai celebrity to perform the ceremony or a local band to play at the reception and proceeded to invite as many people as we wanted, thinking that we would be lucky to have family and a few friends there.
I am fortunate enough to have both a photographer and hair/make-up artist as friends so that was easily taken care of; and we purchased last minute table gifts of carved wooden candle holders from a local artisan in Ban Saladan.
Having our wedding Thailand was awesome as the people are so friendly and they added little cultural quirks that unintentionally made us smile, like writing “Welcom Black” in flower petals on our bed for our arrival.
As it was off-season, the only other people at the resort was a German family so we mostly had the place to ourselves. In fact, the day after the wedding the monsoon kicked in it poured rain at the exact same time we got married on the beach the previous day.
In the end, we had 50 guests attend from all over the world. It truly felt like an international wedding with guests from Europe, America, Asia and Australia. I was lucky enough to have a few of my besties and a couple of cousins in attendance which was fantastic.
Most people arrived the week before, so by the time the wedding day arrived everyone had gotten the chance to know one another as they had bumped into each other at the pool bar in the day, attended a large group dinner in town or a late night drinking session in our plunge pool. Some of guests even chose to explore the area by going on day trips with newly made friends they had met at the resort.
The ceremony was held at sunset on the beach and the little extras that I didn’t know about that the resort provided were very touching. They threw flower petals on us as we walked along the beach and all the lovely staff came to watch the wedding.
The reception was an amazing Thai seafood BBQ buffet dinner, it was hot and everyone was drinking. By the end of the night people were dancing crazily, had the food labels from the buffet on their sweaty heads and ended up jumping in the pool once we had left for the night. People are still talking about how much fun it was years later.
I would do it all again in a second and am looking forward to returning to Cha Da for one of our wedding anniversaries soon. Hopefully with a few of our wedding guests in tow.
Photography by Richard Miller.