As owner and CEO of Culinary Capers Catering and Special Events I have planned hundreds of weddings in Vancouver and a few in Beijing, but never a wedding in Thailand. It would be in Ko Samui Thailand, where I had no network of friends or connections in the event industry.
I was planning the wedding for my partners in Beijing, Billy and Flora Kawaja, who entrusted me to design their destination wedding, from finding the venues, arranging the ceremony, reception, sit down dinner, entertainment, floral, make-up artists, wedding commissioner, photographer and videographer. I went six months before for five days to source the locations and suppliers.
The ceremony took place in the gorgeous tropical garden at the Anantara Bophut Resort. There was a rain plan, but the day was perfect and so the ceremony was set-up in the tropical garden.
Literally as the bride walked down the aisle a big dark cloud rolled over and when they said “I do” it opened up and rained for 10 minutes! Fortunately the bride and groom were under a canopy and the guests had colourful umbrellas close by. The Thais’ swear that rain during the ceremony brings good luck to the marriage!
Following the ceremony there was a Champagne and hors d’oeuvre reception. The bride and groom left to get pictures and change and the guests were escorted by Thai dancers and drummers next door to the new Hansar Sumui Resort beach bar and pool. As the kids were enjoying the pool and the adults their tropical drinks, Billy and Flora arrived at the Hansar riding an elephant! Can you say photo op!
Once the kids had their turns feeding the riding the elephant everyone was escorted to Hansar’s beautiful upstairs restaurant to watch the sunset.
There they discovered a beautiful large U-shaped table with white rose chiffon linen, white tropical floral, crystals and candlelight.
The Hansar chef prepared an amazing five-course dinner that ranged from foie gras to lobster, each course paired with wine. Following dinner, guests were invited back to the beach where Thai dancers and hula girls entertained the guests and got the bride and groom to be part of the show.
As a closing act there was a stunning fire artist who lit up the night! Following the performance the guests returned to the dining room, which had been transformed into a night club, complete with a top DJ flown in from Bangkok, a light show and a selection of late night food snacks and petite desserts to fuel the dancing.
The experience was one I’ll never forget. The fragile beauty coupled with the strength of the land and people was the perfect environmental metaphor for marriage. And the burst of energy and light at the end was just the right send off for this special couple!