Swaying palms, soft white sand, sparkling waters (and champagne): if you’re a bride to be, chances are you’ve fantasised about a beach wedding in Thailand. Smith reviewer and roving travel reporter Carmen Roberts spills the beans on her dream destination wedding at Trisara, a romantic resort in Phuket…
What wowed you most about Trisara as a wedding hotel?
Privacy and intimacy were key elements for us on our wedding day, and Trisara definitely ticked both boxes. There was no question of other swimwear-clad guests gawking at us, or having to traipse through a crowded resort to get to our wedding reception. The setting and ambience at Trisara is classy and elegant.
How did you avoid all the admin headaches? Did you have a wedding planner?
Right from the get-go, we were confident that the team at Trisara would be able to create the perfect wedding; on our venue-scouting weekend in Phuket, their team came prepared with a laptop full of wedding photographs. There was never any talk of hiring a dedicated wedding planner, and no official wedding package per se (unlike most of the larger hotel chains), but Trisara offered a bespoke wedding service, so we were given a range of options every step of the way. Of course, we had some ideas about what we wanted, but Girl, Boyd and Marie were able to offer advice and suggestions, including tips for bands, DJs, flowers and photographers. Trisara also gave us a breakdown of the day’s events, and a detailed costings spreadsheet, so we were able to keep track of expenses.
Let’s cut to the question all brides-to-be will ask first: what was your wedding dress like?
My dress was a gorgeous satin Paloma Blanca gown from London bridal boutique Mirror Mirror, which I teamed with a bouquet of pink and white lotus flowers. I immediately fell in love with the fishtail design, but given that it tapered in at the knees, combined with bundles of tulle underneath the dress, it was extremely difficult to go to the bathroom unaided! I’m now fantasising about cutting it short and dyeing it.
How was the ceremony? Any – ahem – hitches?
We hoped to get married out on the deck, but our hearts sank as dark clouds rolled in just hours before our outdoor ceremony was due to begin. I was close to tears as I watched the team at Trisara work like ants to dismantle the wedding arch, white-covered seats and beautiful flower arrangements getting lashed by the storm. We considered moving the ceremony indoors, but held out another half an hour for the rain to pass and within minutes the scene was set again on the seaside deck with a flamingo-pink and orange sunset peeking out from behind the clouds.
On to the most important bit – the reception! Tell us everything…
We had candle-lit tables festooned with orchids spilling out from oversized martini glasses, plenty of wine and a simply superb main course of lobster and tender beef that you barely needed to chew. Guests gushed that it was the best meal they’d ever tasted, let alone at a wedding. After much laughter, as well as the odd tear during the speeches, the dance floor was soon alive with uncles and aunties grooving with tipsy friends from around the world. At the stroke of midnight, we all wished for a happy life as we lit paper lanterns on the beach and watched them sail high into the starry sky.
So where did you honeymoon?
Amanwella in Tangalle, a boutique hotel on a beautiful beach on Sri Lanka‘s south coast. It’s serendipity, because we had our first minibreak together when I reviewed Tenface hotel in Bangkok for Smith, we married at Trisara and now we’ve honeymooned at another Smith escape. What’s more, my husband’s surname is Monksmith: I’m beginning to think we should change our name to Mr and Mrs Smith!