Michelle & Dean
It was late November of 2017 when Michelle & Dean exchanged vows at the beautiful Cape Panwa Resort in Phuket, Thailand. Blown away by the stunning photos taken at this wedding, Wedding Destinations asked if we could accompany these images with the the real life story to resulted in such a beautiful Phuket Wedding.
In her own words, Michelle tells us how she met Dean and why they chose Phuket to tie the knot, over everywhere else in the world.
How we met
We met back in 2013. I was walking on the treadmill at the gym. Dean had decided that he would walk on the free treadmill right next to me making small talk. Little did we know that 5 hours later and deep in conversation we were still walking and talking. That night was the beginning of our happily ever after.
A classic proposal, we had dinner reservations at one of our favourite restaurants. Like every other time I didn’t think much of it other than we were going out for a nice dinner. While at the restaurant Dean asked me if I had got my nails done. What an obvious clue now that I think back however at the time I again didn’t think anything of it.
We had a beautiful bottle of wine and a very filling dinner which truly left no room for dessert. Dean was insisting I order desert even though it would be impossible for me to eat. (Again... not thinking anything of it) he ordered a Creme Brûlée and out came a beautiful shining diamond on the top. The entire restaurant stopped, Stared and clapped. Still in shock I could not wipe the biggest smile off my face. All the little clues made sense after that.
Why did we marry in Phuket
We both love Thailand as a destination, to which we frequently holiday. Both Dean and I have always dreamt of a beautiful beach-side wedding, with our close family in friends. However when we sat down to really think about planning an overseas wedding it just seemed impossible and overwhelming.
So we parked the idea and searched for Melbourne venues. Every place we looked at just didn’t seem right and we arrived at the conclusion that it wasn’t what we wanted. Realistically, we couldn’t create a relaxed holiday atmosphere with fire dancers, lanterns and a beach side view in Melbourne and this is all we could think of every time we visited a venue.
I started researching wedding planners, which is when I came across Wedding Destinations.
And thank goodness I did, as our dream wedding location became not only a possibility but now a beautiful memory from our wedding day.
For better & for worse
I may be biased, but WOW, did we have the best wedding day!
Now despite everyone's meticulous attention to detail, for reasons out of our control, nothing went to plan.In a freak twist of nature, unseasonable weather frequented us with heavy showers throughout the day. Not to mention the groom lost his wedding band.
But when I saw Dean standing there waiting for me nothing mattered more than to hurry up and get down the end of the isle to hold his hands (and to admire the pretty flowers and Tiffany chairs Genie and I spent countless hours on putting together).
You’ve heard it all before “ it doesn’t matter what happens, it’s about the two of you”.
Well it’s true... we had the best day of laughter, smiles and so much dancing. It was such a fun and relaxed wedding, that we were so care free and relaxed the whole day.
We got to enjoy speaking to all of our guests and truly had such a memorable night.
We already want to do it all over again!Michelle & Dean
Cape Panwa Hotel
Tashmiev & Michael
Tashmiev and Michael decided one special day just wasn't enough to enjoy the company of loved ones travelling thousands of kilometres to join them.
So they swapped the traditional honeymoon for seven days of wedding festivities at Phuket's blissful Cape Panwa Hotel.
The romantic ceremony set-up was an instant hit with the beautiful bride. "I remember walking down the aisle and thinking it looked like something from a magazine", Tashmiev says. The reception was also, literally picture perfect. "Guests were taking photographs of the tables," recalls Tashmiev, adding that the full buffeyt option was worth the upgrade. "We are foodies and have been to weddings where the food lets them down. So we wanted something that stood out - and it really did!"
An incredible fireworks display, an extravagance made affordable in Thailand, was the perfect finale to their joyous nuptials.
Tashmiev gives kudos to Angela at Wedding Destinations, who created a relaxed experience for everyone, including the older guests, and helped the couple feel confident, despite having never visited the hotel.
"It surpassed our expectations and that was just then hotel. The wedding was breathtaking from start to finish. Guests commented it was the best wedding they have ever been to", Tashmiev says.
She advises other brides to find a wedding planner who understands the local area. "The stress level is more than halved, having someone else organise the details".
Testimonial kindly provided by a member of the wedding party.
Cape Panwa Hotel
Renee & Rodolfo
On the 7th of May of 2016 and witnessed by 28 of their closest family and friends, Renee and Rodolfo tied the knot at the stunning Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort, Thailand.
Located on the tropical island of Koh Samui, The Intercontinental as a wedding location represents 5 star luxury combined with jaw-dropping beauty within the environment it is set.
Renee and Rodolfo from South Australia, met 5 years prior to Rodolfo popping the big question, whilst in Las Vegas. Catching Renee somewhat by surprise, the proposal came when having a photo taken at a Popular Halloween Theme Park. Just as the photographer was about to press the button, Rodolfo fell to one knee asking Renee for her hand in marriage. The memorable moment played out in front of a Spooky Back Drop and a line of strangers queuing for a photo.
Renee (though in complete shock) joyfully accepted!
Having been together for 5 years and having recently suffered the loss of a close relative, the couple found a new perspective and valuing just how precious life is, decided to embrace their future together and waste no more time. Now all they had to do was choose where to get married.
Decided upon Thailand as the Destinations, Renee spent the next 6 months painfully researching wedding venues in Thailand, searching for the perfect location to “Say I Do”.
At first, the prospect of getting married in Thailand was dampened as her efforts to communicate with several resorts and planners turned quite sour, with the local Wedding Providers being less than helpful and eventually quiet nasty.
Exhausted and feeling very much out of their depth, the couple touched base with the team at Wedding Destinations, who while based in Australia are internationally recognised and awarded for their weddings in Thailand.
Wedding Destinations first suggestion to Renee and Rodolfo was The Intercontinental Resort in Koh Samui, a venue that they had not previously considered, but instantly knew was the venue for them. Looking at the images from previous weddings coordinated by ‘Wedding Destinations’ at this venue, both Renee and Rodolfo fell in love all over again and the date was set for 7th of May 2016.
Having researched for the past 6 months, exploring Pinterest and countless wedding websites, the couple were keen to achieve an elegantly styled wedding, without being too stuffy. As the couple are very laid back kind of people, it was paramount that their relaxed nature be translated throughout the Ceremony, Reception and indeed the entire vacation experience.
Prior to employing the services of Wedding Destinations, Renee was acutely aware of the challenges faced communicating with Thailand wedding vendors and resorts. Much to her delight however, working alongside Wedding Destinations she was introduced to tried and tested local professionals, such as ‘Bliss Events’ and ‘Photo I Am’, who quickly began to transform her Pinterest inspired dream, into a detailed and reassuringly structured, reality.
From that point on, the planning process was seamless and with time flying, how time does fly, Renee found herself about to stroll down the aisle, to the sound of ‘Over the Rainbow’ by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. This was the first time she had seen Rodolfo since the previous day, having slept in separate rooms on weddings eve.
Up until that moment, Renee had been pretty head strong throughout the preparation of her hair & make-up, even the walk to the aisle. But then, suddenly engulfed by the sound of the music, the décor, the soul grabbing views and the sight of her hansom groom, now with tears welling up in his eyes, Renee was unable to contain the realisation that everything had finally come together, as one beautiful moment.
Yes, just like Rodolfo, Renee could no longer hold back the tears as she approached her awaiting groom, who eagerly took her hands and whose loving gaze gently settled the moment, allowing the ceremony to proceed.
Following the gorgeous, cliff-top ceremony, the newlyweds accompanied by the bridal party and groomsmen headed down the cliff-side with their photographers, for some shots, beach-side and with sun setting. As promised by the team at Wedding Destinations, Thailand’s ‘Photo I Am’ Photography and Videography team, delivered some incredible images that captured every detail of their perfect day.
On a lighter note, there was a particularly funny incident during the speeches that not only had their guests laughing hysterically, but also had the entire staff and wedding vendors giggling uncontrollably.
The unfortunate slip of the tongue occurred while the mother of the groom was giving her speech. Rodolfo is Filipino (as is his mother) and with English as a second language, Mum was attempting to express the concerns she had before Rodolfo met Renee. Worried that her son would never ‘The One’ because he used to be such a ‘Ladies Man’, the phrase was lost in translation and stumbling to find the correct words, Rodolfo was not described as ‘Ladies Man’, but instead, a ‘Lady Boy’ a term commonly associated with aspects of Thailand culture, but perhaps not quite so appropriate for her newly married son.
Regardless of the connotation, none of course were meant and both bride and groom assured the chuckling guests and staff that Rodolfo does not dabble in the Lady Boy scene. Alas, the explanation did not stop the laughing, only added to them.
The reception dinner was an impressive buffet, which being catered by the Intercontinental Chefs, was to an exceedingly high standard.
Entertainment was provided by a nameless local Trio band, who certainly had the night moving, encouraging some silly behaviour on the dance-floor (as to be expected).
Thanks to the professionalism of the Intercontinental Samui Baan Taling Resort, Bliss Events, Photo I Am and all the other vendors that work under the guidance of Wedding Destinations Australia, the day was a huge success and will be remembered by all those that attended and cherished by the Bride and Groom forever.
InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort
Dave & Amanda
For the team at Wedding Destinations, there is nothing better than a good Real Wedding Story.
Below is a gorgeous Real Life account of the events leading up to a truly magnificent wedding at the Intercontintental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa, in October 2017.
The ProposalIt was on a beautiful clear, calm night in Sydney, perched high up in the carriage of a Ferris-Wheel, which overlooked the Sydney Harbour Bridge, that Dave seized his moment to pop the question, (aided by a few glasses of Champagne).For Dave, being in such a beautiful location and sharing a common passion for the sea with Amanda, presented the perfect opportunity to ask that big question.Amanda goes on to explain “it was very fitting that he chose such an iconic place with the water all around us. And that’s also one of the reasons we decided on Fiji as our wedding destination”.Needless to say, Amanda said “YES” and quickly the couple began discussing where they should tie the knot? For both, the answer came easily, however it wasn’t just the pristine, clear waters and gentle, white sands, amid a true Island backdrop, that lead them to marry in Fiji.
Deciding Where to get MarriedDave says “we got married about 2 years after I proposed. We were in no hurry and it gave us plenty of time to decide how to have our wedding”. Focused very much on getting their big day right and with time on their side, Dave and Amanda developed some very clear objectives for their wedding. “We eventually decided to have a destination wedding as it would also give our families the chance to have a big holiday together and this would be a lot less stress on everybody” says Amanda.Presenting an idyllic scenario where both sides of their family could join to experience a wonderful holiday together, was to be paramount in the conception of their perfect wedding. But there was another deciding factor, which lead the couple to choose Fiji. “We decided on Fiji because that was where my parents honeymooned. And of course, Fiji is a beautiful island with beautiful people and the most amazing beaches” explains Amanda.
The PlanningWith stars aligned and all in agreement that Fiji was the place, the couple contacted Genie at Wedding Destinations. They discussed the many options available to them, with Genie guiding the couple through the entire planning process, the Styling and getting the best possible value for their budget. Dave remarks, “everything was pre-planned and paid for before we left, so there was no stress there. Genie had everything covered and organised well before we left”.
Arriving in FijiDeparting from home, Amanda and Dave, were in great spirits and very excited for the days that lay ahead. The security of pre-paying and pre-planning every detail of the wedding meant, that the coupe and their guests, only had to enjoy the lead up to the big day. “When we landed in Fiji, we had so much time to relax, we felt like we were just on a holiday” says Amanda.The couple go on to express that coming from Australia, adapting to “Fiji Time” was slightly challenging, as in Fiji, ‘Time’ is not something that anyone particularly worries about too much. Another small hurdle they and some of the guests had to overcome, was the local Rum ‘Bounty’, to which Amanda and Dave share mixed emotions!
The Fiji WeddingThe Big Day took place at the amazing, 5 Star ‘Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa’, a favourite location for couples who demand the very best Fiji has to offer. “Our wedding was truly a magical day” exclaims Amanda. “The weather, the flowers, the location, the beach, the sunset. They were all perfect” says the very happy bride.Amanda and Dave agree, that despite the unavoidable stresses that face anyone getting married “we and every single one of our guests had the best day and an awesome night.We will undoubtedly be returning to Fiji in the near future”.As can be seen in their gorgeous photo highlights, Amanda & Dave’s Fiji Wedding was exceptionally beautiful. To discuss your dream wedding in Fiji or any other of our stunning wedding locations, you too can touch base with Genie or any of our experienced Destination Wedding Planners.
Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa
Real Wedding Stories
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