Ariel teased this drool-worthy double wedding last week, which I'm sure had you all twitching in anticipation for more. Well, wait no longer. Here is the first installment of Chrissy & Danny's double wedding. -Coco
The offbeat bride: Chrissy, Secondary school teacher
Her offbeat partner: Danny, Secondary school teacher
Location & date of wedding: Koh Samui, Thailand at Sandalwood Villas — July 30, 2010
What made our wedding offbeat: We had two weddings. One in Thailand, one in London. This is the story behind our Thailand wedding.
Danny proposed to me on our eleventh year anniversary. At that point, we had already been making some provisional plans to travel in Asia during the summer. So we decided to have our wedding in Thailand — we were already thinking of going there anyway, and many hotels offer package weddings. Meaning, for a flat price you get the ceremony, photographer, flowers and dinner.
The ceremony itself was the strangest, most beautiful thing I've even seen. In a way, I wish I would have been watching instead of participating because I was so nervous that I didn't take a lot of it in.
The day itself was not only stress-free, but it was actually relaxing. Danny and I began the day with spa treatments (including an awesome Thai massage, where they contort your body and walk on you!), then hung out by the private pool attached to our villa. We got ready at our leisure and then the hotel staff knocked on our door when it was time. We literally didn't have to do anything except show up. It was fantastic.
Danny and I sell on Etsy, which really just started out as a way to fund my terrible Etsy spending habit. Most of the items that we bought for both of our weddings came from Etsy. I love the having things that are hand made. It really makes things a lot more special.
Tell us about the ceremony: It started with a drum procession. We were led by Thai dancers and followed by men playing drums and chanting in Thai. They accompanied us to the altar and we were sat in front of the Thai monks.
We first lit some incense together and offered it to Buddha as a gift (I think). The monks then joined us with string which went from Danny to me and then through the hands of each of the five monks. After about ten minutes of chanting — the monks chanting, not us — the ceremony continued.
We were given prayer bracelets and sprinkled with blessed water. We then gave the monks offerings (as a thank you). Monks do not handle money, so we gave them baskets containing noodles, soap, toothbrushes, etc. There was a final blessing by the monks and then it was over. The ceremony lasted about twenty-five minutes and was conducted entirely in Thai. Thankfully, two members of the hotel staff acted as translators and offered helpful suggestions like “hold that” and “pour that in there.”
Our biggest challenge: We originally wanted to have one wedding and just have us and our parents attend. Unfortunately, they weren't keen on the idea. We live in England, but our parents live in the US and they were not at all happy about the length of the flights. It also didn't help that there was a lot of social unrest in Thailand at the time we were planning it — there had been bombs and rioting in Bangkok and the parents were concerned.
We ended up compromising by having another wedding in London for the parents. This actually worked out well because, while it's possible to have a legal wedding in Thailand, it's pretty complicated. So it ended up working out having two weddings — we had the legal one in London which was the cheaper option and made the parents happy.
My favorite moment: Danny and I sitting in our wedding outfits, with our feet dangling in the pool, calling my parents in the USA on Skype to tell them we were married.
My funniest moment: The monks gave us prayer bracelets as part of the ceremony. The monk putting it on Danny was struggling to get the bracelet on his big, western man wrist. The monks didn't speak any English, but the monk managed to squeak out the word “biggie” while chuckling. The other monks chuckled as well.
My advice for offbeat brides:
1. If you want an awesome, stress-free wedding, think about getting a package deal. It was perfect for us – the hotel arranged everything! However, it's not an option for those who want control over the details.
2. If you love travelling, spend money on that instead of the wedding, or better yet, combine the two.
3. Only have a destination wedding if you are okay with people not coming. The plane tickets to Thailand were killer. So of course we didn't expect people to spend the money to attend — we didn't even bother asking.
What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? When you have naturally curly hair, and you are in a humid country for your wedding, have a plan. I did not. Luckily, the day before the wedding I discovered by accident that drenching my hair in sun tan oil kept it down. But it eventually turned my hair red. Oh well.
Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?
- Danny's whole outfit: Uniqlo.
- My dress: Annabel and Ruby on Etsy.
- My hair flower and necklace: Tijusai on Etsy.
- Rings: Zoe and Doyle on Etsy.
- My shrug is a cheapo one from Ebay, then altered by my friend Claire.
- The hotel: Sandalwood Villas in Samui.
Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!