Receiving a wedding like this is what I dream of as a multicultural wedding blogger. What a wedding. When I first saw the words 5 day Indian-Vietnamese Wedding in Thailand, I was so excited! Valerie got in touch as she found Secret Wedding Blog via instagram and thought her wedding would be perfect for the blog and it sure is! She provided a lot of gorgeous photos and text all about their lavish wedding and this was a wedding that I’d love to have been a guest at.
From the bride:
What made our wedding special was a variety of factors all coming together. It was a marriage of three religions, two cultures, and one big party! Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian ceremonies all into one big wedding! From the start we knew that we had to have a destination wedding, as we knew that we would have to combine numerous ceremonies and elements into our wedding festivities. As a result, we wanted to put up our guests in a stunning resort while experiencing a 5 day extravaganza of mixed cultures! Our wedding was a 5 day full throttle event, and each day we aimed to stun our guests with a new theme!
The first day we had a White Party, which functioned as our “welcome dinner.” Our guests had flew in that day and we decided to have a white themed dinner. We wanted our guests to feel welcomed and relaxed, and take in that view on their first night in Thailand! It was a way for our guests to get acquainted and build excitement for our upcoming wedding festivities! We transformed the entire Air Bar space into a magnificent scene, overlooking the gorgeous 360 ocean view. White flowers, white tables, white chiavari chairs, white hanging bulbs, and a gorgeous sunset. We ended off the night with traditional Thai dancers and a spectacular fireworks finale!
The second day we performed several pre-wedding Indian rituals. We had a chunni ceremony in the morning where the tradition follows that the bride’s mother in law adorns her with a scarf to carry her through marriage. Mid-day we held a Mehndi gathering, whereby all of the women gathered by the beach to have henna designs drawn on their hands and feet. It is believed that the darker the henna stain, the more the bride’s husband will love her. It was a fun day for the women and girls to socialize and take part in a new ritual.That evening we held a Sangeet, which is an Indian pre-wedding party. It was filled with dancing, an Indian live band, and lots of smiles. We took over the beach area of the resort, and set up a turquoise & purple themed evening of décor. We wanted to add pops of color to celebrate in true Indian fashion. We used purple and blue fabrics for drapes that sat above the venue. We used colorful centerpieces that lined every table, and decorated the entire venue with lanterns and candles. Our guests partied throughout the night! Day 3 was our tribute to Vietnamese culture. We started the day with a traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony. It is custom for the bride to be hidden from the groom, while her bridesmaids ask the groom and his groomsmen to fulfill a series of fun games before he can see his bride. It was a super fun ceremony where all of our guests laughed and smiled!The bride & the groom then served tea to each set of family members, in exchange for blessings for their life together as husband and wife. It was an emotional ceremony, which ended with loud Chinese firecrackers to mark the official union of the marriage! The firecrackers lasted for several minutes, and sparked excitement for all of the guests! That evening we prepared a gorgeous Asian themed dinner. We transformed the entire Amber restaurant into a phenomenal red themed reception. We had abundant red roses lining every table, red table runners, and romantic candles to light up the evening. We organized some entertainment with traditional Thai nail dancers, and Vietnamese music playing throughout the evening. Finally, we gathered the guests and lit up Thai fire lanterns, filling the air with light and love! Day 4 we celebrated the official Indian wedding! We held a morning prayer ceremony called the Mandvo & Pithi. Prayers were read by an Indian priest to bless our ceremony, and turmeric was rubbed all over the groom’s body to enhance his “glow” for the nuptials. That evening we began the official Indian Wedding.Shyam made a grand entrance with his groomsmen coming in on a speedboat. The boat docked at the end of the InterContinental pier, and the boys danced all the way towards the beach sand. They were then greeted by an elephant, where the groom mounted the elephant to continue his grand entrance! It was a huge spectacle that everybody enjoyed! Afterwards, I made my bridal entrance on a Dholi, a carriage draped for the bride’s Indian entrance. My male cousins carried me in on the Dholi towards the altar. We partook in a spiritual yet meaningful Indian wedding, ending off the night with a quiet yet beautifully decorated dinner by the beach. Hanging bulb lanterns, white flowers, and candles set the tone for a romantic evening. We had fire spinners to entertain our guests with another round of fireworks to end of the night! Our grand finale waited for day 5, the last day. The wedding planners worked hard the night before to platform the deck of the Air Bar, creating an altar that was surrounded by beautiful blue ocean. It was truly heavenly and looked like a dream, a jaw dropping altar! We exchanged vows in a beautiful ceremony that overlooked the water, which transitioned into our grand reception. The wedding team worked tirelessly the night before to transform the entire rooftop lobby into our reception hall! We aimed to have gold and cream colored tones, white draping, and chandeliers hung on every corner. It was a gorgeous night, with our Jazz singer Eka serenating us throughout the night. Our wedding party surprised us with a dance sequence, as we cut cake and danced throughout the evening. There was a lot of thought and detailed care put into our reception, down to personalized fortune cookies on every place setting. We had our guests hashtag #VnS2014 throughout all 5 days of our wedding, and broadcasted all of their Instagram pictures on our projector. The guests were so excited to see their pictures broadcasted and it gave everyone a wonderful re-cap of their 5 days on the island! It was almost emotional to see the pictures and sad that the wedding had almost come to an end! We had speeches, toasts, bouquet tosses, and bride & groom games to light up the night! For décor, I was specific on having tall grand centerpieces of white flowers only, gold chiavari chairs with cream colored sashes on each chair, gold beaded charger plates, personalized menu cards, and candles to light the entire venue. I worked tirelessly with our planners to make sure it was a scene straight from a Pinterest board or magazine! Our guests were blown away, and we celebrated the final night of our wedding under a gorgeous setting while bidding farewell to everyone. It was a remarkable 5 day wedding, and definitely a spectacle for the island! 160 guests, 5 days, 9 functions, and 11 bridal dresses later…it was the best time of our life!
Photography: Liam Collard Photography
Videography: D-IMAGEPLUS: E-Motions Cinematography
Wedding Coordinator: The Wedding Bliss by Nanya
Ceremony Venue: InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
Officiant: Alan Bohlsen
Reception Venue: InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
Catering: InterContinental Baan Taling Ngam, Koh Samui
Wedding Singer: Eka Liu – EKA SOUNDS
Hair & Makeup: Johnny Nguyen – MakeupByJohnny, LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA (website pending)
Bridal Gown: Provonais Leiben gown & Lazaro belt
Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Suits: Giorgio Armani
Groom Shoes: Giorgio Armani
Engagement Ring: Tacori Designs
Wedding Bands: Tacori