Destination weddings are one of the grandest experiences anyone can have. Like something out of a fairy tale, the bridal couple and their guests are whisked away to some exotic land to celebrate the beginning of a couple’s new life together. With venues in places ranging from the secluded, snowy mountains of the north, to the tropical island paradises of the far east, the sky truly is the limit and for many wedding planners, the biggest challenge in planning a destination wedding is selecting the destination.
For many bridal couples, the latter option has proven to be the most popular, with island destinations consistently ranking among the top 10 most frequently visited places, according to travel agents across the country. And according to the same agents, chief among these island destinations is the province of Phuket, located on an island off the southwest coast of Thailand.
Phuket holds the distinction of being one of the worlds best-known beach destinations, and rightfully so. It’s surrounded by pristine beaches on all sides, and features some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Naturally, the rest of the world has taken notice, and Phuket is now home to hundreds of luxury resorts and hotels.
This gives prospective tourists and couples hundreds of different venues to choose from, ranging from the standard luxury hotel and reception room, to luxury villas, and ancient temples.
Hotels are the first option, and as wedding venues they should be pretty much self-explanatory. They’re pretty much exactly what you would expect to find stateside. There are hundreds of hotels in Phuket, each one catering to different niches and chances are, you’ll find one that’s right for you. There are resorts that feature beach and oceanside views, like the Surin Phuket, while others like the Impiana Resort Phuket, serve up fine Thai gourmet food. There are also resorts and hotels that cater specifically to family groups and those on tight budgets, giving everyone the chance to enjoy Phuket.
The next option available are the villas. Villas in Phuket are, for all intents and purposes, small luxury houses that feature anywhere from two to three bedrooms, and are equipped with luxury amenities like private pools and on-site maid staff. They may also include private gazebos you can use for a ceremony or reception. Companies like Maikhao Dream Resort specialize in renting out luxury villas, often for use by bridal entourages and their guests.
If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, you could try holding an exciting boat wedding. This involves renting a speed boat or yacht from one of the many vendors in Phuket and holding both reception and ceremony out on the open sea. Couples can choose to either marry on the boat itself, or go ashore on one of the many deserted islands surrounding Phuket for a private wedding.
Last, but definitely not least, couples looking for an honest to goodness Thai style wedding can visit one of the many temples that dot the province. These temples, known as “wat” in the local languages, are where Buddhist monks live and train. The biggest and most important of these temples is known as Wat Chalong, and is in fact located in Phuket.
Note that these are not themed venues, but actual Buddhist temples staffed by monks and visited frequently by locals. This means that visitors will have to take special care not to offend locals, and to observe the rules and regulations set forth by the monks, especially with regards to dress code – a big difference from the Western-style resorts and spas that cater to a visitor’s every whim.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t have a good time at temples. The local monks treat guests very well, and although each temple is different, they all offer spaces for both the wedding ceremony and for photo ops.
The island of Phuket has always been a culturally rich and diverse location, and its natural beauty and wonder have helped it become one of the top tourist destinations in the world. With world class amenities and a wide array of venues to choose from, there’s no better place to tie the knot than Phuket.