Big Storms and a Baby Elephant – Wedding at the Merlin Beach Resort.
Craig and Deanne had a beautiful wedding at the Merlin Beach Resort Thailand. The couple used the services of Natasha from Creative Events Asia to help organise their wedding and Thai based destination wedding photographer Aidan Dockery to capture their day. Deanne has kindly shared the details of her wedding below.
Location: Phuket, Thailand
Number of Guests: 27
Nearest Airport: Phuket International
I would definitely recommend getting married in Thailand!
We loved having a small, intimate wedding with our closest friends and it had the added bonus of being a holiday. Our 27 guests (including a baby) all arrived at different times, but we found we were able to spend quality time with everyone over the week in Phuket.
We had a symbolic wedding ceremony on the beach. Because there will always be people who can’t make a wedding abroad we decided to have a small legal ceremony on our return to Australia. This way our family and closet friends who were unable to make our wedding in Thailand, still felt a part of our special day.
The Merlin Beach Resort is set amongst 12 acres of coconut palms and tropical gardens on its own secluded private Tri-Trang Beach. It has three gorgeous landscaped free-form pools, a beautiful swim-up bar and the private beach is a must for fabulous photographs.
We found the resort to be the perfect choice for us as it was mid-priced, yet still within easy reach of noisy Patong Beach without being on it.
Due to stormy weather our wedding reception had to be moved inside but the staff were very well rehearsed in “Plan B” and everything went smoothly, if not better than having our wedding outdoors.
I organised personalised silk hand fans, wedding bubbles (the Resort also had rose petals to throw), miniature bird cage tea lights holders and place-card holders to fit with the “Bird” theme of the wedding.
The guest book included a Polaroid Camera set up, which has made a great keepsake. To help the guest get to know each other I had “conversation question cards” placed on the tables and personalised mini badges for each guest to wear. The guests loved wearing their badges – “I shoot people” for the photographer, “I love my iPad” for mum, and “Dirty Dancing” for the bridesmaid.
I also had a beautiful cake topper made by Clayphory on Etsy, which included all our pets, who of course could not be in Thailand for our big day.
Prior to our wedding all guests were emailed a “wedding newsletter” which introduced everyone to each other.
The food was excellent – an international buffet, which I had personalised to include a seafood BBQ prepared by a chef in front of all the guests.
My Favourite Part of the Wedding Day
The highlight of the day was definitely the baby elephant that came to greet us after the ceremony. She hugged and kissed all the guests, after eating the Groom’s buttonhole flower (pin and all!).
My Advice for Other Brides
I had most of our things posted to the resort to arrive 1-2 weeks before the wedding day, which saved our luggage allowance.
The Resort did an excellent job at steaming my wedding dress, hair styling and photography (they supplied 2 photogrpahers). I also had an additional photographer, Aidan Dockery from ABD photos, who I flew in from Bangkok. This resulted in over 2000 fantastic photographs to choose from!
We used the services of Natasha from Creative Events Asia to help us choose and book our wedding venue. We found that it didn’t cost us any extra to use Natasha’s services over booking directly ourselves, and her help was invaluable.
Natasha is Australian but based in Bangkok. She has extensive knowledge of all the Resorts and was very helpful in my decision to pick a suitable venue that met our budget, and also “translate” and get answers quickly from each venue. I found using Natasha’s services extremely useful, especially when I didn’t understand something from the Resort wedding co-ordinators.
Natasha was able to provide me with an independent and honest opinion on the different services each Resort offered (photographers, lantern ceremonies etc). She also helped with booking accommodation at a reduced rate.
Finally, don’t worry if all doesn’t go exactly to plan. Our beach wedding at the Merlin Beach Resort being moved inside actually turned out to be in our favour and our photographer also managed to use the weather to his advantage to take some fantastic and very dramatic beach photographs.
The Perfect Partners
Wedding Planner: Creative Events Asia // Wedding Photographer: Aidan Dockery plus 2 additional photographer supplied by the Resort // Bridal Gown: Anna Campbell (Falling Petal Range) // Reception Venue: Merlin Beach Resort, Phuket Thailand