Max and Michelle have a soft spot for Phuket, where they’ve enjoyed many getaways over the years. Naturally, the sunny seaside destination was the top choice for their wedding last June.
Why a destination wedding?
Michelle Cheung: We wanted to have a destination wedding so that we could have a truly memorable celebration with loved ones and a tight-knit group of friends. Having all the guests staying in the same resort helped solidify the feeling that we were all there for one purpose, and it was so lovely to be able to spend quality time with close family and friends.
Which resort did you choose?
MC: Andara Resort & Villas – this is where we’ve stayed every single time we visited Phuket. Since we’ve made so many fond memories here, it made perfect sense to tie the knot at this beautiful place. We especially loved the ceremony platform over the main pool, which looked so beautiful with the flowers and the palm trees.
What surprised you most about having a destination wedding?
MC: How easy it was – mostly because the Andara staff and the photographer were such a pleasure to work with. We thought it might be a challenge to plan a wedding overseas where their traditions and ways of doing things would be very different, but that was not the case for us.
How did you balance wedding events with the guest experience?
MC: Our destination wedding was an intimate one with mostly close family who all stayed at Andara. We arranged a couple of family meals before and after the wedding and offered a few shopping, dining and beach suggestions to explore in their spare time.
Any total screw ups or mistakes?
MC: If we had to change one thing, we would perhaps get the groom a waterproof shirt. You’re bound to sweat in a full suit in the heat. In our case, Max’s shirt was soaked, even through to the suit jacket!
What advice would you give to others who are considering a wedding abroad?
MC: Try to find time to travel to the destination, see the space in person, and meet with the wedding planning team and vendors. It helps to establish a good working relationship with the planners. Plus, it’s an excuse to take a vacation!
What should other couples consider before choosing a destination?
MC: A few things… How convenient is the location to reach for guests? How will the space look during the ceremony and banquet? Is there enough accommodation for your guests? What’s the cost of the wedding itself, as well as the cost for guests to travel there? But the most important thing for us was that the destination and venue had to have a special meaning to us.
Are there any other things to remember?
MC: Make sure you research the hair and makeup services at your destination and go for trials in advance if possible. We met with our chosen photographer
a couple of months ahead of our wedding and did a pre-wedding photoshoot for fun – and also just to make sure he was a good fit for us. He was!
Tips to prep your guests for the trip?
MC: It’s important to give guests as much time as possible to plan their trip. Guests will appreciate accommodation suggestions (with discounted rates if possible), a clear idea of the wedding itinerary and schedule, and recommendations for food and activities at the destination. Make sure you communicate dress code and climate conditions so guests are well prepared.
Dress: Simply Love Wedding, www.simplylove.hk
Suit: E-RAVE, eravetuxedo.com
Photographer: Phuket Best Photographer, www.phuketbestphotographer.com
Props: Taobao, world.taobao.com