This a DIY guide for all Indians who want to get married in Thailand. This blog will tell you how to plan a destination wedding for small and intimate gatherings. We are talking 50 people tops. Expenses can go high if you do not plan well and needless to say – set a budget. You should have a road map before you make a journey. Take your time to make this at least six months in advance.
Since we are talking about Thailand you can choose from Phuket, Chaing Mai, Hua Hin, Bangkok, etc. I have listed the pros and cons of property selection in another blog here. I would recommend you have a direct tie-up with the resort. They can help you with rooms, wedding venues, décor, dance floor, and music. The other good part is you are dealing with one person and the hotel managers speak English. This will help ease the pressure on you. Now, if you choose to do the wedding in an Independent Villa then you have to co-ordinate with lots of vendors. This will ruin the spirit of the destination wedding. The hotels do provide a photographer and beautification for the wedding. But I would recommend not going with this option, more about this ahead. Pay the advance and book the venue.
The weather and the month of the year plays important role in venue selection. Thailand from March to June is considered a low season and is very hot. From July to October, it rains a lot so not the favorable months. November to February is the high season and the best weather in Thailand. My recommendation would choose the month of November. The high season has just started and the prices are still right. Come December the rates are the highest. If you are going for hotter months keep the wedding in the evening. The Sangeet, Mehendi, etc. rituals can happen indoors under the air conditioner. Also, check here the festivals of Thailand and try to avoid these dates.
We all know the importance of food at the wedding. You will also have people who just cannot live without Indian Food. Discuss this with the resort; most of the resorts cater to the Indian palette. They will be happy to accommodate special requests from you, maybe a `Moong Dal Halwa’. I will also recommend adding Thai cuisine. You will feel the difference between what you eat back home and when you eat at the place of origin. They also have some very vegetarian options. But hardcore vegetarians beware all the food is cooked with fish sauce. Do ask the hotel if they can cook the food without it. Since we have added the Thai food let’s Thai it more, add Thai Dance. Resorts do have people who can hire dance performers for you.
Once you have set the date selected the wedding venue and location, let’s tell everybody. Announce the wedding at least six months in advance to give your guest a good head start. This is the reason I wanted you to finalize the venue first. You will get everybody’s attention this way and they will start making plans. They will now know where, when, and how.
Now, the other reason is you will get the best rates and deals from the resort. Your chance of getting your desired resort also increases. During marriage season good properties usually get sold first. I know what you are thinking; this is applicable in Thailand as well.
Gifts for Family and Friends
You can give a goodie bag on arrival. Since it will be the beach you can put a suntan lotion, hand towels, sleepers, and yes Covid-19 Kit. This you should carry from home, it is cheaper there. You can also ask the hotel to keep a bottle of wine or champagne, don’t forget to personalize. Then there is a return gift or must give gift ritual for all family members. I would recommend buying a gift from Thailand. This will go with the theme of the wedding too. Now you be thinking I’m paying for travel and destination wedding then why gifts. I agree, but one gift is a must which is given as part of `Milnee’ as per north Indian weddings. The value of the gift can vary as thought matters. None-the-less gift options are plenty and the budget is in your hand.
This is the second biggest component which costs a lot. Getting one person can cost INR 45,000-50,000. The cost includes a 3-night stay, airfare, and transportation. So are you spending on everybody, if yes, please add the cost to your budget? If not, some or max people might not come. We have the `riwaz’of getting the `baraat’ to the bride’s house. Then the question arises what would be a marriage without the people you love? This could be a hard decision to take and you need to decide before you send the invites. This also becomes important as you will be informing the resort on the number of people attending.
For the next step, you should definitely hire a travel consultant. You will require buying a flight ticket but you cannot buy more than nine tickets from the portal. You have to get with the airline directly. Here an IATA approved travel agent can help you get the best group fare. He will also be taking care of the transportation. He will provide pick up from home to the airport then from Bangkok airport to the hotel. This way you can relax that nobody strays on the way. Once everyone onboard lets the party begins.
You can get them all in Thailand or you can also bring them with you from India. Let’s take the example of a photographer; you don’t know the guy who the hotel arranged for you. He might be a very good photographer but does he understand Indian wedding sentiments. The same goes for Pandit Jee too. Now on the other hand taking an Indian chef with you is a luxury. But it can be worth it if the food is as per Indian palette your guest will go gaga. Do note these people’s travel costs have to be borne by you. In the case of the photographer, he will be coming with the crew that travel cost too, will be borne by you.
Keep in Mind
Eccentric Blogger, Traveler and Consultant.