Getting Married in Thailand
When getting married in Thailand, the first issue is deciding on a suitable Thai destination.
Bangkok works for a city scape ceremony and Chiang Mai would work for a more rural setting but by far the most common choices are in the beach resorts and islands of Koh Samui, Phuket, Krabi and so on, it’s a long list!
Depending on your destination wedding choice the next biggest choice is whether to have your wedding in a resort or a private villa venue and that’s what we’re going to look at in this article.
Let’s cover some of the similarities first.
In most Thai destinations there will be a good selection of both villas and resorts to suit tastes and budgets.
Many luxury villas also now have similar facilities, and are run in the same way, as a small luxury resort.
So, here are Five benefits of a villa wedding in comparison to one held at a resort getting married in thailand.
The first and most obvious advantage is privacy. All beaches in Thailand are public and therefore there’s never any guarantee of a private beach ceremony. However, the potential of other resort guests being present on the beach at the time of the ceremony is clearly greater than the risk of people using the beach at a private villa venue.
Most beachfront villas are situated on beaches away from the main resort areas and therefore tend to be quieter. It is also easier to rope off or segregate areas in front of a private villa as there will be no other guests to be concerned about.
Where the privacy can become a bigger issue with a resort wedding is during the reception dinner and subsequent party.
At a resort you are naturally restricted to using the hotel’s facilities, which in many circumstances are also open to other guests. Some of the larger resorts do have private function rooms which tend to be away from the beach and gardens, and lacking any ambience, as they are mainly used for corporate functions.
At a private villa the only people present for the whole dinner and after party will be you, your guests and the villa staff, ensuring your total privacy throughout the evening. This is especially appreciated during the first dance and the speeches which are always very personal and only intended to be heard or seen by invited guests.
With a private villa, other than immediate family and the bridal party, guests are generally free to stay wherever they prefer or where their budget allows. With many resort weddings the majority of guests are required to stay at the resort. This can put additional pressure on guests who are already committing to flight costs etc.
With a villa wedding both you and your guests are free to consider which location works best for your individual needs and therefore get the best possible experience of the chosen destination. We understand that the primary reason for the guests being there is for the wedding, but they are on holiday too.
At a private villa you would be advised to utilise a professional wedding planning company who have a dedicated wedding team on hand to ensure your special day runs smoothly. At a resort there may be a single wedding planner working full-time at the resort, however the rest of the team on the day will be made up of people who are resort staff for 95% or more of their working lives.
On a wedding day they will be expected to perform different duties to their normal jobs and so there is more risk of mistakes or unfamiliarity causing unnecessary issues.
Almost all resorts advertise weddings but not all of them are arranging them regularly.
No matter what your financial situation may be, money is always an important issue. The overall expense of the wedding may not be an issue, but value for money, transparency and accurate pricing are always of interest.
Villas and resort rooms, when compared on a room by room basis, may not differ too much in terms of price, as you will pick a villa that naturally reflects your tastes and will be of a similar standard to a resort you would also choose.
But sharing a villa often works out better value for money than booking multiple rooms at a resort, especially when you are not sharing any of the facilities with strangers.
For one thing you can buy your own food and drinks and use the villa’s kitchen facilities whereas at a resort you are limited to the often overpriced minibar and in-house restaurants.
One major area which stands out at a villa venue in terms of practicality and value for money is the bar. There is a much better chance that a villa venue will allow you to stock the bar and therefore save a lot of money.
At a resort you will always be subjected to resort prices for any alcohol purchased. Depending on the size of the wedding party some resorts will offer a percentage discount on the normal prices but in any event corkage will be charged on alcohol brought in by you or your guests.
Being married in a private villa also means that you can have a post wedding party the following day to finish off any of the alcohol left over from the wedding night.
5. Anticipation and excitement
At a resort, even a very nice one, sometimes the build-up to the wedding doesn’t generate the required anticipation and excitement because you can get changed five minutes before the wedding and step out of your room straight into the event.
With a wedding at a private villa most of the guests will all have to get ready earlier and then travel together in minibuses to the venue. This certainly creates a tangible build up and wedding atmosphere before the wedding begins.
Then, on arrival, they will be seeing, not only the ceremonial set up, but the gardens, the terrace, the beach and everything else for the first time, thus making this a much more memorable and special wow-factor moment.
Well, that highlights some of the benefits of private villa venue but what about resorts? Don’t be too put off yet as there are also some benefits of a resort over a private venue which may suit your needs better.
So here goes with five benefits of a resort over a private venue for getting married in thailand.
If you’re staying at a resort then in most cases it will be located in an area aimed at tourism, so there will be shops, bars and entertainment venues relatively close by. In contrast many private villa venues will be more remotely situated and require transport of some description to enjoy any of the above.
2. Accommodation logistics
At a resort it is possible that literally all of your guests can stay together, you will usually get a group booking discount too. One further advantage of this is that no transportation is required for the guests on the wedding day.
Staying at a known resort brand will offer certain guarantees that many privately run venues cannot give. For instance in terms of repairs, if your air conditioning breaks at a resort then it will be fixed asap and if it cannot be fixed they will move you to a new room where it works. This is not always possible in a private venue. Plus a branded resort carries with it a certain level of expectation in terms of service, whereas this may be lesser known at a private venue.
Resorts will normally have plenty of space and therefore you will have some suitable back up options available should the weather not be as expected.
Whether that space is available to you, or will be made available for an additional cost, will depend on the resort in question. But they at least should have some suitable Plan B options. Many private villa venues do not.
5. Fringe Benefits
Most resort wedding packages will include a certain number of nice little extras such as private meals for two, honeymoon spa packages and even one or two nights accommodation, with upgrades, thrown in.
So, having read both of these lists you will undoubtedly notice some contradictions in what’s considered a benefit and what’s thought of as a disadvantage.
This is natural and deliberate as the requirements of each wedding couple can differ considerably. For example; some would absolutely love the idea that they could be in the resort pool with the guests ten minutes before the ceremony and simply get dressed and be right there and ready to go.
Others would want to have the build up and anticipation as mentioned above where everyone gets the feeling that they are going to an event.
Therefore what is a benefit to one couple may be a disadvantage to another and vice versa.
We at Faraway Weddings have arranged in excess of a thousand weddings over the last 12 years in a very large selection of luxury private villa venues and five star resorts.
Do we have a preference? Well, we manage our own two private villa venues, The Faraway Villa and Pawanthorn Luxury Villas, and the vast majority of our clients choose these options for their wedding experience. So that probably provides an answer of sorts. However, if there is one thing we have learned over the past 12 years it’s that every client is different and every wedding is unique. Therefore we are open to arranging weddings at both resorts and private venues or even combining the two when necessary.