Our clients are often surprised by the start time of our ceremonies – for those used to getting to the church for midday or 2pm, our guest arrival at 4:30 could seem like the day is over before it begins! But there is method to the madness – in fact, our program structure has evolved over the years, taking various elements into account to make the winning formula for a tropical beach wedding.
First and most importantly of all – the hot, hot heat. It’s hard to imagine from home what the heat and humidity is like here and it is not to be underestimated. Consider that your guests will come smartly dressed, and that they’ll be out in the sun from the minute they get off the air-conditioned minibus… it’s a celebration, so there’ll be plenty of booze thrown in too. Your guests (and our staff) would be like a group of wilting daisies before long if they were to arrive at 2pm! Starting later in the afternoon means the sun is lower and less intense and the temperature is a more bearable.
If people turn to wilting daisies in the sun, what about the daisies themselves?! We have seen that setting up in the full heat of the day can be a disaster. No bride wants to walk onto a beach decorated with limp, droopy flowers – our later start means everything stays fresh and looking fabulous.
Photography is such a major factor for couples that it plays a big part in the timing of the day. As much as the sun is hot, it is also dazzlingly bright and this is problematic for photographers. Too much light means over-exposed photos, so the 5pm ceremony start is necessary. There are 4 hours of photography included in our packages, and we don’t believe in forcing our clients to spend extra so we’ll do our best to keep all major events within this coverage time. A 5pm ceremony means sufficient time for a photo session before sunset. As standard, we schedule the fire lantern release, first dance and cake cutting before dinner so that these key moments are captured on camera. Of course, if you prefer for these things to take place after dinner you have the freedom to move them but remember to think about the photography – additional hours are an option if you do want to (literally) buy yourselves more time!
If you choose to splash out on fireworks, these will be launched before dinner. There are strict regulations on fireworks on Lipa Noi beach and we have special agreements with our neighboring resorts and local residents, whom we would never want to upset.
Sunset is earlier in the later part of the year, so we will schedule our November and December weddings to begin an hour earlier, so there’s still enough time to fit everything in before light is lost.
If you are having a Buddhist blessing, this will take place at 4pm. Normally, in a Thai wedding, the monks’ blessing is early in the morning – however, as this would mean an excruciatingly long day for you and also because the monks must be back at the temple before sunset, we have ours just before the beach ceremony. Due to the heat at that time, the Buddhist blessing takes place under the wooden sala and not on the beach.
For all of our weddings at Faraway Villa, midnight is home time – again because of our agreement with the locals. People often ask where they can go afterwards to continue the party but in our experience, the sun and sea air, the fun and food, the drink and the dancing will have people snoozing on the minibus before they even get back to the resort!