Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Faraway F & B

Apart from the ceremony itself, for many people, the food and beverage is the next most important element of the wedding. After all, these are two things that are enjoyed and appreciated by everyone at the wedding. Whilst the bride and groom may be rightfully focused on the wedding details such as décor, flowers, vows etc, it’s the food and drink which most guests will remember.
So let’s start with the drinks. From the moment the guests arrive until they are taken back to their resorts at the end of the night, it’s crucial to keep everyone fed and watered, which makes the bar an extremely important element of any wedding. With destination weddings it’s fairly standard for the bride and groom to provide the drinks, and this can be a big blow to any wedding budget.
At Faraway Weddings we have designed a bar operating system which favors our client’s wallets and has become one of our biggest selling points. Especially when compared with drinks packages and drink prices at most resorts.

For every Faraway Wedding there is a bar set-up fee which is calculated on a sliding scale, depending on how many guests are attending. The set-up fee covers the bar tenders, glass collectors and glass washers as well as the glass hire and the bar sundries such as ice, straws, stirrers etc.

Once this fee is paid the aim is to save our clients as much as possible by offering a wholesale price list for all drinks and cocktail ingredients. This ensures that you will be hard pressed to find a cocktail or a beer to match our prices anywhere else on the island, even at a 7-11.

The wholesale price has a 5% mark-up which covers the fact that we order, pay for and collect all of the drinks and this also accounts for times when we have to seek an alternative and more expensive seller if there is a shortage at the wholesalers.

The wedding planner will also assist the bride and groom in obtaining the right quantities of the drinks they choose for their menu so that you don’t run out or, just as importantly, you aren’t left with too much at the end of the night. Anything that is left belongs to the bride and groom and it can go back with them and the guests to be enjoyed over the remaining days of their holiday.

Beers and spirits in Thailand tend to be relatively cheap compared to other countries. However, wines and Champagne can seem ridiculously expensive. So, just to make the bar even more affordable, we do not charge a corkage fee for any items brought through duty free.

Our bar staff are some of the best on the island and have years of experience creating the perfect drink and fun atmosphere for everyone at the wedding.

With the drinks taken care of, the next way to impress a guest is through the food. At Faraway Weddings we take great pride in knowing that the food and level of service that we are able to provide is unmatched. We have had the same catering team for 10 years and have developed a strong and lasting relationship that is built on consistency and a desire to provide great service.

Our catering team has had the privilege of cooking for members of the Thai royal family and we have hosted chefs from all over of the world as brides and or grooms or as guests of our weddings. The feedback has always been extremely positive and in March 2014 we hosted a wedding for Joss and Nick Honeyman. Nick is the Executive Chef at Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor. He is an expert in the culinary arts who knows quality food when he comes across it and he and Joss stated, “The venue was absolutely stunning, the food was probably the best we had on our whole trip, and all in all we just couldn't fault the entire experience”.  

There were several other renowned chefs at that wedding and they all enjoyed the food which is truly great to hear. All positive feedback is greatly received and appreciated, but it is even more special when coming from such discerning and knowledgeable clients.

We take great pride in knowing that our catering team cook everything onsite, nothing is precooked and brought in. We know how important it is to deliver a fresh and authentic taste to our guests and, while we specialize in Thai cuisine, we have many Western menu options as well. Not only can we cater to different menu styles but we can also cater to any dietary requirements.

There have been many occasions when at one wedding alone there may be vegetarians; pescatarians; vegans; celiacs, requiring gluten free food; and guests with specific food allergies. Not to mention the odd guest who doesn’t want to eat anything they don’t recognize and would prefer something more traditional to their home country.

We are able to accommodate all of these different needs.

We also offer a Western style children’s menu to suit all ages.

All in all our catering options are flexible and accommodating and we always aim to satisfy all of our guests’ needs.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Wedding Show Opportunuties

For the past six years we, at Faraway Weddings, have had the pleasure of exhibiting at the National Wedding Show in London and Birmingham in the UK. Now, despite what you may think, this is not just an excuse to nip back and have some good old fish and chips and a cup of tea! The wedding show has, and will continue to be, of immeasurable benefit to both us and the Bride and Grooms we’re employed by.
We think of the Wedding show, not as a sales opportunity, but as a chance to meet and reassure the couples who are currently booked with us or in the process of deciding on a destination wedding.
It is fully understandable that when booking with a company on the other side of the world you would be nervous and have many questions – frankly, in this culture of internet fraud and deception you would be crazy not to. For this reason we are always happy to arrange phone or skype calls when emails just don’t cut it. But at other times you simply can’t beat a face to face chat to put your mind at rest…and this is where the Wedding Show comes into play.

Being involved in such a diverse and current wedding show is also a fantastic learning opportunity for us. The wedding market is constantly shifting with new trends and ideas and so it is vital we are able to stay ahead of these styles in order to help you replicate or incorporate them in to your wedding on Samui wherever possible.
Sadly, for our clients across the world in Australia, London and Birmingham are a bit far to commute! Still, we have been told on many occasions that just knowing we are part of such a well-established and reputable event helps to reassure nervous bookers from outside the UK.  We have also found that many of our clients choose Samui as a mid-point between the UK and Australia to make it easier on family members travelling from both sides. So in these cases, while the Bride and Groom themselves may not be able to attend, we have on many occasions met with parents, siblings and even grandparents!
So if you are thinking of a destination wedding I would strongly recommend you come and say hi and find out a bit more about Faraway Weddings. This year Darren, Richard and Mairead will be attending and will be on hand to answer any questions you can think of. You will have the chance to look at pictures from past weddings and the venues we offer, but more importantly talk to us directly about your big day and get a first-hand and experienced perspective on everything your Koh Samui wedding could be.
There is no pressure to make a booking – your wedding venue is possibly one of the biggest decisions you make in this process and one you have to be completely certain of. This is why it is vital to gather as much information as you can and the wedding show is a perfect opportunity to do just this.
If you’d like to come and see us at the show it’s best to email in advance and make an appointment. It would be a shame to come and find that we are all tied up talking to other visitors. We will be at Earls Court in London from the 26th – 28th September 2014 and then at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham from the 3rd – 5th of October 2014. The schedules for each show are as follows:
Earls Court, London
Friday 26th September 2014 – 12pm – 7pm
Saturday 24th September 2014 – 10am – 6pm
Sunday 28th September 2014 – 10am – 5pm
National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham
Friday 3rd of October 2014 – 10pm – 5pm
Saturday 4th October 2014 – 10am – 6pm
Sunday 5th October 2014 – 10am – 5pm

Facts about Faraway Flowers

It is no surprise that flowers play a big part in creating your dream wedding whether your wedding is in a registry office or on a tropical beach in Thailand. They add colour, character and a personal touch to your décor.
As you’d imagine, when getting married here on Koh Samui there are plenty of stunning flowers for you to choose from that are all local to Thailand and included in our wedding package. To make it easier to choose the best blooms for your colour scheme, we are on hand every step along the way from the planning to construction to talk you through the best selections.
Thai flowers are most abundant in shades of purple and pink – ranging from soft lilac and  blush to deep velvet and hot pink; white and green – a natural yet striking colour scheme when set against the colourful beach setting and of course the more exotic and summery yellow and orange shades.  There is also the possibility to import foreign flowers at an additional cost if you have your heart set on something specific.
So when beginning to plan it is a good idea to link your colour scheme to what is plentiful and of superior quality. However, we know this is not always the case and sometimes your colour scheme, for example blue, may not link itself to any available flowers. In these cases we suggest bringing accessories to add an injection of colour and keeping the flowers to a neutral white. As you’ll see on our pinterest page, it is amazing the impact that well placed material, ribbons and candles can make to your décor.

At Faraway Weddings we have an in-house floristry team which makes a huge difference in terms of what we can achieve with your flower displays, and the flexibility we can employ on the day. Rin, our head florist, is extremely creative and fantastically skilled – especially when it comes to using tropical flowers – and will bend over backwards to achieve your dream style.
All of our flowers are imported from around Thailand, especially from the North which is rife with vibrant flower farms, and flown into Samui the day before the wedding to allow us to check the quality and quantity thoroughly.
The flowers then go straight in to our designated flower fridges, which we have both at The Faraway Villa and in the office, to ensure they are as fresh as possible on the wedding day.
On the big day the complete set-up is done on-site by Rin and his team, this means that we have complete control over the creations and can be adaptable to any situation that may arise.
Another advantage to this arrangement is that the Bride, when getting ready at the villa, is able to see everything coming together. This is particularly important when it comes to the bouquet – as you know this is a key part of the wedding attire but it can often be tricky to imagine what the finished product will look like, especially when choosing flowers you are unfamiliar with.
Having an onsite florist means that the bride has a unique opportunity to be involved in the size, colour and arrangement of the end design.