With a love of relaxation, island holidays and their favourite people Sarah and Paul chose a Koh Samui destination wedding to tie the knot. And although Mother Nature diverted their plans from the tropical sunshine paradise they had dreamed of, the pouring rain just added an extra sense of something special to their day captured by Wild at Heart Photography.
Of how they came to be, Sarah tells, “I met Paul when I was 16 – he was my high school sweetheart, and our wedding day was our 10 year anniversary!”
The couple stayed and married at Le Meridien Resort Koh Samui. Sarah noting, “We planned to marry on a pier over the water, but the monsoon season weather had other plans for us! The events team at Le Meridien were fantastic. They pulled together an amazing Plan B and we couldn’t have been happier. Le Meridien organised every detail for us and delivered exactly what we had hoped for. My favourite part of wedding planning was how little planning I had to do! ”
“I walked down the aisle to a cover of Jason Mraz’s “I won’t give up” by Jayesslee.”
Of their ceremony, Sarah remembers, “We had a more formal church wedding in Australia a couple of months after our wedding in Thailand, so we wanted our ceremony in Thailand to be informal, non-traditional and relaxed. It actually ended up being a lot more emotional than relaxed – I felt so many overwhelming emotions walking down the aisle and spent most of the ceremony trying to hide my tears!”
Of their photographer, Sarah remarks, “Lina is an amazing photographer and we absolutely love her work. She hid in a bush and captured the moment Paul proposed to me, and we were so thrilled when she agreed to travel to Thailand for the big day 18 months later! I feel a little awkward posing for photos, and love Lina’s natural, candid and fun style.”
“We loved having our closest friends and family all staying on Koh Samui island for around a week leading up to the wedding. It was so nice for everyone to get to know each other.”
The bride’s sister had a big surprise in store, Sarah remembering, “We didn’t plan to have any speeches, but my sister surprised us by delivering a speech in a Ukulele song she wrote herself, based on stories our closest friends had told her while we were in Koh Samui in the days leading up to the wedding. It was the highlight of the night.”
The bride remembers, “In the spirit of keeping things non-traditional, we didn’t plan on doing a ‘first dance’, or speeches, or any of the formalities. On the wedding day, our event planner suggested a first dance would be a great way to distract everyone as the resort set off a fireworks display, so I picked the first song on my iPod playlist.”
“I loved that we had a really small and personal wedding, and were able to spend the entire night with our closest friends and family.”
Congratulations Sarah and Paul! Thank you for sharing your day with us! Thank you also to Wild at Heart Photography for sharing today’s celebration!
Meet Nikki the talented travel writer and founder of The Pin the Map Project. The Pin the Map Project reaches almost a million readers, subscribers and followers worldwide! Nikki travels frequently on assignment around the world covering destinations, cuisine, adventure travel and more. In addition to working with The Pin the Map Project, Nikki is a contributing writer for The Huffington Post and Business Insider Travel.
Like many in the industry, Nikki grew tired of the 9-5 routine and in a bid to find happiness she put her journalism degree to good use and now shares her stories with the world. The Pin the Map Project has been running for four years and is a great place to get inspiration for your dream honeymoon. This week we are lucky enough to have Nikki share some honeymoon tips with us.
What is your favourite region?
I adore South America! South America holds a special place in my heart because two life-changing trips happened for me there. A few years back, I travelled to Colombia for the first time since I was a kid. I was born in Bogota but due to civil unrest and political strife in the country, my family, like many others,fled. While snippets of my Colombian heritage were present in my childhood in the form of music and food,it wasn’t until my early twenties did I finally go back to Colombia and connect with my culture.
The second life-changing trip for me took place in Argentina during my first time solo traveling. I was due to be married and admittedly found myself unhappy with my relationship, upcoming wedding and career. I felt as though my life was moving full steam ahead and I was simply a passenger on a train I should be conducting. I flew to Buenos Aires on a whim for a last minute assignment to cover the cafe scene in Palermo. While in Argentina, I finally confronted myself and the problems back home I had been avoiding. That solo travel trip gave me the strength I needed to fly back to New York, call off my wedding, leave my job and change my life.
Top resort recommendation
I’ll be honest here, I’m not much of a resort person! Growing up, my family vacationed in rented apartments in St. Petersburg or Vancouver or beach bungalows in Mexico. I’ve always shied away from resorts because I find they often create a barrier between the guests and the destination. While I definitely acknowledge the obvious perks of staying at a resort – pampering, endless meals, built in activities, etc. – if not on assignment, I prefer to rent an Airbnb!
Suggestions for great honeymoon activities
I recently came back from assignment in the Dominican Republic writing about adventure travel in Puerto Plata. From riding ATVs in the jungle to playing with monkeys, I wished every second that my better half, Jeff, was by my side. Honeymoons come with the idea of laying on a beach and sipping cocktails but on my honeymoon, I would want to go snorkelling, ride ATVs, hike through jungles and kick off the marriage with endless adventures.
The ideal location for a proposal
I’m not sure if I have one! My only hope for when my boyfriend one day proposes is that it happens somewhere exotic, beautiful and far from home. Preferably somewhere warm, balmy and by the ocean! (Hint, hint Jeff!)
Best kept secret honeymoon location
Bocas del Toro in Panama! Bocas del Toro is an archipelago chain of islands off the coast and is absolutely stunning! Home to a friendly and welcoming ex-pat community of surfers, a visit to Bocas del Toro finds you jumping from island to island, visiting beaches covered in starfish and tapping into local, indigenous culture in the verdant jungles of Panama.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: Puerto Plata looks amazing for adventure; riding ATVs through the jungle would be a memory of a lifetime! A visit to The Pin The Map Project is inspirational – from life changing moments as well as honeymoon destinations!
Imagine wandering through the cobblestone streets of Quebec’s largest province with your partner by your side, freely admiring the seamlessly gorgeous blends of new and old. The array of world-class shopping, exquisite dining, and a vast history of tradition is enriched by the immensely beautiful blend of Canada and France all in one perfect city. Depending on the time of your visit, Quebec City accommodates all four seasons in the most delightful way possible – and then there are the destinations and locations that remain exciting and incredible all year round! Quebec City is just spectacular!
Image via Ville de Quebec
5 Places to Stay
From the traditional hotels that are still full of the culture of the city, to beds and breakfasts that are incredibly charming in the way only they can be, you’re sure to find somewhere perfect to spend your time in between honeymoon adventures.
This charming 5-star hotel offers complete relaxation and luxury that can only come from 65 years of successful experience. The interior of Le Bonne is just as incredibly sweet as the exterior, and with a wide range of restaurants to choose from and their premium location, it’s just perfect!
This refreshingly contemporary hotel provides luxury and relaxation in the centre of Quebec City. Overlooking the beauty of the street, the rooms are a modern escape from the outside world. When you’re all refreshed, head down to the Bistango Restaurant for a delicious meal.
The L’Auberge is one of the most incredible places to stay in all of Quebec City! The charming inn was built in 1805 and still maintains the Victorian air that was the source of its beauty over 200 hundred years ago! The inn is also home to the oldest gourmet food store in all of North America.
Ideally located in Quebec City, this hotel is brilliant in blending the old with the new all in one exclusively gorgeous resort. The heritage and history of the hotel is accentuated by the private concierge, personalised service, and the array of exquisite dining experiences.
In this lovely resort you enjoy an entire cottage to yourself! The close locale and fully equipped chalets are made that much more charming by the beautiful views that surround each cottage. Enjoy breakfast by the St. Lawrence River, and then kayak out for some of the best experiences in Quebec City.
Image via Chalets Plage-Saint Jean
5 Places to Visit
There is so much to see in Quebec City! Everything within the walls of the historic city is brimming with exciting adventure – and in each is a hidden gem worth exploring! Make sure you venture out to experience it all!
Plains of Abraham
This incredible parkland is a natural attraction that is just as beautiful now as it was in 1908 when it was made to commemorate the 300th anniversary of the founding of Quebec. Almost everything happens at this park, from festivals to shows aplenty. And on the outskirts there’s plenty more to see!
Make sure to take a day to stroll through the lanes of Saint-Jean. Along this road you’ll find a lovely mix of boutiques, restaurants, churches and historic buildings that all contribute to the incredible architectural value of the city. The Rue Saint-Jean is a highly celebrated gateway to Old Quebec.
Place Royale and Petit-Champlain
This legendary square is full of incredible history! The amazing architecture that surrounds the square includes a fort, storehouse, trading post and an ancient place of residence. As the first permanent French settlement in North America, it’s easy to feel like you’re walking the streets of Paris!
For outstanding panoramic views, be absolutely sure you take the time to visit the Old Port of Quebec City. Here you’re greeted by picturesque, romantic architecture that looks like it could have easily been a castle in another time! Enjoy stunning views and incredible culture by the St. Lawrence River.
When you’re in Quebec City, you really can’t afford to miss Parliament Hill! The Fontaine de Tourny is especially stunning and serves as one of the most spectacular backdrops to the hill! For an even more incredible experience, head on over to Porte Saint-Louis (just mere minutes from Parliament Hill) to complete the quirky and charming adventure!
Image via Tours Voir Quebec
5 Things to Do
Amongst the incredible architecture you’re absolutely sure to find something so spectacular you’ll want to take a different tour every day for your entire honeymoon!
Horse-Drawn Carriage Tours
Discover the absolute pleasure of a horse-drawn carriage ride through the streets of Old Quebec with Caleches Quebec, a team dedicated to providing the most wonderful tour experience in all of Quebec City! It’s truly one of the most unique and memorable ways to see the beauty of the city; if you’re there in winter, we highly recommend this as a “must do”!
Image via Caleches Quebec
Festivals and Events
Quebec City has festivals and events all year round so you’re sure to come across something during your honeymoon. Consider the German Christmas Market or the Festival d’ete de Quebec for a must-see experiences.
Hidden Gems Routes and Trails
Discover the abundance of hidden gems in Quebec City on a walking, bus or bike tour through the city! Tour services, such as Cicerone Tours and Tours Voir Quebec, offer exclusive access to the best of the city. Take your time wandering the streets of the fortified area and enjoy access to some of the best attractions of the region – all the while enjoying the romance!
Image via Tours Voir Quebec
Museums and Galleries
For a truly remarkable experience, and to finish off the historic adventure of your honeymoon, make sure to stop in at as many museums and galleries as possible! The entirety of Quebec City is like an open-ended museum. To get your concentrated dose, check out the Musee de la Civilisation, the Musee de la Place Royale, and the Morrin Centre amongst others!
For a truly historic and culture experience in Quebec City, consider Quebec Aboriginal Tourism for a tour of a lifetime! On any of their nature tours, you and your significant other will get to see life through the eyes of Quebec’s oldest citizens, as well as have exclusive access to a vast richness of knowledge.
Image via Quebec Aboriginal Tourism
Quebec City is an incredible array of history steeped in culture and tradition. The ancient architecture blends French and Canadian culture and provides a range of new, contemporary experiences that rival that of the old. Be sure to pack a camera, because you will be taking a lot of memories back home with you!
Ms Chinoiserie Says: With chic sophistication melding beautifully with fascinating history and charm, Quebec City is one for the romantics!