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Saskia & Matthew’s Koh Samui Wedding In Paradise

by | Inspired Weddings, Inspired Weddings, Weddings,

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

sunshinesaskia
1
COMMENT

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Matthew and Saskia

Half a decade ago we took off on our first overseas trip to a place that captured our hearts forever: a place of pristine beaches, island hopping, mojitos, thai massages and a beautiful culture of happy faces and grateful hearts. A place of crystal clear oceans, incredible cuisine, hidden paradises and untouched natural beauty. A place where people smile just because they can! A place we can’t help but return to every year… And, the very place where we wished to be married.

After ten years of true love, on the 26th of February 2014, that’s exactly what we did!

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SaskiaMatthew 10 of 1001 550x366 Saskia & Matthews Koh Samui Wedding In Paradise

Getting ready with the girls was so much fun. We listened to Jack Johnson while Koh Samui’s popular hair and makeup artist Dany Lopez transformed us all from holidaying beach babes into bridal beauties. Reality didn’t quite hit me until my bridemaids helped me into my dress. As they laced and buttoned up the back of my beaded Bluebell Bridal Melbourne gown I felt I could burst with excitement, but somehow there were no nerves! I couldn’t have felt more at peace with what was happening, marrying my best friend and love of ten years was the most, real and right thing for me to do. I just felt so ready.

My bridesmaids wore dresses from Forever New and everyone went barefoot with the exception of hand-made ‘barefoot sandals’ for me. The bridal garter was made by my mother from 100-year-old family heirloom lace and was personalised with the wedding date. Matt and his groomsmen suited up in beige vests and trousers with silk ties and orchid boutonnieres.

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We were a little untraditional and spent the early hours of our wedding morning together with a relaxing swim in the ocean and a walk on the beach before going our separate ways to prepare. A cheeky ‘first look’ session took place shortly before the ceremony. This beautiful reveal to each other with no one other than our photographer to capture the reactions was truly special for us and allowed us to share in some truly intimate time alone. It allowed us to see each other first, share some tears and an excited ‘Let’s do this’ as well as calming any nerves.

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Although we’d seen each other before the ceremony nothing could take away from the emotions we still felt as I walked down the aisle towards Matt with my father by my side. With my nerves all erased all I could do was smile and take in the fact that in this moment all of my dreams had come true. We’d poured so much love, time and energy into planning our Koh Samui wedding and we’re continuously told that it absolutely showed.

Despite an obvious beachy vibe we maintained an atmosphere of elegance to match the luxurious private villa ‘Ban Suriya‘, Thai for ‘the sunshine house’. The naturally beautiful surrounds of the beachfront ceremony were complemented with a simplistic bamboo altar with white thai silk draping and beautiful white orchids. White ‘Tiffany’ style wooden chairs were adorned with dusky pink ribbons and the aisle was scattered with white and dusky pink rose petals to match the bridesmaid’s beautiful flowing dresses. At either side of the altar stood five white Bali flags, ten in total; one for each year of our love.

My bouquet was a stunning combination of white phalaenopsis orchids and roses with a beautiful charm of my grandma’s photo and the words ‘always in my heart’ so she too could be with me as I walked down the aisle clutching a tiny locket of her ashes in my free hand. The bridesmaids carried cymbidium orchids and the two flower girls scattered rose petals along the white sand aisle. Cute wooden signs were used around the place including ‘Shoes here, Vows there, Love everywhere’ to add personal touches and the guest book table included photographs of our grandparents on their respective weddings days.

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Our ceremony truly reflected our long-standing love for each other and brought tears, smiles and laughter to everyone who was there. We wrote our own vows and compiled every word of the readings to our liking, including a blessing from our parents and the remembrance of our grandparents, complimented by lighting a candle in their honour. A Hawaiian tradition of blending of the sands was a nice touch to include also.

Our celebrant Alexandra Conroy, originally from Australia, was absolutely incredible in bringing together the most intimate and personal ceremony we could have wished for.

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Thailand is such a special place to us that holds so many beautiful memories and promises so many more.​ A barefoot beach wedding that truly reflected who we are, our love for each other and our love of life. The islands of Thailand have witnessed so much of the evolution of our relationship and to share our special day with those we most love in the place we most cherish was an absolute dream come true. We chose a private villa on the island of Koh Samui in Southern Thailand. We knew we wanted somewhere exclusive and intimate and a place that both we and our guests would never forget. Our closest family and friends loved the idea of a holiday to Thailand and it was truly special to have so much more time with them all before and after the wedding. By the time the big day arrived everyone was just SO relaxed!

Following the ceremony we surprised everyone with the appearance of a baby elephant. This beautiful creature kindly posed in bridal photos on the beach and entertained the kids. It was something special to spend time with this gentle giant on the beach, who accompanied us for a walk into the sunset and stood by as the bridal party had piggyback races along the sand.

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We had an alfresco wedding reception right beside the beach beneath coconut palms and a clear starry sky. The table centerpieces were beautiful white phalaenopsis orchids with accents of candles and starfish/message in a bottle bonbonniere that I made myself.

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A particularly sentimental part of our day was the inclusion of a traditional Thai Buddhist water blessing after we entered the reception. Our guests blessed us with sacred water from the ceremonial conch shell. As they poured the water over our hands they quietly said a wish, a blessing or advice for our marriage. It was beautiful to have a few moments of one on one intimacy with every one there and it simply felt right to honour the traditions of the land we were married in.

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We had several more surprises in store including Thai fire dancers and a fireworks display following our first dance. Everyone loved the opportunity to head back down to the beach to release thai lanterns into the sky together. As we each made a wish and let go of the lanterns it truly felt like we were putting our own stars in the sky.

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The reception went late into the night with dancing and cocktail making at a DIY mojito bar. Guests enjoyed photo booth fun and conga lines as the wonderful catering staff served tropical drinks and wine imported from Australia.

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At the end of the night the we and many of the guests went for a dip in the pool to cool off before retreating to the villa’s rooms which served for not only the wedding venue but also the bridal party’s accommodation.

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Everything about our day felt perfect. I am so grateful for immense amount of thought and energy we put into our wedding and the belief we shared in making our dreams come true. We’re only getting married once, we had to make the most of it! It truly was the most beautiful day of our lives and one that we will absolutely never forget. We are so grateful to every one who shared in our day. We truly feel we share an extra special bond with you all now, for we all witnessed something magical.

Videographer Daniel Baci captured it all on film and produced this wonderful trailer.

Images by Koh Samui Photography

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Ms Gingham says: What an amazing day Saskia! Thanks so much for sharing so many details with us today!

Saskia says: “I’m a young passionate Paediatric Nurse who spends her working days caring for sick kids and striving towards bringing big smiles to little faces. I spend my days making the most of this beautiful life by spending time with those I love doing the things we love most!”

Photographer: Koh Samui Photography / Bride’s Dress: Bluebell Bridal Melbourne / Hair & Makeup: Dany Lopez / Bridesmaid Dresses: Forever New / Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ban Suriya Villa / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Dreamcatcher's Events and Holidays / Ceremony Officiant: Alexandra Conroy / Videographer: The Baci Productions

Inspired Words – Carmen

by | Inspired Words, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ms Herringbone
2
COMMENTS

Elegant Winter Solstice Wedding016 Inspired Words Carmen

When you’re making a list of your “must have’s” for your wedding, one of the vendors that invariably hits the top five is the cinematographer, or videographer. Bride Carmen couldn’t recommend this more after her Elegant Winter Solstice Wedding to her love Garvin, and had this advice for all those planning their big day.

“Hire a videographer! It all goes by far too quickly. We couldn’t imagine better people to have with us on the day as they felt like part of the family. The footage is absolutely incredible and still makes us giddy after we watch it.”

Here is their film, produced by the talented Lumina Motion Pictures

Images by Luke Going Photography

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An Enchanting Engagement At The Melbourne Aquarium

by | Inspired Engagements, Weddings

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Vanessa.Tran
8
COMMENTS

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Brennan and Vanessa / Photo by Fifteen Photography

come with me, and you’ll be,  in a world of pure imagination…

Such was Brennan’s unique and very romantic proposal which spanned over three days in sunny Santorini (which you can read about here), I knew we were about to embark upon an amazing journey. As we touched back down to Melbourne Australia, and before the reality of ‘normal’ life set in, Brennan and I were determined to prolong our heightened state of euphoria… and what better way to do just that than immediately casting our minds and attention to planning our engagement party and our wedding!

Not only did we want to organise two very special events to celebrate our love and dedication for one another, but we also wanted to spoil our adored guests; and boy, oh boy, were our guests in for a special treat! Due to our combined love for the water and nature, and in keeping up with our oceanic sea theme, we immediately placed a deposit to hold our wedding in November 2015 at the One&Only Hayman Island, Australia’s most iconic private island resort on the Great Barrier Reef (more info to come later in this post). With the wedding location and date locked-in, our minds immediately shifted to the engagement party, and what better place to encapsulate our love for nature and the water than the iconic Melbourne Aquarium, inside the Fish Bowl; the world-famous function room enveloped 360 degrees by sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles.

Brennan and I both wanted to surprise our guests with a unique engagement party, and were determined to host a night that our guests would never forget. We partnered with some very special and talented suppliers to ensure our engagement was one that would forever stay in our memories.

The Night Begins 

The evening started off at Crown Metropol, where I was ‘beautified’ and totally spoilt by the lovely and talented make up artist Patricia Mae Eleazar.

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Photos by Omar Barcenas; Make-up by Patricia Mae  Eleazar

Inside the Melbourne Aquarium

Having followed us around Santorini, candidly capturing our raw emotions as Brennan bent down on one-knee asking for my hand in marriage, we of course again hired Nick from Fifteen Photography to work his magic and capture this very special evening. As the photos below will testify, Nick once again pulled a rabbit out of his hat and made us and our guests (including the fish) all look utterly sublime. We absolutely LOVE your work Fifteen Photography!

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Brennan’s Surprise Video 

Draped in beautiful evening gowns and affixed with cute bow ties, we welcomed our very sartorial(istic) guests to our special night. After my welcome speech, Brennan again surprised us all (including me) with his very own special video.  In his own words:

“While I was leading a blind-folded Vanessa up and down the steps of Santorini, I had the most romantic speech prepared that I kept practicing over and over in my head. But when I un-blindfolded her, and seeing tears roll down her beautiful face, I was gobsmacked and not a single word came out of my mouth. It is something I have regretted to this day. Now, every single night before we sleep, Vanessa always asks me, ‘why do you want to marry me’?  So whether I am in the shower, cooking or cleaning, I am constantly haunted by this question! Tonight, I wanted to answer her question properly in front of all our family and friends…

Brennan then played his surprise video which reduced me to tears.

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I’ve uploaded a copy of the video here for everyone to enjoy. I LOVE the fact that he involved my family and close friends in the video, not to mention our dog Mello. With full-time work, his PhD on the side, and multiple projects always on the go… how the hell did you find the time to work on this amazing production Brennan!? Watch Brennan’s surprise video below

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Video by Aris Balabat & Wilfred Patriarca / Beor Ong

Photobooth Fun and Australia’s First Ever ‘Live’ Stop-Motion Video

While photobooths are all the rage nowadays, and understandably so as they provide your guests an opportunity to look all kinds of awesome while acting silly, Brennan and I went one step further and thought of an Australian event ‘first’ (maybe even a world-first?). Not only were our guests going to frock up and act a bit crazy in our photobooth, but their actions in the photobooth would be captured live on camera!

Our guests were able to go in and out of the photobooth, and not only collect high quality prints, but were able to go back to the Fish Bowl to re-live their experience and watch themselves (and other guests) on a large monitor acting goofy, in ‘stop-motion’ of course, which made everything look even better! Watch the video below for an example of the stop-motion feed that was played live at our engagement. Thanks Boothalicious for all your help!

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Video by Boothalicious

Invitations to One&Only Hayman Island

One of our most anticipated moments of the evening was the handing out of our wedding invitations. We were lucky enough to have Teegan, a One&Only Hayman Island representative, fly down to Melbourne to join us on the night to provide our guests with information about One&Only Hayman Island: from resort activities, room rates, massages in the middle of the rainforest or on the beach, scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef, and her announcement that our guests will each receive a personal butler during their stay. Teegan definitely knew how to whet the appetites of our guests!

Immediately following Teegan’s presentation, our bridal party personally handed to each guest our wedding invitation suite, consisting of a folder that included our wedding invitation, save the date magnets, One&Only Hayman Island accommodation booking forms and information about the room types and resort activities, as well as a personalised drink card that they can use during their stay. Enjoy a mojito or a sexy cosmopolitan on us!

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Unveiling the LuxBite Dessert Table

Dessert is probably the most important stage of the meal,
since it will be the last thing your guests remember
before they pass out all over the table!

Thanks to LuxBite – a South Yarra based patisserie renowned for their colourful macaroons, cakes, and the famous Lolly Bag cake which featured on the 2013 season of MasterChef Australia – our guests were definitely in for a sweet treat! As Brennan and I both love their desserts, we contacted LuxBite a few months before the engagement party to gauge their interest in partnering with us to produce a dessert table unlike no other. It was to be unveiled in the Ocean Theatre: an 8 metre floor to ceiling aquarium that is home to Australia’s deadliest marine creatures. A deadly delicious theme perhaps?

We approached LuxBite at the right time as they saw our event as the perfect opportunity to provide a sneak-peek into the desserts that will be featured in their newly devised concept store which is scheduled to open in the latter half of 2014. While guests were partying in the main room inside the Fish Bowl, LuxBite founders Bernard and Yen, assisted by talented stylist Tessa from Wedding Pixies, were crazy busy working behind closed curtains styling our dessert table (more like an entire room) to be ready in time for the official unveiling. At 9.45pm, guests were invited to the Ocean Theatre to submerge themselves into a room of pure imagination. The Ocean Theatre was filled with delectable desserts and foliage, surrounded by white fairy lights. As you can see from the photos, the dessert table was a HUGE hit; all 400 pieces were devoured within 20 minutes!

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 Some of the desserts featured above included:

  • PETIT FOUR: Chocolate Delice, Raspberry & Pistachio Popping Candy
  • PETIT FOUR: Rose, Lychee & Raspberry Tart
  • ROUND TART: “Golden Delicious”: Apple Tart, Raisin, Lemongrass Jelly, Caramel Mousse, Golden Puff Pastry
  • PETIT FOUR: Banana & Hazelnut Tart, Caramelised Almonds, Freeze Dried Banana
  • RECTANGULAR TART: Passionfruit Curd Tart, Meringue, Kaffir Lime Sherbet
  • DESSERT IN A TUBE: Matcha Panna Cotta, Pistachio, Whipped Sake Jelly, Cream Cheese Mousse, Green Tea Crumble, White Chocolate Heart
  • TRIANGLE TART: Vanilla Rice Pudding Tart, Praline Cream, Fresh Blueberries, Piedmontese Hazelnut

Definitely not your everyday run-of-the-mill type of desserts! Make sure to visit LuxBite; you’re guaranteed to leave feeling all kinds of happy!

Party Time

A party ain’t no party without some awesome music and dancing! We were privileged to be dancing to the beats of French producer Häzel, who has worked with numerous productions for artists such as Drake and Slakah the Beatchild. Häzel was assisted by Brennan’s musically talented sister, DJ Nica, who has hosted events for celebs of the likes of Rhianna just to name a few.

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 A Huge Thank You! 

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Finally, on behalf of Brennan and myself, I wanted to say a very warm thanks to everyone who made our special evening possible. Thanks to all of our vendors who shared in our vision to create a truly remarkable and memorable engagement party.  And a big thank you to all our family and friends for making this night one to remember; we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for all your friendship and support. See you all at One&Only Hayman Island in 2015!

…If you want to view paradise, simply look around and view it
Anything you want to, do it,  want to change the world, there’s nothing to it! 

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Photo Courtesy of One&Only Hayman Island

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Ms Gingham says: Wow! Talk about spoiling your guests!

Vanessa says: “I’m a 28 year old Digital Marketer from Melbourne Australia who loves dogs, good food, and the beach!”

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