Destination weddings, for some, a huge pain in the ass where you have to put up a lot of money to fly far away, pay for accommodation, as well as a wedding gift. For others it’s a way to go someplace they have never been before, quite often, a place they never even dreamed of going. Personally, I love them. Be it a wedding in some farmer’s field in Pennsylvania, an animal sanctuary in Utah, or a Shinto wedding in Japan. All these places I would not have been to if it wasn’t for the choices two people made to spend the rest of their lives together, and wanted to share with their friends and family in a unique location and way. I also hate the politics that go with weddings. The who sits where, how much per plate, how much you should give as a gift. Obviously weddings have become big business, but I think that people often forget what they are really for, celebrating a life together. I believe in giving gifts that I think people will like, because I know them, not something off a registry. It may be fifty dollars, or three hundred dollars, what matters to me is that the gift has meaning. Who needs another toaster, especially on a beach, which brings us back to Thailand.
The day had arrived, and everyone was getting ready. The ladies went to get the hair thing done, and nails too. I opted to join them for a five dollar pedicure, but I had no idea what I was getting into. After scraping the living hell out of my feet, brandishing them to all kinds of torture; acids, bubbling vats of chemicals, and some kind of sander on my heels. Then they have me lay on my stomach, and as they work on my feet another woman gives me a butt massage. Not really what I was expecting as you can see by my expression.
Well any one who has seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding knows the best thing you can do on wedding days is stay the hell out of the womens way. If you follow those rules then life will be good for you. Elaine seemed to not have any of those issues though, in fact with the Wedding starting at four, she was having a casual lunch at two like it was any normal day. But that’s ok because Yvonne was stressing out enough for everyone. Stephanie and Yvonne were running all over the place; organising, doing make up, and meeting family. We did a booze and make-up run to Tesco. After checking to make sure they did not need anything from me, I took this time to get the hell out there. Once I returned I was told to bring the beer into the bride’s chamber, and while I was filling the fridge I told not to be in the bride’s room. Poor Derek was a bunch of nerves, and was sent to my room to get dressed and stay away from the bridal suite.
Things always work out on the end though, Derek managed to figure out his suit, and we headed down to the beach. Akyra Chura Sumui Hotel really knows what they are doing when it comes to weddings, it’s all in the details. The beach was done up so beautifully, with rose petals leading to a pergola with silk curtains hanging on it, and flowers adorning it, not even ten feet from the water. There were two rows of seats with silk coverings and lotus flowers on the back. The pink and white lotus flowers were the size of a fist.
Derek was leaning against the pergola, looking very much like he needed a cigarette. The wind was blowing the curtains making amazing pictures with the blue water behind them. The music started up a everyone stood up staring at the walkway next to the pool. Wearing a white wedding dress Elaine looked very beautiful. The ceremony was nice, sweet, and short.
This being a public beach, there were other hotel guest sunbathing over to the side. In fact a small crowd was starting to develop on the beach. There will be pictures of this wedding in vacation books from Moscow to Korea. I know how upset people get when someone besides the bride wears white to a wedding, it’s a huge faux pas. I’m not sure what the rules are for a girl being topless the entire ceremony, but it seemed a bit tacky to me. Of course no one told her to cover up either.
A long tail boat came across the bay to pick them up and take them around to the islands for pictures. This was amusing in its own right as everyone was struggling to get them in the boat with out getting the dress or suit wet. By this time the sun was starting to set. This was a great time for us to enjoy some drinks at the pool side bar and have some laughs. The hotel went to work setting up the bridal suite with lotus flowers and rose petals, champagne, and filling the tub with scented water. In addition they set up a table with yet more flowers.
We all sat down for a candlelit dinner above the beach, and got a look at the menu. It was amazing, and we all sat there discussing what entree we were going to get. When the appetizers came out it was a sampling of everything on the list. The spring rolls were to die for. After the appetizers we went down to the beach to light the sky lanterns. It is believed that sky lanterns originated in China, and have been used in Northern Thailand for festivals for years. When you light the lantern you make a wish and eventually it comes true. There is nothing more magical than watching all these lanterns float into the night sky. Elaine had bought some lanterns from Britain before coming to Thailand, and they did not really want to float. But we all had a good laugh trying to get them to take to the air, and not to land on each others heads. About half of them soared away.
Now it was time for the main course, and still we had not given our order. Well the staff started rolling out the food, and let me tell you, it was not family style. Every main course on the menu was brought out for everyone. And not tapas sized plates, these were all big portions. The food was so delicious that I couldn’t stop eating it, even though I was starting to feel a little preggo myself. I can’t even remember all the deserts, but they were good.
Well after just laying there in a comatose state, it was time for the next act. I managed to pull myself out of my seat and head over to a bar down the beach. The night before Derek and I had caught a fire show so we negotiated a deal with the fire spinner to come do the wedding on the beach. When I brought our pyro buddy back everyone was on the beach chairs ready for the show.
The kid was probably fifteen but he did the best fire show I have ever seen. The fire spun so quick that it created a series of circles and figure eights. He would toss them in the air then catch them behind his back, constantly in motion. His show lasted about thirty minutes, by the end of it you could see the sweat just pouring off him. The night before he spun the flames in a tight circle next to his body, and lit people’s cigarettes with it. Derek had his ready to go but he never repeated that trick.
Two young girls we had met before selling trinkets on the beach showed up. The girls were so funny because they were amazed by Derek’s hair, and were so excited to be chatting to the bride and groom. Their English was great. Somehow in the course of a discussion fireworks came up. Next thing we know she calls her brother and a fireworks display is being set up in front of us, not some bottle rockets either. It was a proper Fourth of July celebration.
Well as with many weddings, especially of the Irish sort, drinking, talking, and laughing went late into the night. I don’t think you could have wished for a more perfect event, from the flowers, food, beach, and fire displays. It was a magical night and I could not be happier for Elaine and Derek.