Beach Destination Wedding in the Philippines

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Mike and Denise held their destination wedding at Anvaya Cove, an exclusive resort in Morong, Bataan, Philippines.  Their wedding was truly a global affair and the bride shared the entire big day with us.  “My husband is Filipino-Swiss and I’m a pure Filipina. We met in London and since we both have our roots traced back to the Philippines, we decided to get married there. Since we have been based abroad, all of our friends from the US to Europe flew to the Philippines to be part of our wedding. We chose Anvaya Cove because they only grant entry to members. We were secured of our privacy. We had the entire beach stretch to ourselves for the whole duration of our wedding festivities!”

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“We have envisioned for our wedding to be classy yet sprinkled with the right amount of calm charm.”

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“We wanted to bring relaxed elegance to the beach. Normally, beach weddings are very bohemian. We had to tone down the boho part to make still make it very elegant. I chose a classic Pronovias A-line gown with mother-of-pearl sequins for that timeless look. I made my bridesmaids wear crisp white polos with their bridesmaids skirts for the wedding preps. I chose to make them wear separates so that they will still be able to mix and match the pieces even after our wedding.” 

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“Our wedding was perfectly timed. As soon as the ceremony was finished, we all watched the sunset by the beach.”

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“There are also so many travel-themed ideas we implemented here and there. As seasoned travellers, we have also dreamt of incorporating travel ideas here and there. Our invitation suite is made up of a boarding pass, bagtag, and a DIY fan with a travel crossword for our guests to answer while waiting. Our pillows and Bible bands have airplane charms. Our fondant cake features the two of us in our wedding outfits atop a Swiss plane with the destinations London, Zürich, Manila. Our logo, although very wedding-like features small travel icons, too! For the wedding preparation, our groomsmen wore Pilipinas basketball jerseys specially made for them. We gave our bridesmaids pretty monogrammed wristlet pouches made with a special material called abaca from the Philippines.” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: NEZ CRUZ

Wedding Vendors: Venue and Catering: ANVAYA COVE, Wedding and Pre-nuptial Video: PHOTOGENICS, Bridal Gown: PRONOVIAS, Bridal Shoes: SAINT LAURENT, Bridal Robe: LA TERCERA, Bride’s Makeup Artist: Herself, Bride’s Hairstylist: RENEN BAUTISTA, Entourage Hair and Makeup Artist: BENJIE ANGELES and FERDIE SANTIAGO of SHU UEMURA LONDON, Groom’s Suit & Moms’ Dresses: SIDNEY ECULLA, Grooms’ and Groomsmen’s Boutonnieres, Pillows, Bible Band, Bride’s Garter: {ETC} HANDMADE GOODNESS, Entourage Dresses: BEA ROMERO, Canopy and Stage Fabrication: MUNDO BUILDERS, Cake: FRANCINE’s SWEET TREATS, Florist: DETAILS AND BLOOMS,  Invitations: PRINTSONALITIES, Logo Monogram: KAY ARANZANSO and LAI REYES-GELUZ, Lights & Sounds: JRA, Full Band: SOUND SALAD (Sandy and Teejay), Flipbooks booth: PICPARAZZI, Guests’ thank you gifts: IZZO SHOP, Bridesmaids’ souvenirs: RINA ALBERT-LLAMAS DESIGNS and ARANÁZ
 

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A Beautiful White Wedding in Bali

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Joanna and Amanda are no strangers to globetrotting and traveling the world over.  So it was only fitting this international couple who host a destination wedding with an intimate gathering of friends and loved ones.  Joanna shared not only their big day with us, but a bit about their love story too and how Bali become home to their “I do’s.”

“…No aspect of our wedding or our relationship has been ‘traditional’ in any sense of the word.  Amanda and I met by chance six years ago in a non-descript, after-work bar in the West Village and two weeks later shared our first date and little did I know our lives would be forever changed.  We were engaged six months later while celebrating New Years in Paris and some rumblings of wedding chatter happened but nothing concrete.  Amanda and I wanted to wait until marriage was legalized and for that to happen for a same-sex couple where one bride holds a United States Passport and one a Singapore Passport this would be a challenge and so we waited…and waited.”

 “Four years after getting engaged, Amanda got the news that we would be relocated back to Singapore for her career. We settled into Singapore well and about a year into our time as expats, we finally got the news that DOMA had been overturned thus allowing us to legally marry.”  

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“Our first month in Singapore, I was very homesick and Amanda booked us a trip to Bali where she had gone many times while living and growing up in Singapore.  She kept telling me about this magical island that I would absolutely fall in love with and sure enough, she was right, the second I saw the beaches, interacted with the Balinese people, and traveled around the island, I was hooked.”  

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“Of course choosing Bali was the easy part; coordinating 36 guests to fly to Bali a year later became a full-time job for me as I took on most of the wedding planning.  Amanda and I settled on The W Retreat and Spa which is in the heart of Seminyak because we wanted a modern space that had flares of local culture, the ability for our guests to go into town easily and explore, and easy proximity from the airport.  The overall feel of the romantic and hip venue and of the outdoor setting where it wasn’t directly on the beach but, elevated above so you could see the waves crashing during our sunset ceremony was ideal.”  

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“In terms of decor, I had discussed at length with Rina that I wanted everything to be romantic but always with a modern flare. We wanted our entire ceremony and flowers to be white and different white flowers but the predominant flower being the orchid as that is the National Flower of Singapore.  Guests would also be given a welcome refreshment as they entered the ceremony space, which was mint-iced tea along with a cup of white rose petals to throw as we walked up the aisle after saying ‘I Do’.”  

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“For our bouquets we wanted simple white orchids and for our bridesmaids cream and white roses the more simple and romantic, the better.”  

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“We chose to walk down the aisle to Coldplay’s ‘Reign of Love’, which my Mom helped us choose and fit perfectly with our modern and romantic theme.  Our close friend, Diana Mahmoud, officiated the ceremony and her words had guests in tears. Amanda and I chose to write and say our own vows where again there wasn’t a dry eye even among the two of us.  We exchanged our rings and kissed as the song ‘Sweet Disposition’ by Temper Trap.  We walked up the aisle to the music and guests showering us with white rose petals.”  

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“We decided to employ the help of a local tour guide with whom we have worked with before to assist us in creating events surrounding the actual wedding day for our guests, as all would be arriving early.  I flew to Bali several times to coordinate with plans with our tour guide and on-site event planner and create an itinerary for our guests.”  

“…We decided to host an informal beachside BBQ at the famous Echo Beach House where guests could choose fresh seafood, watch the sunset and listen to music.  The next day was optional for guests and this included a bright and early wake up call and a ‘Tour of Ubud’, which is Bali’s arts and culture hub, guests, were able to visit local Balinese villages and ride elephants.  The same evening, our wedding events manager assisted us in our rehearsal at the ceremony space, which I was surprised went off seamlessly…The bridal party then headed down the road to the famous, Merah Putih Restaurant, for a cocktail hour and formal sit-down rehearsal dinner.”

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“We wanted our table to reflected the venue of Starfish Bloo Restaurant where the predominant colors were turquoise and white so, we decided on centerpieces in tuquoise vases with light green, light blue and white roses and tons of white orchids.  We also wanted the space to feel very romantic so we had lanterns surrounding the venue along with tea lights in blue votives on the dinner tables.”  

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“We settled on a six-course menu that had an Indonesian flare with Asian and Western cuisine incorporated and for dessert as we opted not to do a cake we served plates of four small desserts that had tastes of Indonesia, Singapore, and US tastes, along with cheese plates for the table as I am Italian and cheese is my favorite dessert.”  

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“Overall, we had a dream wedding and there is absolutely no aspect I would change.  I am still in awe and grateful that we had so many family and friends who travelled such a long distance to be with us and being able to stay in the same resort and have impromptu brunches, pop to a boutique with girlfriends, and hang pool-side with our loved ones was the best experience.  Having a destination wedding isn’t easy and I was lucky to employ such amazing vendors along with surround myself with a great team in Bali who were equally invested in creating a special day for all of us.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Valentino Ruya

Wedding Vendors: Location: The W Retreat and Spa Bali, Event Manager Day Of Wedding: Rina Djajasumadi from The W Retreat and Spa Bali, Tour and Event Manager For Events Surrounding Wedding: Artin Putu, Custom Wedding Dresses: Modern Trousseau, Joanna’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik, Amanda’s Shoes: Prada, Joanna’s Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co., Custom Wedding Bands: Yuen Tang, Bridesmaids Custom Gowns: Ixora By Rose Pham, Joanna’s After-Party Custom Dress: Ixora By Rose Pham, Amanda’s After-Part Custom Suit: Haute Alteration, Hair and Makeup For Bridal Party: The Bronzer, Videographer: Mata Photography, Place Cards: Beachy Chic Decor, Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas, Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Merah Putih Restaurant, Rehearsal Dinner Menus: Minted, Rehearsal Dinner and Sunrise Shoot Photographer: Solveig Boergen

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Tropical Destination Wedding in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Jenelle and Tom traveled from London to say I do in front of loved ones and their little son, Byron at the Subak Restaurant in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The couple selected the location, in part because Jenelle’s grandmother was Malaysian. Getting married in Malaysia was a way for the blushing bride to reconnect with her roots and while the location was a great middle spot for family and friends from UK and Australia.

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Rose from Never Ending Ideas, the couple’s wedding planner, shared the details of this very special day with us. “Their wedding style was themed around wild ginger flowers in particular the torch ginger flower. The torch ginger (also known as Bunga Kantan) is a tropical flower that grows in Malaysia. It is a popular ingredient in Malay cuisine and was the perfect flower for them as it focused on their mutual love of food and was a special treat for their guest. Ginger flowers were also used along with the torch ginger flower in their wedding decorations.”

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“As friends of nature and to be cost-efficient, they chose to go green with their save-the-date and wedding invitation. For their save the date – they sent guest a personalized stop motion drawing video. They sent their guest this link – which is their wedding invitation.” 

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“When it came to finding a suitable venue for Tom and Jenelle, I suggested going after a venue with a rainforest setting. You can’t have the full Malaysian experience without being in a Malaysian rainforest. Plus ginger flowers grow in the rainforest.” 

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“The entire venue is very green and in keeping with nature was very earthy. Their dining tables and chairs were made out of Indonesian teak wood and left bare in display. I loved the simplicity in the venue as it provided a great opportunity to be decorated to theme.” 

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“The venue is dimly lit to give off a candle light ambience. The lighting can be a little challenging for photographers and tricky with children. Jenelle loves fairy lights, so we added lots of fairy lights to the venue. This gave a romantic effect to the candlelit evening.” 

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“One of the highlights was the tasting photo booth, in which guest could have a taste of the torch ginger flower – in a drink, in fruit mixture (rojak), as a dip, etc. The photo booth was there to capture their reaction as they taste the flower for the first time. 90% of their guest were not from Malaysia and had not tasted yet alone heard of the torch ginger flower before.” 

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographers: Photography (for couple): Andrew Yep of Andrew Yep Photographie, Photography (for details): Sarah Ho of Bitter Vanilla Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Planner: Rose Kuruvilla of Never Ending Ideas, Coordination Team: Rose Kuruvilla, Sarah Ho, Andrea Ho, Hanna Abraham, Cheri Loh and Katyani Chhabra, Sound and Light Management: Nick and Tracy of HeadHunter Production, Hair and Make Up: KF Bong, Stationery: Cheri Loh (Freelance), Flowers and Decor: Never Ending Ideas with guidance from Yamano Florist and Ikebana School, Bridal Bouquet: Floristika and Far East Flora, Wedding Cake: Anita and Aneesa of Cupcakes Confetti, Children’s party planners: My PlayPen, Bridal Car: Red Orca, Wedding Accommodation: Park Royal Serviced Suites and Park Royal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Wedding Venue: Subak Restaurant (Malaysia), Stop Motion Drawing: DMR Group, Wedding Ring Holder: Handmade by Krystal Geevarughese

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A Sweet Honeymoon in Thailand

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Today’s story is not a real wedding but a real honeymoon – in Thailand!  Kevin and Meredith wed in April and just days after their big day, they departed for a trip of a lifetime across the globe!  Meredith shared the story of their journey with us.  “We spent the first week in Chaing Mai, visiting temples, attending cooking class and riding elephants. Then we flew to Koh Samui where we relaxed on the beach!”  

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How did they select such an exotic location?  They looked at what they really wanted to get out of the experience.  Be honest with what you want your honeymoon to be. Kevin and I love to travel and explore new places but also like to relax and be lazy – so we planned a little of both! We took advantage of this special time in our life and planned a huge trip we’d been dreaming of. Lots of guests gladly pitched in (we registered at Wanderable.com) and we were able to have a fantastic time.” 

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And what about where they stayed?  “We relied fairly heavily on Lonely Planet’s Thailand guide and picked our hotels from their recommendations. Our guest house in Chaing Mai was called Minicost and was at a great location inside the old city walls. The woman that worked the front desk, Yosita, was wonderful and helped us plan nearly all of our excursions. In Koh Samui, we stayed at the Tango Beach Resort which was located right on the beach and had a great breakfast buffet in the morning. It was a little up the beach from all of the party resorts on Chaweng so it was a little bit more quiet but still accessible to some fun night life!”  

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One of our most favorite parts of the trip was getting to hang out with the elephants – It was awesome getting to ride them, but I think our favorite part of the day was feeding them! They would eat entire bunches of bananas, skins and all, right out of your hand! We also loved the cooking class we took in Chiang Mai & getting to relax on the beach in Koh Samui – book & coconut in hand!” 

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Neither Kevin nor I had been to Asia so we were amazed by the intricate temples in Thailand. They were so beautiful and you could just feel the history inside them. I also loved that it was pretty hot so it forced us to slow down, have a little afternoon nap or stop inside for a Chang and some air conditioning!” 

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Meredith just so happens to be a professional photographer, but if you can’t take one with you, consider booking an afternoon with a local photographer and get honeymoon memories in print as pretty as these!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Photographer: Meredith McKee Photography and Design

Hotels: Tango Beach Resort, Minicost  

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A Destination Wedding in Koh Samui, Thailand

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Joe and Brie met in high school, 14 years before they tied the knot in beautiful Thailand!  Brie shared with us lots of insights into their very personal big day.  “The wedding day was out of a dream for us.  I travel to Thailand every few years.  Learning the traditions of my father and his family.  I knew at a young age that I wanted to incorporate parts of my culture in my wedding.  Joseph’s family is originally from Vietnam.  They moved to Kansas City shortly after the war.  When we discussed possible locations we both agreed Thailand for the wedding and then Honeymoon in Vietnam so we could have aspects of both of our families.”

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“Planning was an easier thing for me because I had travelled to Thailand the year before with my family and a close friend.  We traveled to the island of Koh Samui and I knew instantly this place would be perfect for the wedding.  Since we were there I spoke to a few wedding planners just to get information and tour the local beaches for possible locations.  I found the wedding planning group that I knew would be able to execute on the big day and make sure it was everything he and I would want it to be.”

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“The flowers were Orchids and flown in the day of the wedding and prepared by our wedding planners starting at 6am.”

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“The ceremony included a sand ceremony which was a symbol of the joining of our families.  We also had western vows so that we could modernize the day.  After the ceremony ended we celebrated with a glass of champagne.”

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“Our friends and family were given flower petals in leaf wrapped cones to shower us with as we went down the aisle.”  

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“Make sure your wedding incorporates who you and your groom are.  It meant a lot to have family and friends there taking part in our families culture and history.”

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“Our guests’ placements were little elephants.  We thought it was a nice piece to include because elephants are big in both of our ancestors countries.”

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 “We had to have Thai Dancing of course.  Joe and his brother David even did a dance into the venue with the music and dancers.  We did the traditional Thai dance with long sticks which is a symbol of the types of combat typical in Thailand.”

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“The food was also prepared bbq style which is a local tradition.”    

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 “We also did the traditional wish lanterns with our guests.  It represents our dreams and wishes for a prosperous marriage.  We also included Thai music while guests enjoyed food like Thai curry to local fish from the area like squid and crabs.

From the Wish Lanterns to the Thai dancing it was just as I had imagined.  We were able to have family members from both Thailand and Vietnam attend and share in our special day which was an incredible thing for both of us.  It also touched us that our friends and family from all over the world attended the big event.  From Australia, Singapore, Scotland, and of course the US, our friends and family traveled across the world to celebrate with us.  I couldn’t have imagined it without them.  They were able to take in where our families were from and enjoy the food and customs of our culture.”  

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Khun Weerayut (Dtoa)

Wedding Vendors: Caterer + Wedding Location + Flowers + Cake: Faraway Weddings, Best Man/Groom Suit: Banana Republic, Bridesmaid Dress: Monique LhuillierHair Clip & Bracelet: Elizabeth Bower, Bridal Shoes: Via Spiga, Wedding Dress Designer: Ivy & Astor

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