Jenny and Gareth are one seriously hot couple. I’m talking hot with a capital ‘H’ folks and I just know you’ll think the same once you see their delicious destination wedding imagery by D-Image Plus.
But WAIT. It gets better. Their ceremony took place on the sand, footsteps away from the water’s edge with whales dancing in the sea behind the chuppah! And after the ceremony The Kardashians (yes, The Kardashians) photo-bombed their portrait shots on the beach!!
Their wedding planner, Jeanette Skelton, told me, “The Kardashians turned up on the beach in front of the villa, after the ceremony, during the photo session. They were staying at the nearby Iniala Resort and had their film crew on the beach to film for Keeping up with the Kardashians. Of course they wanted to film Gareth and Jenny for their show and what luck for them to run into such a fabulous bride and groom!”
Jenny, originally from Melbourne, and Gareth, from Sydney, met in Thailand which is why getting married there was so significant for them. Jeanette from Luxury Events Phuket (liaising mostly with Gareth, as Jenny was studying for her chartered accountants certificate in the run up to her wedding) created an all-sorts-of-brilliant day for this special couple and told me “every wedding is special and unique but there are some weddings that truly stand out with incredible energy and this was one of them.”
I have to agree with Jeanette – the energy is palpable! And after their intimate beach ceremony came a pumping party complete with pineapple and lemongrass infused vodka martinis, watermelon mojitos, pina coladas, long island ice phi phi’s live music, obligatory crazy Jewish dancing, Thai sky lanterns, fire dancers and an insane pool party with falafel and pitta for a midnight snack. Divine exotic perfection!
A DESTINATION WEDDING
Jenny, the Bride: It took a while for us to decide on a venue however we knew we really wanted to have a classy destination wedding on the beach – somewhere unique and special to us. It was also really important for us to have a fully kosher reception. Thailand was perfect for this as it is relatively close to Australia and also has multiple Chabad houses. I saw pictures online of a stunning wedding that Jeanette Skelton and her team at Luxury Events Phuket had done and when I contacted them they told me that they had planned another Jewish wedding a year earlier, and would have no problem organising a strictly kosher wedding for us. They helped us find the perfect venue for our wedding at the Grand Satis Villa, Aleenta in Phang Nga Bay. We had our chuppah right in front of the Villa on the beach and the reception was outside on the beachfront lawn.
A PINK + WHITE COLOUR SCHEME
The colours at the chuppah were very simple with all white orchid flowers. We wanted to have brighter colours at the reception wedding so we had pink and white flowers with amazing bright pink lighting all over the walls of the villa and also lighting up the chuppah when it became dark.
INVITATIONS + A WEDDING WEBSITE
We had a very simple but classy invitation with our initials on the front. We had a link on the invitations to a website we made. We felt it was necessary to have a website for a destination wedding as it had lots of information for our guests such as accommodation, dress code, RSVP, links to our registry and information about Jewish Thailand.
A DRESS FIT FOR A PRINCESS
I wanted something really ‘bridal’ and I loved my wedding gown (by Australian designer Lisa Gowing) because I felt like a princess in it. I like a well-fitted cut that is elegant but with intricate details. The corset had beading all over it and delicate beaded capped sleeves. The bottom of the dress was tulle with silk lining and had a long train at the back. I realised it was ‘the one’ because I couldn’t stop thinking about it even though it was well above what I had planned to spend, I just had to have it!
A SWAROVSKI CRYSTAL VEIL + DIAMOND EARRINGS
I chose a long veil to go with my dress, which had Swarovski crystals on the clip at the top of the veil. i had simple diamond drop earrings as i wanted the earrings to complement the dress rather than overwhelm it.
PARKLY GOLD SHOES, DIAMANTE FLATS, AND BEING BAREFOOT
I bought open toe strappy sparkly gold shoes with a small heel and also a pair of diamante flats for the rest of the night. However after the chuppah I took of my shoes and had photos barefoot on the beach and stayed that way for the rest of the night. It was great!
RELAXED AND ELEGANT HAIR + MAKE UP
I didn’t want to be too formal and have too much makeup as it was a beach wedding and I preferred to be relaxed but still elegant. I went for my hair down to the side, with loose curls at the bottom. For make up I chose to have a natural look with a soft glow and some lashes to complete the look. Neil Donkin, booked by Luxury Events Phuket, did both my hair and makeup and was amazing to work with. He was so friendly and on the day he was calm, helpful and knew exactly what he was doing.
THE HANDSOME GROOM
Gareth wore a classic white open collar shirt with sleeves rolled up, cobalt blue pants and a tan belt and sand coloured shoes to tie it all together. He emphasized the relaxed (but still formal) beach style of the wedding. It much too hot to wear a suit jacket.
THE CEREMONY – COMPLETE WITH WHALES FROLICKING IN THE SEA BEHIND US!
The badeken was done in the huge main lounge area of the Villa after which the guests walked down onto the beach where the ceremony was performed. A flower path led the way down to the chuppah which was literally metres from the water. Gareth walked down first with his parents to George Harrison’s Here Comes The Sun and I walked down the aisle to Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years. Then under the chuppah we had David Broza’s song Mitachat La’shamiyim, followed by Im Eshkachech.
We flew our Rabbi and friend up from Melbourne who performed a meaningful and down-to-earth ceremony for us, and during the ceremony we had the amazing experience of two humpback whales frolicking in the sea just behind the chuppah!
A BAMBOO AND SILK CHUPPAH
We had a beautiful grand bamboo chuppah draped in white silk and decorated with white orchards at every corner, that Luxury Events Phuket designed magnificently.
ORCHIDS, ROSES + FAIRY LIGHTS
All the chuppah flowers were white and yellow orchids. At the reception the table centre pieces were made up of roses and orchids in white and different shades of pink and I had a matching bouquet. Gareth wore a single white rose on his shirt.
In addition to the pink lighting all over the villa and the chuppah which added lots of ambiance we had fairy lights hanging above the lawn, lanterns surrounding the pool, beachfront lawn around the tables and candles on the tables.
THE KARDASHIANS PHOTO-BOMBED OUR PORTRAIT SHOTS!
Jeanette, our wedding planner chose us the top Thai photographers D-Image Plus and they were brilliant. We had about eight of them on the day photographing me and Gareth separately before the chuppah. They were very creative and were everywhere on the day.
During our photos on the beach we were surprised by the Kardashians who came over to say hi. They were filming Keeping up with the Kardashians in Thailand and were staying in a villa next door to us on the beach!
We ordered sand coloured kippot with our names inscribed on the inside for the guests. We also had refreshing cocktails served in a coconut for the guests as they arrived. Luxury Events Phuket organised a polariod camera and we bought a guest book from Australia for the guests to write in and put in a picture of themselves from the Polaroid camera that they took as they arrived.
The same logo of our initials that was used on the invitation was also used on the table plans, seating cards and menus which Luxury Events printed out for us.
For favours, we gave out cute fans with a thank you tag attached to each one.
CATERING BY A CELEBRITY CHEF
Luxury Events often work with Chef Daniel Isberg who was our caterer. He is a celebrity chef and has cooked for the Swedish royal family and Brad and Angelina amongst others. He didn’t disappoint either with everyone raving about the Thai style food we ate. We didn’t have a big cake but we had a dark chocolate cake as a choice in the dessert buffet. We also had crepes with either passionfruit or chocolate sauce, the traditional sticky mango rice pudding with coconut sauce and exotic fruit salad.
LIVE MUSIC, CRAZY DANCING, FIRE DANCERS + A POOL PARTY!
We walked into a jewish song, followed by 20 minutes of jewish dancing, and our first dance was to Over the Rainbow sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’le. The music was fun and upbeat. We had a live band playing during dinner called Le Deja Vu, a french duo who sung, played saxophone and keyboard.
As the night went on, it slowly transformed into a party with coloured lights on the dance floor and a DJ. Buckets of alcohol with straws and jelly shots were handed out during the dancing, and activities included a fire dancer who wowed our guests with her skills and romantic Kom Loys (sky lanterns) that everyone released into the air. After our dance we surprised the guests with amazing fireworks which went off whilst we played songs We Found Love by Rihanna and Hey Brother by Avicii in the background.
The night finished off with all the guests having a pool party to cool off from the hot night!
FEELING THE LOVE FROM FRIENDS AND FAMILY
Above all, it was made so special by everyone who flew there from all over the world to be there with us on our special day. It meant so much to us that everyone flew to Thailand just for us. We really felt the love and everyone had the most unbelievable time. It is an amazing memory we have with everyone who was there and we will never forget it.
ADVICE TO OTHER BRIDES
Make a list of everything you’ll need to bring with you to the reception and designate a person to bring them for you and give them to you when you arrive like your powder press, lipgloss, etc. Also ask someone to tell you if anything gets out of place on the night with your hair or your dress. If your wedding is on the beach, have a short veil so it doesn’t fly around everywhere. Lastly just enjoy the moment with everyone there, have fun with all the guests and make sure to involve everyone! If you can, do get a wedding planner to take the stress out of the planning.
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