Should you plan a destination wedding?
The answer is YES! And this blissful Ban Sairee wedding is a perfect example of why.
Kendell and Eoin’s private villa wedding in Koh Samui ticked every single box. Luxurious tropical destination, check. Romantic beachfront ceremony, check. Spectacularly scenic wedding photos, check. A once-in-a-lifetime celebration under the stars with their nearest and dearest, check!
And let’s talk about that last point for a second.
Destination weddings provide an experience that is just so unique. A group of happy, relaxed holidaymakers as wedding guests creates an atmosphere unlike any you could create at home. And when those holidaymakers happen to be your most important people, and when the setting happens to be some magical, exotic destination, it’s difficult to explain just how special that feels.
And judging by these wedding photos from Aidan Dockery, it also felt like a whole lot of fun!
From the wedding photographer, Aidan Dockery;
Every time I set foot on Koh Samui, I know I’m in for a treat. The perfect white sand beaches, turquoise water, and lush tropical greenery all combine to create the most stunning backdrop for a wedding day.
Ban Sairee is one of my favorite wedding venues in all of Thailand. These stunning private villas are located on the southern tip of Koh Samui, spanning 3 acres of private, untouched coastline. While the beaches of Laem Sor may not be ideal for swimming, the privacy and tranquility they offer are unmatched.
Laem Sor has the atmosphere of old Samui, before the influx of tourists and nightclubs. It’s a luxurious tropical hideaway and the perfect setting for an idyllic wedding celebration on Koh Samui’s shores.
Kendell and Eoin’s wedding day was nothing short of sensational. From their first kiss as husband and wife under the palm trees, to their last cocktails on the dance floor, the day couldn’t have been more perfect.
Kendell and Eoin were kind enough to share their wedding day with us, as told to BWB by the couple.
The Couple – Kendell & Eoin
Kendell is from sunny Australia and Eoin is from the Emerald Isle of Ireland.
We met whilst working in Europe, so we knew our friends and family would have to travel to wherever we chose to marry. We had both visited Thailand many times as individuals and as a couple, and it had a special place in both our hearts. Thailand has so much natural beauty, the people are the friendliest on the planet and the food is some of the best in the world! We couldn’t think of a better place to celebrate with our loved ones!
The Wedding Destination – Koh Samui, Thailand
We chose Koh Samui foremost for its beautiful tropical island scenery, but it is also a great “Destination Wedding” location as it has an international airport and a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and tastes. On our wedding day, we took a short drive to Thong Krut Beach which is a secluded beach with a very shallow low tide giving the effect of a salt plain!
Weddings at Ban Sairee Private Villa
Ban Sairee is special for many reasons. We were particularly drawn to the traditional Thai architecture of the villa as well as its private beach and coconut palm grove. There was no mistaking that you were in Thailand!
Being on the South of the island in the Taling Ngam district, it had a little more privacy than the busier neighborhoods in the North and North-East of the Island. Ban Sairee had all the ingredients for the perfect party and the most magnificent backdrop for our stunning photographs taken by the talented Aidan Dockery. The villa staff were attentive and a pleasure to deal with, from our first communication until the day we sadly said goodbye.
Why Plan a Private Villa Wedding in Koh Samui?
After doing some research we felt that private villas were the best choice for us. It meant we had more freedom in our choices for food, entertainment, decoration, timings, and the number of guests. We also really wanted to have privacy on the day and not feel that we were encroaching on a resort guest’s relaxing holiday, or having any uninvited guests on the day! It also meant we could have family and friends stay with us over a few days and take the time to relax in the venue before and after the big day. Having a private villa is what made our wedding unique to us and I can’t recommend them enough!
What Time of Year Was the Wedding?
We married in the month of March. We chose this time as it is “shoulder season” around the islands. It is not too busy with tourists, but there is still so much to see and do! It’s also a great time to hit the beach as it is still hot, but not too hot! Locals also told us it is the driest month of the year as it comes just before the rainy season begins in April.
Planning a Ban Sairee Wedding
We had done A LOT of research ourselves and had booked our celebrant and photographer, short-listed some venues, found hair and make-up, and guest accommodation options. But we really struggled to find local catering, a bar service, flowers, decorations, and equipment hire! Thankfully, we came across the wonderful Aey Dujarat-Varis from Dreamcatcher Weddings and Events, who was able to pull everything together and make our day a masterpiece! Aey and her team supplied us with the most delicious Thai food, the most unbelievable décor, a DJ and sound system, equipment hire, and an overflowing bar with yummy cocktails. They took care of the setup and pack down, transportation of guests, and liaison with all of the vendors. We had a beautiful traditional Thai dancer to entertain guests whilst we had our photos taken, and a local pancake stall later in the evening to fill our tummies whilst we danced the night away.
We couldn’t have done it without Aey’s help and thanks to her we had the wedding of our dreams!
I did find it hard to locate local vendors online and found a lot of people catering to “western” menus and traditions. That was not what we were after personally.
In regards to the wedding being legal, we decided after some consideration to be legally married in Australia prior to traveling to Thailand. This then took away the need for a lengthy stay in Thailand to organize the necessary legal paperwork in Bangkok/Phuket, the added time and cost of translation, and the other formalities needed when marrying in a foreign country.
The Wedding Day – A Perfect Private Villa Wedding in Koh Samui
Our wedding day was the most fun we have ever had! The day itself turned out to be a lot hotter than anticipated and even the locals were sweating! We started around 4 pm in the afternoon to beat the heat and time our photographs with a beautiful west coast sunset. Our ceremony took place in the shade of the coconut grove, with the sea behind us and 63 of our loved ones watching on. Our planner – Aey – took care of everything from behind the scenes and the day ran so smoothly and went by in a flash! Our photographer Aidan took us to a gorgeous sunset location for our photos and we returned in time for the most scrumptious Thai dinner under the stars. Afterwards, we danced the night away on the villa’s grassy lawn and sandy beach. The drinks flowed, the music pumped and the evening sea breeze cooled us down from the tropical highs. It was pure heaven.
Advice For Other Couples Planning a Ban Sairee Wedding
Do your research! Read all of the blogs, email any potential vendors and ask a million questions. If you are looking for Thai touches, speak to the locals and ex-pats in any way you can – email, call, use social media, etc. We would also recommend visiting Thailand and your potential locations beforehand so you can really understand the logistics necessary for a destination wedding. There is an incredible amount of detail needed for your big day, and you cannot underestimate the amount of time it takes to plan.
Kendell & Eoin’s Koh Samui Wedding Vendors
Wedding Photographer: Aidan Dockery
Wedding Venue: Ban Sairee, Laem Sor, Koh Samui – Thailand
Wedding Planner: Dreamcatchers Events
- Destination: Thailand – How to plan a legal Thai wedding
- 6 Reasons to Choose a Destination Wedding in Thailand
- Thailand’s 5 Best Beaches for Weddings and Honeymoons
- 5 ways to know if a destination wedding is right for you