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There are hundreds of receptions, churches, restaurants, parks, golf clubs- and you name it- to choose from, and for many the choice can become overwhelming!
But for some the more favourable choice is to steer away from these wedding venues all together.
In the midst of currently planning my own wedding, a couple months ago I'd chosen a reception, preparing the details for my 120 guests, when my fiancé and I realised it just wasn't what we wanted- I guess you could say we had a wedding epiphany.
We cancelled the original booking and later this year we'll be having an intimate island wedding, with 30 of our closest family and friends, in Port Vila, Vanuatu.
The idea of exotic locations isn't for everybody, but just like me other women also choose to do something a little more unique than the norm."
Married with monks
Although Friday the 13th is unlucky for some, it couldn't have been more the opposite for me in April, 2007. Dragged along to a bar with a friend, I hit it off with the handsome bartender immediately.
And from that night we became inseparable. After five months of dating, I knew I wanted to be with Jamie forever. And he felt the same.
It was decided then and there- we were getting married! Both spontaneous, outgoing people, we instantly agreed we wanted to do something a little different for our wedding.
We talked about eloping in Las Vegas, planning the trip for June 2008. But as we continued with our plans we realised it just wasn't for us. Instead, we wanted something more spiritual.
Discussing different ideas, Jamie and I decided to marry in Thailand. As I was born in Sri Lanka, I'd always had a strong connection with elephants- I even had an elephant tattoo! And I couldn't think of anything I'd love more than riding on elephant-back with Jamie before exchanging our vows.
We came across a website which featured marrying in the Thailand jungle, after riding on an elephant. It was just what we wanted!
Our wedding day couldn't have been more perfect. Jamie and I shared a lovely breakfast before I got my hair and makeup done and changed into my sari dress. We then drove an hour to sign all the legal paperwork for our marriage certificate before heading to the jungle- where we fed monkeys outside a Buddhist temple.
The spirituality of our wedding was so amazing and powerful. We knelt in front of the chanting monks as they blessed us with water, then tying blessed string around our wrists.
When we left the temple it started pouring rain- the monks telling us it was a symbol of good luck in their culture. We climbed on an elephant's back and headed into the jungle, reaching a river at the bottom of the hill where we exchanged our vows in knee-deep water. The elephant stood next to me like a bridesmaid- it was fabulous!
Our spiritual Thailand wedding was the best decision we could have made. We always felt the way we'd met was a blessing, so a wedding full of blessings was perfect.
Luisa Moreno-Winnett, 33.
"Planning their Thai wedding from Melbourne, Luisa and Jamie mostly organised everything online, and got a bit of help from friends for the more personal details like bridal wear and accessories. But for them the main point of a location wedding was to keep everything as low-key and stress-free as possible- and to stay true to themselves."
When I saw the Thai elephant ceremonysite online- http://www.phuket-discovery.com/wedding_promotion.htm- I was thrilled to see that they pretty much covered everything in their package- from the ceremony, paperwork, elephants, flowers, hair and makeup, to the photography.
Bride & Groom's wear
I wore a beautiful, black sari dress. My friend helped organise in having the material shipped from India. With that, I wore sandals I had from a friend's wedding and Jamie wore a black shirt and shorts. We wanted to wear black, as it's our signature colour, and dress relatively casually.
The accessories were my ‘something old'- I wore earrings from my mum and, a ring of my dad's. The ring was a Sri Lankan Star Sapphire-which is a blue stone so it covered my ‘something blue' also!
We were chauffer-driven and on elephant-back- what more could we want! All transportation was included in the wedding package.
All up we were in Thailand for two weeks, for our wedding and honeymoon combined. We had a magical time!
"Luisa and Jamie's Thai wedding was everything they had envisioned and more, with the perfect location and ceremony to suit them as a couple. But if perhaps you are thinking of something a bit more glitzy and glamorous, continue on to the following ‘Location, Location!' story..."