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Thai do

Kirsty and Dan jetted off to the Far East for a magical mix of ancient and modern

Kirsty and Dan – the proposal

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After dating for just under three years, Dan proposed to Kirsty in spectacular style while on holiday in Thailand – under the stars on a torch-lit beach. “We were so happy and relaxed and it was such a romantic setting,” Kirsty remembers. “Then Dan started getting all mushy – I thought it was just the moment taking him, then he pulled out a wooden ring he’d bought on the sly, dropped to one knee and said he’d wanted to do this forever and asked me to marry him! Through the tears I managed to say yes.”

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Photography by Kerry Morgan (kerrymorgan.com)

Kirsty and Dan destination ‘I do’

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From the start the couple were certain that they wanted a destination wedding and, after falling in love with the country where Dan proposed, they both agreed it had to be Thailand. After narrowing down the options online, Kirsty and Dan spent four weeks travelling around Thailand a year before the wedding to find their dream venue. And it came in the shape of Rayavadee Resort in Krabi, on the breathtaking Andaman coast. “It was the second place we saw, and when we realised it looked exactly as it did online, we knew we’d never find anything better and booked it there and then.”

Kirsty and Dan – spiritual journey

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The couple decided to have two ceremonies to mark the occasion: a spiritual, traditional Thai marriage blessing performed by five monks in a cave on the beach, and an afternoon civil ceremony on the coconut lawn. During the ceremony in The Grotto, held at 9am (the number nine is lucky in Thai culture), Kirsty and Dan lit incense and candles…

Kirsty and Dan – spiritual journey

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… and had sacred string wrapped around their heads as a symbol of their commitment to each other. “The ceremony was incredible, the monks sang their chants and the acoustics of the caves made the sound so beautiful, we all had tingles!” says Kirsty.

Kirsty and Dan – two dream dresses

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Kirsty wowed her friends and family with two dresses on the big day. First was a floaty organza halterneck gown by Caroline Castigliano for the cave ceremony, complemented by a simple white flower adorning her flowing waves.

Kirsty and Dan – two dream dresses

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Then she vamped up the glamour for the afternoon civil ceremony and evening reception with an Amy Michelson backless satin creation with Swarovski crystal straps, bought from Blackburn Bridal Couture. “I’m a bridal hair and make-up artist so I see hundreds of stunning dresses each year,” says Kirsty. “I knew I wanted something different, that I hopefully wouldn’t see on another bride, and the glam slipper satin dress was exactly what I wanted.”

Kirsty and dan – keeping their cool

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To ensure everyone kept cool in style, Kirsty placed sandalwood fans on the seats for the female guests, along with baskets of petal confetti, while parasols decorated with fresh flowers were on hand to shade people from the sun. “The ceremony was very heartfelt and emotional,” says Kirsty. “We walked back down the aisle to The Dog Days Are Over by Florence & the Machine, and every time I hear that song it takes me back to how happy I felt at that moment!”

Kirsty and dan – sail away with me

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After the civil ceremony, the happy couple and their 31 guests boarded a Siamese junk and sailed around the bay for two hours, watching the sun set over the beach. Canapés and drinks were then served to a playlist that Kirsty and Dan had created. “The time on the boat was incredible, and our guests loved the relaxed, happy atmosphere. Apart from the ceremonies, Dan and I agree that this was our favourite part of the day.”

Kirsty and dan – colour the rainbow

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“We didn’t have a theme as such,” says Kirsty. “We just noticed that pink and purple orchids grow wild in Rayavadee, so we used this as our inspiration.” Her four bridesmaids wore multi-way dresses by Dessy, two of which were cerise pink and two purple. To avoid the matchy-matchy look, two carried bouquets and two carried parasols.

Kirsty and dan – man’s world

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Dan and his groomsmen wore lightweight mohair suits in midnight blue from A Suit That Fits, and Dan’s black linen trousers for the blessing were made especially for him by a tailor in Bangkok.

Kirsty and dan – exotic blooms

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Kirsty’s bouquet featured a mix of local flowers with vibrant fresh orchids, which she also wore in her hair, and these flowers were followed through into the reception. Tables were decorated with pink and purple orchid centrepieces by Rayavadee, and scattered with petals and Swarovski crystals that Kirsty brought from the UK.

kirsty and dan – reception perfection

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By 7pm, everyone was back on dry land for a Thai buffet served at Umbrella Tree Court, a decked area overlooking the sea, surrounded by trees hung with lanterns. The couple named the tables after their favourite places in Thailand and guests tucked into an exotic buffet of Thai delicacies like spicy chicken salad, fried sea bass and king prawn Pad Thai.

Kirsty and dan – A taste of paradise

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The vanilla sponge and buttercream cake was made by Rayavadee.

kirsty and dan – Hot tropics

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The pink and purple table plan (and the boarding pass invites and RSVP cards) were by Ditsy Chic and matched the bridesmaids’ Dessy dresses.

kirsty and dan – Pretty pooch

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Instead of place cards, the couple placed small golden frames with a photo of each guest on their wedding day if they were married, or as a bridesmaid or pageboy if not, which made a great talking point. Kirsty’s place setting was a framed picture of the couple’s bulldog, Fred, in a wedding dress!

Kirsty and Dan – party time

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The couple kicked off the party with a first dance to Beyoncé’s version of At Last, before moving to The Grotto (where the monks had conducted the ceremony that morning) for drinks and dancing until 12.30am. During their planning, the couple stayed focused on creating their vision of their dream day. “It was hard at times, mainly due to the language barrier and the time difference,” says Kirsty, “but it was definitely worth all the effort. I could have chosen a package and made it easier for myself, but we thought that if we, and our guests, were going all that way, we wanted it to be perfect and spectacular. And it was!”

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