When you get a message from a couple asking if we would like to capture their wedding in Thailand – you almost die and then scream YES at the computer before even typing back a reply. Thailand is somewhere we have dreamed of visiting and spending a holiday and we never ever imagined going there to photograph a wedding (Just because we have never photographed an abroad wedding as a company)
A few things crossed our mind with an abroad wedding (Especially a very far away wedding) How long would we be there? Would we have enough time if the flight were delayed? Do we stay at the venue or a nearby hotel? Do we have down time while we are there? How will we back up all our images and ensure our kit is safe? Will we get through the airport safely with our kit? How much kit could we take? How will we get to the venue? What are the working hours like over there? The list was endless, so we organised a big wedding meeting with Louise and Craig to talk about what would be involved, what they wanted and what we needed to know and that night we booked them in our diaries.
We had to find out where we were staying, our flight times etc and then we booked out our entire week of work (with it being two flights away we needed to have time to relax before the day so we were fresh and ready to go, this also gave us moving time in case any flights were delayed and we also needed time to adjust after the wedding day before our two flights home) Looking into the surrounding areas around us we couldn’t wait to visit however we never knew how INCREDIBLE it would be when we arrived and how amazing Thailand is.
On our way
So flash forward to the airport, myself (Cheryl) and Heather turn up with enough clothes to sustain us for 4 weeks, bearing in mind we were really in Thailand for a few days but you know females and packing it’s impossible to pack light. We picked up a few things like snacks for the plane, went to Frankie and Bennies and had a lovely meal and then headed to our first ever emirates flight. The flights are around 6/8 hours each (Glasgow to Dubai – Dubai to Phuket) and we were heading over the night-time period, so we tried to catch some sleep and had complimentary meals/drinks throughout. It was amazing and for sure an upgrade from our usual flights like Ryanair and easyJet. However we have to say there is nothing more stressful than getting your bags searched at every stop because your camera equipment/battery chargers set off alarms and us both standing there feeling like we are being accused of bringing on something dangerous.
Finally arriving in Phuket we had so much buzz about us that we practically ran through departure/Passport control and walked outside into THICK and ROASTING air, I don’t think the pair of us were prepared for this in our baggy t-shirt and leggings combo… however it wasn’t long until we were in a transfer heading to our hotel. The hotel was perfect accommodation, friendly staff, clean and safe with a lock on the door, key passes, and a room with a beautiful view of the mountains. We managed to have breakfast most mornings (which I loved because there was noodles even available in the morning, Heather opted for more traditional breakfast)
What we got up to before the day
We couldn’t wait to explore and we had booked a meeting with our couple later on in the day to go see the venue and do a little scout. We headed off for lunch (jet lag had hit us a little bit) so stacked up in amazing Thai food and drinks and headed to the local beach for a wee nosey, we couldn’t believe what we came out to. Later that day we visited Louise and Craig at their venue and checked out places we loved. The Sarojin Hotel was insane, the beach was endless, the place was covered in greenery and their honeymoon suite was INSANE. We left feeling elated and excited for the big day. Later that evening we arrived home and booked a day trip to the James bond Island, along with a few other stops for the next day as we had this free before the day of the wedding.
We would highly advise you to watch our YOUTUBE video down below for the recap of the James bond Island tour day as it was just unbelievable, it’s something you NEED to have on your bucket list. We felt like it was so similar to Avatar when you see the floating Islands. Our jaws dropped the entire time and we couldn’t get over how amazing the entire thing was and for the amount of money we spent it was ridiculously cheap.
The day of the wedding was something that I know myself and Heather will never ever forget. We both woke up super early – a little nervous for the day. We always have pre nerves and it’s a great thing as you know you really care for the couple’s day and want everything to go perfectly. We got our transfers really early and arrived at the venue the earliest we have ever arrived for a wedding. We had a wee walk around and then went to see the girls and set up our kit. Meeting the Make-up/Hair Stylist Neil Donkin and his co-workers we knew we were going to have a fantastic start to the day as they were so lovely and such kind, fun people. We started with Louise’s details and together worked with one photographing details, the other candid and switched so that we both got a chance to do a few different things. Working outside in the heat doing details was sweaty work – the pair of us rushing back in for some breathing space with the air conditioning but we couldn’t believe how beautiful the images were and we had just started!
Eventually I (Cheryl) went to visit Craig and we got groom photographs whilst Heather stayed with the girls, this was so fun to get two perspectives for the couple. When I went over to Craigs I started with details and then just photographed Craig and his Dad getting ready naturally. I could sense Craig was starting to get a little nervous so suggested we have a little breather and continued to fan him as it was so warm I didn’t want a passed out groom on hand. Thankfully, we started to relax and got ready to leave shortly after.
Heather with the girls got groups in Pyjama’s, getting ready photographs, groups in outfits and some of Louise by herself. They finished with Louise having some time to read her vows and just take in the moment that she was getting married. The more time you have before your big day the better and giving yourself some extra time before you walk down the aisle is ALWAYS a good idea.
The ceremony took place under a large tree on the beach which had perfect shelter for the guests and Louise and Craig and the whole thing was flawless, their vows were incredible and so meaningful that most guests were crying behind their sunglasses. We absolutely loved the amount of confetti that was used after the ceremony and what was really incredible was seeing Louise and Craig signing the marriage certificate with a legal representative from Thailand. The certificate was so much more beautiful than ours in Scotland. Continuing on the celebrations we let the group of 25 chat and mingle and then we took a few group photographs and snuck our couple away for couple photographs on the beach, around the hotel and then sunset. We absolutely loved photographing the speeches outside on the beach and then left the group whilst we had our wee break as they ate.
We finished up the night with dancing images and the party and again absolutely loved it all took place on the beach. We stayed a while after to spend some time with the group and then packed up our things and headed back to our hotel absolutely buzzing about life. It was then that we both went and got some munchies and downloaded all the images and talked about how lucky we are to have such an amazing job.
The last day…
The last day in Thailand was great too however we started the day with myself feeling a tad sick, so Heather headed to the beach and chilled out for an hour and I stayed at the hotel and just chilled until it passed. I met her down at the beach and we both had a coconut a swing on the tree swing and a few swims in the sea. It was then that the clouds went black and we got SOAKED and had to hide under some nearby parasols. Lucky enough it only lasted a few minutes and when it finished we headed back to the apartment as we had both been badly sunburnt – oops! We finished our day with some dinner (more noodles and curries) and went around the shops and picked up some souvenirs and then went back to the hotel to cry into our pillow about leaving (we should have booked extra time – note to self to do this next time) We ended our night by editing images for Louise and Craig to see and then had about an hours sleep before our journey home.
We had zero issues when coming back, we just can’t believe we managed to do all this in February before the pandemic hit and we thank our lucky stars we did. We can’t thank Louise and Craig enough for giving us this insane opportunity to travel across the world to document their day and we are IN LOVE with the content we managed to get for them. Have a look below at all the images we took and watch our YOUTUBE Vlog below and see how our journey panned out.
Remember if you want to book us for your abroad wedding please don’t hesitate to get in touch!