For couples who wish to get married in a beautiful tropical beach setting in Thailand, Koh Samui offers a more secluded alternative than a wedding in Phuket. Swaying coconut palm trees, a lush green landscape, blue waters and white sandy beaches make this boutique island an excellent choice for either a romantic honeymoon or a complete wedding celebration with hundreds of guests.
Koh Samui (เกาะสมุย) is Thailand's third largest island and has many great locations for weddings including stunning beachfront resorts and hillside private villas, complete with tropical gardens and cool breezes. The wide range of venues are able to cater to small intimate weddings or large events spread out over the course of several days.
Couples can choose to have a traditional Thai wedding ceremony blessed by Thai Buddhist monks or a western wedding ceremony in a garden, chapel or on the beach in front of their villa or resort. Traditional Thai weddings conducted by monks from a local Wat (Temple) are held in the early morning. Non-Buddhists are welcome to have a Thai wedding ceremony at the Wat or a resort, however the Buddhist ceremonies cannot be performed on the beach. The first part of the day for a Thai wedding ceremony is the “Long Drum” procession of musicians, dancers and drummers leading to the site of the ceremony. The couple can make a grand entrance to the ceremony by riding in on an elephant if they wish to. At the ceremony the bride and groom light incense and candles before the image of Buddha and are presented with a garland of flowers blessed by the monks.
In the evening a contemporary wedding reception and banquet can be held at your chosen venue during which you and your guests can enjoy traditional Thai dance performances, fire-dancers, music via a DJ or Thai musicians and perhaps a firework display at the end of the evening. For safety reasons many venues restrict the lighting of fire balloons and fireworks until after the airport closes at 10pm.
The island's tropical charms are complimented by the modern facilities and high levels of service in it's many hotels, resorts and private villas. As is the case with most destination weddings the total costs will often be less that they would be in a major city with the added benefit that you can stay on after your wedding in the perfect romantic setting for a honeymoon.
Weather & Travel Planning
The most popular time for weddings is during the drier, cooler months of February and April, with the quietest time occurring during the monsoon season from October to December. During the rainy season rates are lower and the island is quieter, making it more intimate and private in many ways, with your choice of room and sea view restaurant seats more readily available than during peak season. To protect your event in case of rain a marquee or canopy may be arranged to be setup at your venue. For travel to Koh Samui the small international airport on the island makes it easy to fly directly from several destinations in Asia, the approximate flight times are as follows:
Bangkok to Koh Samui : 1 hour
Singapore to Koh Samui. : 1 hour and 45 minutes
Hong Kong to Koh Samui : 3 hours 30 minutes
Subang (Malaysia) to Koh Samui : 2 hours
Guests can also choose to travel by train from Bangkok to Koh Samui. The journey is long but pleasant and provides an opportunity to see the Thai countryside along the way. From Bangkok to the southern city of Suratthani takes about 12 hours, with the choice of 3 classes of sleeper cars, although third class is not recommended since it has no air-conditioning. Second class has air-conditioning and 32 fold-down bunk beds per section while 1st class has 2 beds per compartment. Following arrival in Suratthani it is a 1 hour bus ride to the ferry pier then a 1 hour 30 minute boat trip across to the island.
For more information about the legal wedding requirements in Thailand please visit our Thai wedding section.