Surprise! We got married in Thailand

On the 17th of March 2012, Thomas & I eloped and got married in Thailand. Today, we’re celebrating 3 years of marriage. 

Getting married in Thailand

Four months before our wedding day, I was on my way home to my dashing husband-to-be and the only thought in my head was “I can’t stand one more minute of wedding planning.”

I thought I had it all prepared. I had spent months looking at dresses and guest lists. But somewhere along the way, talking about our wedding – the day that was supposed to be the happiest of our lives – had become simply something to get through, like an important work deadline or a final term paper. Not on purpose, it just happened. Thomas was unhappy. I was constantly frustrated. And none of us were getting the wedding we dreamed of.

So that day on my way home, I realized that something had to be done. After all, this was a once in a lifetime event. There was no do-over and no regrets. So if this was it, it had better be the BEST darned wedding of our lives!

And that’s when I got the idea. Right there in the bus while Coldplay’s “Help is around the corner” blazed through my headphones….

We would elope and get married in Thailand.

It made sense. Thailand had always been special for both of us and it seemed like the perfect place to celebrate our love and concentrate on what really mattered – just the two of us.

We bought the plane tickets that same night and two weeks later we were on our way to Thailand.

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Getting married in Thailand

PLANNING A WEDDING IN 2 WEEKS

The point of eloping was partially to get married without anyone knowing. We wanted this to be ours alone so everything was arranged in secrecy.

Before leaving, I had booked the best hotel I could find, arranged for a wedding photographer and a priest. We already had a tailor in Bangkok so he made my wedding dress.

I had emailed the hotel and ordered a bridal bouquet of purple orchids. They had decorated the hotel room with flower petals and romantic details, and there would be a hair dresser in the hotel to do my hair.

Everything was planned in less than two weeks, and it would be ready for our arrival.

Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand

BUT THEN OUR WALLET GOT STOLEN

It had been a long flight from Denmark. I was worn out, hungry and slightly annoyed after waiting in customs for two long hours. Sleep-deprived and stomachs roaring, we went to the taxi line after withdrawing 20,000 Thai baht and putting them safely in Thomas’ wallet. We would divide them later at the hotel, we figured.

After a few minutes of silence, Thomas suddenly turns to me in horror, eyes wide open…

“Where’s my wallet? My wallet, it’s not here. Its’, it’s gone.”

This is not happening. This cannot be happening, was all I could think.

The airport police was involved and a report was filed. But the wallet was nowhere to be found. We walked around Bangkok airport for hours, pleaded with the bank to let us withdraw more money, but without luck. Although we still had my VISA card with money on it, it was basically worthless because we’d just made a withdrawal and we weren’t allowed to use the card until 24 hours later. We had no money for a taxi, no money for a hostel or food. Not even for a bottle of water.

We contacted the embassy, we called our Danish banks, begged vendors and taxis to let us pay with card, but there was no help to be found. After three hours and on the verge of a mental breakdown, we finally found an overprized limo service that was willing to accept payment by card.

What a welcome. 

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RAIN ON OUR WEDDING DAY

Two days later we had arrived in Phuket. I had taken care of the final preparations so everything seemed to be ready (what a relief). On the day of our wedding, I went to the receptionist to confirm my appointment with the hair dresser later that day. When will she be in? I asked?

“No, miss. She live 2 hour away. Not come until next week,” she chuckled as I stared at her in panic. 

“But. But I made an appointment via email. You accepted and promised she would be here,” I said, befuddled.

No answer.

She glanced at me, “Anything else, miss?”

Ok. No panic, calm down, I thought to myself. There must be other hair dressers in Phuket, and if everything goes wrong, I shall do it myself! I tried to put up a smile for the receptionist.

On my way to our room, I looked outside and spotted the looming dark clouds right above the hotel.

And then… It started raining. Heavy.

You have got to be kidding me.

Getting married in Thailand
NOOOOOOOOOOO!

FIVE LOOONG HOURS LATER 

As the hours went by, the rain grew heavier, so heavy that it seemed as if it were being poured from the sky out of buckets.

This is Thailand, I thought to myself. I know this can happen. It rains, and then the sun comes out a few hours later – that’s perfectly normal.

Only, the sun didn’t come out and the rain kept pouring.

Despite the rains, we decided to get ready and hoped that the weather would change. Postponing was not an option since both the photographer and priest had plans the upcoming days and we had booked and paid for the honeymoon hotel in Koh Lanta already.

Dear rain, please go away so we can get married. I prayed to God as I looked outside at the flooded empty streets.

Wedding in Thailand

A BEAUTIFUL WEDDING CEREMONY ON THE BEACH

At 4pm, I picked up my bridal bouquet and walked down the long aisle to the lobby. I was afraid to look outside. Afraid that it would still be raining and that we had no choice but to cancel our wedding. But when we got outside, the sky had lifted and the rain was gone. It was as if it had never been. I could not believe it. Had my prayer been answered?

By the time we arrived at the beach, the sun had come out and risen over the land. People were swimming, the temperature was nice and chilly and we were finally ready to set up the ceremony.

At the end, it all worked out. The ceremony was beautiful. There were tears. Smiles. And lots of happiness.

Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Married on a beach in thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand
Wedding in Thailand

Wedding in Thailand

 

A HAPPY ENDING WITH MY LOVE

I got to marry the love of my life, and in the end that’s all that mattered. Sure, it would have been nice to have everything go smoothly and you know, not get robbed. It would have been great to stay at a luxurious resort without finding a deadly cobra in our room during the honeymoon. Yes, that actually happened! But at least it was eventful and today we laugh about it.

And I’m pretty happy with that.

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Are you married? What is your dream wedding?

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48 Comments

  1. Ah man that was a rough start to your wedding!! I’m so glad it worked out in the end though.

    If it makes you feel better, we got married in 2009 at home in England and spent a fortune. It was really stressful and I’m not sure that it was worth it in the end.

    If we could do it again we’d skip the wedding, go straight to our honeymoon (The Maldives) and get married there!

    Happy Anniversary xo

    1. It sure was! But somehow I feel like it has made us stronger so I don’t mind.
      I think there are pros and cons by both ways – getting married abroad is super romantic, but it can be hard not to share it with friends and family, and not have your dad walk you down the aisle. It’s definitely something worth having in mind.

  2. Amazing pics, despite the chaos!
    Still despite getting robbed, was probably still less stressful than organising s wedding at home, would have been robbery in A different sense!

    Gem x

  3. Wow great story and I’m glad it worked out in the end! The pictures are beautiful.

    My husband & I got married in St.Thomas the US Virgin Islands. We did manage to take some of our family and friends. We had about 25 people. It took a lot of convincing to have our wedding outside of Canada and not have everyone we have ever met invited. The morning was stressful because it was reported on the ship (we were on a cruise) that it was downpouring on the island. I was in panic mode thinking, “how can this be?” “why today?” Turned out it was NOT raining on the side of the island we were getting married on. The day turned out to be pretty amazing! The ceremony wasn’t too long or drawn out and everyone was relaxing and happy. Leading up to the wedding was a nightmare. There were family feuds, myself in tears, everything you don’t want to happen before your wedding.

    In the end the wedding worked out and was beautiful! I would not want to relive the days prior to the wedding. It was crazy and it was stressful. I can’t imagine what it would have been like if we had gotten married locally. If I could go back though I probably would have just done what you both did. Just the two of us would have been just as beautiful without that added stress.

    Happy Anniversary!

    1. Oh my godness, that was lucky with the weather! I think it’s nearly impossible to have an unstressful wedding – unless you hire a wedding planner. It’s a huge project and you want everything to be perfect – it’s bound to be hard.

  4. hi, great story!! Congratulations too, such a memorable way to do it too I think!
    how did you find organising your marriage licenses and the legal side of things etc…?? we are looking at doing this ourselves, is it all pretty straightforward?

    1. Thanks so much, Jen! The legal side was actually pretty difficult so we signed the papers when we got back to Denmark. It is doable in Thailand, too, but you need to talk to your embassy about it. I hope you’ll have a lovely wedding <3

  5. I came across this site to make sure i’m not crazy with what im feeling – i loathe planning my own wedding. I’m glad im not alone in this. ๐Ÿ™‚
    It gave me massive depression until i cant stand it anymore and decided to wed in Thailand instead. We’re still on the planning process and still have no idea what to do but i know this is the right decision.

    1. Hi Silver, I absolutely agree that wedding planning can be terribly stressful. It should be about love and happiness, not planning and stress.

      Getting married in another country can be so easy. It only took me a week or so to plan it, and the hotel was super helpful, too. You could also hire a wedding planner in Thailand if you want someone else to help with the details.

      I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful wedding. All the best <3

  6. Do you mind me asking what hotel you stayed at for your elopement? I’m in the decision making process right now for our possible Thailand wedding and your pictures turned out beautiful! The backdrop is stunning.

    1. Sure Kayleigh, although I don’t remember the name of the hotel. There are MANY great hotels in the area so I wouldn’t worry about finding a good one. I recommend finding a more secluded beach away from the main Phuket beaches unless you don’t mind a crowd.

  7. Hi Miriam!
    What a beautiful wedding! Just like always dreamed.
    I am planning a wedding for next year in Thailand, but i have found only luxurious wedding. I d like to have one simple and beautiful as yours. Do you think it’s possible to find something for less than 30,000 TBH? The legal wedding I would do in my country, I just want the ceremony on the beach, a priest and a good photographer..any recommendation?

    1. Hey Priscilla, congrats on your upcoming wedding!

      You have two options: 1) you find a Thai wedding planner or a pre-arranged wedding, or 2) you plan it yourself. If you do it yourself, it can cost you as little a $400, incl. a tailored wedding dress. It is totally doable!

      1. Hey Miriam! Sounds amazing.
        I am looking to be married in Thailand in about a month. I am already here in Thailand and my fiance will be here in about two weeks. Due to constraints our December wedding has turned into a end of July wedding. Any tips about finding venues, etc. to do it ourselves without a planner. It seems like a better more cost effective option.

        Brittany

        1. Hi Brittany,
          Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Planning it yourself is definitely cheaper, and Thailand is the perfect place to do it. Let me know if you have any specific questions. I’m happy to help.

          1. Hello,
            How did you go about finding an officiant. Also, do you know of any tailors, photographer. Was booking the beach as a venue difficult or did you just show up?
            Brittany

            1. We googled and found a minister online and the same with a photographer. It depends on where in Thailand you’re getting married – make sure to find someone who’s based at that specific location. I found a tailor in Bangkok and there are lots of good ones to choose from – we found ours by coincidence. You can find them down south as well.

              If it’s just going to be the two of you, you don’t need to “book the beach”. It’s public area.

  8. Hello,
    I’m considering eloping in Thailand.
    What company did you go through to do the ceremony, who was your officiant?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Jessica,
      We didn’t go through a company. I just went online and found a minister who did the ceremony. We took care of the legal stuff (got legally married) when we got back to Denmark.

  9. your story made me cry, my partner asked me a week ago today the 9/6/16 to get married and we were in Thailand, your pictures are truly stunning. We want to get married in Thailand i have no interest in a big fancy wedding in Scotland i never have, what i would like to know if you don’t mind is how is easy is it to do it what paper work etc will we need to complete?

    1. Aw, congratulations, Lindsay <3 I'm so happy for you!

      We decided to take care of the paper work in our home country Denmark. This solution meant that we could get married and have the ceremony in Thailand, but we weren't legally man and wife until we also signed the papers in Denmark. You can do this both before and after the ceremony – we decided to do it after, because then our family could be there when we signed it, and I got to put on my wedding dress again ๐Ÿ™‚ For us, it seemed too complicated to do the paper work in Thailand and go to the embassy, but that's just us.

  10. Hi Miriam. Loved your wedding story and stumbled across it whilst searching how to get married in Thailand. I’m from SA and would like to do the same. Please could you tell me more on where to go and what to do on doing a valid marriage over there

    1. Hi Alison,
      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We decided to do the legal part back home so we only had the ceremony in Thailand. Doing it in Thailand seemed a bit daunting and required many papers, so that’s why we did it that way.

  11. Hello! I’m trying to plan to elope on koh lanta and am having a tougher time than I thought.no one has gotten back to me of everyone I have emailed (minister or photography!) and I’m stressing out! Do you have any info that could help? The resort we are staying at said they can arrange it for 25,000 bhat (900$ Canadian!) which is way too much for us. We just want a non legal western ceremony, some photos, a boquet and a nice dinner! id love any advice or reccomendations you have! Thank you so much.

    1. Hi,
      The bouquet and dinner can probably be arranged by your hotel. I’m afraid I can’t help with a minister or photographer on Koh Lanta. We wanted to get married there initially, but like you we couldn’t find a minister on the island. That’s why we got married in Phuket. You can ask our photographer Itti who lives in Phuket. He’s great and he might be free: https://www.facebook.com/mambophotography1/?pnref=lhc

    2. Hi Lindsey! I read your comment and I’m in the same boat. We are trying to plan an elopement in Thailand but most are saying they cost around 950 pounds. We do not want to spend that much! Have you had any luck? Any tips?

  12. Hey! Was thinking for two in Thailand and found your story – such a magical beautiful day it turned out to be! And the pictures are lovely) I wanted to ask you one question tho, since we are on a budget and wanna do smth simple – I saw you got married on the beach – was it a private beach of your hotel, of just a public one? Wanna know if i have to book a special place, or can just come there))

    1. Hi Maria,

      We just went down to the public beach. If I could do it again though, I would have found a more secluded area where you don’t have 10 Russians standing around you taking photos with their phones. If it’s a public beach, you can just go there – it’s free and open for everyone.

  13. Wow, what a fantastic post. Really the clicks are so beautiful & clear. after finding your post everyone will want to arrange his/her marriage there which is happening with me now. Really You are the lucky couple & wish u a happy married life. Actually, I will marry on next month & my would be want to make this memorable so I am searching a best place & complete India & Asia which is a travel agency suggested me Thailand. So when I searching some wedding blog I found your’s which really make me mesmerize. Now I can feel the specialty of Thailand that why most of the people go there to spend their holidays.

    1. Thank you very much, Spike! And congratulations on your upcoming wedding ๐Ÿ™‚ If you haven’t decided where to have the wedding yet, I can highly recommend Thailand – it’s beautiful.

  14. Hi Miriam,
    thnaks for replying & also suggesting. Specialy thanks for wishing me for my married life.
    Have a good Day

  15. Wow! What a story to remember! I totally resonated with the stress a wedding can bring. The first time I got married I went through the stress and hated every moment of it. When I got married the second time I was determined not to have a repeat in all areas possible. We almost eloped in Italy but told our families we were doing it. Both families were actually ok with it but at the last minute we decided we should have family there and just invited our parents and siblings. It was a lovely day and stress free. I seriously think the way you and I did it (minus the stolen wallet and dead cobra of course) is the way to go with weddings. Happy Anniversary!

    1. Thank you so much! I’m also happy about the way we did it as it was much more romantic and intimate. I’m glad you also had a lovely wedding day and put love first.

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