When Phanrawee and Jesada chose to wed in February at Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai, they planned on a gorgeous winter wedding with moderate temperatures and little to no chance of rain. But after a day of beautiful weather during their traditional Thai nuptials, the sky opened up, and rain battered the picturesque lawn set amidst vivid green rice fields. “Our glamorous wedding reception was nearly destroyed,” says Jesada. However, in true Four Seasons fashion, the Bangkok-based couple’s reception was seamlessly moved into one of the Resort’s spacious function rooms—the Rachawadee Residence. With the feel of a luxurious private residence, the venue incorporates an arrival gate, foyer, library, hall, living room and covered terrace.
Gold & Red . . . Furry Flower Girl . . . Reception Serenade
The Ceremonies: In keeping with Thai custom, four major events took place on the couple’s wedding day. They began with the proposal and engagement ceremony in the morning, followed shortly thereafter by a Thai wedding ceremony. During the formal two-hour ceremony, 50 of the couple’s closest family members witnessed rituals such as the procession of the groom’s parents, the ring exchange, the counting of the bride price and the pouring of blessed water. (For the counting of the bride price, the groom must prepare a sum of money, along with other valuable assets such as gold and jewellery, and present them to the bride’s parents. This represents the groom’s gratitude to the bride’s parents for raising her.) The afternoon ceremony—paying respect to the groom’s elders—was a nod to Jesada’s Chinese heritage.
The Scene: Though the Western-style reception had to be moved indoors because of rain, the ambience of the couple’s evening was not dampened. A neutral palette of champagne, gold and brown complemented the venue’s modern décor and furnishings. Guests mingled among food stations with pork and chicken pad thai while a live string band played a mix of fusion jazz and pop.
The Bride Wore: During the morning Thai wedding ceremony, Phanrawee wore a gold-hued traditional Thai costume called a Thai phra ratcha niyom. For the evening reception, she chose an all-white, Western-style wedding gown accessorized with a crystal tiara.
A Personal Touch: To surprise his bride, Jesada spent three months prior to the wedding designing an animated flash presentation with photos of the couple. “It probably was not nearly as neat as those made by the professionals,” he says, “but it reflected our story, and was so meaningful to me.” As an extra surprise, the groom serenaded Phanrawee with the Elvis Costello song “She” before performing a drum solo, which he’d practiced in secret for months.
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Ready To Start Planning a Wedding in Chiang Mai?
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