At our first Thai wedding – a three-day celebration of commitment and promise — we learned many traditions, and the beauty and serene spirituality of these customs and beliefs made us fall in love with the gentle, smiling people of Thailand, especially Nattarin and her groom, Tadthep. It was these words, spoken at the first day ceremony by “the village elder” (an esteemed friend of relative these days…) that made us realize that we were about to experience something extra special:
Where the ocean meets the sun
Heart to heart
And hand in hand.
Nattarin and Tadthep first met at university in Bangkok. They were friends. It would take a number of years, however, before they reconnected and discovered a strong romantic attraction. They both admitted to leading busy lives, especially Tadthep, an entrepreneur and business owner in the Thai capital of Bangkok, who told us several times that his life was hectic. But that pace didn’t prevent what felt to this couple as the inevitable: falling in love.
Through their one-year courtship, Nattarin and Tadthep made sure to make time for fun things, like movies and sitting in cafes, and reading quietly together…and turning off the phone!
This young couple loves music, as well and, asked separately, they claimed the same song as their favorite! Later, it was revealed that Nattarin had shared the song with Tadthep and he had fallen for it, too. The song is called “Lava”:
You never leave my mind (come on)
Why would you have to go
You couldn’t be the kind
I could ever outgrow
You never leave my mind
Oh why would you have to go
When I’m looking up
I can see that I haven’t left you, no
A couple’s favorite song can often tell us a lot about the two people choosing to share their lives. From this song, we understood immediately that Nattarin and Tadthep were committed to one another and, as we later learned, imagined their lives ahead as being spent together in peace and harmony. And also on the road! Because these are two traveling souls! They became engaged in Vienna, in fact. “And I got down on my knee…after a very hectic day,” said Tadthep.
We were invited to photograph Days 2 and 3 of this couple’s wedding celebration; Day 1 was a more official event in crowded Bangkok. For Days 2 and 3, however, Nattarin and Tadthep, joined by family and friends (and our team of destination wedding photographers) headed to Cha-Am and the 5-star Baba Beach Club Hua Hin. The couple had considered a wedding in Phuket, often a top location. However, due to fears about weather and heavy rains, Cha-Am was a smarter choice. We were thrilled, of course, by the prospect of working on a gorgeous Thai beach. We cannot tell a lie, however. It was HOT. And HUMID. Luckily, however, we were on a pristine and beautiful beach, and the tropical breeze was delightful.
Before the formal Thai ceremony, we headed to the beach with Nattarin and Tadthep. Barefoot and comfortable, Nattarin with her hair pulled back in a simple ponytail, they walked along the water’s edge, held hands, hugged and kissed tenderly. Tadthep rolled up his khaki trousers, and Nattarin let her delicate, lightly beaded dress catch some of the ocean spray. These were two souls standing before the endless sea, and we aimed to make sure the photographs captured the timeliness of the moment.
For the formal Thai ceremony, Nattarin was exquisite in a traditional heavily beaded full wrap around silk sarong with two pleated folds at the front. The elegant one-shouldered sleeveless top, made of lavish Thai silk, was heavily beaded, and Nattarin’s jewelry (bracelets, earrings) was beaded, as well. Tadthep wore a beautifully tailored grey suit with a shirt in the same pale pink as Nattarin’s classic bouquet.
Thai weddings feature an incredible assortment and array of flowers, including an arch of fresh blooms surrounding family members before whom the bride and group will sit, awaiting blessings from their elders. And blessed they were. And are.
We loved our experience with Nattarin and Tadthep and their beautiful Thai wedding. We cannot wait to return to the land of smiling people. Everything about the experience was new and beautiful to us, and we boarded our flight to return to Italy remembering the magic of that place where the ocean meets the sun and two in love stand heart to heart and hand in hand.