In my previous article I told the story of our engagement in Nepal. Having received lovely feedback like “love stories are the best,” I would like to share the story of our wedding with you, which took place on two continents. I want to encourage those of you who think of celebrating an unconventional wedding abroad. Maybe I can also inspire to consider our two wedding venues as vacation spots, regardless of a wedding scenario.
Why marry in Italy and Thailand?
We planned to celebrate with family and friends in Tuscany. On the Thai island of Koh Samui we also had a Buddhist ceremony and a meal at the beach with a very small family circle. I often have been asked why we did not marry at home in Munich. But those who know Chris and me, understand that traveling is a very important part of our life. Since we live together, we’ve been traveling as much as we can. We discovered a lot of new things. But there are also countries and places to which we keep returning, like Italy or Thailand. I think the wedding should reflect the personality and taste of the couple as well. So it was out of question for us that our wedding should have something to do with traveling. In the next two sections, I’ll explain why we decided to celebrate it in Italy and Thailand.
Tuscany as a wedding destination
The idea of marrying in Tuscany has already been born on a short trip to the Chianti wine region, where we spent a few days in an Agriturismo. The rural holiday within the beautiful landscape put us into a state of romantic frenzy. It was no question for us that Tuscany is the region in which we want to marry someday. Tuscany also seemed suitable for other reasons. Most of the people in our immediate circle live in the Munich region, from which you can easily reach Italy. We did not want the guests to have to fly to another continent. A wedding in Italy seemed like an ideal solution, as we definitely wanted to get married abroad.
Koh Samui as a wedding destination
I also wanted to have a Buddhist wedding ceremony in Asia as I’ve been meditating and loving Asia for many years. The Asian continent has also become a kind of second home to us, which we always like to return to. The island of Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand with its rolling hills and beautiful beaches is a wonderful destination. Buddhist temples offer the opportunity to foreigners and non-Buddhists to get married. The Lipa Noi beach, where we had our little celebration in the evening, is well known for its romantic sunsets.
Wedding in Italy: Giving the vows in a mountain village
We finally decided on the lovely Agriturismo Villa La Capitata near Pian di Scò in eastern Tuscany to be our wedding location. We rented the entire villa for our close family and friends at a reasonable price and spent a few days in the mountains of Tuscany with our guests. Some of them relaxed by the pool, others (like us) used the free time to explore the area. All services, such as wedding cake, flowers or DJ were organized by the staff of the agriturismo and provided by locals. The historic town hall in Pian di Scò with its picturesque little balcony was a beautiful place for the official ceremony. After the wedding ceremony, which was warmly conducted by the local mayor, we drove through the mountain village with our small, nostalgic-looking Fiat (the wedding car of our dreams), with clanking cans and a column of cars and attracted lots of attention. The party at the agriturismo was perfect. An agriturismo is a rural accommodation in Italy, often a winery or a farm. Ours was a beautiful villa. They also produced their own wine.
After we had to dodge in tents because of the rain in the afternoon, we had good weather luck in the evening. In the lush sub-tropical garden of the villa, another wedding ceremony took place: The former mayor of Pian di Scò (we were so to speak married by two mayors) conducted the ceremony. Later, on the terrace, we had a buffet with regional Tuscan dishes, which suited well the slow food philosophy. From the terrace we had a wonderful view on the Arno Valley and the sunset. The food was rustic and rather basic, but that suited this rural setting best. Since Chris is a singer in a band and I also like singing, karaoke was part of our program. A newlywed couple singing love songs together certainly had a certain entertainment value for our guests. The wedding singer Cristian Laurini provided the musical entertainment very well. In the afternoon there was initially smooth jazz, later he skillfully put on music for dancing. It was a really good party. That was all what I wanted for my wedding.
When getting married in italy, you either have to be fluent in Italian or you need to have an interpreter. My aunt has been living in Italy for more than 20 years and has learned exactly that profession. Therefore she took over this task. By Italian law, I first had to integrate Chris’s last name into my name. But we have adapted this later in Germany and now we have my birth name as a common family name. But first I went with my double name to Thailand…
Buddhist wedding in Thailand
In Thailand, we had the wedding arranged by a service provider. Everything was perfectly organized with an Excel sheet for planning in advance, on which we only had to check options to indicate our wishes. The wedding itself took place in a beautiful Buddhist monastery in the hills of Koh Samui, surrounded by jungle. My parents and sister came to Thailand to experience the Buddhist ceremony with us. I wore a white dress at the Buddhist wedding as well as in Italy, but this one was more plain (without a hoop skirt). What I liked most was that they put a chain of fresh flowers around my neck and also put a tropical frangipani flower into my hair. We were married by an older abbot, which meant we had to bow down several times. Our wedding service provider had really thought of everything and gave us helpful instructions. During the ceremony there were some moving moments, e.g. Chris and I were connected with strings and the monks sang Buddhist prayer songs. After the ceremony we celebrated on the romantic Lipa Noi beach. For us, both wedding festivities, in Italy and Thailand alike, were true dream days.
Eastern Tuscany and Koh Samui as destinations apart from a wedding
I can recommend both destinations apart from a wedding without any restrictions. Pian di Scó is an enchanting mountain village in a beautiful setting placed in the Arno Valley. Here you can go for a walk, surrounded by a beautiful mountain scenery. It is also suitable for wonderful day trips, e.g. to Florence, to the next larger city of Arezzo, to the movie set town Cortona or to the Chianti. I love Agriturismo holidays in general. You can sample and buy regional products, often from home production, and thus support local structures. Tuscany and the concept of agriturismo are perfect for a slow travel holiday.
Lipa Noi Beach is a relaxed place on Koh Samui, which is otherwise very busy. I liked the price-performance ratio at the small beach resort very well. In addition, there was a very good restaurant next to our hotel. We could enjoy the delicious Thai food right on the beach. Lipa Noi Beach is great for relaxing and swimming in the sea. It offers a quiet base to explore the island on your own. Koh Samui has a lot of natural beauty like hills with tropical rainforests or more hidden beaches with many palm trees or imposing rocks. You can also visit Buddhist temples on the island. The food is generally excellent and is not expensive compared to European standards. Often you get products that have been grown on the island.