Tropical weddings are sure having a moment right now – whether in London or the actual tropics, Jewish brides and grooms are going wild for bright colours, laid-back vibes, and palms aplenty, and we’re here for it.
If tropical is your vibe, you can’t do much better than to marry in the tropical island paradise of Koh Samui, and that’s exactly what Bianca, an Australian Pilates instructor, and Ruben, a site manager/builder and carpenter hailing from France, did.
They put together the perfect modern tropical Jewish wedding on the beach, with a simple yet statement-making chuppah covered in tropical leaves. Photographer Toa of Weerayu Janthai and videographer Nok of Janthai Photography captured all the magic of this gorgeous day so perfectly.
How we met
Bianca, the bride: We met in Bondi at one of my favourite bar/restaurants called The Bucket List one sunny summery Sunday in December. I was with a few of my friends and Ruben and his friend joined our table. He noticed we were drinking French Rose so brought over a bottle for us all to enjoy. From then on it was go time!
We got married at Villa Ban Suriya, Koh Samui, Thailand. The space had an istant feeling that it was right for us as a couple, the villa is modern with clean lines yet is positioned on one of Samui’s natural almost untouched beaches.
I absolutely loved Ban Suriya – it was the most perfect and magical place and I knew it was the one. Suriya meaning sun (I think) was even more significant for me and a real sign that this is where we are meant to get married. It was a celebration filled with golden light.
Modern Jewish Tropical
Our chosen color theme was green and white and we met with our wedding planner Jacqui from Samui Weddings and Events one year prior to the our wedding day to discuss all the details needed to incorporate a modern Jewish tropical wedding.
I designed our invites and we used the same design through out our wedding, including it on handmade scented candles for all of our wedding guests.
A Delila Fox Dress
My dress was bought from a tiny little boutique in Sydney. Designer was Delila Fox. The dress was very simple and modern. I loved the neckline, the open back but what sold it to me was the big bow which tied to the back of the dress. I wanted a dress I could move and dance in.
I wore a veil, which is a necessity in Jewish wedding tradition. I loved the veil – it was long and dramatic which I wish I could wear again! Both were purchased from the same boutique. The only jewellery I wore were my mother’s diamond earrings. I wanted my wedding look to be simple, classic and timeless.
Marc Jacobs Sneakers
I decided on a pair of white Marc Jacobs Daisy sneakers which were perfect for a beach ceremony and all the dancing later on.
The handsome groom
Ruben had his linen suit and shirt made in Thailand when we visited in November before the wedding. He looked incredibly handsome as always. The back drop was sensational and it could not have been more perfect.
A Tropical Chuppah
We wanted something simple using only tropical leaves and Ruben’s family talit was used as the cover.
A Moving Ceremony
My favourite part of the ceremony was the badeken – where we saw each other for the first time and received blessing from both my father and Ruben’s father. I loved walking down the aisle seeing Ruben waiting for me and being surrounded by all our loved ones on a magnificent beach in Koh Samui. It was a dream!
The Time Is Now
There were two main songs we chose – they were upbeat and fun and the words are the most relevant to how we feel for one another. The ceremony song is called ‘I Want You In My Soul’ by Lovebirds – sounds so cliché . I loved how summery and full of light and love this song is and so appropriate for the day and the setting.
Our first dance song was called ‘The Time Is Now‘ by Moloko – it has always been one of my favourites for its lyrics and it just oozes cool.
I choose tropical leaves with white open garden roses, lithianthus, ranunculus, chrysanthemum and small blue thistles.
Our photographer was Toa of Weerayu Janthai and videographer was Nok of Janthai Photography – Toa and Nok were recommended to us by Our wedding planner Jacqui. They were the perfect choice as they are a couple who work so well in harmony together, and captured the true essence of our day.
Cupcakes and Pancakes
We opted for cupcakes, a Tequila station and a traditional Thai pancake vendor instead of a cake.
DJ and sax – we wanted some live music so had a sax player during our cocktail hour and then a DJ for dancing later.
We created welcome packs for all of our guests which included home made scented candles, individually wrapped biscuits with our initials on them and local sweets and treats for our guests during their stay.
I wanted to do something special for Ruben and his family so I read my speech in French so that I could address them in their own language.
I wrote my speech the night before – my dad helped me as I’m terrible at writing speeches. I also don’t usually like public speaking but when it came to say a few words, I felt so comfortable being surrounded by family and close friends (a few glasses of champagne helped too).
From all over the world
What made the day so special was the coming together of two families from opposite sides of the world, as well as all our close friends who travelled from all over the world to meet in the beautiful island of Koh Samui for a weekend of partying and celebration.
Minimoon in Thailand
We didn’t really have a honeymoon but we did visit Koh Lanta and Phuket after the wedding and hoping to go to the Maldives next year for our two year wedding anniversary.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
The whole day is a celebration of love and that’s what I think can be forgotten amongst all the planning. Not everything will go to plan but that’s okay because no one would ever know! It goes so fast so it is important to be present in the moment and soak up all that is happening around you, without any concern for the little things. Its easy to get caught up but it is so much more important to visualise the day going smoothly, breathing, meditating or going for a dip before – all of these things really helped set me up and keep me calm for the day.