We’ve got just the thing to get you in the mood for Spring… a stunner of a Jewish wedding right on the beach in gorgeous Koh Samui, Thailand!
Kamina, a marketing specialist and yoga teacher, and Warren, a management consultant, planned the perfect laid-back boho day, and they went all out on the tropical paradise vibes — we’re talking an orchid chuppah, bright tropical flowers everywhere (even in the bride’s hair, natch!), and an all-day outdoor celebration right on the beach. Transport yourself via Julian Abram Wainwright’s exquisitely styled photography and Shoot Me Now Films’ wonderful video.
These two also had some of the coolest wedding desserts we’ve seen, ever. For starters, they rented out a traditional Thai banana pancake cart — um, yes please! And Kamina’s 9-year-old cousin, who happens to be a little baking prodigy, made the couple a gorgeous coconut wedding cake (with just a bit of help from the grown-ups) — wow!
Now over to Kamina, who looked so cool (in all senses of the word!) even in the Thai heat in her Made With Love dress…
A Meaningful Venue
Kamina, the bride: We decided to get married in Koh Samui, Thailand at the Conrad Hotel. Samui is a special island for us – it was my late father’s favourite place. My parents own a villa resort on the island, which is where they renewed their vows on their 25th wedding anniversary, and also where we held an intimate funeral ceremony for him. The Conrad Hotel is part of the Hilton group, which is where my father worked most of his life, so that was really special as well to keep the venue in the Hilton family – that would have meant a lot to him.
Warren and I really love a relaxed, vibrant bohemian vibe. With the help of an amazing stylist team and our INCREDIBLE florist from OK Flower Koh Samui, we transformed the venue into the tropical paradise we dreamed of. The wedding was dripping in tropical flowers in oranges, pinks, purples, whites and lush greens. Colourful orchids filled our bouquets and boutonnieres, monstera leaves adorned the tables and palms framed the wedding aisle. My mother sourced beautiful capiz shell decorations for the tables and trees from the Philippines, where she is originally from.
We were lucky enough to have a venue planner from the hotel, a wedding planner (a friend of mine from Sydney) who helped a lot with styling and coordination on the day, and my mother who has planned many weddings and is super creative!
We surprised everyone with a beautiful firework display – right before the rain came bucketing down!
We’re all about saving paper and keeping things simple, so we opted for a gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. design from Paperless Post.
Hair + Makeup
We were so lucky to have access to the island’s most talented and sought-after hair and makeup specialist, Dany of Samui Hair. My makeup was kept natural, as I don’t usually wear a lot of makeup and knew it would eventually slide right off in the Samui sun. I choose a chic and slightly messy undo to keep my hair out of my face in the heat, especially during all the dancing! Dany and her team made me and my bridesmaids feel like absolute goddesses. She also offers the most flawless spray tan which I highly recommend!
A Made with Love Dress
Even before Warren proposed, I have always been drawn to Aussie label Made With Love. I never wanted to spend thousands on my dress, but I also wanted it to be elegant, sexy and comfortable.
Because of the intense Thai heat, I needed the dress to be sleeveless (my dream dress had sleeves but there was no way that was happening!) and ideally crafted from lace to keep me cool during the ceremony and the Hora! During my search, MWL released my favourite dress design with a thicker, ornate lace that reminded me of traditional Philippine lace – I knew it was the one the moment I tried it on!
A Custom Veil
I’ve always dreamed of a long, draping, over-the face-veil. My beautiful best friend and bridesmaid, Amber, is a talented designer and she generously gifted me a gorgeous veil decorated with little diamantes. Her label is called Amber Chloe – she also creates beautiful bespoke wedding dresses.
The finishing touch was a big white orchid in my hair to match my bouquet and the gorgeous chuppah.
Wedding Shoes from Lisbon
I found my wedding shoes while travelling in Lisbon, Portugal. As it was a beach wedding I needed a chunky heel, so with the beautiful beaded details and tassels they were perfect. That said, I kicked the shoes off as soon as the hora finished – I loved the feeling of my toes in the sand!
The handsome groom
Warren looked so incredibly handsome in a blue Ted Baker jacket, light tan chinos and a bowtie from Le Colonel Moutarde, a French boutique we discovered while living in East London. We also made sure he had three ironed shirts on standby – things got VERY sweaty!
Bridesmaids in Neutrals
I was lucky to have my 7 beautiful best friends alongside me! They wore neutral dresses from American label Show Me Your Mumu, which creates stunning and affordable bridesmaids dresses in different styles and colours to suit any shape – I chose the colour and asked the girls which style they most preferred.
What a Wonderful World
Warren and bridal party: ‘First Day of My Life’ (Cover) – Jessy Daniel Smith
Kamina, mum and brother: ‘Feels Like Home’ – Chantal Kreviazuk
‘Signed Sealed Delivered’ – Stevie Wonder
‘The Way You Look Tonight’ – Tony Bennet
‘What A Wonderful World’ – Louis Armstrong
Photographer and videographer
I was lucky enough to discover Julian Abram Wainwright‘s work on Instagram! We immediately fell in love with his unique style, beautiful composition and use of lighting. After meeting with Julian on Skype we knew he was the one – we got on really well and we really felt like he understood what we envisioned for the day.
Our videographer was Dan from Shoot Me Now Films.
Cake by a 9-year-old!
My 9-year-old cousin is an incredibly talented and creative little chef and baker – yes, he’s really 9 years old! With help from his mum and the executive chef at the Conrad, he created the most stunningly delicious coconut cake in the design that I had always dreamed of – I’ve always loved the look of naked cakes!
We also had a bit of fun by renting a traditional Thai Banana Pancake cart for dessert (they are usually found on the side of the road!).
All catering was done by the amazing team at the Conrad, we worked really well together on the menu. Food was served buffet style and we tried to keep it really authentically Thai. Drinks were served at a bar, featuring our his and her’s cocktails (His: Old Man’s Boot/Hers: Mojito).
Photo frames of loved ones
At the wedding itself, the signing table adorned with photo frames of loved ones who have passed, and a candle that I lit during the ceremony in honour of my father.
Since everyone was travelling from all over the world, it was more of a wedding week than a wedding day! Our hens and bucks were a week before the wedding in Koh Samui – we didn’t see or speak to each other for a week before the wedding as per tradition so the timing worked out well. All the girls stayed at my parents luxury villa resort, Lotus Samui, and the boys rented a villa on the other side of the island. We also hosted a pre-wedding party at Nikki Beach Resort and a relaxed pool party at our private villa at the Conrad the day after the wedding.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
BE. PRESENT. Don’t forget to breathe. The best piece of advice we got was to find each other during the wedding and to walk away together, stand back, look back, take a few deep breaths and really absorb the night in together – all the people, all the colours, all the lights, all the energy, all the love. We did this twice throughout the night and it was so powerful, magical and memorable.
Kamina & Warren’s little white book
Photography – Julian Abram Wainwright
Videography – Shoot Me Now Films
Venue – Conrad Hotel
Bride’s dress – Made With Love
Bride’s shoes – Zilian
Bride’s accessories – Amber Chloe
Groom’s attire – Ted Baker and Le Colonel Moutarde
Hair + Makeup – Samui Hair
Bridesmaids – Show Me Your Mumu
Flowers – OK Flower Koh Samui
Invitation – Paperless Post