My first post on Our Wedding in Thailand Explained has proved to be hugely popular – one of the most popular posts on this blog in fact. Finally, the time has come to reveal the finances behind the destination wedding! Thank you to those of you who have emailed me asking to post this information – it is wonderful to know that people are engaged in my blog :D!!
I have thought for a while about the best way to write this post. I have a spreadsheet which has all our expenses for our Thai wedding listed in categories – and I think this is the probably the best way to give you all an overview. Here goes…
The dress is every girls dream and every guy’s worst nightmare. Well not quite… but it is a very expensive dress to wear only once in your life – and in our case to get wet, covered in sand and have an elephants footprint permanently marked on the bottom (NO JOKE)! To be honest I think it is pretty awesome that the dress looks like this now – it shows what a great fun day we had and proves to me that I am extremely lucky to have Mrs Scot as a wife. I think a lot of girls would be in a strop if an elephant stamped on their dress 😉
The dress was something we had to take care of in the UK. I suggested that we get it made out in Thailand (we had 2 weeks vacation there before the actual wedding) but Mrs Scot wouldn’t take the risk. I realise that the dress is very special and meant a lot to Mrs Scot, so agreed that she could pick any dress she wanted. Her dress cost £1095 [$1700] (alterations were free as her Mum did them) but was 100% worth this cost considering how stunning she looked on the day! She almost decided to buy the dress from where stores get dresses so we could save money, but she was already in love with the one she had chosen.
Total – £1095 / $1700
We planned this one well. We had our rings made during our visit to Thailand in Summer 2011. This allowed us time to sort something else as a contingency plan if the result was a total disaster. We ended up getting 2 white gold rings (they can be seen here) made which were absolutely perfect. Neither of us are a fan of regular gold, so the choice was perfect. Total Cost – £354 [$550]. This is less than half the cost of what we were quoted in the UK.
Cumulative Total – £1449 / $2246
The Venue and Extras
This is the big one – the venue. We got married at a 5 star hotel in Thailand, which I can honestly say, is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. There was a package price for the venue which included the rental of the venue, the service (celebrant etc.), seating, decorations, cake, layout, wedding trio band for the service, photographer, flowers, etc. The extras on top of this are detailed below. The price was £1550 [$2300]
Hiring the Photographer for an Extra 3 hours:
I love photographs and thought this was entirely worthwhile. The photographer actually came with an assistant who also took photos from different angles, helped with the lighting and to organise the group shots. Total additional cost – £250 [$388]
Make Up /Hair
This included a trial run the day before for Mrs Scot and 3 others. Total Cost £129 [$200]
Baby Elephant Surprise
We surprised our guests with the appearance of a baby elephant. Nobody had any idea she was coming. The celebrant announced the arrival of a special guest who had made it for the wedding and it was hilarious watching everyone’s faces as they were thinking who it could be that had just arrived. Down the aisle came a beautiful baby elephant, holding a basked of flowers in her trunk. After being kissed (and a little molested) we spent an hour on the beach taking photographs with her. Mrs Scot even got to ride on her! We are SO glad we opted for this 🙂 !! Total additional cost – £313 [$485]
Finger Food and Drinks Reception
This was £16 per head [$25] and included an hours worth of canapes and unlimited drinks from the bar. Absolutely fantastic! We had a total of 14 guests so this worked out at £224 [$347].
This is the big one – or is usually the big one. We found in the UK that hotels would charge a minimum of £50 [$78] a head. We spoke with the Chef and customised the most amazing 5 course set menu of our favourite Thai food. This even included Lobster and Steak in some dishes and worked out at £25 [$39] a head. An absolute bargain. Total Cost – £350 [$543].
Mrs Scot and I decided quite early on that we would be paying for everything all night. Given that we were expecting our guests to travel thousands of miles around the world to Thailand, we felt it was the least that we could do. We paid for unlimited drinks for everybody, all night. There were various ‘packages’ available to choose from (premium spirits, local spirits, beers, softdrinks, wines etc.) and we chose something that covered everything. This worked out at £49 per head [$76] and a total cost of £686 [$1063].
We organised the band ourselves. 😀 Whilst in Thailand in Summer 2011, we heard a fantastic band and took their contact details. I exchanged emails with them over the following months and asked them to play at our wedding. Total Cost – £200 [$310]
Lanterns / Centerpieces and Corsage / Gifts
The lanterns were one of our favourite moments of the day and relatively inexpensive! They worked out at £10 [$15.50] each and were big enough to fit 5 people. We bought four at a total cost of £40 [$62]
Centerpieces for the tables were made from thee most beautiful Thai Orchids (we had chosen the colours and some had been died that morning). Total cost – £38 [$59].
The total cost of 4 corsage pieces was £31 [$48]. Again these were hand made with fresh flowers that morning. Absolutely stunning!
Finally, we gave our guests a small glass elephant each to remind them of the day. Total cost £28 [$43].
Grand Total – £5159 [approx $8000]
This obviously doesn’t include our airfare (£1500 [$2325]) but gives you a good idea of the costs involved of the wedding itself. The cost of additional guests would be about £90 [$140] a head, which is quite affordable. The package prices for the wedding was truly all-inclusive – they provided us the most attentive servers, an amazing wedding planning team and the most beautiful flowers and decorations a girl (and guy) could wish for. While we only had 14 guests, they were people that were truly special and mattered to us. We have celebrated with other people in different ways who couldn’t make it and seem to have got the best of both worlds!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment below.