Well we did it! After an engagement of 17 days we got married on the 7th January, just outside Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. It was a beautiful day, and we're both so happy with how it went.
After a nervous morning, when neither of us could manage much breakfast, we got the legal side of things out of the way at the Thai registry office equivalent. Offically wed, we headed out into the country for the ceremony. The venue belonged to our fantastic wedding organiser Jit, and was a beautiful traditional Thai style house, set in gorgeous gardens.
While we were getting changed into our Thai wedding outfits, Rob, the minister arrived on his motorbike. An American who'd lived in Thailand for almost 40 years, we'd met him the day before to discuss the ceremony and found him extremely friendly and reassuring.
The ceremony was simple and brief but lovely. After a short word from the minister on the meaning of marriage we said our vows, exchanged rings (that Barney designed and made on a jewellery course the previous week), and lit a candle to signify our union (or something like that!). We then posed for a series of increasingly cheesy (though we secretly quite like them) photos in the grounds, until our faces ached from grinning so much!
We then drank some very welcome champagne, and tucked into a traditional northern Thai feast of sticky rice and various accompanying dishes, along with Rob (who had to explain what most of it was, and how to eat it!). The food was delicious, we only wish we could have managed more of it. After the meal we cut the cake, and then went outside to release fire balloons which was a lot of fun. This is something they seem to do a lot of in Thailand, at New Year the sky was absolutely full of them. We're not completely sure of the idea behind it, but think it's meant to be good luck (Barney would just like to add that he thinks it is something to do with Buddha cutting off his top-knot - we'll have to google it!). After a few more drinks (and a few more photos!) everyone packed up and left us for the night, while we stayed in the beautifully decorated 'honeymoon suite'.
The whole day went very smoothly thanks to Jit and the rest of the team at Thailand Weddings. They organised absolutely everything for us, from the legal paperwork to the wedding outfits, the venue, minister, photographer and food. All we had to do was show up! We feel very lucky that we found them.
We've added a few photos to the site, hope you like them (we came away with a cd with over 400 pics so there's plenty more where they came from!)
We're sorry that you couldn't all be there to share our day with us, but we look forward to a big ol' knees up in the summer to celebrate!!