The 2017 season has thrown a lot of love our way, with us being fortunate to play our part in several exciting Gold Coast, Brisbane, and greater destination weddings... But, if we're counting adventure-value and sheer geographical divide as the measure for awesomeness, then Jase's and Monique's Thailand wedding takes the kudos!
Now, as we know, even the simplest of elopements takes a deal of planning, so on top of all that, throw in baggage allowances and logistical matters; language barriers; time away from home, and all manner of other third-world potential's, and you really just have to let better judgement slide, throw caution to the wind, and rest-assured that cupid, nay, the wedding-gods themselves, will guide and provide!
An uber, two planes, a limo, a boat, a limo, and a hearty congenial welcome to paradise, Madams and Sirs!
We made it; settled into villa #1; marvelled in awe as the massive dragon-Iizard cruised on by at a pace unchanged for a veritable age... Then it hit: the reality of the fever we picked up in that shady Bangkok market... Two days in tropical-lockdown and the sound of our neighbours enjoying themselves was wearing thin, so 'upgrade to mountain-pool-villa #2' was the call of the day (and hopefully a cure for what was still ailing our failing bodies)...
Then it happened, the long-anticipated big day! And with it, the Thailand skies opened up a downpour -- set to wash any dreams of tropical frivolity down the mountain!
Donna was bad now; laid-up in the villa on an intravenous drip of fluid and glucose... I was bad too, but could get about, and despite Jason later noting in his speech that I "may have the ebola" I was going to shoot this wedding if I died in the process!
So, without my beloved Donna [there to assist me]; plus a dizzying fever; plus a strange tropical lethargy that wouldn't quit, I set off to tackle the day with a resolve to do the occasion the justice it deserved!
Now I ain't gonna lie: carrying gear like a shirpa as I ducked and darted between shelters, all whilst managing to shoot stills and highlight video as I melted around the sweltering-tropical-haven wasn't the easiest of orders, but you know what, despite all that Thailand thew at me (and yeah, it played her cards pretty well that morning) I emerged victorious, and can't help but look back and think: Hahaaa-yeah!! Stick-it, Thailand!
Casting mind back to about somewhere in between make-up and hair, it was about this time something miraculous happened: The skies began to settle, and the rains subsided, making way for a brave declaration that the outside ceremony will go on!
It later came to pass that the locals will call upon the local deity of love to clear any environmental unrest for such occasions, and you know what, it's hard to remain a sceptic when the window of the devine opens just long enough to stay the rain for the ceremony, the group shots, and a quick-fire portrait session before, as stampeding horse will charge with impending surety, the rains returned -- tearing across the greater bay and smacking into the resort like a torrent...
Thai hospitality kicked back in at this stage, as they whipped out umbrellas and liquor-filled coconuts seemingly out of thin air... Seriously, second to none that I've had the pleasure of, despite my reluctantly having to decline coconut-concoctions for water and fever tablets :(
After a quick [ahem, as quick as could be expected] trip back up the mountain to villa #2 -- just to make sure Donna was still in the worlds of the living -- I returned to catch the speeches, and may I say, some fine articulations of the heart were heard that night!
Then the brollies were brought back into play, as everyone trundled to the resort transport depot, then off to the beachside restaurant for reception location #2 -- where Jase and his crew struck a few chords as they pumped out renditions of Eagles and Steely Dan classics alike...
Now, by this time, I was well and truly toasted, and notions of making reception location #3 were nothing more than a fanciful impossibility... So, after bidding all a weary adieu, for the last time that day I called for one of the friendly transport buggies to take me back up mountain...
Big thanks for the memories, Thailand
VENUE: Pimalai Resort & Spa
HMUA: Makeup Artist Phuket