British magazine editor Jules and his Taiwanese travel writer partner Tina chose Villa Tievoli, a newly completed luxury property at the Sava Estate on Natai Beach close to Phuket as the venue for their recent wedding. We asked the couple how they rated the experience and what made the day extra special when compared to the other options they had considered for their big day.
"We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to make our wedding day different," said Jules. "Both of us have lived and worked away from our native countries for several years and we also travel a lot for work, so it seemed natural to get married in a place we would also choose for a holiday. Villa Tievoli
appealed on many levels — for the gorgeous beachside
location and its generous pool and lawn, the open plan interior spaces, and of course, the fantastic design. We knew the photos would look great and with a guest list full of Facebook friends we wanted everyone to have something to share. As the guests arrived the looks on their faces said it all. Tievoli is a spectacular property, but it doesn't give away its secrets until you enter the enormous lounge, which slides straight out onto the huge pool and sea views
. The phone cameras were out in seconds."
The couple knew their guests would appreciate the freedom and independence a private villa affords, just as much as they do themselves. With four generations of family and friends to please, many of them arriving from the other side of the world, they wanted to make sure there were plenty of places for people to hang out and relax before, during and after the celebration — a sense of independence that's not always easy to manage in a less private setting.
"Having kids around at a wedding
really makes a wedding for me, and at a villa like Tievoli the little ones could be part of the whole day, not just dressed up and paraded out for the ceremony. We made sure everyone arrived early to enjoy the place and the children
really loved the pool and AV lounge with its massive 3D flat screen. This also freed up the parents to socialise and enjoy the day without worrying what their offspring were getting up to. After dinner when the party started, the kids went off to sleep within easy checking distance, which really meant the mums and dads could relax and enjoy themselves."
For the ceremony itself, florists were brought in to set up a colourful flower arch on the beach, and again, Tina appreciated the dynamics of the villa as she didn't have to walk far in her dress and carefully tended hair and make-up to say the 'i-dos'.
"It's a daunting feeling when you're the centre of attention and all that planning and preparation finally comes together," said Tina. "There's so much going through your head so the last thing you need is a long walk in the hot sun or strangers' faces looking on at you as you make your way to the altar. That's where the privacy element really comes into its own at a villa. There were no last minute nerves or worries, I just felt calm and happy to be sharing the moment with the people that mattered most to me."
Foregoing the Wedding March, the couple joined hands to a soundtrack of John Lennon's "True Love", sung and performed live by their musical friends on acoustic guitars. Chairs were placed on the lawn for the older guests and everyone gathered to hear the couple exchange their vows to a soundtrack of rolling waves.
"With the sea as a backdrop, friends playing us a song they had learned specially for the occasion and Tina walking towards me beaming in the sunshine. I have to admit I had to hold back a tear to two," said Jules.
With pledges made, Jules and Tina wandered down to the beach for a quick photo session as the sun began to set into the ocean. With such a fabulous natural backdrop to make the most of, the guests were kept busy snapping their own memories before an informal buffet feast was laid on by professional caterers, served back on the pool terrace with plenty of space for everyone to eat, mingle and celebrate the happy occasion in style.
"It actually started raining as we served the dinner, but it didn't affect us at all because the patio at the villa was covered by a huge awning," said Jules. "The owners had clearly thought things through in the design and it was great to have the whole place to ourselves so we didn't have to worry about any surprises. If we had been sharing the venue with other guests a downpour could have caused a few logistics problems."
Happily fed and watered, the guests partied on into the night with congratulations, speeches and more live music, this time from the couple themselves. With no restrictions on time or lack of places to celebrate, some guests decided on a late night dip in the pool, while the kids head back to fall asleep in front of a DVD and the adults exchanged stories as the champagne flowed.
"Getting married at a private villa was exactly how we hoped it would be," said Jules. "We were free to do things our own way, to our schedule, and the helpful staff were discreetly available whenever we needed them. The whole event felt just like having friends around for a party at home, except this was one spectacular version of home, and with so much space and so many great facilities, everyone left with a smile on their face. We definitely made the right choice, not only with each other, but also with the venue we chose to make it official."
Jules and Tina's Villa Wedding Highlights
- Inspiring surroundings and plenty of space for everyone
- Guests can enjoy a full day and arrive at various times during the event
- The dining options are flexible
- Privacy means flexibility and freedom
- Personal space and proximity to the ceremony make logistics easy
- Kids have their own safe spaces and entertainment
- Villa staff are on hand to help
by LVH Marketing