The couple and their guests ventured across the world for the intimate wedding.
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Stacy and Brad could have met in New York, Connecticut, or California, as their lives lead them to overlapping locations over the years. But fate didn't intervene until they were visiting their favorite place: Hawaii. Stacy (an attorney completing her doctorate in clinical psychology) traveled to Maui to attend one of her best friend's weddings. That's where Brad (who helps companies create cloud-based computer systems) was taking a break to recharge. On Stacy's last night on the island, she went out exploring on the beach and that's when their paths crossed. Introductions were made, small talk followed, and they jokingly promised one another that they would do a triathlon together—not knowing that four months later, Brad would be cheering Stacy on at the finish line at a race in Pacific Grove, California.
Three years after that, and back in Maui with a few family members in tow, Brad invited Stacy to walk down memory lane, arriving at the sandy spot where they first shared a laugh. With a beautiful sunset over the Pacific Ocean as their backdrop, Brad pulled out the ring, dropped to one knee, and asked Stacy to be his training partner forever.
The following year, they ventured from their home in the Bay Area to another beach: in Phuket, Thailand. About 100 guests joined them on March 4, 2018, for a wedding planned by Jeanette Skelton that was held on a lawn overlooking the water at the Surin hotel and a reception under an open wood structure at Amanpuri. A theme of serenity guided the day, starting with a lotus illustration introduced on the stationery suite and carried through to the elaborate cake. The neutral color palette of cream, taupe, and green was accented by the textures of Thai silk, gold details, teak, handmade paper, and traditional garlands strung at the ceremony and the reception areas.
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An Airy Invite
The theme of the wedding was serenity, and that idea was represented in the form of a lotus flower and soft color palette first seen on the stationery suite. Inspired by the elegant simplicity and the many Buddhist temples of Thailand, Yonder Design used handmade papers and a soft taupe ink throughout. The main invitation—which was backed on a linen card—featured both a clean font and spot calligraphy, which kept the look simple and elegant. "We thought scent would be a fun introduction, so the invitations came wrapped in a custom white box filled with floral jasmine buds," says Chris Neubauer of Yonder Design. The buds provided the perfect bed for the suite to rest on, giving it added depth and dimension.
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Since they first met by the ocean, Stacy and Brad knew they wanted to get married near the beach. But they also needed a place where friends and family in Asia could travel to with ease. With help from Jeanette Skelton, (a local planner who coordinated the destination celebration), they found two ideal spots: The Surin for their ceremony and cocktail hour overlooking the water and the neighboring Amanpuri for the reception.
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The woven Thai welcome boxes contained two linen bags of goodies for guests. The first held Tom Yum-flavored Thai cashews and other local snacks. The other held necessities like Advil, Tums, and natural mosquito repellent. The couple's monogram was used to customize the labels on bottled water.
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Their First Look
"I couldn't believe how amazing Stacy looked," Brad says of seeing his bride for the first time on the wedding day. "It was like a dream that our wedding was finally happening after almost a year of planning." Stacy agrees, adding, "Brad looked so dapper in his tux. We both got a bit teary upon seeing each other."
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After visiting a Tom Ford store in Los Angeles, Brad made the decision to get his navy-blue tuxedo there. It was a breathable, made-to-measure mohair blend that suited the hot temperatures of Thailand in March. His shirt, bow tie, and shoes were also from the designer.
Stacy's Pronovias wedding dress was the second gown she tried on, and even though she considered about 40 others, it finally clicked that this was the one for her. "I love the elegance and the romance of it, with the sexy silhouette," she says. "I also like how simple the crepe was, with just enough lace flowers to make it special."
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The ceremony was set on the lawn at the Surin, a beachfront hotel. Joy Proctor Design commissioned gauzy white chair covers to offer a visual softness against the Andaman Sea. To emulate beautiful Thai gardens, wooden vases filled with water, lotus, and water lilies lined the aisle.
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An arch with a peaked top mimicked Thai temple architecture and was covered in orchids, garlands of jasmine (a flower traditionally used in Thai weddings), and greenery.
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Brad entered to the sound of Tracy Chapman's "Stand by Me," and Stacy and her parents followed to a special wedding mix of "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran, which features Pachelbel's "Canon in D." It was one of Brad's favorite parts of the day.
There were religious tones to parts of the ceremony, which included a reading of the "The Art of a Good Marriage" by Wilferd Arlan Peterson. A sand ceremony was not only a fitting reflection of the merging of their lives together, but also appropriate for the beach wedding. Later, the newlyweds brought that sand home as a keepsake. During the ceremony, the bride and groom exchanged vows they wrote themselves. It was at this time Stacy's most memorable part of the day occurred, when Brad got a bit choked up saying his vows while holding her hands. After becoming husband and wife the duo recessed to Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered."
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Stacy's friends from her doctoral program stood by her side as bridesmaids, wearing blush dresses from David's Bridal.
Guests came in from all over the world—Bangkok, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Hawaii, California, Texas, New York, London, and Italy. "Many of them came from far away just to spend a day or two with us," says Stacy, "we felt so loved."
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Cocktail Hour on the Lawn
The group didn't go far for cocktail hour—just to the other side of the lawn at The Surin. It was there that subtle music played in the background while guests sipped Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé in celebration.
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"Siam Passion" cocktails made of vodka, passion fruit, and lime were served as the signature drink, and the sips were personalized with foil-stamped wooden stir sticks boasting the invite's lotus motif. The drink was intended to exhibit two of the four key elements of Thai cuisine: sweet and sour.
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Photographer Catherine Mead spent some time before the wedding day perusing the coastline for the perfect photo op. When she spotted this long-tail boat, she knew she'd found it. With help from hotel staff, she was able to anchor it off shore for the newlyweds to board and take a few portraits on.
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Covered in Flowers
Garlands of orchids, jasmine, love flower, roses, lotus, gomphrena, and stephanotis covered the front of the boat, tying it in with the rest of the wedding's décor.
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Find Your Seat
Escort cards were attached to a board covered in linen. The scalloped oval shape of the cards used were inspired by carvings found during Yonder Design's research of Thai temples and their architecture. Hand-cut silk ribbon added a softer texture to each piece.
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At each entrance of the structure, traditional Thai phuang malai garlands were used along with strands of jasmine flowers. The round garlands are thought to offer good luck.
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The Reception Structure
The reception was held over the pool at Amanpuri, which was covered to allow for space. To mimic the beautiful existing pool house structure, an open wood tent was built and covered with clear panels in case of any tropical rains throughout the evening—though luckily the weather held. The structure was then covered with greenery so that it felt like it had been overgrown with tropical vines.
To add to the intimacy of the evening, custom square lamp shades hung over each table. Made of Thai silk, they offered a warm glow throughout the night. Soft drapery fell between the lamps, adding a bit more softness.
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Upon arrival at their seats, guests found their names written in gold calligraphy on mother-of-pearl place cards perched atop gold-rimmed chargers. Tables were draped with Thai silk linens, and a medley of local flowers and imported blooms sat amongst cream pillar candles.
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Their First Dance
The couple danced to a version of Etta James's "At Last" after entering the reception to "Can't Stop the Feeling" by Justin Timberlake.
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A highlight of the reception was a firework show set to the song "Give Me Everything" by Pitbull featuring Ne-Yo, Afrojack, and Nayer.
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The all white cake (inside it was chocolate with raspberry and coconut filling) by Les Diables Phuket boasted dimensional floral appliques, with a lotus bloom on an oval in the center of each tier—matching the emblematic flower that appeared on their paper goods. Stacy (a Buddhist) appreciates the meaning of the flower, which represents patience, self-awareness, and love and compassion for all things. "I believe that we will need all of these attributes in our marriage," Stacy says of the symbolism.
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Photography, Catherine Mead
Ceremony Location, The Surin
Reception location and Catering, Amanpuri
Wedding planning, Jeanette Skelton
Event styling, Joy Proctor Design
Flowers, Bows + Arrows Flowers
Videography, Leura Film
Officiant, Marek Koperski
Stationery, Yonder Design
Cake, Les Diables Phuket
Music, Eka Soundz
Bride's gown, Pronovias
Bride's shoes, Gianvito Rossi
Hair, James Fang
Makeup, Arial Ping
Bridesmaids' dresses, David's Bridal
Groom's tuxedo, shirt, bow tie, and shoes, Tom Ford
Lighting, Charlie Lighting