Epic Vow Renewal in Thailand: Sassy & Ian

Neil Douglas Photography

May 28, 2014

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I think a lot of you will know Sassy already. She is an amazing wedding photographer and I’m really lucky because I get to share her incredible weddings all the time. A few years ago she also wrote an article for me about her own wedding photography experience which went kinda viral (read: it was one of my most popular articles of all time!)

So, when she told me that she and her gorgeous husband, Ian, were renewing their vows in Thailand I was really, really excited. Excited for them because they’d finally have the epic photographs they deserved, but extra excited for me and you because I knew she’d let me blog it!

Not only are these photos (by Emma Lucy and Neil Douglas), and the accompanying video (Chris Koch), some of the most incredible I’ve seen in a long time, but the love, emotion and THAT RAINBOW DRESS by The Couture Company (who else?) have completely blown me away!

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“I’m not going to dwell on the reason we first considered a vow renewal on our 5th wedding anniversary”, began Sassy. “Yes, people did raise an eyebrow as if to say ‘It’s only 5 years!!’ but hell, you know what, why shouldn’t we celebrate every year!?”

“We decide to renew our vows at the one place we both love equally. Ian and I are quite different people (as chalk and cheese!) and don’t often have the same opinions on anything, so when we both totally fell for Chieow Laan lake and Koh Sok national park I knew this was the perfect place for the renewal… after all it’s paradise! It’s hard to explain how this place gets in to your soul but when I haven’t been in a while I start feeling homesick. Its special and magical!”

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“To get to Plearn Pry floating raft houses you have to travel on a long tail boat for an hour. It’s no hardship as you blast along with the Limestone outcrops rising in front of you and falling away behind you. It really is magical. The raft houses are quite basic but very comfortable. Delicious freshly cooked Thai banquets for lunch and dinner, a bar selling ice cold beer and comfy huts. The electricity is from a generator that only runs for a couple of hours each evening. Once that goes out the night sky glistens above you (no light pollution here) and it falls silent except for the noise of the gibbons calling each other across the lake.”

“After not placing enough emphasis on our wedding photos when we got married, it goes without saying that capturing this amazing place was of number one importance. I am lucky enough to have lots of wonderful, super talented photographers for friends, which made choosing tricky. That said, we knew we had made the right decision with Emma and Neil. Emma’s epic street photography and her way of capturing the things that so few people see, not to mention the emotions, worked so well with Neil’s epic wide couple shots and ability to make something beautiful of us.”

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“We knew that to truly capture the essence of this place video was a must too, after lots of searching we chose Chris Koch from Utah. This was a bit scary, as although we had no doubt about his amazing talent, we hadn’t met him so didn’t know how he would cope with two weeks with us lot. As it turned out he fitted right in and the video just blows us away every time we watch it. We must have been a funny looking bunch wandering about Thailand.”

“We started our adventure with a couple of nights in Bangkok and then headed to the lake and finally we finished up at the tree houses in the jungle”, she continued. “We went on early morning wildlife spotting trips, treks in the jungle, cave explorations and did plenty of swimming. It was the most amazing experience ever.”

“On the day itself we were ‘married’ at 9.59 am (which is lucky, apparently) by five Buddhist monks from the local temple, who came especially along with their helpers. Our guide, You, translated for us and helped us through the ceremony. When we arrived for the ceremony we had to bribe our way through the rope which was so much fun! The ceremony lasted around an hour and was actually the best experience of my life. Afterwards we felt truly connected and refreshed.”

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“We organized all of the renewal through Kris at Limestone Lake Tours and we literally cannot thank her enough. The whole thing wouldn’t have been possible without her. When we were in Thailand last time a tattooist called Dam had created beautiful, traditional bamboo tattoos on us, and done so right in the jungle. Kris tracked him down for us (even though we couldn’t remember his name!) and after the ceremony he came along to tattoo our ring fingers.”

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“Following lunch, we headed off to a remote spot to say our personal vows to each other and have some photos taken. The personal vows were so emotional and Emma did a reading for us that was really special too. After that we returned to the huts for our delicious dinner and plenty of drinks.”

So amazing, right? But I know what you’re all thinking – Sassy, tell us about your dress!

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“Jo from the Couture Company and her team lovingly crafted my dress. Never telling me that I was mental for wanting a multi-coloured skirt with denim corset top. I cannot fault the finish and I can’t recommend her enough. If you are looking for a dress from a creative genius who can make your dreams come true in frock form then you need to get in touch with her!”

“On my head I wore a perspex headpiece created by Rebecca at Working Clasp. She totally ran with my open brief that was ‘colourful’ and ‘Thailand-related’! She engraved the perspex with an elephant and lotus flower design and creating me the perfect Thai wedding crown. She even made a matching wood and perspex necklace for Ian.”

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“The biggest thanks has to go to the three people crazy enough to venture out with us and document this moment for us”, Sassy concluded. “Emma, Neil and Chris have left us with the most beautiful footage from our trip. They were travelling companions, nerve calmer downers, drinking buddies, comedy acts, adventurers and the only guests we had. They worked hard in crazy heat and we now have some stunning photos for our walls and a video that’s so addictive we can’t stop watching it. One day, when we are old, we’ll look back at their work and remember how beautiful and incredible the experience was. We wish we could do it all again and have them all with us.”

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