Trang is a beautiful town in the southern province of Thailand. And Trang can show you the most wonderful way to make your Valentine’s Day unforgettable, forever.
It’s that time of the year again when the birds chirp as if announcing the knock of spring. You love to play hide and seek with the sun, love the breeze kissing you on your cheeks and love the fragrance of sweet smelling fresh flowers that are blooming and some are yet to bloom. It sure is the season of love.
Valentine’s Day is one day when lovers all over the world announce their love for each other. What is the quirkiest, out of the world thing you have done or are planning to do for your valentine this year? Are you ready to wed underwater with your love? Underwater? Yes, you heard it right; I had the privilege of witnessing this gala ceremony that is held in Trang in Thailand for the past 20 years. First when I got this invite, frankly I couldn’t believe my eyes, I mean who weds underwater? But then yes, many people do.
Organized by The Trang Chamber of Commerce in association with Trang Province and Trang Tourism, I was invited by the Tourism Authority of Thailand to witness the 19th Underwater Wedding. With many ideas and still wondering I reached Bangkok and from there took a Nok Air flight to Trang (such a cute looking plane it was,) I was amazed to see a town all dressed up in its finery. It looked like a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie set. Couldn’t have been real, the whole town bedecked for a wedding? Maybe it was some festival. But then I was told this yearly function is no less than one. It looked like the whole town was invited to the wedding of a few couples who had registered for their wedding and indeed the whole town did participate. A total of 30 couples were a part of this grand event which was spread over three days beginning 12th February and ending on 14th February.
On 12th February all the couples gathered at Phyraya Rassada monument in Trang where the pouring of Lustre Water ceremony took place which is a traditional Thai wedding ceremony performed by an old happily married couple.
Dressed in beautiful and traditional Thai costumes all the couples looked fabulous. I have to mention that after watching these couples, I agreed more than ever that love knows no boundaries. There were couples from all over the world. After this traditional ceremony, all the couples gathered in front of the city hall near the clock tower and everyone marched through the decorated streets to Trang train station. It was a sight that could put the most glamorous Bollywood wedding movie to shame, the scale, the excitement and the participation by each and everybody in town made it feel like the big fat Indian wedding but only fatter.
I am still wondering what kind of preparation and what coordination would have been put by each participant to make everything so grand and out of the world. There were school children right from the age of 3 to 4 years to 16 to 17-year-olds who had participated in the march from the clock tower. Thai women dressed in their beautiful attire, singing and dancing through the streets which were beautifully decorated was a scene that looked so festive. The street, right from the clock tower to the Trang train station was lined up by various local bands playing various songs and instruments. Love was in the air well, that’s, to say the least. It was only the pure magic of love that was evident on the streets of Trang. And the best part, it was only the beginning.
After a lavish dinner at Town Hall, everybody said goodbye as the next day was the big day. I traveled to Pak Meng Pier and from here boarded a speedboat to Ko Kradan Island for the underwater wedding ceremony (yes, it’s actually underwater) the couples were already at the beach changing into the wedding dress and the suits for underwater with other gears required. The diver couples went underwater (7 mts deep) to exchange vows and the non-diver couples ( yes, you can still be a part of all this if you don’t want to dive) had their marriage ceremony on the beach. Then there were the beautiful Morakot Caves or the Emerald caves which all of us visited. After this adventure we all headed back to our hotels to get dressed for the big night, it was the reception party by the beach in honor of all the newly wed couples. Organized at the Rajamonkol beach, it was the most awesome beach wedding that I have ever attended. There were beautiful fireworks, dance performances, a lavish sit-down dinner for the guests and everyone danced the night away and all this amidst the music of the waves.
The next morning all the couples enjoyed Trang style breakfast at a local café (breakfast in Trang is very popular and one must try the Trang cake here), before bidding goodbye I visited Tam Kong Yie Shrine, Tham Le Khao Kob and Wang Thep Taro which are popular tourist places in Trang.
Had to pinch myself at the end of all this, I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t dreaming. Thailand is a very popular wedding destination and after attending Underwater Wedding I could clearly see why.
One thing is for sure that no wedding planner in the world can offer this kind of experience to a couple looking for that different way to say ‘I do’.
Underwater Wedding This Year:
13, 14, 15 February 2017
The Underwater Wedding is only ceremonial
The Guinness Book of World Records awarded ‘The Largest Underwater Wedding Ceremony’ to this event in 2000