Anastasia and Kanoa | Intimate Koh Samui Wedding, Thailand

I’ve been shooting weddings for quite some time and you know which weddings are the highlight of my career? The ones where couples create an experience for those lucky people attending their celebration. And I’m not talking about just the expensive food or luxury venue kind of experience. What I am talking about is something that will make their circle of close friends even closer. And one way to do it is to invite everyone to go with you far, far away.

Do you know how many times I’ve heard from the couples who are having traditional weddings but who told me about their initial plans to get married in Tuscany or in France, etc.? Many, many times. And you know what usually kills these plans? The planning process itself. At some point, they realize that it is simply not possible. In addition to the financial aspect, getting the right people to the opposite part of the globe is a tremendous task. And those who can, potentially have 200 plus local guests. These couples are the first to scrap the idea since most of their guests won’t be able to make the trip. Jobs, kids, plans … you name it.

But even if you manage to get all these folks on board, securing venues, getting the right vendors, booking flights, hotels, and activities it becomes a full-time job. So how many can really pull this off? Very few really.

My job as a photographer to create art and the location should not be a top priority. I’ve had couples who spent hundreds of thousands on their wedding and I had a couple who got married in my backyard and their only expense was me. But, guilty as charged, I do get excited when something new and exciting and, yes, challenging comes my way. And it happened the moment I first spoke with Nastya.

When she told me about her Thailand wedding I got excited but was pretty pessimistic (read above) since I knew that the odds of her pulling this off were against her. But the more time we spent on it, I started to think that this was actually going to happen. Now, looking back and more importantly knowing Nastya better, I am not sure why I thought the Thailand wedding wouldn’t happen. Nastya is an energetic person with a huge heart that has room for love for all the people beyond her inner circle.

Kanoa. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to chat with him about the wedding too much. But I know for sure that without his blessing this destination wedding would not have happened. Kanoa is a busy man with a full-time job and another full-time job as a bar owner. And yet he was ready to go along with Nastya’s plan. He even agreed to hire me instead of hiring a local Thai photographer for a tiny fraction of the cost. Most guys wouldn’t do that because it doesn’t make sense. Kanoa did it.

They had a ceremony in a beautiful “little” resort they rented on AirBNB and were able to fit their entire family there. The rest of us stayed nearby.

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