I first met Cindy sophomore year at Maryville College in Dr. Brunger’s Economics 101 class. She sat in the back of the room behind me and always looked stunning. I was going through a phase, plus I was never a “popular” kid, so I just assumed she didn’t want to be my friend. As it turned out, she was and still is one of the kindest, sweetest people I know and we ended up becoming fast friends. I helped tutor her and a few others in that Econ class and she helped me through some tough life experiences. We became roommates senior year in an apartment I shared with my sister and have remained friends ever since! I hope we are lifetime friends because I love her dearly. So I was overjoyed to find out she was finally getting married to AC who she had been dating for a few years. She moved to DC after college and met AC while studying for her GMAT. They were fast friends too, but I think really he fell in love. 😉
Cindy is originally from Taiwan and Arpan is from India, but they both have lived in the states for years. Bringing two cultures together for a wedding can be interesting and stressful when a wedding is stressful enough, so picking a place that will appease distant relatives can be hard. So that’s a big reason why they chose to get married in Thailand – neutral territory, close to their family in other Asian countries, and can we just say BEAUTIFUL!
The location of Cindy’s wedding – Sri Panwa Hotel – is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. It was about an hour’s drive from our villa, so AC rented mini-buses to shuttle everyone to the location the day of the wedding. We were shuttled over to the Sunset Lounge, which sits below the Baba Nest Rooftop Bar area where the ceremony was to be held and were greeted with this view from the verandah. Along with the view, we were handed a fresh fruit beverage and cold towel to refresh us in the heat! We snapped a few pictures before the wedding – had to get pictures with the matching boys. Adam and Tuan said they found the shirts in Bangkok! How cute are they? Once the bride was ready and it was time, they led everyone to head up top to the Baba Nest rooftop bar area for the ceremony. They allowed us to hangout in the Sunset Lounge to keep cool until it was time because up top was full sun and HOT. But just look at the sweeping view! Breathtaking!I loved how Cindy kept the decorations simple by using white tropical orchids and nothing else! So clean and stunning. The bridal party included AC’s sister, AC’s best buddy as best man, AC’s niece and cousin as the flower girls and Cindy’s sister, Wendy, was the maid of honor.Both of Cindy’s parents walked her down the aisle!AC’s cousin Shalini officiated the ceremony. She did a beautiful job of bringing the two cultures together!Cindy chose one traditional element – the Seven Pheras – of an Indian Hindu wedding to include out of respect for the culture and to honor that part of AC’s heritage. The Sat phere or Seven pheras involves seven rounds around a pious fire. The fire in this case being a pretty box filled with fake candles – ya know for safety. Wouldn’t want to risk catching that gorgeous dress on fire with all of the wind up there!Something a little different than a typical states wedding was they actually signed the marriage certificate as a part of the ceremony rather than later behind closed doors. And one more kiss for the road!Happy Couple! Congratulations Cindy and AC!!After the ceremony, we headed back down to the Sunset lounge for a refreshing coconut beverage to cool us off! They were serving specialty cocktails and fresh coconut water – we opted for the coconut because we’d become obsessed with Thai young coconuts! The water is so flavorful and refreshing!We snuck back upstair as the sun set to snap some pictures while Cindy and AC were there doing a few portraits with their photographer. I managed to sneak one with Cindy. 😉 Ain’t she purdy???That’s us up there –^ I know a rare sighting since we are usually so bad about getting pictures of ourselves, but when surrounded with Asians who LOVE to take pictures, this happens. 🙂We were driven back over to the main entrance and pool area for the reception, which was held inside the Baba Nest poolside restaurant. Silly boys!The space inside the Baba Nest restaurant was so beautiful and unique! I loved the floating lights hanging from the ceiling!The centerpieces and place setting used a white lotus flower, which was a nice local touch.To keep with the theme, they continued serving their specialty cocktail drinks at the reception too! So I had to try the lycheetini…it was pretty amazing! There was a whole fresh lychee fruit swimming in the bottom of the glass. How cute are all of the little elephant details? I love it!The dinner menu included 9 different “courses” or dishes served family style at each table. Woo…that was a LOT of food. Seriously some of the best food we’ve ever had though. It’s up there with eating at Remy on the Disney cruise.We started with a Papaya Salad with Yam and Grilled Shrimp and a Thai Beef Salad, then the Spicy Prawn Soup with Local Herb & Lime. Next was the seafood course, which included Fried Squid with with Thai Chili Paste Sauce, Garlic & Onion.The other part of the seafood course was a beautiful Steamed Snapper with Lime, Chili and Garlic. Then Stir Fried Chicken with Cashew Nuts, Stir Fried Beef and of course a Thai meal would not be complete without Pad Thai!Instead of a traditional wedding cake, they finished the meal off with the most quintessential Thai dessert – Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut sauce. This. This is what Thailand smells like to me – mangoes, sticky rice and coconut – and this was the most perfect version. I was so incredibly full, but I could not stop eating it. Cindy changed into a dress she had custom designed and made by hand in India inspired by traditional Sari wedding dresses. Isn’t it just gorgeous? She looked so lovely in this dress – what a great idea to put on something more casual and Indian style for the reception, plus this dress was way easier to move in for all the dancing!She had a sweet moment dancing with her dad! Cindy and her father have a very close relationship making it hard to be across the world. He looked SO happy the entire trip – happy to have his eldest daughter marry and happy to have loved ones all around!AC danced with his sweet, cute mom! She’s so petite – it was adorable seeing those two interact. Finally, Cindy and AC got their first dance as a married couple! Well, apparently they’ve been taking lessons. 😉 Cindy choreographed an entire dance for them, including sweet moments, traditional Indian style dance, the salsa (Cindy’s family moved to Peru when she was 12), and some fun too!
Cindy & AC – your wedding will always be a special memory and one of the most beautiful days! Thank you for letting us be a part of it. <3
Check out our previous post from our Thailand trip:
Up Next: Phang Nga Bay Sea Canoe Excursion…