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Adding a touch of the exotic to wedding plans

Hotel weddings a la Southeast Asia, or saying I do on the beach

Ted Macauley, eTN  Oct 18, 2011

(eTN) - As the saying goes "a diamond is forever," and by extension, one would assume that the diamond on the wedding ring symbolizes the magic moment of eternal marriage.

With the world as your oyster and globalization rampant, travel to far away destinations has become commonplace with the advent of low-cost airlines. It now costs less to fly from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur or Thailand then the taxi fare to the airport.

To wed in bliss in another country has also become a viable option for many couples. Often the experience of travel or even the thought of it, adds a touch of the exotic to the idea of marriage. Rather than just a ceremony at the local church or city hall, why not consider the Andaman Sea or Changi Airport? Singapore as your blissful wedding venue? Two very diamatretically opposed destinations - allow me to explain.

Changi Airport may not come up first in one’s mind when thinking of a wedding or a celebration, but would you believe that the new Crowne Plaza Hotel inside the main terminal hosts more than 200 weddings a year? In fact, if you wanted to have one in 2012, it’s waiting list only as they are booked solid through the year.

Their theme, “Happy Take Off and Happy Dreams,” resonates with local Singaporeans in love with travel and aviation. Photo ops at the pool include the control tower and the latest Airbus 380. Invitations come in the form of boarding passes.

The practical side of holding a wedding at Changi means that those far-flung relatives can literally be at the wedding venue after alighting the aircraft.

Singaporeans are very practical people and in the city of Singapore, Saturday is the day most marriages are held. The venue is generally a downtown hotel, where traffic snarls, as well as parking problems, can be commonplace. At the Changi Airport Crown Plaza traffic problems are rare, and parking is never a problem.
Flying out the next day for the honeymoon in Hong Kong is only a boarding away.

For those Singaporeans, or for that matter anyone seeking peace and quiet and exoticism, should opt for the Malaysian island of Langkawi in the Andaman Sea. A little more than one hour’s flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur lie 99 islands forming Langkawi.ME

For many years, the breathtaking island of Langkwai was just another Malaysian island with its rural population of farmers and fishermen, eclipsed to the north by the better know island of Phuket in Thailand or Penang to the south.

Malaysia's much-revered former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad, decided that Langkawi had potential and would put it on the international map, but in an environmentally-friendly way - long before the word "environmentally friendly" was a household name.

Now it is home to some of the best five-star resorts in the world.

Tucked away on the northern side of Langkawi, along a two-and-a-half kilometer unspoiled beach is my favorite hotel, the Tanjung Rhu Resort. With no other building in sight, it has a spectacular view of limestone islands, which can be reached on foot at low tide, a sort of Malaysian Mount St. Michel.

Tanjung Rhu is a highly-rated resort well versed in the art of weddings. In their brochure, “Love is in the Air,” it gives a very detailed and equally sophisticated look at their wedding packages. A checklist at the end offers a countdown from 12 months to one day ahead.

The “Love is in the Air” theme at Tanjung Rhu offers wedding packages and caters to both small and large groups. With years of experience, the wedding can be customized to one’s own tastes, whether it is eastern or western. After all, Malaysia is a true mix of Indian Malay and Chinese, and it is in this diversity that makes it so rich.

Perfect Wedding magazine from the UK voted Tanjung Rhu the number one beach to say “ I do” on.
My thoughts are whether you come from Shanghai, Singapore, or San Francisco, why not consider Southeast Asia for your marriage? Why, just the variety of tourism destinations on offer, not to mention price, make it a must.

Hotel weddings a la Southeast Asia, or saying I do on the beach

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