Great choice getting married in Phuket, we just had our wedding on the 11th April and it was absolutely perfect… I am still buzzing from it!
We ended up having the wedding at Cape Panwa Hotel www.capepanwa.com I was really worried that it was going to be too secluded but realised after the wedding this is what you need for the wedding to be really special and relatively private. We went to Phuket for two weeks and spent 5 nights in Patong before the wedding and then 5 nights at Cape Panwa Hotel and the last 3 nights at Kata Beach Resort. We really enjoyed moving around and staying at different locations, it was like 3 mini holidays in one! I wish we had more time to stay at Kata Beach Resort it is lovely and Kata Beach is my favourite area of Phuket however I don’t recommend it for a special wedding location not after having our wedding at Cape Panwa. If you really do want to get married in the Kata area then I would probably recommend the Katathani Beach Resort over Kata Beach Resort for a wedding ceremony but still I don’t think it comes close to the Cape Panwa Hotel. (However if I was just going for a holiday and not for my wedding then I would stay at Kata Beach Resort over Katathani, if that makes sense… as it has a bit more atmosphere but not necessarily what you would want for a special wedding location).
Cape Panwa Hotel is located about 45 minutes drive from Patong so it is very secluded and other than a few restaurants and bars there is nothing else in the area. But the Hotel is just amazing, it is so beautiful, and the staff are fabulous, all our guests had a fantastic time. Our wedding ceremony was on a Saturday. We arrived at Cape Panwa on the Thursday afternoon, had an amazing dinner the first night at the Top of the Reef restaurant and wonderful cocktails at the Otter bar. Then on the Friday we all relaxed at the private beach at the hotel, on the Friday night the Ladies had a Hen’s night for me at one of the local Thai restaurants at the top of the hill that connects Cape Panwa Hotel with the very small Cape Panwa town. One of our guests had booked a private pool villa at Cape Panwa Hotel and they had their own pool, it was such a beautiful villa and I really recommend it. All the guys had the Buck’s party in the private villa in the pool and then afterwards went to one of the local restaurants. We all ended up at the Lighthouse pub which is great fun, it is part of the Cape Panwa Hotel facilities. Happy hour started around 9.30pm or so which was great, two for one cocktails and they have a band. It was a really fun night.
The next day was the wedding, we were really lucky as our wedding was all outside and it had poured with rain everyday leading up to the wedding but on our wedding day it did not rain at all, it really would have changed the whole feel of the wedding if it had rained as it was all geared for outside. So I was very happy and relieved!! Also in April it was the hottest time so I recommend getting married as late as possible in the day, our ceremony was at 5pm on the Cape Panwa Hotel beach. The whole thing was just magical, the staff did a wonderful job. We used the Panwa House which is a beautiful sino-portuguese mansion on the beach as the back drop for the wedding. I made a grand entrance with my dad, down the stunning staircase of Panwa House with all our guests watching from the lawn in front of Panwa House, the guests all then made their way to the beach were it was all set up beautifully for the ceremony and were my husband was waiting and then I made the long beach walk with my Dad to the ceremony to the song Somewhere over the Rainbow by Isreal Kamakawiwo' Ole. It is something I will never forget it was so special and other hotel guests who were watching all this going on, were clapping, it was amazing!!
After the ceremony we had cocktails on the beach and had a baby elephant arrive for the children (we had about 9 young children at the wedding). Then we had pre-dinner cocktails on the verandah of Panwa House and then a sit down dinner (round tables of 8 guests per table) on the lawn in front of Panwa House. The food was Thai, it was not buffet, it was all fresh and served at each table and it was delicious, probably the best Thai food I have ever had and lots of the guests commented how fantastic it was. Then we danced the night away using the verandah of Panwa House as the dance floor. We had a DJ with a lighting system so it was great.
Probably one of the most special parts of the evening was when we lit spirit balloons, each couple were given a spirit balloon to light and it was so romantic, I really recommend this, no matter where you get married, it was such a huge hit with all our guests. We also had fireworks which were amazing but I think the spirit balloons really were the biggest wow factor of the night. Everything was really reasonably priced, I could never afford to have fireworks at my wedding if it was in my hometown of Perth in Australia.
The next day the manager of the hotel had given us free use of their Panwa Princess boat, which is a big beautiful new boat and everything was free except for our lunch which was very generous. We took all our wedding guests out for the day and went to Coral Island and had lunch on the island. It was all really nice and a relaxing way to unwind after the wedding.
Also another thing which was a big hit for our guests was that Cape Panwa has a sensational Day Spa and all wedding guests received 50% off Spa treatments and they all took advantage of this and raved on about it.
I can go on and on about how perfect the whole thing was, I think the fact that it was secluded and private was what made it so special and intimate. As I said Kata Beach is lovely but the actual beach is a really big busy public beach so it would not have been special to get married there. One thing to be aware of about Cape Panwa beach though is the tide goes out really far in the afternoon which made the beach not that attractive in the afternoons and was something that was a bit of a shock to me as I am not used to a tide going out that far and all the rocks and sea bed being exposed, but I got over it.
If you do consider Cape Panwa Hotel for your wedding you probably only need to stay 4 nights, (two nights before the Wedding, then the Wedding night and then the night after the wedding) and then you can move to a less secluded location for your honeymoon. Also another thing to mention is Cape Panwa Hotel has a sister hotel called Kantary Bay Hotel which is at the bottom of the hill at Cape Panwa and this is another option for accommodation for your guests, some of our guests stayed there and it was really nice and there is a free shuttle bus between the two hotels (they are only a short distance apart but there is a huge hill) and if you stay at one hotel you can use the other hotels facilities, such as pools, restaurants, beach etc.
Hope this helps, please let me know if you have any other questions.
Good luck with it all!