CHIANG MAI-Fifty-five newly-married couples from all over the world came together in a northern Thai town this week to tie the knot or renew their vows in mass nuptials.
Our own Vivek and Ayushma were also there, riding elephants, dressing up in traditional Thai wedding gowns and re-marrying in the traditional Lanna style. "It was everything we expected and more," gushed an ecstatic Ayushma, 25, as she was whisked from one venue to another on hubby Vivek's arms.
Vivek is the sales manager of Yeti Travels looking after Royal Orchid Holidays, so it was fitting that Thai International should invite him for this legendary Chiang Mai Wedding extravaganza. "Thai called and asked if we wanted to be one of the 55 couples. We had just got married so we jumped at the chance," says Vivek. There were 55 couples because this year is also the 55th wedding anniversary of Thailand's king and queen.
The wedding was elaborate: it spanned three days starting with traditional dancing on the tarmac as they stepped off the plane in Chiang Mai. There were ceremonial fireworks, elephant rides, special silk costumes and sight-seeing.
Ayushma is an intern at ICIMOD and asked what the most special thing about the wedding was, she thinks for a moment and replies: "It was all so grand. I guess the fireworks display on the last night was the most overwhelming."