Most girls dream of their weddings.
I was the girl who has dreamed of my wedding since I was a little girl. I always dreamed of having a white sandy beach wedding on an island, with all my favourite people in one place.
So to say that my dream came alive… is an understatement.
Dean and I are still trying to process just how perfectly our wedding weekend turned out. I hate the word ‘perfect’; but as I write this, I am failing to find a better word. There were no faults. Not one.
I always wanted a relatively small wedding. So when we started planning the wedding we thought Thailand would be the perfect spot for the kind of wedding we were hoping to create. A small island beach wedding. Well, not so small in the end – we didn’t quite think so many people would accept our invite to Thailand – all 170 of them. But wow – we were over the moon that so many of our friends and family from around the globe would be making this huge effort to come and celebrate Dean and I. And I think our guests had the best weekend away in Paradise.
Our wedding began on a Thursday and ended on a Monday, so we had 4 incredible days together.
A GLIMPSE OF THE WEDDING WEEKEND:
Arrival at our favorite hotel – The Conrad, Koh Samui . Absolute luxury on the Cliffs of Koh Samui. Every single villa has its own pool. Our guests were blown away by the scenery and the incredible accommodation.
Guests were given healthy gifts bags on arrival… (more to come on these next week!)
and a personalised note from Dean and I printed on cards from Papier D’amour (who also printed our wedding invitations and stationary), with our J&D monogram designed by my cousin, Hannah Grossberg (you can find her on Instagram).
That day was spent welcoming our guests from around the globe and enjoying drinks and snacks in the pool – that was a true highlight.
This was followed by a candle-lit, healthy barbecue dinner by the pool for all of our friends. It was so special to reconnect for such a special occasion.
The day started with a morning yoga session, followed by a healthy breakfast. The hotel made a few of my recipes from my book, The Healthy Life – my Gluten-Free Bircher Muesli, my famous Banana-Date Muffins, my Sugar-Free Granola and my Cacao-Coconut Bliss Balls. My guests were so excited. There was also a healthy juice bar and health tonics to shot.
Then my close girlfriends and I headed off to an incredible day spa, Tamarind Springs, which was just 20 minutes away. (In the mean time, Dean and his friends went to enjoy a bucks party on the island!)
Tamarind Springs. What can I say? You feel like you are in a Fairyland.
We enjoyed a swim in beautiful rock pools, followed by a body scrub, sauna and steam room – laughing, chatting and just catching up with my friends from around the world. What more could I ask for?
We then enjoyed a massage and a healthy snack in the treetops of this spa – absolute heaven.
Friday evening was a beautiful and healthy dinner, served on the deck of the hotel overlooking the magical sunset…
…with fresh coconuts served throughout the night… …and of course, a glass of vino to celebrate!
We started the day off with another yoga practice by the ocean.
Then a day of massages and rest by the pool.
On Saturday evening, we had a drinks party that turned into a mini wedding itself! By the end of it, Dean and I were being lifted up onto chairs and we danced all night long. We had Choni G (all the way from South Africa!) to come and sing for our wedding weekend. The energy that was created is hard to describe. A moment we will never forget.
The big day.
I woke up and practiced yoga with all my guests once again. I then had a swim and enjoyed a healthy breakfast with my gals.
It was so important for me to really remain very calm and present during this day.
This is something that is very hard to do. Most brides simply can’t.
I just had to make a conscious decision to be relaxed and enjoy this time – as I was so aware of how fleeting this moment was. This moment would never happen again.
And I really FELT and enjoyed every single moment of that day. It is the most present I have ever been.
At 11am my bridesmaids – yes, all 14 of them – came to my room and we got ready together (hair and makeup) while listening to Sam Smith on repeat. It was magic.
As a special treat, I gave all my bridesmaids their own CottonOn Body Gown, a bracelet from Coordinates Collection (with the latitude and longitude of Koh Samui engraved on the band) and a Mon Purse pouch monogrammed with their initials.
My mom and my two sisters then came into my room to dress me. Another moment which I will cherish forever.
My mom made me sit on my bed and meditate for a few minutes before I got dressed. It was the best idea.
I breathed deeply and closed my eyes. Great tip for all of you brides to be.
I said a small blessing for Dean and I, and for the day ahead. I thought carefully about what was actually happening – I was about to marry the man I adore with every inch of me. So many brides lose touch with what the wedding is actually about. Try to think of the man you are about to marry.
Dean was in my mind and heart that whole day.
At around 4pm, we got into my cute wedding buggie and off we went to enjoy the most magical magical ceremony.
Our actual wedding ceremony was all in white. What a sight. And my bridesmaids wore all white too, with flower head garlands created by Sticks and Wicks Floral Design.
We then entered an enchanted fairy like reception. The floral designs and flowers were created by Florabelle (Instagram) and Sticks and Wicks Floral Design (Facebook), and everything was orchestrated so perfectly by Benita Kam of BNT Management (Instagram). It was magical, dreamy, classy and all white and green. I cannot thank you all enough.
There were fairy lights and candles – everywhere.
To eat and drink, we had the most incredible mix of healthy salads, Thai cuisine and freshly grilled fish. Yes, we had a ‘healthy’ wedding. But our guests were certainly not deprived. Look out for some more posts coming next week about our wedding menu…
We didn’t have a traditional cake and instead we opted for fruit and coconut ice-cream (my favourites ice-cream flavour). And yes, there was alcohol – contrary to what you may have heard or seen in the media!
We danced all night – until our feet hurt! And at around 2am we went back to our rooms.
It was the best fun!
It was so sad to say goodbye but our hearts were so full. A weekend we will cherish in our hearts forever.
Thank you to everyone who came from so far to celebrate this moment in our lives.
We love you all.
My dress was by Anna Maier – from Helen Rodrigues, Sydney.
Maids of Honors’ dresses – designed by the sister of the bride, Gabriella Sepel.
My veil was made by my 92 year old grandmother, Dolly Sepel.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
HAIR AND MAKEUP: DANY SAMUI HAIR
PHOTOGRAHER: MAX PINITPONG
VIDEOGRAPHER: JONNY WOLMAN (XSIGHT VIDEO SYDNEY)
DJ: ANDY VIER
MANAGER AT THE CONRAD, KOH SAMUI: STEFANO RUZZA
Look out for my next blog posts with more of the healthy aspects of our wedding.
Love, Jess xx
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!