Armed with a sense of wanderlust, childhood sweethearts Aretha and Nicholas set their sights on the picturesque Khao Yai National Park for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. With Thomas of The Peeping Thom behind the lens, the couple did it all: lived their Lord of the Rings fantasies at the Hobbit House, chased waterfalls, wandered through scenic vineyards, and even visited an airplane graveyard in Bangkok – what a journey!
Below, Nicholas shares his favourite moments from their photo shoot.
How they met:
"Aretha and I met online 15 years ago on mIRC, when we were both still in school. We chatted for six months and met up for a movie date, despite the advice we got about not meeting people online. We're glad that we took the risk because we've been together ever since."
How Nicholas popped the question:
"We had already chosen the ring way back in 2013. So Aretha's only criteria was that she must be dressed for the occasion and it had to be a surprise!
I decided to propose to her on 01/03/14 (一生一世) – an auspicious date that's easy to remember. I enlisted her cousins' help to set up candles and bring her dog down to Punggol Settlement. When we arrived, Aretha spotted the letter 'A' formed by the candlelights and got so excited. Her cousins surprised her by jumping out from the bushes (along with her dog). I got down on one knee and handed her a Harry Potter book with the ring tucked inside it. Once she opened it, I asked her to be my wife and she said yes!"
How they decided on the location:
"When we first met up with Thomas of The Peeping Thom, we didn't have a clue as to what we wanted. When we told him that our friends call us the "hobbit couple" (due to our petite frames), Thomas suggested a Lord of the Rings-inspired Hobbit House in Khao Yai, Thailand. We were blown away by the many location choices Khao Yai offered.
The idea of having an epic road trip, plus some great photos at the end of this short getaway made it an easy decision for us."
The concept of their wedding shoot:
"We wanted to capture Thailand's beautiful countryside and showcase our fun-loving personalities as the "hobbit couple" with natural, candid shots."
Their favourite moments from the shoot:
"Our experience was nothing short of memorable! After all, it was our first overseas shoot. Our favourite moments were those we shared in our rented four-wheel drive: taking videos of the journey; taking turns to drive; getting lost; and chancing upon beautiful locations. We loved how the trip was not perfectly planned. Everything was quite spontaneous and relaxed, which is usually case when working with The Peeping Thom."
Their advice for couples:
"Communicate with your photographer and refer to Google or Pinterest to show them what kind of photos you're aiming for. For overseas shoots where English is not commonly spoken, communication can be challenging – so you have to get creative! What we achieved from this photo shoot was more than just beautiful photographs: we got to explore new places and learn to trust each other in a foreign land."
Photography and videography: The Peeping Thom
Locations: Khao Yai National Park, PB Wine Valley, Baan Suan Noi Resort, Casa De Montana, Airplane Graveyard (in Bangkok)
Bride's wedding gown: Taobao
Bride's pink gown: BCBG Max Azria
Bride's orange floral dress: ASOS
Jewellery and shoes: Bride’s own
Groom’s suit: H&M and Topshop
Groom’s shoes: Cole Haan