I'm literally radiating heat. Chest, arms and shoulders are lobster red. Sunburnt and sizzling. My penance for spending three hours on the hotel rooftop — wading in the infiinity pool, sipping mojitos by the bar, and obnoxiously lip-singing to SIA on the sunbed — all without sunscreen. Poor form. Not sunsmart, especially for an Australian.
But the pain of getting dressed this Monday morn — I had to ditch my usual Oxford shirts for a loose cotton tee; my skin was just too raw (I know, I'm sounding bloody precious and pathetic right about now) — was a stinging reminder of the jolly fun I had over the weekend. A good friend of mine had decided to tie the knot in Saigon. Getting hitched in Ho Chi Minh? To be honest, at first, it sounded like a headache for everyone involved. (You know, those really bad ones that sometimes ends in a nosebleed if you're not careful.) I mean, just think of all the planning, prep and plane-time required just to get there — is it worth all the fuss?
Well, let me tell you, even now as I'm redder than a to-mah-to (none of this American 'to-may-to' nonsense), I can emphatically say: Heck, yes. In fact, I'm all about destination weddings now. Why stay at home when you can be by a beach, tramping through the mountains, or frolicking down some remote ravine? As a newly married couple, you're embarking on a new chapter in your life, so might as well start it off with an adventure. Am I right or am I right? No need to answer. Rhetorical.
Need more convincing to head abroad when exchanging vows? Well, here are five compelling reasons to start locking down that Maldives resort, 16th century castle or Hamptons Homestead. (The last one's mine. Don't steal it.)
1. It shows you who your real friends are After running through the gauntlet of taking time off work, buying a plane ticket, booking a hotel and, if they have kids, arranging for a sitter, only the crème de la crème are left. Which is what you want. No random aunties or third-removed cousins looking for a free feed.
2. Doubles as a holiday For the guests that is. Hence my super itchy, and now almost flaky, sunburn. TMI? And that's how you pitch it to your friends — "I'm getting married. You better be there. I don't care if you need to get a VISA. Think of it as a weekend getaway." Sold.
3. You get to take the piss at crazy tourists Entertainment comes naturally for both you (the married couple) and for your guests by way of the uninformed and uninitiated. Overheard at the reception dinner in Saigon: "This is the first time my dad has left continental America. And the first thing he said was, 'It looks nothing like Mexico!'" Is he voting for Trump? I bet he's voting for Trump.
4. They just feel more special Because, decades from now, you'll look back and remember the fairy lights hanging over the dinner tables, the palm trees swaying in the balmy night, and the two-year old Vietnamese girl asking her mother, her finger outstretched and at full voice, "Does that man have a baby is his belly?" No words. Just tears.
5. Your honeymoon starts right away Once the dance is over, and the crowd is raucously tipsy on punch and champers, you just slip away into a river boat and high-tail it out of there — not to the airport, but to your awaiting five-star hotel complete with an infinity pool. Gorg. Just remember: Pack the sunscreen.
Check back every Monday for another @MusingMutley column from Norman Tan, Editor-in-Chief of Buro 24/7 Singapore. For more columns from @MusingMutley, click here.
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