Thailand Elopement On Film & Super 8


film photography

super 8

December 12th – 20th, 2023

Chiang Mai, Thailand

Today, I’m finally sharing all the details from one of the most sentimental and beautiful elopements I’ve ever had the honor of documenting. The best parts? The elopement was a destination elopement in Thailand, all documented on film and Super 8, and for one of my favorite people in this whole world, my sister Amanda and her now husband Manny. My journey began with a 23-hour flight—yep, you read that right! Handling film during international travel? Let’s just say it was an interesting adventure, but I have tips to make it smoother for you! I have so much to share from the moment I left, through exploring the streets of Thailand, and finally the elopement itself! Let’s get into it.

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Prepping & Travel Adventures

TSA pre-check saved my life, making the whole check-in through the US a breeze! I jetted off on two flights from the US to South Korea, then on to Chiang Mai (the region in Thailand in which we were staying!). Y’all, I almost missed my connecting flight even though I had a 2-3 hour layover. I suggest booking a layover for 5-6 hours if possible. I noticed that flights change all the time in the Seoul International Airport and security takes like forever to get through. Just make it easier for yourself and get a longer layover if possible! Armed with like at least 30+ rolls of 35mm, a shit ton of instant film, and 10 rolls of Super 8, we were set for magic. But, South Korean security had other plans for my instant film. They did hand-check my other film thank goodness but they refused to hand-check my Polaroids, RIP. I did have an “x-ray” safe bag but I’m convinced their scanners at security are stronger at and fried my instant film which led to some funky blue-tinted shots and unique abrasions that you can see in some of these polaroids throughout the blog. I learned to research places to buy instant film upon arrival after that whole experience because I will never trust an X-ray bag again lol.

Before I dive any deeper into this blog, I should mention that I asked my friend, Lexi, from Lexi Foster Photography to plan and shoot the digital photography side of things for Amanda and Manny’s Elopement. My intent for their elopement was to shoot all film and Super 8 in Thailand. Plus, I also had never planned a destination elopement and I wanted to bring someone on to work as a team together. This just goes to show that you can put together your dream team of vendors when it comes to it! I know it sounds cheesy but teamwork literally makes the dreamwork y’all.

Exploring Thailand’s Beauty

Fast forward to landing in Thailand, cue temple-hopping, exploring through flower fields, and prepping for the big day. Thailand is one of the most beautiful countries I’ve ever been to. With lush areas, everything is so green with flowers in any direction you look. Gorgeous temples on every corner, everything is highly decorated and their culture is so rich in history! I would go back in a heartbeat but now I have some amazing travel tips if I did go back!

The Detail Shots

Pre-planning for all the detail shots around a month and a half before I left for Thailand. I normally don’t plan for this long but because this was for my sister she got some special treatment. I wanted to have everything I needed and not have to run around searching for much when I arrived. Sourcing a vintage map of Thailand that aligned with the greens of the ring boxes of their vow books was probably the hardest part but I managed to source one from a vintage items collector on Etsy. The ring boxes that I sourced also aligned with the same deep forest green and light sage colors from their vow books. Other items that I brought along were film canisters, stamps, wax seals, and ribbons with me in my luggage.

So we are now onto day 2 in Thailand, Amanda and Manny flew in on this day and we let them rest because they had quite the travel adventure. Lexi and I headed to the flower market to get the styling blooms for the flat lay and detail shots. I insisted we did details beforehand because I didn’t want that to impact any of the time on their elopement day or the excursions they were going to do. I also wasn’t sure what the lighting situation would be at these places, so we did them at the hotel.

Adventuring ChIang Mai With Amanda & Manny

Later that night and the day after we explored Chiang Mai together. These are some of my favorite shots from the trip. We hit the night market and headed to the flower market ( again ahah ) so we could pick florals for Amanda’s bouquet. I also got Manny writing his vows and even some of them riding in a tuk-tuk. It was so fun to capture all these over multiple days instead of just a one-day elopement. I would 1000000% recommend having your photographer follow you around on your epic destination elopement for a week and see what happens haha!

The Elephant Sanctuary

Day 3 & 4, we headed to the elephant sanctuary, Chai Lai Orchid, which was supposed to be the site of the elopement. After some consideration, we decided it wasn’t the best idea and switched plans. This specific sanctuary was chosen because it is the most ethical in the area, but didn’t have a place to hold the elopement itself. The huts we were supposed to stay and get ready in also didn’t have the best lighting for photos. So if you are dreaming of eloping with the elephants, we would not recommend this specific sanctuary. We got some great shots of Amanda and Manny feeding and playing with the elephants during the elephant wake-up in the morning and elephant happy hour; it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The mosquitos in the area were terrible, and American bug spray doesn’t deter these bad boys so make sure to pick up bug spray at a convenience store in the city before heading out into the part of Thailand. I chose to just stay for the morning portion and headed back, while the rest of the group stayed for the full-day excursion. I treated myself to a spa day at The Oasis Spa Lanna, which I would HIGHLY recommend! I stayed for five hours and felt like a queen. It was the most luxurious spa experience I have ever had. It was a great way to treat myself being that this was technically my last wedding of the 2023 season and also as a way to de-stress from the long travels.

The Elopement Day On Film

Since we switched plans from the elephant sanctuary, we decided to go with our plan B location for the elopement at the Doi Inthanon National Park. Elopement day at the national park dawned early, like 2 AM early. A bumpy caravan ride through the mountains tested some in our group. Luckily, I was totally fine. I would not recommend this if you are prone to car sickness. You go straight through a mountain region with high elevation and it was also pretty cold but nothing that this girl isn’t already used to haha! Nothing could dim the breathtaking views that awaited us. The rough start? Worth it for the mesmerizing backdrop.

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Thailand Elopement, Thailand Wedding Videography, Super 8 Elopement Film, Traveling Film Wedding Photographer, Thailand Elopement Inspiration, Film Wedding Photography

Thailand Elopement On Super 8 Film

I’m beyond proud of Amanda and Manny’s elopement on Super. I love that I was able to capture the whole trip on Super 8 and not just the elopement day. They are gonna be able to look back on this trip and not just see a special elopement video but also the exploring they did in Thailand, from the flower markets to the elephant sanctuary. I captured it all. I genuinely hope you enjoy their Super 8 elopement.

I will say that with Super 8 sometimes you never know what you are going to get and sometimes you get faulty rolls. For one of their rolls, I did get a faulty roll that led to some glitching which gives the appearance of ghosting which was super interesting.



Castillo Holliday Photo & Film

Thailand’s lush beauty, vibrant culture, and ornate temples stole my heart. Throughout the trip we went on several tuk tuks, night markets, a really cute cat cafe, y’all the street food was delicious – Amanda, Manny, and I had THE MOST AMAZING time on the trip and I captured it all on film! Even though this Thailand elopement didn’t go exactly to plan, I learned so much. There are so many bucket list locations we would love to shoot elopements and weddings at. Reach out to us here for your destination elopements babes! 💫📸✨

Love from Amanda and Manny

“Dominique was our photographer and Super 8 videographer for both our engagement photoshoot in Miami as well as our elopement in Chiang Mai and her effort and talent did not go unnoticed. We were beyond thrilled with how our photos, polariods and Super 8 came out and love the way she integrates both a modern style with the vintage look of Super 8 film. She makes her clients feel very comfortable and does a wonderful job of implementing her creative ideas while still capturing the feeling and emotion of the natural moment. 10/10 recommend.”

Vendors Team

Film photographer + Super 8 filmmaker: Castillo Holliday Photo And Film, Instagram: @castillohollidayphotoandfilm

Digital Photographer + Planning: Lexi Foster Photography, Instagram: @lexifosterphotography

Venues & Locations:

Hotels that we stayed at and recommend: Pingviman Hotel & NA NIRAND Romantic Boutique Resort, Instagram: @na_nirand

Sunrise Elopement: Doi Inthanon National Park

Elephant Sanctuary: Chai lai Orchid

Dress: Grace Loves Lace, Instagram: @grace_loves_lace

Suit: The House of Suits, Instagram: @thehouseofsuitsmiami

Rings: James Allen, Instagram: @jamesallenrings

Ring Boxes: The Mrs. Box, Instagram: @the_mrs_box

Film Lab: Nice Film Club, Instagram: @nicefilmclub

Super 8 Lab: Negativeland, Instagram: @negativelandfilm


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