You awaken to the soothing sound of the waves lapping the shore. It’s sunny, warm and the vibe is relaxed and exciting. It’s time. Your special day is finally here!
A wedding on any of the South Pacific Islands is a dream come true. Almost any island you choose will be the idyllic location for your wedding, honeymoon or romantic getaway. Surrounded by your family and friends who will love the excuse to join you in Paradise on this special day!
There are a few things to think about, when considering the Pacific Islands as a wedding destination. - What time of year you want to get married (in the South Pacific, cyclone/the wet season which is generally more humid, is from November to March each year). - Budget - a South Pacific Wedding can be surprisingly affordable compared to a traditional wedding. - Guests - will your guests have the means to afford attending your wedding? - Your time - while a wedding in a South Pacific Island is worth the effort, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a wedding coordinator such as South Pacific Weddings. They have the contacts and the knowledge of all the available options. They can also help guide you through the myriad of jobs you need to get done to organize the whole event if you need it. Legalities - all of the Islands have different legal requirements, however most require the bride and groom to arrive at least 3 working days prior to the wedding in order to visit the registry office and submit the required information. - Location - Would you prefer a
beach or chapel wedding?
So which Island is the best to be married on? The answer to that question comes down to 2 things - you and your fiancé! No one island that is better than another.
Based on value for money, resort facilities, quality management & services, amazing wedding settings and feedback from clients of wedding coordinators, here is a quick rundown of some of the most popular Romantic Island destinations:
COOK ISLANDS / RAROTONGA
The destination itself is a wonderful choice. The main island of Rarotonga is only 32 kilometers in circumference making it very easy to get around. A coral reef almost entirely surrounds the island ensuring that the white sandy beaches are protected. The swaying palm trees and beautiful aquamarine lagoon are constant reminders that you have arrived in paradise, while the local people will greet you with a big friendly smile and most speak good English. There are
many things to see and do including an island safari, glass bottom boat cruise, bush walks, snorkeling, quad bike and adventure buggy trips, fishing excursions and cultural/village tours.
The bustling capital of the Cook Islands, Avarua, has a market on Saturday mornings, a variety of shops, 3 banks plus a supermarket. The local public transport system works efficiently and stops outside most resorts or properties every 30 minutes and is a very cost effective way of traveling around the island. For something different, hire a scooter and discover the island at your own pace.
There are many hire companies dotted around the island with a variety of bikes, scooters and cars to suit everyone. Taxis are also available. The Rarotongan people are very proud of their island and the main roads are in very good condition.
Temperatures range between 20 to 30 degrees, depending on the time of the year. The local currency is the New Zealand Dollar. Credit cards are widely accepted and ATM’s are available at some resorts and in Avarua.
Accommodation options vary from beach-side resorts to smaller boutique properties offering villa and bungalow style accommodation. Private houses are also available to rent. Resorts are graded between 3
to 4 star and smaller properties and houses range from 2 star through to 4 star plus.
Rarotonga is renowned for dining out. There are many restaurants and cafes dotted around the island offering a selection of international cuisine including Italian, Mexican and Chinese to name a few. Many are situated overlooking the lagoon creating an exotic, peaceful and relaxed atmosphere to make your dining experience a truly memorable one. The nightlife in Rarotonga is enviable with over 20 bars offering g everything from live bands to dance e music.
Uncrowded, unpolluted and d unspoiled Fiji is perfect for relaxing g on beautiful beaches or taking an n adventure off the beaten track. This s destination gives you the choice of a wedding on the mainland or one of f the many pristine outer islands. There e are many resorts on the mainland d dotted along the Coral Coast and d on Denarau Island ranging from 3 to o 5 stars. Many of the resorts on the e mainland have white sand beaches s and breathtaking lagoons. The outer islands are accessed by speed boat, sea plane or helicopter and there are many to choose from that cater to all budgets and preferences, ranging between 2.5 star to 5 star plus. Many of the outer islands are surrounded by a coral reef and have striking beaches and crystal clear lagoons. The Fijian people are one of Fiji’s best assets with their big smiling faces, welcoming manner and great sense of humour. Sightseeing tours, day cruises, cultural tours, fishing excursions and day y trips p to the outer islands are all on offer at this unforgettable destination.
The town of Nadi is a bustling place with many shops, banking facilities, supermarket, local craft market and much more. There is a local public transport system on the main island as well as private coaches and taxis. There are also several rental car companies on the island if you wish to hire a car, bike or scooter.
Temperatures range between 18 to 30 degrees depending on the month of the year and the local currency is Fijian j Dollars.
An A almost unknown paradise in many ways the destination itself will pleasantly surprise you with beautiful beaches, white sands lined with c coconut palms and aquamarine lagoons. The local Samoan people a are very welcoming, helpful and most speak very good English. T They are proud people who still honour and nurture a culture rich in a age-old traditions and ceremonies. S Samoa offers a range of things to s see and do from beautiful walks and w waterfalls to local villages and sailing t trips. A visit to the town of Apia is a must with its buzzing daily market, many shops and the Robert Louis S Stevenson Museum. Savai’i, a large o outer island, can be explored on a d day trip or overnight trip. Samoa has a regular public transport system o operated by traditional local buses, e each decorated with the owners’ personal favourite choice of colours a and designs. Alternatively rental cars a and scooters are available for hire a and there are also taxis operating o on the island. The roads are in good c condition and you can easily travel a around the main island. If you decide t to include a day trip or an overnight t trip to Savai’i, there are currently 4 ferries per day that operate at various times. It is approximately a one and a half journey and is reasonably priced. You can hire a rental car upon arrival and there is a selection of properties to stay depending on your individual taste or preference.
Temperatures range between 20 to 30 degrees, depending on the time of the year. The local currency is Samoan Tala. Your choice of accommodation in Samoa can range from B&B’s and Lodges to beachfront resorts with a variety of facilities. These properties range from 2 to 4 stars. If you wish to be a little more adventurous there are also traditional Fales (open sided huts with bedding provided). These are dotted at various locations around the island and some are on the most pristine beaches. Fales are often very basic, but clean and are graded between 1 and 3 stars depending on the property, location and facilities. These are great fun for a few nights, for the young at heart and those with a sense of adventure.
Tahiti. The word evokes visions of an island paradise. Officially known as French Polynesia and comprised of 118 romantic islands and atolls, the
islands of Bora Bora, Moorea, Taha’a and beyond continue to seduce travelers in search of a tranquil escape. With its islands boasting Palm fringed white sand beaches, high glossy green mountains, colourful coral reefs, turquoise blue lagoons and emerald-green waters, this South Pacific paradise has something for everyone and is the perfect setting for that unforgettable big day!
From intimate resorts and small peaceful villages to overwater bungalows and 5 star hotels, the choice of accommodation will live up to your island paradise dream! Experience true relaxation and rejuvenation at one of the many luxurious Polynesian spas while nurtured by the tropical ambience of your surroundings. Explore the pristine interior and beautiful coastline by 4x4 excursion, guided nature hikes, escorted tours, or rental car. Crystal clear lagoons are perfect for a wide range of activities including diving, snorkeling, boating and fishing! Tahiti is the perfect setting for your romantic island getaway!
For years, getting married on any of Tahiti’s pristine islands was simply a dream, since it wasn’t possible for visitors to legally marry. In 2009 the French government amended the laws and requirements so now, couples who are not French nationals, not currently married and are at least 18 years old are welcome to tie the knot in paradise. Most resorts are happy to assist with getting all the paperwork in order. At least 45 days prior to the ceremony couples must complete and submit the following documents to the local Tahitian mayor’s office: a marriage application, a letter of intent signed and dated by both future spouses, and a certificate that proves that neither is currently married, along
With breathtaking scenery, world famous diving, snorkeling and swimming in crystal clear waters, Vanuatu is an unspoilt haven for travelers. More than 80 volcanic islands make up the nation of Vanuatu, with mountainous interiors, delightful beaches, dive spots and friendly locals Vanuatu is fast becoming a top romantic destination for couples looking for an unforgettable and exotic South Pacific escape.
Vanuatu caters for any budget, from simple yet stunning to elaborate luxury, you’ll find accommodation to host your special day and get married barefoot on a tropical beach, at the top of an active volcano or aboard a yacht while you cruise around the beautiful islands.
Éfaté is home to Vanuatu’s capital Port Vila and is the most developed and populated of all the islands boasting a wide range of resorts, activities and restaurants and the nearby Iririki Island offers a choice of waterside venues, beach setting or a spectacular hill top ceremony, overlooking the sea. Espíritu Santo attracts divers and adventurers with its underwater WWII wrecks, reefs, dense jungle, caves and secluded freshwater swimming holes. Tanna is the perfect island for adventurous travelers keen to explore rugged volcanic landscape and come face-toface with the still active Mount Yasur volcano! Vanuatu is a perfect setting for a truly enchanting celebration of love.
It is common to hear comments about the benefits of getting married in the South Pacific, the most common being ‘the amount of quality time spent with family and close friends’. Your guests will often look at your wedding as a way to have a holiday at the same time, therefore enjoying your special day and the fun and activities on offer in a tropical paradise
Travelling with Children?
Family holidays are fun but let’s be honest, they can be a logistical nightmare! Below are a few tips and useful links to take the stress out of planning your getaway with the kids.
Keeping kids entertained from sun
up to sun down really is child’s play in the Islands. There’s plenty to do all day long and family fun for all ages and budgets. The island people have a natural love for children and a strong affinity for family.
As we all know from experience, parents won’t relax on holiday until the kids are happy!
Being prepared for the plane travel, a much hotter climate and a different (and sometimes traditional) island style of accommodation will really help your little ones to settle more quickly into their new environment, which means parents will get some much deserved R & R too!
Here are a few tips to make your family getaway a more relaxed and pleasurable one. * Bring a change of clothes for arrival
as the heat can be a shock! * Purchase a case of bottled water on arrival at Duty Free – saves time & money. * Consider resorts with inter
connecting rooms – you’ll
appreciate the extra space. * Don’t forget the first aid kit, ensuring you have plenty of insect repellent, antiseptic gel, sunscreen etc. * Ask about kid’s clubs and babysitting services - fun for you and the kids! * Fan cooled rooms may be cheaper – but when it’s hot everyone will appreciate an air-conditioned room – especially the kids!
Choose a dress that is practical in the heat of the tropics – a simple dress in a cool natural fibre will be more comfortable, as will appropriate shoes as high heels could be a nightmare in the sand!
Tell the team at South Pacific Weddings if you intend to take a wedding dress. We will then advise the airline so they expect a boxed or bagged dress to be stored on the aircraft.
Hang your dress up as soon as you arrive at the resort. The humidity of the tropics will help any creases to fall out.
Take care in the sun before your big day, use plenty of sunscreen – you don’t want to look like a lobster in your wedding photographs!
So does this sound like your idea of a great wedding? Then get planning! If you want to make the whole process simpler, then why not enlist the help of someone who specializes in this niche market and has firsthand experience and contacts with all the major resorts and venues.
Often good wedding coordinators can come up with better deals than those who try researching it alone and at the same time, giving you total control over the situation.
They can take care of virtually everything from invitations and seating plans to dinner menus and all of your guests travel arrangements, including flights and accommodation. It’s also very reassuring to have a professional team handling everything and ensuring your paradise wedding is truly memorable.
with a copy of each person’s passport and certified birth certificate that has been apostilled and translated. All forms can be found on the Tahiti Tourism website.