ROMANCE IN THE PACIFIC
Bride and Groom Dianne and Shane relive their tropical fantasy wedding on idyllic Onefoot Island
Our first meeting with Annie Bishop and her daughter Tania of Bishop’s Cruises was on the idyllic island of Aitutaki. We were there to submit to the Registrar the documents required for our wedding on Onefoot Island. Even though we were meeting Annie and Tania, for the first time, it was like meeting old friends; smiles all around; they were so warm and welcoming.
Three years prior to this meeting, Dianne and I were on a lagoon cruise with Bishop’s Cruises. Everyone had said that if you visit the Cook Islands, it is a must to see Aitutaki; it is one of the most stunning tropical islands in the world. The beautiful lagoon is the heart of the island, and Bishop‘ s Cruises is the ideal company to take you exploring. The setting was perfect, weather excellent and the timing felt right; Dianne is the one. I proposed to her on the Beach of Onefoot Island. On that day by happy coincidence the Captain was Teina Bishop ( Annie’s husband) who told me his wife could arrange a beautiful, simple beach wedding on Onefoot Island. All we needed to do was to make contact with Annie, give her the date, and she would do the rest.
Annie handled all the paperwork, organized the Marriage Celebrant, photographer ( her daughter Tania) and the famous string band. With Bishop’s taking care of it all including planning the dinner and arranging the flowers; we knew we were in good hands.
Thursday came, and we were underway with Bishop’s Cruises starting with a trip across the glimmering, royal blue lagoon of Aitutaki to Onefoot Island. Our beautifully made frangipani flower leis waited for us and the fragrance and colours were spectacular.
Tania took many beautiful photographs of our wedding and our small family group, capturing all the special moments such as when we walked hand in hand along the sand towards our Marriage Celebrant. Words can’t describe the feeling of being right on the water’s edge of the beautiful lagoon at Onefoot Island with the waves lapping at our feet during the ceremony.
It was the moment I had waited for; standing on a powdery soft, white sand beach with the woman I love and listening to a Polynesian string band playing our song “Let It Be Me”. As the band played, Tania took more lovely and memorable family photos.
Once we expressed our vows and our love for each other, the rings were passed to us in a shell placed on a ( locally crafted) ukulele. One delicate and very much unforgettable kiss and we were husband and wife.
The dinner prepared by a private chef from Aitutaki Village was the icing on the cake; seared scallops,
eggplant salad with citrus dressing, pan- grilled mahi- mahi and prawns with caramelized bananas, crisp salad, and hollandaise sauce.
Paradise is sitting with family and friends at dinner in the warmth of softly blowing tropical breezes, watching as the sun sets beyond the coral reef while the full moon rises over our tiny island. Good food, good music and wonderful people.
We thank Annie and Tania, along with the entire ( though small) Bishop’s Cruises team for helping make our dreams come true. Tania captured all of our special moments in her beautiful photographs, and our wedding is wonderfully preserved on a DVD she presented to us before we left for Rarotonga.
It is our desire to return to Aitutaki for our anniversary. We hope to meet with our friends Annie and Tania, once again. We would love to enjoy once more a delicious dinner in paradise with good friends and family on our own tiny, private island.
Onefoot Island becomes a special place in many visitors’ hearts, especially to those who are lucky enough to share their vows on this remote little island.
Many couples say they are “living a dream that has become a reality”. It may be such a cliché’ thing to say, but it is hard to find the words to describe a wedding on Onefoot Island adequately. You will find the bluest colours you would not have thought existed in Nature’s pallet here and a hopelessly romantic atmosphere. The uninhabited island complete with Polynesian love songs, the breeze against the coconut fronds, white sand between your toes, the warmth of the sun soothing your soul, and the love of your life right before you; every possible aspect of the ‘ dream come true’ is here, and you can’t help but shed a tear.
No pictures do it justice, and no words can come close to describing such an experience. Memories last forever on Onefoot Island, and fantasies become reality because of Annie and her wedding team.