My Wedding - - SAMOA -

The two main is­lands of Samoa are Upolu and Savaii, and there are seven smaller is­lands, five of which are un­in­hab­ited. Since you land at Fa­le­olo Air­port on Upolu, you'll find this is­land more de­vel­oped, with the cap­i­tal of Apia the hub of ac­tiv­i­ties and shop­ping. Samoa re­mains fairly un­touched and the tra­di­tional Samoan way of life, or Fa'a Samoa, with tra­di­tional cus­toms and so­cial sys­tems still a strong in­flu­ence on daily life. That said, the re­sorts and ho­tels are by no means third world. From the leg­endary Ag­gie Greys to the lush beauty of re­sorts such as Si­nalei or Co­conuts, you'll find a fab­u­lous stan­dard of ac­com­mo­da­tion and ser­vice to match.

Many of the pack­ages on of­fer here will in­clude a cel­e­brant, the le­gal­i­ties, pho­tog­ra­pher, flow­ers in the form of a bou­quet and crown (pale) or lei (ula). You can add in ex­tras such as a string band, tra­di­tional Kava cer­e­mony, is­land drums, fire dancers, a war­rior es­cort and you can even ar­rive tra­di­tion­ally in a Samoan ca­noe (paopao).

Re­sorts such as Ag­gie Grey's La­goon Beach Re­sort & Spa have an on­site chapel. This 100 year-old gem is built of burnt coral and has been beau­ti­fully re­stored. Since it's con­se­crated, it's per­fect for Catholic wed­dings! Their grounds are lush, their beach­front ex­quis­ite and there's an on­site spa for a lit­tle pam­per­ing.

If you don't fancy plan­ning a Samoan wed­ding on your own, you might want to chat to Kar­leen at Wed­dings in Samoa. Hav­ing owned and op­er­ated her own wed­ding busi­ness in Welling­ton, Kar­leen moved to Samoa with her fam­ily. She's pas­sion­ate about wed­dings and can li­aise with ser­vice providers, re­search all your op­tions and co­or­di­nate ev­ery­thing so that your day runs smoothly.

I'm sure you'll find Samoa to be ex­otic, ex­cit­ing, un­spoilt and sur­pris­ingly af­ford­able!

The Legals – Samoa

Mar­riages in Samoa are recog­nised in­ter­na­tion­ally. Faxed copies of birth cer­tifi­cates and pass­ports for both bride and groom, as well as a com­pleted In­tent to Marry form must be lodged with the Min­istry of Jus­tice at least 14 days prior to ar­rival. Take the orig­i­nals of th­ese doc­u­ments with you when you travel! You will need to be in Samoa a few days be­fore the wed­ding. If pre­vi­ously mar­ried, you will need your di­vorce pa­per­work, or a death cer­tifi­cate if wid­owed. Doc­u­ments must be in English. Cit­i­zens of some coun­tries may re­quire an Apos­tille stamped on their mar­riage cer­tifi­cate – cost around $35. A civil cer­e­mony may be per­formed by ei­ther a cel­e­brant or lo­cal min­is­ter and should be sched­uled at least 21 days in ad­vance of the wed­ding date. You can marry in a church (cost is of­ten around $350) but Catholic wed­dings are not per­mit­ted if ei­ther party has been di­vorced, and spe­cial per­mis­sion may be re­quired from the Car­di­nal's of­fice in Apia.

Chapel at Ag­gie Grey’s

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