Vanuatu is an unspoilt natural paradise boasting stunning beauty and, as my hubby will attest, the friendliest locals. This archipelago consists of 83 islands with the three most popular being Éfaté, Espíritu Santo and Tanna. Choose to marry on a white sandy beach or partake in a little soft adventure and tie the knot atop Mount Yasur on Tanna where the fiery volcano will match the fireworks in your hearts. After the wedding, dive some spectacular wrecks and see incredible marine life. Champagne Beach on Espíritu Santo is proclaimed as the most romantic location to sip champagne.
There are a range of venues to suit all budgets and an endless supply of fabulous locations to hold your ceremony. Resorts like Iririki Island Resort specialise in weddings, catering for up to 200 guests. Situated only 3-minutes by ferry from Port Vila (the ferry operates 24 hours), seclusion is easily achievable. Choose from a quaint beach setting or a spectacular hilltop ceremony. At Eratap Beach Resort you can walk down an aisle made of shells and brightly coloured flowers, accompanied by warriors as you make your way to the chapel to exchange vows overlooking the ocean.
Depending on your location, you can add a spectacular arrival to your wedding day plans, either in a traditional, fully decorated canoe with a warrior as an escort, or via air transport in the form of a seaplane or helicopter.
As with other island locations, you'll find photographers, hair and makeup artists and caterers in Vanuatu, or take your NZ chosen professional with you – often they won't charge you any more for their time and services as long as you're paying for their flights and accommodation!
The Legals – Vanuatu
Marriages in Vanuatu are recognised in NZ, Australia, the USA and UK and most other countries. Documentation can be mostly organised prior to arrival but you need to arrive three days before the ceremony. Copies of both passports and birth certificates (and divorce papers or death certificates, if applicable) will need to be faxed at least a month in advance. You'll need to complete a Certificate of Intended Marriage. Two witnesses are required, but your wedding coordinator can arrange these if you're travelling alone. Catholic weddings can be performed but certain procedures must be followed and a Letter of Freedom will be required. Weddings are not conducted on Sundays or other religious or public holidays.