van­u­atu

My Wedding - - SAMOA -

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.

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