Is there anything more romance-inducing than a tropical destination wedding? Probably not. Besides the obvious advantages of an offshore wedding such as smaller guest numbers, minimal parental interference and a generally less formal affair, one of the main advantages of a Fiji wedding is a year round tropical climate. Fijian weddings are particularly favoured by outdoors types who combine their nuptials with a balmy honeymoon in one of the South Pacific’s most romantic destinations.
Ceremonies taking place in Fiji are officially recognised in Australia, so long as all protocols are followed with a legally binding marriage certificate issued. Arranging a Fijian wedding is a relatively straightforward affair. The process is certainly made easier by utilising a local wedding organiser, whether an in-house event coordinator at your chosen resort or an independent wedding planner to handle a plethora of minute details. Dreamy wedding chapels are a staple inclusion in most upscale resorts while ceremonies are often tailored to include unique local customs. Arranged marriages were once common practice, usually arranged by the male’s parents in order to foster relationships with another clan. Fijians have strong kinship ties within their family, clan and villages and though arranged marriages these days are rare, communal village life still dominates the culture. Muscular warriors garbed in traditional costume paddling canoes accompanied by beating drums or harmonious church choirs are popular cultural elements that often feature in foreign weddings.
The first thing to decide when planning your Fiji wedding is the time of year. The wet season is generally between November to March. It’s also the cyclone season so it’s perhaps best to avoid this time of the year if you’re not the kind of bride (or groom) who can adapt to last minute changes. Between May and October the weather is more stable, which also coincides with high season so that prices are likely to be higher and accommodation is in high demand. Then you’ll need to decide the location of not only the ceremony but also the after party and the honeymoon. So many choices! Legally, the bride and groom must arrive in Fiji at least three days prior to nuptials, but it’s a good idea anyway to arrive well ahead of the Big Day to run through last minute details.
So where are the best locations for a Fijian wedding? Turtle Island (known as Nanuya Levu in Fijian) on the edge of a stunning lagoon is favoured by those seeking private intimate weddings at the luxury end. Any of the international resorts of Denarau would satisfy the fussiest of brides with typical Fijian grace and charm. Island Resorts in the Mamanucas are immensely popular too. A convenient location within easy reach of Nadi International Airport is one of the reasons but so too proven track records of efficiently organising stunning weddings. For something low key with a more traditional feel, the garden island of Taveuni offers some good choices. Hard core scuba divers have been known to tie the knot underwater at Crusoe’s Retreat. Adds a whole new meaning to the concept of taking the plunge doesn’t it?
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