Here’s The Deets: Our Wedding In Fiji
Since posting Ten Reasons To Have A Destination Wedding, I’ve had quite a few of you message me wanting to know more. So, I’ve put together a bit of a run-down of the day itself. Who knows, you might end up planning your own wedding in Fiji.
As I mentioned in the last post, we decided to get married for a few reasons, but the main two were the convenience for family traveling from New Zealand, and finding a happy place free of any stress since wedding planning can get super stressful.
The days before
We had guests arriving on different days before the wedding, so we chartered a yacht on the Thursday before the wedding for anyone who could make it and wanted to come. A gorgeous lunch and lots of drinks were provided, as well as two jet skis. We had an absolute blast that day, cruising around to different islands, snorkeling, dancing on board and socialising. That night we had dinner at the Nadi Farmers Club (think the Fijian version of our RSL clubs) where we ordered towers of beer (yep!) and watched traditional island dances – one of them, the proposal dance, was even dedicated to us!
Other than the Thursday, we didn’t organise any activities for our guests (wedding aside, of course) because we felt everyone should be given the chance to make their own holiday since they’d travelled so far. But many hours were spent eating together, socialising with cocktails by the pool, and exploring Fiji.
On the day
On the day, we ordered breakfast in our rooms before hair and makeup arrived. It was a bit tricky to get exactly what I wanted since, being in a foreign country, I hadn’t had the opportunity to have a practice run. But all in all the end result was good. I’d gone to get a spray tan and my nails done before flying out and everything lasted – though I was pretty brutally sunburnt from the sailing trip. Oops!
A Fijian Warrior Escort walked us up to the chapel, which was a beautiful little white wooden structure tight on the beach. It was perfect. Then a trio of Fijian ukelele serenaders played as we walked in. Again, I hadn’t had a rehearsal so I pretty much ran down the aisle (I was a bit excited!) and my poor Dad, who was giving me away, just kind of had to keep the pace.
It was, being Fiji in December, raining just as I entered the chapel. We had originally planned to have drinks and photos outside, but had to move them last minute. The balcony upstairs by the Ballroom provided the perfect location (at the Sofitel, if you’re wondering). Which, as an aside; if you’re ever in Fiji, I highly highly highly recommend the Sofitel. It’s beautiful!
Our photographers were so warm and friendly and they worked well with us… Especially considering we are two of the most awkward and unphotogenic people in existence. They relaxed us and had a joke with us, which was so special.
I had pretty carefully chosen (dictated) the playlist and the DJ did a great job at the reception. Honestly, it’s all kind of a blur now, which I think is pretty standard for most weddings (it’s a big day!) but we partied pretty hard too. The food was excellent; a traditional Fijian lovo was prepared for us, which is a feast cooked in an underground oven. It was really unique and perfect for our guests.
We did have an issue with our cake. It looked nothing like we ordered! I believe that was due to messages not getting through from the person we booked the wedding with. So honestly, cut out the middleman and speak directly to the wedding coordinator the hotel will provide you with. Just need to add though, the cake tasted brilliant! We wanted a Black Forest Cake and we were told it wouldn’t hold. A Black Forest is a chocolate sponge, so they changed the cake to make it chocolate mud but still with the cream and cherries. Perfect!
The other lovely thing the Sofitel did was to allow us to keep partying. We had to be out of the ballroom at midnight, but they opened another bar for us well after closing time. They also gave us the equipment we needed to plug our music into their sound system. Then they charged by the drink and let us part on all night! And that was the key for us – the Sofitel could not have been more accommodating in any way. When we warned them that our party were big eaters and drinkers they simply said: “that’s great for business! We’ll put more staff on!” And then they went above and beyond for us every step of the way.
As with any event, there are some things we’d do differently or pay more attention to if we had our time again. We were young (and the first of our friends to get married, so nothing to compare it to!) and on a strict budget. We were also trying to work around some other personal factors with the wedding. Add to that, trying to make sure people were happy but that we still got the wedding that we wanted.
Yes, there are little things we would tweak if we had our time again. But we 100% made the right decision for us in hosting our wedding in Fiji. And as I’ve said before, I highly recommend it as an option if you find yourself planning a wedding sometime soon.
If you do have any questions though just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). There are some things I’ve kept vague here because the internet is a big place. But I’d be happy to answer your questions or point you in the direction of some great vendors.
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Lovely!! My daughter was married at the Outrigger Fiji in October last year with a very small (15) group of family. It was a beautiful place to be married and they people there couldn’t do enough for us.
Oh wow Deb, that would have been delightful, and the Outrigger is an amazing property! We had 60+ people with different needs, budgets etc so we picked the Sofitel as there was a range of other properties within walking distance. But the Outrigger was high on our list. We will take the kids there sometime soon ?
What a lovely place to celebrate this special occasion. One you will remember forever. 🙂
Thanks so much Lorelle!
I don’t even have a partner at this point, but I’ve started planning my wedding while reading your post. Your wedding day sounds like it couldn’t have been more of a success, even with the things you said you’d change. I LOVE how accommodating the bar staff were, too! It’s so nice of them to understand how important your wedding was to the both of you and go above and beyond to make sure your memories were completely positive ones. Wishing you both all the best in your married life and hope you share many happy years together!
Thank you so much Rebekah! You
Go ahead and plan, your future beau will just have to love it. ?
This sounds so magical! I’d love to get married abroad but I don’t think all the people I’d love to be there would be able to make it – not to mention my partners family is huge! It really sounds like you had a beautiful day and the day long yacht party sounds incredible. This has made me so excited to get married one day! Haha
Thanks Alice! If you need convincing, I have another post called “Ten Reasons To Have A Destination Wedding”. Either way, no matter what happens, when it does happen it’ll be the best day of your life xx
This sounds so magical and came at the right time – I’m seriously considering either just going to the courthouse, eloping or having a destination wedding. At the end of the day, what’s important is that we’re surrounded by our loved ones. Your photos are absolutely lovely, by the way!
☼ cabin twenty-four
Do it Eena! Read the linked post too if you need more convincing. But it was honestly the best thing we could ever have done. Don’t think we could have eloped, we wanted all our friends and family to bear witness to our marriage. But everyone’s different and it means different things to different people. Thank you so much for your sweet words!
Sounds like a dream wedding! Pity the cake wasn’t what you hoped for but at least it tasted good! That’s the important part of the cake – I think.
All wedfings I’ve been to wete in Ireland and UK. Except once; my friend had his wedding in Italy. We had an amazing time!
Thanks Gloria! I would LOVE to go to a wedding in Italy. A couple of friends are heading to one in Tuscany next month… it sounds wondrous.
So lovely to have a wedding in Fiji. We all know things don’t go to plan in any event and it’s just part of the course of our journey.
I’m planning to do a post this Monday on our Garden Wedding where we planned the garden 6 months beforehand. But alas – sometimes flowers don’t bloom – but others sure can make up for it 🙂 Wonderful to here of your marriage. All the best!
Nope! It rained and then a bird pooped on my dress! My husband and I have a joke that if anything we planned went right we’d just die of shock. Can’t wait to see your own wedding post!
I’ve seen some weddings on a budget that have been looking like a children’s party compared to this, you really did well with everything! Thanks for sharing this x
Wow thanks Lise! We were pretty low key on the decorations for the reception… we figured that was money better spent on the bar! But who needs them when you have this backdrop…
Your wedding looks and sounds like it was a dream come true, Amelia. A once in a lifetime experience you were able to share with your loved ones!
Thank you so much Shannon, it truly was!
It all looks beautiful to me!
Thank you so much Cherie!
Awesome wedding in a beautiful venue in Fiji. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much Thelma!
This is lovely, the joyous looks and the destination. It looks like it would take a lot of money to pull this off though – ha!
I have a drawstring pursette from Fiji I wish I could replace. [Heavy sigh!]
May you have many years of a happy marriage.
By the way, the SIPB Facebook group introduced me to you, Amelia
Thanks Marian! You know, it was much cheaper than getting married at home. The exchange rate is very favourable. It was part of the reason we wanted todo it!
You’ll just have to get back to Fiji to replace your purse. Perfect excuse!
Congratulations!! Your wedding sounds perfect. Isn’t it great when you just know you’ve made the right decision?
Thank you so much Amy! Yes, you’re absolutely right!
It’s amazing how you had your wedding in Fiji! You guys were in paradise with all of the fun and sightseeing! It’s so cool that you had a Fijian warrior escort! I need one of those! You had such a magical time! Glad things went well! For having a strict budget, you still made things work out! Thanks for sharing your wedding!
Thanks Nancy! So glad you enjoyed the read.
Such a lovely place to go and enjoy! Thank you for sharing your experience! ? ? ?
Thank you so much!
Oh, it looks so beautiful. I think a destination weddings are really fun.
I am desperately hoping my friends who are yet to get married do the same thing ?