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Fiji Destination Wedding from 39 East Photography

We couldn’t think of a better way to spend Friday morning than by getting ready a little early for the weekend with a mini-vacation to Fiji. And since, unfortunately, we can’t all hop on a plane and meet there for a Fiji Bitter on the beach, 39 East Photography has been sweet enough to share this amazing Fiji destination wedding with us. So take a few moments for yourself this morning and spend it with this gorgeous wedding. If you close you eyes, you can almost hear the waves crashing on the beach. Don’t forget about the gallery for more!

I have been very privileged to have lived and stayed in some of the most beautiful hotels and resorts due to my dad’s career in hoteling. Of all the places that we’ve lived, Fiji has always held a special place our hearts. Although we only lived in paradise for two years when I was much younger, we have continued to return to ‘our second home’ through the years and every time we leave, we leave with even more wonderful memories.

Anyone who’s been to Fiji will know that time seems to stop on these islands, and for me, this is definitely the case. Every time my family returns to Fiji, we are remembered by so many staff and friends who still live and work at the hotel from 25 years ago. There is nothing like being greeted with a big bellowing “BULA” and a heartfelt hug from our friends in Fiji.

In December, my parents and I returned to Fiji for the first time in 10 years and were so pleased that Tom could get time off work to come with us. I remember on the first day of our stay, Tom and I were exploring the resort when we chanced upon the Seaside Chapel and we knew straight away that this was THE place. We are both lovers of the beach and sea, and the chapel was the perfect setting that just “fit”. Although we had already booked a venue in Perth and even had printed our invitations (and were due to send them out the week after our holiday in Fiji!), we cancelled all our original plans and proceeded to plan our wedding in paradise.

We always knew that the wedding was going to be a small wedding because of the location so we wanted it to be intimate and casual. Even though we understood that all eyes would be on us, it was important to us that all our guests had as good a time as possible and that we expressed our gratitude for them making the trip to Fiji.

We hoped that we would provide enough opportunity in the preceding days to the wedding for all our guests to get to know each other, which would hopefully making the wedding even more fun and more memorable. In the few days before and after the wedding, we planned a cocktail function, a tour of the local village, a chartered fishing tour as well as a day cruise.

We also wanted the wedding to be distinctly Fijian, hence our wedding favors were kava bowls (for the boys) and Pure Fiji toiletries (for the girls). Whilst we didn’t have a strict beach theme, we aimed for a casual sophistication with our invitations, table settings etc. In the end, it was the unexpected that made the wedding unforgettable. At the last minute, we invited a chiefly representative from a nearby village, who led an unplanned Kava ceremony just before dinner, as well as garnered the wait staff to serenade our guests at the end of the night. Truly Fijian!

We believe that the memorability of the wedding was the fact that by the end of everyone’s stay, our guests from Perth, Singapore, Queensland and New South Wales, had all made new friends and left with fond memories of Fiji. As the bride & groom, we were able to spend quality time with all our guests, some of which we don’t see very often and truly reconnect.
Fiji also reflects a casualness and warmth that we think reflects us as a couple as well.

Fortunately or unfortunately, because of the location, there weren’t a lot of options in terms of flowers and décor. In the end, our choices were limited to what the resort could provide and we could only bring so much from Perth. We made the table runners, favor notes and table place cards from the same paper as our wedding invitations (in fact from all the invitations that had been printed for the Perth wedding) as we loved the design. The bridal party’s outfits were all chosen to withstand the summer weather in comfort (the boys didn’t wear jacket and ties) and the flowers were selected from an option of four seasonal flowers. We also managed to liaise with a nearby village to provide us with leis for all our guests at the ceremony, to make it even more Fijian.

We chose “My Destiny” by Lionel Ritchie as our wedding song to walk down the aisle to, as despite being somewhat embarrasing, we are both proud to say that we are huge fans of Lionel. In fact, tom also proposed to me with a Lionel Ritchie song so it only made sense to incorporate our favourite artist which was sang beautifully by the village choir in the chapel.
We also gave our guests all a welcome gift upon their arrival at the hotel- the girls received a sarong (or a “sulu” in fijian), and the boys a “Fiji Bitter” (the local Fijian beer) t-shirt and Fijian style can holder. Along with the wedding favors, we felt it was important that our guests take a bit of Fiji back home!

Photography: 39 East Photography / Bride’s Dress: Lisa Ho / Shoes: Tangs Studio / Jewelry: Mimco / Groom’s Pants and Shirt: Tailored at Excellent Silk House, Singapore / Bridesmaids: Karen Millen / Accommodations, Venue & Caterer: The Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort and Spa / Wedding Coordination: Cindy Lanyon

The Intercontinental Golf Resort & Spa Fiji Wedding by Deep Grey Photography

FIJI. With that single word, this wedding had my undivided attention and it is so living up to its paradise infused moniker. The images by Deep Grey Photography tell a tale of the perfect destination nuptials full of love, love, love and quite possibly the prettiest beach views we’ve ever laid eyes on. Take a little vaca with the full wedding right here!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Mike and I had visited Fiji in 2006 and were instantly in love with the relaxed vibe, the warmth and friendliness of the Fijian people and of the stunning beauty that is Fiji. After watching a few of our close friends tie the knot and witnessing the huge amount of work that went into a wedding at home we decided that when it came our time it would be perfect to jet set off to an Island paradise with a few of our closest friends and family and get married in Fiji.

Being an event co-coordinator myself (and dare I say it, slightly wedding obsessed) it was very hard for me not to have a huge amount of control over the venue or decorations or all the little details. I was very aware that a wedding in Fiji could easily become quite a ‘cookie cutter’ affair, so Mike and I worked hard on personalizing little details to make the day feel more like ‘ours’. Some might say this defeats the purpose of a ‘stress-free’ destination wedding, but if there was something to personalize I attempted it.

Photography was especially important to me, and so I did a lot of research and finally came across Deep Grey who ever so kindly agreed to fly from Australia to Fiji and photograph our wedding. Adam and Fiona of Deep Grey were amazing and we had such a fun time with them doing the shoot. We brought our wedding cake on the plane all the way from Auckland, New Zealand. I had my dress custom made by a lovely friend of mine; the stationary was also designed by another dear friend of ours. We spent hours in the weeks before the wedding making the red heart fans to keep people cool (and believe me it was HOT!), we also made the ‘Just Married’ and ‘Mr & Mrs’ signs, as well as hand making the boys buttonholes. My mother also lovingly putting together our ring pillow with fabric from my wedding dress and a handkerchief she used on her wedding day – which became my ‘something old’.  We put together all our heart shaped marshmallow favours, hand stamped each place card, and laid out ‘guest book cards’ at each place which were our own take on a ‘fill in the blanks’ type game, where we had written most of it out and left spaces for the guests to fill in feelings and well wishes on our wedding day.

For any who is tempted to indulge in a bit of DIY for your destination wedding, it is totally worth it. Walking in to our reception and seeing the things we made and the little touches we had brought with us was so exciting and just made our wedding day all the more special.

Wedding Photography: Deep Grey Photography / Location: The Intercontinental Golf Resort & Spa Fiji / Wedding Stationery: James Sievers, Friend of the Bride & Groom / Bride’s Shoes: Diana Ferrari / Wedding Dress: Stephanie Phillips Designs

Fiji Wedding by Jel Photography

There is just something so wonderful about these Fiji nuptials that I could seriously gaze at these stunning images from Jel Photography all day long.  It may have something to do with the jaw-dropping location (un.real) or the bride’s amazing gown (her own design) or the feeling of pure happiness radiating from every single photo.  I suspect that it’s a combination of all of the above, and more, that has left me feeling so enchanted.  I think I just might adore this wedding and I know you will, too.  See even more lovely images in the gallery!

Click here to see the entire gallery of images!

From the Bride…Planning a wedding is a wonderful mix of emotions – excitement, nervousness and anxiety! Our wedding was like planning a United Nations conference! We live in Singapore, our families live in Australia and the U.K.; friends are in the U.S, Europe and the Middle East; our photographers come from New Zealand, our wedding planner from Queensland; our videographer from San Francisco; and so naturally we decided have our big day in Fiji!

After 5 years together, and three since we were engaged, we finally set a date and wanted to stick to it – but choosing the location was not so easy. After a couple of false starts we chose Fiji – mainly because it would mean a week long vacation for our closest friends and family rather than have the wedding over and done in less than 24 hours!

One grandmother had never flown outside of Australia and didn’t even have a passport, so we knew it would be a logistical challenge. A funny aside to this, when applying for her passport, she discovered the name on her birth certificate was different to the one she’s been using for more than 80 years! We were so lucky that we had travel agent supremo Sue Natho from Essence Tours on our side! Sue is an expert when it comes to Fiji and really guided us in the right direction. With the internet it is simple to find a lot of information when planning a destination wedding – but having that inside knowledge is priceless.

Everyone tells you when you’re planning your wedding that come the big day all the stress will be worth it. Well, a destination wedding is a lot of stress! And they are wrong! If you have a day (or a week in our case) as wonderful as we had it doesn’t just meet expectations, it far surpasses what you could hope for. We had a dream wedding in an idyllic location shared with the most important people in our lives. And the best bit is, you walk away married to the person you love!

Wedding Photography: Jel Photography / Wedding Ceremony Location: Sheraton Fiji Resort / Wedding Reception Location: Fiji Orchid / Videography: Benjamin Hanson / Wedding Dress: Designed by the Bride via the Wedding Present, Singapore / Bride’s Shoes: Bourne Collection / Flowers: Paradise Brides / Planner: Essence Tours / Music: Fiji Choir / Groom’s Shoes: R.M. Williams / Wedding Cake: Taste of Fiji