We have been wanting to share a wedding at the Sofitel Fiji for a while as we are a big fan of this picture-perfect Denarau location. However we couldn’t quite find one recently that ticked all the boxes, until we came across the wedding of Grace and Jack, captured perfectly by Leezett Photography/Productions. In fact there are so many gorgeous photos that we couldn’t fit all of them into this blog! However we will have plenty of additional inspiration for you across on our social media pages, so stay tuned!
We catch up with bride Grace on what went in to planning her special day:
We met at a mutual friends 21st Birthday in Adelaide and have been inseparable ever since. We wanted our wedding to not only be about us, but about our children, family and close friends so we chose a destination wedding. We love to travel and after hearing about Fiji from our friends and family we knew it was the perfect place to have our wedding.
We asked friends for location advice, followed Instagram pages, website forums and did lots of internet research. Once you know what you’re looking for, it was easy to find the perfect location and the suppliers we wanted to use. After finding the location and the suppliers we knew we had to have it, it was only a matter of getting in contact with them. The resort and the suppliers were very helpful and able to answer all of our questions.
Bula Bride is also an amazing forum with lots of really good information. We did a lot of research through this website and especially loved reading about the real Fiji weddings.
Your wedding cake is one of the centrepieces of your wedding reception, and will wind up featuring in a number of photos. Picking your cake can be tricky! You will want it to make sure you keep the following things in mind, especially if you are planning a destination wedding.
1. You need to finalize your guest list (and wedding menu) first.
First things first ladies….PLAN AHEAD! Picking your guests, finalizing your guest list, and organizing your wedding menu are all crucial to deciding what kind of a cake you will end up choosing. We suggest making sure you have all your guests dietary needs noted down as well. (Having a gluten free, or sugar free option like cupcakes is always nice for your guests that have strict health and diet restrictions.)
At the end of September last year, a month that is usually warm and dry in Fiji, Tennille and Conor were instead delivered a rather wet day. They chose to embrace the rain and elected to continue with their ceremony outside at a spot on the lawn they had handpicked as the perfect place to say their vows. The colour of the skies didn’t affect their joy at getting married, and as they promised to love each other forever they also got ready to reveal a special secret to their guests later on in the day.
We catch up with Bride Tennille to get the details on her destination wedding in Fiji:
BRIDE & GROOMS NAME: Tennille & Conor Murray THE DATE: Sunday 30th September 2018 THE LOCATION: The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 146
Conor was raised in Sydney, NSW Australia and I was raised in Goroka, Papua New Guinea, we are both half Papua-New Guinean. Conor and I met back many years ago when we were teenagers, when he and his family were visiting family in Goroka, but nothing ever amounted of us being together. We fell out of contact until we were both in our early 20’s when we met again at his cousins 21st birthday party. Conor went on to live in the UK for 2 years and I went on to study Interior Design in Brisbane, Australia. It was only by chance that we got back into contact again after a couple of years when Conor sent me a message via Facebook. It makes me laugh thinking about it now and how easily it could have been to not keep in touch at all. 6 and a 1/2 years later and after the arrival of our beautiful baby boy Cillian (pronounced Kill-Ian), Conor asked me to marry him on a secluded beach on a drizzly summers’ day in southern NSW Australia. It was absolutely magical.
We both had visited Fiji several times and fell in love with the culture and the people as it reminded us both a lot of Papua New Guinea
We chose The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa after spending the day playing golf and relaxing on the beautiful Natadola Beach. It made sense for us to have it at a location where all our guests could stay in one location but with enough space to spread out and enjoy their holiday as well as catching up with friends when it suited them. The InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa was perfect for that.
We did a lot of internet searches and reading up on wedding blogs such as Bula Bride. I also visited a wedding expo in Brisbane when I was in Australia. Pinterest was also my best friend leading up to the wedding. We only used the resort’s wedding planner team, everything else was sourced and organised by me. Living in Papua New Guinea it made it very difficult to tie things together with such poor internet and phone connections on our end due to hush heavy rainfall but with perseverance we succeeded.
One of the common requests that we get is from brides wanting to get an understanding of how their wedding day will run, both pre and post walking down the aisle. After all, being the bride on a wedding day is not something many people experience often enough to be completely familiar with how things work!
Wedding days in Fiji are usually planned relatively similarly to those in Australia or NZ, with the main difference being the wedding and reception is nearly always at the same venue, and that it is important to consider the tropical climate, both for the comfort of your guests and to ensure you get amazing sunset photos. Accordingly, most weddings are scheduled at 3pm or 3.30pm.
While your timings might be a little different based on your personal requirements, transport times if on an outer island, the resorts preferences and a few other factors, here is a great general guideline to get you started.
Presenting our first Bula Bride wedding feature with the groom in a kilt! How has it taken this long?!
The unique wedding attire caught our eye and then we were equally impressed by the beautiful sunset images captured by Ocean Studio Fiji at Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island.
Many of you may not be familiar with this resort as it is a fairly new addition to Fiji – opening just a few years back and then reopening again after the resort was devastated by Cyclone Winston. Boasting an upmarket resort situated on the island of Tokoriki, it’s not hard to see why Alesha & Stuart choose this location for their wedding. It’s easy to get too, has stunning beaches and turquoise water, plus the 5-star Sheraton Resort make wedding dreams come true. We catch up with bride Alesha on what went in to planning her Fiji destination wedding:
BRIDE & GROOM: Alesha Stone & Stuart Davis THE DATE: 11th of March 2019 THE LOCATION: Sheraton Resort & Spa Tokoriki Island THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 12
We met in 2011 at a Birthday party for Stuart’s Nephew who was turning 3. We had our first overseas holiday together to Fiji in 2015 and fell in love with the people, the culture and the Fijian life. We felt that returning to the place of that first holiday for our Wedding would be the perfect way to celebrate our union. We chose Sheraton Tokoriki Island because of the proximity to Nadi for guests to travel and the child friendly nature of the resort.
We spent a lot of time selecting where to stay and the logistics of getting everyone there as well as who we wanted for the various aspects. All in all it took about 4 months to organise however the help of our wedding planner Lavenia of Paradise Bride Fiji and the Sheraton staff made the process very simple.
Ok potential “Bula Brides” to-be, have you been on the fence about planning a destination wedding in Fiji??
We asked our previous brides why a destination wedding in our beautiful Fiji is the perfect way to tie the knot. The list was so long that it was hard for us to narrow it down, but we have picked out the top five reasons our followers feel Fiji is literal matrimonial magic.
‘Ultra picturesque’ are the two words used to describe this magnificent new venue which we think surely must be the perfect garden wedding setting amongst the tropical forest, lush landscape and rolling hills of Nadi, Fiji.
Fiji Wedding Venues are plentiful but if you are looking for a special space that showcases the best of a tropical island yet but with complete privacy and endless options to cater for your event, then we have found it for you in this beautiful garden setting.
Malawai plantation is a lush tropical garden acreage hidden in the hills of Votualevu in Nadi. Its hard to believe this piece of paradise is literally a 10 minute drive from the main roads. Malawai plantation is Nadi’s newest exclusive venue and is available for weddings and private events. Unlike other Fiji venues, this is an exclusive venue for hire and a tropical canvas to create the event of your dreams with few limitations to what you can do.
Set within 14 acres, this property has been family owned and run for over 30 years. You’ll be mesmerised by the lush tropical gardens, abundance of flowers and fruiting trees, with an array of endless possibilities of unique settings for any style of event, even featuring Fijian Historical Caves. The environment is sponsored by organic practices to encourage healthy bird life and bees.
We take a look at what makes this property so special and the top choice for a garden wedding.
There are always new trends in wedding photography that grow in popularity among brides-to-be. Once such trend that will suit newlywed couples feeling adventurous after their wedding, is an underwater shoot or ‘Trash the Dress’ session.
These photography sessions are stunning works of art that make your wedding photos one of a kind! The water gives free flowing movement to your wedding gown and hair and creates an beautiful ethereal feel.
Underwater photography adds a wonderful aspect of playful romance as the two of you are swimming through the crystal clear turquoise water together, holding hands.
We catch up with leading destination wedding photographer Lia & Stu on why a Fiji honeymoon or wedding underwater photoshoot is a great idea:
We moved to Fiji from Hawaii in July 2010. As water photographers, we didn’t think ocean clarity could get much better than what we knew in Hawaii. Oh, how wrong we were! Now nearly 8 years later we are still blown away by the underwater world here. Fiji is also at the top of the list as a dream honeymoon location for newlyweds around the world. If you love the water as much as we do you to will be blown away! Check out this list of 5 reasons why you must do a Fiji honeymoon underwater photoshoot!
Georgia was already a seasoned visitor to Fiji – so when it came time to marrying the love of her life it it was an easy decision to choose her favourite holiday destination for her wedding day. After a trip to Fiji a few months before they married, the location was in place, the suppliers booked and all that was left to do was to get ready for an amazing wedding day. We catch up with Georgia on all the details of her beautiful Fiji wedding:
BRIDE & GROOM: Georgia Magnus & Thomas Lander THE DATE: 03/11/18 THE LOCATION: Sheraton Resort, Denarau Island THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 60
We choose Fiji to get married because my family have been going to Fiji for 10+ years and it was our the place of our first holiday away together.
As we have travelled to Fiji for many years and stayed at the Sheraton every time it was an easy decision for us. Fiji has a special place in both our hearts. We used Paradise Bride from the Sheraton to help organise and plan our wedding, they were very easy to communicate with over the planning period, very responsive to emails.
After engaging the services of a wedding DJ for your special day, a key task in the planning process is picking your wedding music playlists.
Choosing what to play
Professional wedding DJs are highly experienced with musical programming and can provide suggestions that will enhance the vibes of your wedding. If you’re planning on choosing some music yourself, show the DJ your playlist and ask for their honest feedback.
Have a detailed discussion with the DJ about your guest demographics that will help define what music will work. Discuss your policy on fielding guest requests, and your expectations for the dance floor action. For example, if you envision a lower-key event, don’t be afraid to let the DJ know that a hyped up dance floor is not your goal.
How many songs will I need?
Assuming a four hour reception party and 15 songs per hour, you could have a wedding reception playlist of up to 60 songs, plus then there is the music for the ceremony, the pre-drinks and the entrance all to choose. That’s a lot of music!
We catch up with professional wedding DJ’s DJ Works Fiji to get their feedback on what you should think about when selecting your music for different stages of your wedding, and their top picks for music selection should you get stuck for ideas.