Posts Tagged ‘Destination Weddings’
Wedding Story Part 2
…And so we decided to get married – destination, Fiji!
This would be the perfect setting for our once-in-a-lifetime wedding adventure!
We were such fans of those, greater-than-life, romantic , B&W celluloid classics, where dashing swashbucklers, along with their scruffy, ill-tempered, but charismatically loveable crews would battle villainous adversaries while sailing their great wooden ships across the beautiful South Pacific.
How could we resist?
So I told my wife-to-be, “This will be no problem at all. We’ll reserve a nice, comfortable room at one of the many resorts spread across the Fijian Islands. And everyone speaks English in Fiji. It’ll be a piece of cake”. How could it possibly go wrong?
We got right to it. We pulled out our iPads and laptops, hit the internet, and found some of the most-amazing places to stay where we would experience exciting “island” activities, colorful tropical drinks and fine dining.
…And then we discovered the Fijian phrase for “no worries” – sega na lega (pronounced “sayn-gah-nah-layn-gah”), which is used quite frequently, and which more-accurately means, “we’ll get to it eventually, could be today, tomorrow, next year…”.
We also found out that “high-quality” is a “relative” term.
We quickly realized that we needed help! We needed to find someone who knew the islands, the people, and how to make things work in Fiji. This person would be our “key” to a successful wedding adventure!
- Destination-Fiji is a great way to limit your guest turnout without having to blatantly turn those “questionable” love ones away… “Sorry that you couldn’t make it, but we totally understand – Fiji is REALLY far away”.
- Regarding tip #1, make sure the guests that you want to be part of your wedding can actually make it to Fiji! They are the ones that will help make your wedding memorable.
- Once everything is set up and planned just “go with the flow” (sega na lega). Few things will be perfect-to-script. In Fiji everything will be “perfectly imperfect” – creating those fantastic, unexpected memories that will last forever.
Images by – Lia & Stu Photography
I’m so very excited to share with you this wedding held on board the Bel’Mare. This couple had travelled all the way from the USA to honour the grooms mother on the biggest day of their lives. Michaela and Erik want to tell you their story in their own words.
Our adventure to Fiji begins with my mother, Johanne Berg-Raubitschek…
Growing up with my five sisters, my mother would often tell us stories about her amazing journeys to far-away, exotic places. She would show us pictures from old newspaper and magazine articles, from a time when reporters and photographers were enthusiastically documenting her travels around the world. We listened with anticipation and awe because, aside from being a good storyteller, my mother had been one of the few, select, Pan Am stewardesses who “stylishly” helped pioneer aviation during the 1950’s. It was an exciting time, full of new discoveries and adventures!
One brisk sunny day in January, while Michaela and I were spending time with my mother, I asked, “Mom, out of all the places that you’ve traveled to in the world, which was your favorite?”
My mother’s face brimmed with a beautiful smile. Without hesitation she said, “Fiji… Erik, it’s the most-wonderful place in the world!” She took my hand in hers and continued, “You and Michaela have to go to Fiji!” We smiled back, and I told her that we would.
Unexpectedly, with such youthful excitement, and so anxious to tell us more, my mother began describing Fiji. It seemed as if she was experiencing Fiji at that very moment. She told us about the clear turquoise-blue ocean, the fantastic expanses of coral – “playgrounds” for the most-colorful tropical fish we’d ever see, the brilliant sunrises, sunsets and warm tropical breezes, the “wonderful” seashells that you would find along the soft white-sand beaches, the magnificent sea turtles – more graceful than you could imagine while they’re swimming through the water, and what she treasured the most – the beautiful, and kind-hearted Fijian people.
She paused for a moment, her eyes glittering with anticipation, “Can I go with you?”
I answered, “Of course mom. We’ll all go together. Fiji sounds like an amazing place. You can be our guide.”
“When do we go? Are we going now?”
I tucked my mother into her blankets, and gently kissed her forehead, “Not today Mom, but soon. I promise.” She smiled.
…My mother passed away the next day.
Michaela & I decided, then, that we would not only visit Fiji, we would be married on the islands. Fiji would become a new chapter in our lives – an amazing new adventure!
…And, as promised, we would bring my mother along the journey. We would lay her ashes to rest in Fiji – my mother’s favorite place in the world.
We were lucky enough to be in Fiji for Fiona & Ian’s wedding at the Sheraton Fiji Resort, it is always such a pleasure to share the day with our brides and grooms. The ceremony was held in the stunning Paradise Chapel on the waterfront at the Sheraton followed by the reception at the fabulous Flying Fish Restaurant on the Sheraton Beachfront.
Photos by Rusila from Leezett Photography
“Thanks so much for helping us organise the wedding Chelsea!!! Couldn’t have done it without you and your tireless work. Not to mention your prompt and fix it attitude. It was a perfect day for us both and you still managed to help us with all the minor details right to the very end. We appreciate every little bit.”
Jenna & Aaron were married at the gorgeous Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa. The ceremony was held on the lawn area in front of their ground floor pool Villa and guests were served with canapés and sparking wine by the poolside.
The reception was then held in the Maravu Restaurant where guest were served a delicious three course alternate menu followed by a decadent chocolate mud, white chocolate mud and red velvet wedding cake designed by the Hilton. Jenna and Aaron first dance was to the Benny Benassi remix.
These beautiful images are by Nadi Bay Photography.
“Our wedding was truly amazing and it was all thanks to Chelsea, who made sure that every little detail was taken care of and that everything went smoothly on the day. I wouldn’t hesitate for a second in suggesting Chelsea to anyone getting married in Fiji, she was an absolute life saver and it meant that we could enjoy our time over there knowing that everything was taken care of. Chelsea, thank you!”
Thanks again for all your help!
We are really excited to finally share with you this amazing wedding of Nisha & Josh, shot by Laurence from Nadi Bay Photography on the new Island resort Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island. All guests flew in from America and it was just immediate family that joined them in the celebration of their marriage.
Nisha had a vision of bright colours for her wedding, orange, hot pink and dark purple and we incorporated this into her flowers and the amazing wedding cake by Taste Fiji, which was flown in by Helicopter.
The couple wanted a romantic set up on the deck of the Flying Fish restaurant with the border of lights surrounding them and their guests. All the Decor was brought in by barge by Party & Event hire.
Nisha and Josh were also lucky enough to celebrate their marriage back in the USA when they returned and they had a traditional Indian wedding with extended family & friends, how lucky they were to have two celebrations!
“Our wedding day was wonderful! We had a beautiful sunny day, the flowers and decor looked better than I even imagined, Lydia did a wonderful job with my hair and makeup, Jennifer and Chetan had everything in order, Lawrence and Orlando were great to work with (we can’t wait to see the photos!), the celebrant did a great job, and Adriano went above and beyond spoiling us with a delicious five course menu. All the staff went above and beyond to make our special day memorable.
Josh and I both agree that our wedding day was the best day ever. Everything was better than we could have even imagined. Part of this was luck with a beautiful day and sunset, but most of it was due to the hard work you, all the vendors, and the Sheraton crew (especially Chetan and Adriano) put in to making it such a memorable day. I wish I could relive it every day!
Most importantly, Josh and I are married now! We are enjoying relaxing days at Navutu Stars.”
Here are some images for their beautiful Indian wedding back in the USA.
We met Gemma & Kirk in 2014, they wanted a wedding on a private Island in Fiji and after a long search of possible venues they chose Malolo Island Resort, which is part of the Mamanuca group of Island just off Denarau. They we lucky to be surrounded by 40 of their close family and friends as they said I-do on this Island paradise.
Malolo Island Resort had some major renovations after the 2012 cyclone; the new Restaurant has been done Hampton’s style and provided the perfect backdrop for wedding portraits.
Island weddings are our favourite however there are a lot of logistics required to get suppliers, decor, bands etc. onto and off the Island, but when you have a wedding planner you just leave that all up to them.
Images by Lia & Stu Photography
Gemmas beautful Wedding Dress was from Mia Solano and the Bridesmaids Dresses we from http://www.forherandforhim.com, how gorgeous is that mint colour!
Totoka Hair & makeup did a great job on the girls, despite the ferry running late with an engine problem, they were all still done on time and looking fabulous.
The Groom & Groomsmen suits were from MJ Bale.
The ceremony was set up on the beachfront with a white draped canopy, white cube ottomans and the beautiful pink gingers… and what a backdrop!
The reception was set up in the Treetops restaurant. We hired in decor from the mainland from Party Hire & Events, the beautiful pink and mint colour scheme went really well with the existing decor of the restaurant.
The guest had a 5 course meal designed by Malolo’s head and the bride & groom. The menu started with an Amuse Bouche, choice of 3 entrees, Passionfruit Sorbet and choice of 3 main courses and an alternate dessert. Dinner was followed by a delicious white chocolate mud cake, which was also supplied by Malolo’s pastry chef.
The guest danced their night away to the amazing music by Kulture Band Trio.
A big thank you to Lia & Stu for these amazing pictures, what a beautiful location to shoot a wedding.
“Hello Chelsea, everything was fantastic. We had the best day, everyone is raving about how awesome it has been. We don’t want to leave! Gemma & Kirk
Lyndsay & Kyle were married at the Outrigger Fiji Beach resort. Lindsay has summed up her day in her own words and what can I say… word of mouth is the best recommendation.
OMG! What a stunning place to be, everything was beautiful right down to selection of towels and linen. I can’t imagine a better backdrop for our special day (03/07/2015). We were married in the amazingly gorgeous Chapel on the hill with our 27 guests as witnesses. I can’t even begin to describe how breath taking the view was. Our reception was held at the Vahavu (adults only pool area). Again, completely taken aback at how beautiful this space was. (For those that are still planning and have guests with kids, don’t stress, we had 6 kids in our group aged between 1 1/2 – 10 years and not one of them even noticed the pool area let alone went anywhere near it). Asmeen was our resort based wedding co-ordination and was super organised. I was instantly calmed by her knowledge and reassurance that everything was going to be perfect and let me assure you, it was…. While we are still on the matter of the Outrigger I do need to make a special mention to 2 very beautiful staff members that made every member of our group feel special. We met King George and Vanessa our first day in Fiji and will always remember them both for their amazing service, skills and all round awesome personalities…. Well done guys!
Hair and Make-Up – Totoka
If I had to some these guys up in one word it would be FABULOUS. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing we all looked and felt after they got ahold of us. This transformation included a friend of mine, the MOB, MOG, 2x Bridesmaids, myself and my very adorable niece and my own little princess. Absolutely nothing was an issue for this wonderful duo and I would highly recommend them in a heart beat….
Reception Set-Up – Party and Event Hire Fiji…..
Well I asked and I received…… Everything was perfect. Our reception was as mentioned above at the Vahavu and for all those who have seen this beautiful venue imagine the roof draped with loads of fairy lights and white lanterns followed by long rectangle tables covered in hessian table runners, fern and leaf lengths, loads of tea light candles and pineapples….. It was magical! We also had a kids table set up with bright pink pineapples, coloured cushions, white ottomans and lolly jars… They loved it.. We made our own kids activity packs containing a personalised pencil case and colouring in books to entertain the kids while us adults got on with the “boring formalities”, safe to say they enjoyed their own sanctuary until it was time to carve up the dance floor with there moves…
Photography – Leezett Photography
OMG! I had the pleasure of a brief meet with Leezett a few days before our big day and she greeted me with open arms and huge smile, instantly I was comfortable with her. Our big day arrived and whilst we were pressed for time she not once made me our any of our party feel like we needed to move. We chose Leezett’s company for so many reasons, I had researched so many Fiji based photographers and had always wanted a duo to capture our day (1 to focus on the bride and groom and 1 to focus on those sneaky moments that people think no one see’s) and boy did we receive some excellent service. Both myself and the groom are very uncomfortable in front of a camera but what Leezett was able to capture is anything short of a miracle. You can only imagine how draining it is from having to constantly strike a pose or a huge pearly white smile and this was very clear to Leezett, she would pull us aside and show us exactly what she was capturing to give us the extra boost we needed to get through the shoot… The only frustrating thing there is with this subject is having to be patient while they work their magic and not having your photos right away…. I simply can’t wait for that message from Leezett saying our photos are ready….. Again, I would recommend in a heart beat!
Extra shout out – Chelsea Jayne Wedding Planners (Sydney based)
Well we all know how frustrating it is waiting for an email back when the other end is on “Fiji Time”. I for one am a very impatient person and like to know the answers to my questions straight away, hence why we decided to hire a planner. From the initial contact with Chelsea she made me feel so special (which is what every bride wants to be feeling). We had so many emails, phone calls and text messages back and forth within the first few days of our hiring her and I could finally feel like things were being put in place and could let out that breath I had been holding for months. What an amazing woman she truly is to manage so many different weddings and still make you feel like your her only client. Chelsea worked out what we were wanting and took over from there. Nothing was too big or too small for her to work on and I was completely god smacked at how it all came together….. For all those brides finding it a little too overwhelming please take the time to contact Chelsea, she will make you melt from the first contact…..
Happy Wedding Planning to all of you!
Andrea & Matt are such a special couple and it was an absolute pleasure working with them to plan their big day at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. They chose Fiji for their destination wedding as they had family & friends from both New Zealand and Australia and they thought it was a great place from them to all meet up and help celebrate their big day.
Prior to the wedding day they took their family & friends out to Cloud 9 and they also had a lovo and bonfire on the beach the night before.
Andrea’s church pastors flew from New Zealand to officiate the day which gave it an intimate and family feel, but it was the extra mile the resort went that impressed these newlyweds the most “When we got back to our room the staff had dimmed the lights, put on a nice CD and filled the whole bath with flowers and hundreds of candles”
The reception was to be set up outside on the Toba Beachfront however due to windy weather they moved it to the Water Court area. The team from Party Hire & Events set up everything to look just as Andrea had wanted outside.
“Fiji time really exists,” Her advice: “Be patient and have faith that they’ll pull out all the stops once you’re there.” “Chelsea Jane Weddings was the best investment I made”
Andrea had two gowns, Lilli Marcs and Maggie Sorreto, so she could ‘trash’ one. The day after the wedding Lia & Stu Photography took the couple out on their boat to do an underwater session.
Brides Gowns: Lilli Marcs & Maggie Sottero
Brides Shoes: Panache Bridal Shoes & Shoes of Prey
Bridesmaids Dresses: JJ’s House
Hair: Hair and Makeup Perfectionist
Wedding Cake: InterContinental Fiji
Decor: Party & Event Hire
Honeymoon: Lomani Island Resort
Invitations: Polkadot Stationary
Makeup: Hair and Makeup Perfectionist
Wedding day Photographer: Cheer Wedding Photography, Fiji
Trash the dress session: Lia & Stu Photography
Cloud 9: Hen’s Party Fiji
They travelled all the way from the country to say I-do on the tropical Island of Fiji. Sarah & Richard’s wedding was held at the Sheraton Fiji Resort & Westin Denarau which is our most popular resorts chosen by our brides and grooms. The Sheraton & Westin have several areas for ceremonies and receptions and has lots of different accommodation options, and the food and services is always fabulous.
Their wedding was held in the stunning Paradise Chapel which is located right on the point of the Sheraton beachfront, Fiji put on the perfect day for them. Hair & Makeup Perfectionist did a fabulous job on Sarah, her hair looked absolutely beautiful and how cute is that pineapple clutch!
Their reception was held in the Westin Bure which is located right on the ocean front next to the main restaurant, it’s such a beautiful spot with the open sides and that amazing Fijian thatched roof. Grace Creations did burlap tables runners & chairs ties with tropical flowers and pineapple as the centerpieces and they decorated the roof with fairy lights and paper lanterns.
We hope you enjoy these beautiful photos by Zoom Fiji of their special day.
Sarah & Richard spent their honeymoon in New York.
“Bula Chelsea!! Everything went to plan. It was everything we wanted and more. Thanks again for all your help. Sarah & Richard
Castaway Island, what a perfect place for a wedding! This pristine, private island was the ideal location for Melissa and Danny’s tropical wedding.
Melissa tells us how they met ‘We met through friends and became best friends. The rest is history!’ We loved helping these best friends create their dream day on Castaway Island.
When their guests arrived on Castaway Island, Melissa and Danny had arranged for welcome bags to be waiting in their rooms. They filled them with snacks, drinks, Pure Fiji sunscreen, lip balm, insect repellant and playing cards. Such a special touch and a great way to greet your guests.
To start the celebrations, the couple organised for a big island themed sunset cocktail party the night before the wedding. They enjoyed canapes and cocktails at sunset followed by many more cocktails and pizzas later in the night.
Melissa and Danny were married on the beach. The location couldn’t have been any more amazing!
On the day, the bride looked beautiful in a custom dress By Norma Bridal Couture.
The bridesmaid wore gowns the Stella and Samara Gowns from Bridesmaids Only and the flowergirl wore a Lace and tulle dress from KingSoleil on Etsy.
We love the casual beachside look of the groom and his groomsmen. They all wore shirts and chinos from Industrie and bow ties from Roger David.
Melissa bought silk flowers by Silkflora in Petersham to decorate the tables for the reception and for the bouquets. We think they look beautiful and what a great idea for when you can’t get the type of flowers you really want.
At the reception the guests enjoyed a seafood buffet followed by a two tier chocolate and caramel mud cake.
While the guests stayed at the bar and danced until dawn, Melissa and Danny snuck off to reminisce about their amazing day. When we asked Melissa and Danny about their whole wedding experience Melissa says ‘Aside from marrying my best friend in paradise, seeing the smiles on our guests faces every day was so special to Danny and I. Castaway is truly the most magical place we’ve ever visited and we are so blessed to now be part of the Castaway family. Nothing will ever compare to the experience we all shared together’.
We were so thrilled to help Melissa and Danny create their perfect wedding day and Melissa says ‘The whole thing would have been a nightmare if not for the fabulous Chelsea!’.
Thank you to Leezett Photography for the beautiful photos.