I’ve had a lot of people ask about our wedding or if I would be featuring it on the blog. I was hesitant to post it, not sure why — but since the experience of planning our wedding was the inspiration for this blog, I thought it only fitting too. So here it is!

Andrew and I were married at the Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji in March 2013. We had 35 of our closest family and friends join us from Australia, for a week long holiday/party.

Outrigger was not our first choice. We were originally to marry at Castaway Island. Andrew and I dreamed of our day on Castaway Island for a whole year until Cyclone Evan arrived and devastated Castaway along with Fiji & the other islands. They day we found out the island would be closed over our wedding date for maintenance and they couldn’t cater for us till November was a stab in the heart. But not being able to have our wedding in our dream location was only the smallest of woe’s compared to what the people of Fiji had just endured.

We debated if we would still have our wedding in Fiji and opt for wedding at home. But there was only one answer. We wanted the experience but most of all support Fiji tourism during this hard time for them. So we went ahead, re-organising our guests and re-planning our wedding in 40 days! I couldn’t imagine what those brides went through that only had a week or two.

It was a challenge going from a small island wedding which was very flexible, to a large resort wedding that was very much package based. I was hesitant as I wanted it to be small, romantic and rustic. But I knew either way this wasn’t what I was going to get and at the end of the day I’m marrying my man.

Asmeen Abdul – Wedding Coordinator for the Outrigger  was wonderful to deal with. We managed to book in all our guests and Andrew and I managed to snap up the last Ocean View Bure (highly recommend indulging in this room). Planning through emails was great with quick responses and were greeted by Asmeen when we arrived. We met with her the day before the big to run through our options and confirm the details. For a woman who deals with 1 wedding every day she is very on the ball. The whole day went amazingly smooth! I just wish there were more hours in the day.

Our day was captured by the amazing Malia Johnson and her side kick husband Stu Johnson. We originally met Malia during our recon trip for an e-shoot, so we knew we were in good hands.

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The Dress /  My dress was by Karen Willis Holmes. The Rachel gown was all lace with a satin underlay with lace sleeves and a peep whole in the back. I had a pearl beaded belt to top it off and wore a cathedral soft silk veil. My shoes were from Wanted Shoes for a bit of extra sparkle. My Bridesmaids wore dresses from Jigsaw, shoes from Payless (got to love a bargain) and necklaces from Zara.

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The Gifts /  We wrapped our gifts in little paper boxes and kraft bags, labeled with letter stamps and topped with twine bows. Our Mothers received pearl pendant necklaces and the Fathers, a bottle opener with ‘Father of the Bride’ & ‘Father of the Groom’. Maids received Mimco earrings and the men, personalised bottle openers. Our Page Boy received a brass compass and our Flower Girl received a little pearl bracelet with a sea horse charm. My Brother received a personalised money clip.

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The Suite / Andrew wore a suit from J.Crew, belt and shoes from Glue Store. The Groomsmen wore navy pants, white shirt and matching belt to Andrews.

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The Flowers /  I love Orchids, I knew I wanted them from day one. Gingers were my second option, but I wanted to keep an elegant tropical theme — white flowers and bushy greenery. The Flower Girl wore a white orchid halo, the Maids bouquets were made up of ferns and two sprigs of white orchids. The Mothers wore white orchid corsages and all men had white orchid and fern button holes. The same theme was taken through to the reception and ceremony.

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The Ceremony /  The ceremony was held at the Hilltop Chapel. It was perfectly intimate and nice and cool on a humid day. A rattan fan and throwing petals encased in a banana leaf cone were placed on each chair. The aisle was scattered with Frangipani petals and we chose a lush green flower arch which was adorned with white orchids and white lilies.

I walked down the aisle to the beautiful sounds of a Fijian Choir which were absolutely stunning. They sung prior the ceremony as well as during. After the ceremony we had the trio of serenaders entertain during refreshments and group photos.

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The Vows /  Andrew and I wrote our own vow’s. Together we wrote our promises to each other and separately wrote a little something at the beginning which we kept from each other until the day. *insert tears*

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The Wedding Shots /  Andrew and I didn’t want our wedding shots to be done around the resort. We wanted something different and unique. That showcased the beauty of Fiji. During some research I found Maui Palms Jetty, Coral Coast – 20 mins away from the resort. I emailed Malia the idea and was totally in for it. With not much time, we jumped in the van and headed down the road to this stunning spot that reaches out onto the coral reef. It was so nice to get out of the resort and head out on a little adventure. I have a vivid memory driving back from the shoot  — the sun setting over the water and seeing a mother horse and her foal nestled up to each other on the side of the road. Was gorgeous!

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And here is the rest plus a little more. Captured by Ranjit Ranju of HD Video Fiji.

The Reception / The reception was held in the Palm View Terrace. I wanted it to keep it clean and elegant. I’m not a fan of satin or bright colours. I DIY’d the seating chart, menus, place cards, table numbers, cake topper and guest book. For the place cards I wrapped a white shell necklace from Grace Creations around the napkin and tied the name tag to it. The shell lei not only was for decoration but also acted as our favour (our guests received welcome tote bags as their favors) in which the guests wore through out the night. On the menu was canapes before bride & groom arrival followed by a seafood buffet which the guests demolished. Our cake was chocolate mud made by the Outrigger and topped with our couple cake topper requested by Andrew.

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The Entertainment / We surprised our guests with fire dancers which were fabulous. The kids were in ore, proof in my 3 year old niece yelling out “that’s the shit!”. We also had Fiji Photo Booth on hand for a bit of silliness in between dancing to power ballads and good old love songs.

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Location / Outrigger on the Lagoon, Fiji
Photography / Malia Johnson Photography
Videography / HD Video Fiji – Ranjit Ranju
Hair & Makeup / Hair Perfectionist, Fiji
Bride’s Dress & Veil/ Karen Willis Holmes
Bridesmaids Dress / Jigsaw
Groom Suite / J.Crew – The Ludlow Shop
Flowergirls dress / Tutu du Monde
Favors / Grace Creations, Fiji
Photo Booth / Fiji Photo Booth