Another Bula Bride wedding for you today, and this time, it’s the gorgeous Melissa and her husband Brad’s Warwick Fiji Wedding.
After deciding to get married, they both decided that they wanted to go on an amazing trip and while they were there get married. Originally planning to only invite a couple of friends, the guest list grew with their closest family and friends wanting to join in the celebrations!
“Of all the beautiful places in the world, we knew the stunning and laid back island of Fiji was the perfect place for our family to finally become one. We just wanted a big holiday, with our nearest and dearest, where we just happen to say ‘I do’.”
Leezett Photography was there to capture it all. Melissa joins us to share more details of their stunning Warwick Fiji Wedding.
The Planning / The wedding planning was easy and so much fun! Once I had decided on a resort, I picked a wedding package and we were full steam ahead. Una, the Warwick’s wedding planner, took care of everything. I used a few external suppliers (photographer, videographer, DJ and hair and makeup) which I found through recommendations and reviews on websites and Facebook pages. I wanted a casual and fun affair and wasn’t too fussed on minor details. I just went with the flow and trusted the process.
The Hair & Makeup / Ash and the team from Hair n Mkp Perfectionists were amazing. I had my hair down in waves, pulled to one side. The girls had side braids going back into a messy bun.
The Bride Wore / My dress was custom designed and made by Vicky from Vasiliki Couture in Melbourne. It was ivory Italian silk with French lace (from D’Italia). I knew what I wanted but I couldn’t find it in a shop. Vicky helped make my ideas come to life. She made the dress to fit me exactly as I had wanted, so essentially I got a designer couture gown without the designer couture price tag.
I had a two-tiered short veil from Grace Loves Lace. My bridesmaid sewed matching lace (left over from my dress) on the comb.
The Ceremony / The ceremony was on the beach front lawn. It was a late afternoon (4pm) ceremony so the weather was perfect and it wasn’t too hot at all (thank goodness)!
We had white seat covers with pink/red gingers for decoration. Petals lined the aisle. We had a ‘cabana’ set up at the end of the aisle.
We had a trio of serenaders (provided by the Warwick) entertain guests before the bridal arrival. I asked for ‘Marry me’ by Train to be played for the bridal entrance and they learnt and practised the song for me. It was so special. My brother walked me down the aisle and gave me away on behalf of our late Dad.
The Bridesmaids Wore / I loved the idea of white dresses for my bridesmaids. The girls wore ankle length sheer silk dresses with a short slip underneath and a side split. Their shoes were big, chunky and white. They had rose gold accessories and funky studded earrings. Everything they wore was chosen by them. I actually hated the dress on the hanger but they had insisted on trying it on. Lucky because I knew it was perfect, straight way! I wanted them to have something that fit the Fiji fun and relaxed vibe and not look too ‘bridesmaidy’. And they really will be able to wear the dress again!
The Men Wore / I wanted the boys to be comfortable and not hot. Brad decided on a steel grey/blue three piece suit. They didn’t wear the jacket on the day, instead wearing the vest over white shirts with their sleeves rolled up and ties on (white for Brad, navy for the groomsmen). Vests and ties came off after the ceremony.
The Flowers / Provided by the Warwick. Pink and red gingers for me, pink gingers for the bridesmaids. Brad, the groomsmen, my brother and our boys all had gingers as their button hole.
I absolutely loved everything about my bouquet. It was exactly what I wanted. My bridesmaids also had a special charm made for me with photos of my Dad on it that I could tie and hang around my bouquet so that he could still ‘walk with me down the aisle’. Beautiful girls they are!
The Highlight / Two things come to mind as highlights of the night. The first was definitely my oldest son, who stole the show as an impromptu ring bearer. As I said earlier, we didn’t want them to have specific roles on the day but my husband decided last minute to give the rings to Thomas to put in his pocket. He told me that Thomas had the rings when we met at the altar. My first response was ‘Oh my gosh, a three year old has our wedding rings’! But he assured me my Mum was ‘all over it’. When it was time for the rings, Thomas jumped up and walked over to us, digging his hand right into his pocket to retrieve the rings. He gave them to brad, gave Brad a kiss and ran back to my Mum all shy and proud of his role. It was gorgeous and I love the photos showing everyone’s face as he dug deep into his pocket and ran off.
The second highlight was definitely the speeches. We had three speeches on the night- my brother (in lieu of father of the bride), Brad’s brother Mark (best man) and my girlfriend Mel (maid of honor). The speeches were full of wit, but raw with emotion (Brad and I both have lost a parent). I swear by the end, every table was a blubbering mess! One of my guests said to me that they have never been so moved by wedding speeches.
The Advice / Trust the process! Your wedding planner knows what they are doing. I didn’t have too much contact with our wedding planner Una in the lead up to the day. At the start, this stressed me a little but I soon relaxed and just went with the flow. I knew that once we were there, everything would work out and I was right. We were Una’s main priority. We had a meeting and went through every single detail. She had everything perfect on the day and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.
At the end of the day, it is your day! It is about you and your husband to be. If something is important to you, don’t take no for an answer. For me photography was important and I wanted the best. You don’t want to look back on your day wishing you had done something different.
Oh and create a wedding website. No ifs, no buts, no maybes. Just do it. You won’t regret it!
Location | The Warwick Fiji
Photography | Leezett Photography
DJ & Videographer | Ranjit Raju
Hair & Makeup | Hair N Mkup Perfectionists
Weddings Rings | Diamond Line
Brides Dress | Vasiliki Couture
Bridesmaids Dress | Kookai
Bride & Bridesmaids Accessories | Mimco