Remember when we gave away an awesome prize package at the Queensland Brides Expo in October last year. Well today I have the pleasure of introducing you to the lucky winners!! Sarah & Marty. The couple flew up from Melbourne to attend the expo in Brisbane – so well worth the trip!
Sarah and Marty are getting hitched in November this year at Musket Cove. They decided to do a little recon trip over the Fiji recently to take advantage of some of their prizes on offer. One of those was an engagement shoot with Leezett Photography.
Sarah shares with us their recon trip over to Fiji, what they got up to and their thoughts on the recon.
In January 2014 Marty proposed. By July we had decided that Musket Cove in Fiji was going to be our venue. Although we have never been to Fiji we booked our wedding based on photos and reviews alone. We were happy with our decision with so much information available to an Australian bride getting married in Fiji. When we saw that Bula Bride (Kylie) and World Wide Weddings (Mandi – who we booked our wedding through) were going to be in Brisbane for a wedding expo I flew from Melbourne to go to the Expo (Marty was living in Brisbane at the time). This was worth it as we got to meet Mandi and Gloria (the Musket Cove wedding coordinator).
A few days after the expo we got an email from Kylie saying that we had won the expo prize. I called Marty with excitement and he was doubtful that maybe it was an email they sent to everyone. When it was confirmed that we were won we were very excited. We are planning our wedding on a limited budget so the little extras we won were so handy. Unfortunately the 2 return flights with Fiji Airways weren’t valid for our November wedding so instead of letting them go to waste we decided to go on a Fiji recon mission in March. But non the less we were excited to use Fiji Airways as we had heard great reviews from past Fijian brides.
We were greeted at the check-in desk by a friendly and extremely helpful agent. We managed to score exit row seats which are a great for Marty as he is 6ft 4. Entering the plane we were again greeted by 2 friendly Fijian air hostesses. This was our first ‘Bula’ greeting and although I heard about the word Bula I never anticipated that it would make you smile so much. It really sinks in then that you are only 4 hours away from sun, sea and sand.
We flew on the B737 so had overhead cabin entertainment. They had recent movies and shows playing and one of our flights we watched Big Hero 6 (which isn’t on DVD yet). The flight attendants were so friendly and were happy to help make your flight comfortable. We had a few meal options and these were tasty and had plenty of food to fill you up. We would fly Fiji Airways again and would love to try out there new planes (A330) too as the photos I’ve seen look amazing.
When we arrived in Fiji (after a overnight flight) we were greeted at the arrival gate by Crusoe Tours ready for our early morning drive to The Outrigger on the Lagoon at the Coral Coast. Our driver was so informative and told us all about Fiji on the drive there. Fiji is an amazing place. I pictured it as white sand and beaches but the other areas of Fiji are just as stunning. There are lush green mountains every where. Arriving at the Outrigger for our 4 night stay (also part of the prize) we were very excited. It is a modern twist on traditional Fiji. The rooms were spacious and comfortable and the resort is so big that it never felt crowded.
We spent a lot of time at the adults only pool drinking cocktails. We tried to watch the sunset at the bar overlooking the resort with no success (the clouds decided to come out that day). We spent a morning snorkelling straight off the beach and kayaking in the glass bottom boats. We went to a local village and learnt about there history, culture and traditions (well worth it for anyone visiting Fiji). We went shopping in Sigatoka village and spent more time by the pool. We enjoyed a couples massage at the Bebe Spa (also part of our prize). We enjoyed the Outrigger and realised what a great place it would be for family holidays.
While at Outrigger we got up early one morning to meet Leezett Birch of Leezett Photography for an engagement shoot (another prize). We walked down to the creek beside the resort and took all the photos there. It is a great location as you get such different backgrounds -greenery, concrete, sand and water. Leezett was so great to work with and instantly put us at ease.
We left the Outrigger in the morning to head to Musket Cove – there was no point visiting Fiji and not seeing our resort. While Marty headed to the ferry to get to Musket early I stopped in at Totoka Hair and Makeup for my hair and makeup trial (hair and makeup for our wedding and the trial was part of the prize). Being a destination bride I had given up the hope of meeting the team before the big day and choosing based on photos and recommendations only. So doing a hair and makeup trial was a bonus.
Firstly I had my hair done Leanne Goff from Totoka Hair & Makeup. I showed her a few pics of what I was thinking and she understood and created a style that I loved. With makeup I always say I just want to be a better looking version of myself on the day. I don’t want to walk up the aisle and Marty not recognise me. Lodo did a great job. Subtle makeup that made a statement but was exactly what I wanted. They have great product knowledge and being a local company they know exactly what will and wont last in the Fijian heat. Very excited to have Team Totoka part of our big day.
The ferry to Musket Cove (Malolo Cat) is such a relaxing ride. Preparing you for whats to come. As you come around the island you see people strolling on the beach, snorkelling, kayaking and lazing by the beach. This already looked like Marty and I’s kind of place! You get of the boat to staff singing welcoming you to the island. Everything is so close to get to on the island. You can hire a bike and see all the resorts within a 15 minute ride. This also means that there are lots of dining options on the island (not just your resort).
The villas are amazing. We were upgraded to a Lagoon Bure. All the walls are plantation shutters so the rooms are fairly cool. There is also fans and aircons if it gets too uncomfortable. Our bure had a separate lounge and a balcony over looking the lagoon. It was so peaceful and with no TV in the rooms its so quite. With only 1 full day at Musket we had so much to see and do.
We met with Gloria and Nai (wedding/event coordinators at Musket) to discuss our wedding package the options and what’s available for our guests. They were so helpful and definitely put our mind at ease for our day. There are so many options for ceremonies and receptions with a new area opening up in May. Gloria and Nai made it feel like anything is possible and looking at pictures of other wedding held here I think it is. We don’t have to pick a location till the days before the wedding but I think we are already set on the beach wedding.
With limited rooms the resort has such an intimate feel. Guests who had stayed for longer knew each other and staff knew them. There is space for everyone at dinner and breakfast and if there is no space by the pool you can sit on a deck chair by the beach. It is so peaceful as mainly an adults only resort there are no screaming kids or kid free adults enjoying their free time loudly. This is the perfect place for couples to come and relax. We spent the afternoon riding around the island and checking out possible wedding locations and the accommodation types available.
We have recommended the Beachfront Bures, Lagoon Bures and Armstrong Island (2 bed villas) to our guests. The food at the restaurant was great with other options available (that we didn’t check out this stay). We spent that morning in the water – paddling boarding and unsuccessfully learning how to windsurf. There are heaps of free activities and they also have tours each day that guests can sign up for. I can’t wait to go on a snorkelling cruise when we go back!
We are so happy with our resort choice and it is even better in person than we had imagined. With the help from Gloria, Nai and Grace Creations (another prize) we will get the wedding we dreamed off even on the tight budget we have. We can’t wait to take our guests back to Fiji and show them how beautiful it is.
If you are in doubt about choosing Fiji just think… Have you ever heard anyone say a bad word about it? It will be the best decision you’ll make.
I can’t wait to see their big day! Congratulations again Marty & Sarah ~Kylie x