Lili & Gerrard are friends of mine from Denarau Island and part of a growing contingent of ex-pats that make Fiji their home. They met working together at a hotel in Adelaide and relocated to Fiji where they are both currently working, Gerrard at a resort on Denarau Island and Lili managing a restaurant at Wailoaloa beach. A wedding in Fiji seemed like a natural choice, particularly given Gerrard’s hectic work schedule, and they welcomed the opportunity to show their friends and family from Australia where they now called home.
They chose the Outrigger Resort on the Coral Coast of Fiji for their large group of 60 guests. Lili tells us about the pre-wedding decisions leading up to her big day:
We are lucky that we live in Fiji so for us it was a lot easier to pick a venue and vendors. We visited a few venues but really loved the Outrigger and picked it as our venue about 11 months prior to our wedding.
“We loved the location and that the resort still has a Fijian feel to it which was important to us living in Fiji. They were also very flexible in working with our ideas for our wedding. Similarly, living in Fiji we were able to meet with different vendors in person and had seen some of their work before. This made it a lot easier to pick vendors we thought would best help us achieve the vision of our wedding.”
Both myself and the bridal party had bouquets of Pink gingers provided by The Outrigger. I fell in love pink gingers when I first saw them as I wanted a simple bouquet for the gingers worked perfectly.
We had Totoka Hair & Make Up as our stylists. They were amazing on the day, so easy to work with and really listened to what everyone wanted for their hair and make-up.
I wore San Patrick from Bridal and Pultney and the Bridesmaids wore Bec & Bridge.
The Outrigger provided the décor and we decided to keep it simple with a few tropical flower arrangements. It is such a beautiful view from the chapel and we didn’t want to take away from that. The themes of the day were simply neutral colours with tropical flowers.
Party and Events Fiji provided our reception set up. I liked elements of their tropical and rustic themes of some of their past weddings. After meeting with them we came up with a theme that combined rustic centrepieces and settings with tropical flowers to incorporate more of a Fiji feel.
We wanted our wedding to feel relaxed and for people to be able to mingle easily and so we didn’t’ want a formal sit down dinner. We had shared platters bought to the table for entrée and deserts. For the main course instead of the traditional buffet we set up food stalls which the guests could pick and choose different dishes from at their leisure. We had Indian, Asian and Pacific rim themed food stalls with live cooking stations at all of them. The Outrigger did an amazing job with the food and we couldn’t have been happier on the day.
For our Photography we chose Anais Chaine Photography. I picked Anais because I loved the natural feel of her photos. I don’t particularly like being photographed and posing too much for photos makes me nervous. Anais was fantastic on the day, she made us all feel completely relaxed and at ease.
In the evening we had Tolu Trio (Kulture music). These guys provided such good entertainment, they have amazing voices and can sing anything! The reception formally finished about 10pm but the party continued on to late in the evening at the Adults-only bar at the Outrigger
The day after the wedding we relaxed around the pool and then had a casual dinner with all our remaining wedding guests at Flying Fin down the road from the Outrigger.
My advice to Brides planning a Fiji wedding is to keep an open mind and embrace Fiji when planning your wedding. It might mean for instance looking at a different theme for your reception or different flowers to what you had in mind. There are so many beautiful local products and flowers here and the vendors are great at coming up with ways to incorporate them into your day.
Also try not to stress too much about the small details, especially on the day itself. I definitely spent too much time in the lead up to our wedding worrying about things that no one on the day even noticed. Chances are something may not go to plan but try to let it go. The day goes by so fast most importantly relax, have fun and enjoy every moment!