I love a couple that makes a wedding their own, no matter where in the world it is. Especially when it reflects the personality of the Bride and Groom.
Katie & Ben were married at Wananavu Beach Resort located at the most northern part of Viti Levu. Their guests traveled from all over Australia, Canada and the USA to join them in a week long event. Even though it took a two and a half hour shuttle ride to get there from the airport, the isolation from the usual tourist haunts was perfect in providing their guests with a unique Fijian paradise experience. To add the maraschino cherry on top, they had the resort all to themselves!
Katie & Ben organised their wedding by coordination with the resort, resulting in a truly unique and fun day! Their big day is a true inspiration to what can be achieved with a little DIY and an extra suitcase.
Katie shares with Bula Bride the details of her 1920s wedding, captured by Tamiz Photography who was flown in from Maui, Hawaii.
The Theme / I’ve always been obsessed with the 1920′s and 30′s and a part of me has always believed I was born in the wrong era. Luckily, my fiancé Ben had always been a fan of themed parties, so the idea of having a themed wedding was a match made in heaven for us. Convincing our guests was easy too, with the majority of them really making an effort. We set up a Facebook group so that people could ask questions about the trip, and started a Pinterest board for costume ideas.
I styled the wedding myself, but was helped by all my girlfriends and family members. We made the fabric bouquets, my Mum made the bridesmaid dresses and bow ties and I even painted and “glitterfied” my shoes myself!
The Planning / Planning our Fiji wedding was something I genuinely enjoyed. Yes, there were some stressful moments, and I did have one or two near mental breakdowns, but overall, I loved it. I was very lucky to join a group on Facebook called I Was Married in Fiji that was filled with brides like me who were planning their own destination wedding, brides that had been there done that and were more than happy to share their experiences and tips, as well as vendors who were happy to openly answer questions about their services in the forum. It was fantastic! For anyone who has visited Fiji before, you’ll know all about “Fiji Time” and can imagine that as a bride, playing the waiting game is not conducive to stress-free planning. Social media was my sanity.
The Ceremony / Our ceremony was fun, light-hearted and filled with moments of pure joy. One of the many great surprises of the day was when my Dad was walking me down the aisle. He stopped before we reached my fiancé, clicked his fingers and suddenly my uncle, cousin and my Dad’s best friends rose from their seats, dressed as mobsters (complete with inflatable Tommy guns) to escort us the rest of the way. It was hilarious and took both Ben and I by complete surprise! We wrote our own vows, and every time we said “husband” or “wife” we chuckled to each other. I loved seeing the look on his face, and knowing that all our closest friends and family were there to share in the moment.
The Reception / Our reception was all about the party. I really wanted our guests to feel like they were in another time and another place – totally removed from their normal lives, like a Great Gatsby lawn party.
I brought over peacock feathers for the centerpieces and the cake, and the resort put it all together.
We chose to have round tables with the bridal table in the middle instead of having one long bridal table (suggested by the resort) and it was great. Made it some much more inclusive with everyone!! There were chinese lanterns draped between palm trees, with the stars peeking through above us and the sand under our feet.
We had sourced tunes from the 1920′s and showed black and white videos of Charleston dancing flappers on a screen in the background.
The Menu / The menu was a banquet designed by the resort. But the dessert was alternate drop lemon meringue pie and sorbet selection…yum!
Entertainment / There was a DIY photo booth background with plenty of props, and even a beer pong table to share our love of US culture with our guests. We learned a 20′s swing dance and kept it a secret from everyone and fire dancers to entertain our guests during the night! It was an absolute ball!
The Cake / The Cake was a marble mud cake by Fiji Cakes. Yum! We had fireworks explode as we cut our cake.
The Photo Booth / We brought over the props and the wall paper for the photo booth.
The resort made the photo booth wall using their own materials and covered it in the wall paper we provided. It was awesome!
The Lantern Ceremony / The lantern ceremony was the last part of our wedding ceremony. We had 3 lanterns that we released: 1 for my parents, 1 for Ben’s and 1 for us. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I think our folks liked being involved. Our wedding guests really enjoyed it too, watching them go up in the air and be carried over the water to the island off the coast of Wananavu. There were plenty of “oohs” and “aaahs” and everyone cheered when the lanterns would lift higher and were amazed with how long they stayed lit!
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Awesome huh! Katie & Ben did an amazing job in DIY’ing this wedding. Every element, every consideration to make it a truly wonderful day not only for them but for their guests.
Katie has a blog of her own – Ultimate Katie Blog and not surprising its filled with vintage goodness.
Location / Wananavu Beach Resort, Fiji
Photographer / Tamiz Photography
Bride’s Dress / Sue Wong via Unique Vintage, Burbank, USA
Bride’s Shoes / Asos (painted by bride)
Bride’s Veil & Hair Accessories / Unique Vintage
Groomsmen’s Shoes / Converse
Fabric Bouquet / Handmade By Bride
Cake / Fiji Cakes
Lantern Ceremony / Wananavu Beach Resort