You may remember Katie & Ben from their Wananavu 1920s Wedding previously featured on the blog. Katie is back to share with us a little venture out to Rakiraki after their big day to visit the local school, to give thanks to the people of Fiji for providing such a warm and wonderful setting for their day.

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November last year, Ben and I were married with 45 of our closest friends and family in a gorgeous resort in the Fijian town of Rakiraki. We were extremely fortunate to have two strikingly talented photographers with us for the entire week, and although a lot of our wedding photos have been shared on several blogs, there are other photos (very special ones) that haven’t yet been shared but deserve so much to be.

Those who haven’t yet been to Fiji would not understand the kindness, generosity and gratitude of the Fijian people that is immediately obvious on first encounter. They are some of the sweetest people I have ever met, and yet, many of them live in shanty houses with barely any running water, electricity or any of the material possessions that we take for granted in our first world countries. Still, they always have a smile on their faces, and live by the beautiful construct of “Fiji time” which seemingly slows the pace of everyday life, and by a simple case of cause and effect, reduces stress.

It was very important to me, as a way of giving thanks for the beautiful backdrop for our wedding, that we in some small way contribute to the community of Rakiraki during our stay. My suggestion was positively received by the resort and they coordinated a visit to a local school where we could enjoy some performances by the children sharing their culture with us, and also make some donations to the school and their students. It was (aside from that Ben and I said “I do”) the most enjoyable and fulfilling experience of the trip.

Rebecca and Jonathan from Tamiz Photography joined us, and these are their spectacular photos.

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The kids were so awesome and had some serious rock star moves…but afterwards, they made us all feel like rock stars by insisting that every one of them, shake hands with each of us! So as we left, they made a line either side of the verandah and down the stairs. It was the coolest, longest, happiest guard of honour ever!

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Now I’m not sure why it has taken me so long (although I am the procrastination princess after all) but I have now printed all of the photos from the school visit, and sent them to the resort to deliver to the principal. I hope that the kids can get some pleasure from the images as much as I have. It truly was a special experience and I’m so grateful to the following people for allowing it to happen:

  • Wananavu Beach Resort for coordinating the visit with the school and for organising the transport,
  • The principal, teachers and students at the Rakiraki Methodist School and Kindergarten for taking the time out of their school schedule to let us visit, and for putting on such superb performances for us,
  • All of our wedding guests that took time out of their holiday to come to the school and especially those that brought along gifts for the students,
  • And of course, Tamiz Photography for capturing these moments.

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This is something we were wishing to do after our wedding day but didn’t know how to go about it. Thank you Katie for sharing your experience. Looking at these photos truly warms the heart and what an unforgettable experience for both you and your guests.

If your interested in giving back to the people of Fiji speak to your wedding co-coordinator or alternatively contact Versatile Fiji.

Versatile Fiji currently is working on the Love-In-Action Respite Home for the neglected and financially challenged students of Delana Primary School in Lautoka.

The LIA Respite Home is designed to nurture and assist the children in the area of educational needs through sponsorship from Stay Connected – Fiji. This sponsorship covers the costs of uniforms, books, meals, and other necessities to take care of the children from Monday to Friday in the Home.

To donate or contact Versatile Fiji email/
[email protected] or [email protected]