Bree & Josh – Sofitel Resort & Spa Fiji
Sydney-siders Bree and Josh wanted a wedding somewhere both not too far away and relaxed in nature, so it made sense Fiji was high on the list. After a pre-wedding trip to suss out the possibilities, they settled on a list of some of our favourite Fiji vendors to be part of their special day. We catch up with bride Bree on how her wedding day came together:
BRIDE & GROOM: Bree & Josh
THE DATE: 25th May 2019
THE LOCATION: Sofitel Resort & Spa Fiji
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 75
Josh and I met when we were teenagers through some mutual friends. Within a few short weeks we were living together and we both knew we had met our soul mate.
We always imagined getting married overseas, particularly because we didn’t want a very big (and fancy) wedding. There were a few different countries on our list, but we decided on Fiji as it was only a 4 hour flight away from Sydney, the location and hotels are amazing, and of course the beautiful people.
What was involved in researching and organising your wedding?
We made a trip to Fiji 18 months before the date of our wedding to do research, see all of the hotels and decide on a date. We met with every hotel on Denarau while we were there. I had a list of questions printed out for each so I ensured we got all the information we needed to make the right decision. I pre-organised the meetings so we also got to enjoy our holiday while we were there. Once we decided on the hotel, we then started following social media pages of stylists and photographers in Fiji, along with the Bula Bride Instagram.
Bula Bride was so helpful particularly before we went to Fiji as it helped us find the local vendors, along with giving us an idea on past weddings and what they looked like.
Tell us about your day, pre-wedding o’clock:
Josh and I stuck to tradition by not staying in the same room the night before the wedding. The morning of the wedding we planned our breakfast times so we ensured we didn’t run into each other. I met my family and bridesmaids at the Buffet breakfast where we had champagne to start the celebrations. Josh did the same with his groomsmen and close friends. The boys then headed to the pool to relax for the day. Us girls headed to our room to start getting ready at 9am (for ceremony starting at 3pm). We had such a relaxing and fun morning, getting the dresses ready, along with getting our hair and makeup done. We were ready early so we had plenty of time to get more pictures and take our time getting dressed.
Who was your hair & make up done by?
We booked through Totoka Hair & Makeup. In February last year while we were booking our wedding, I had a makeup trial with Totoka. This was when I met the amazing Lodo. I loved him so much and he did such an amazing job I made sure he was going to be there to do my hair and makeup on my wedding day. We also had Kajal do the bridesmaids makeup and she was absolutely incredible!
My dress was from: Wilderly Bride – purchased from Brides of Sydney in Miranda
The Bridesmaids dresses were from: Forever New
The Groom & the guys wore: Tarocash
Location: Beach Front Bure
Who provided and set up the décor at the ceremony?
We had Grace Creations provide the arbour. Jacquie from Versatile Fiji provided hand woven fans which were the gifts for each of our guests to use. We decided to put these out at the ceremony so the guests could use it as shade and also to cool themselves down. The Sofitel provided the rest of the set up including the seating, the aisle flowers and tree stumps to line the aisle and the easel for the Welcome Sign which we brought over from home. The theme for our wedding was White, Green & Gold
Who did your flowers & bouquets? Grace Creations & Sofitel Fiji.
We wanted a relaxed ceremony that captured the love we have for each other. We wrote our own vows, as we believe every relationship is different and we wanted our vows to reflect this. We also saw our ceremony as a way to show our friends and family a side of our relationship that they had never seen before.
Who was your photographer & why did you choose them?
Konrad Thorpe was our photographer. Konrad was the first supplier we booked, we were in contact with him and organising dates he was available weeks before we even chose a venue. I found him through Instagram, and we fell in love with his style of photography. Not only does he find some amazing backdrops, all of his shots are very natural and relaxed. Josh and I are not very comfortable in front of a camera and he made getting our photos so much fun with lots of laughs and jokes.
For the day of the wedding, we really wanted Konrad to capture the little moments of the day, people having fun as we all celebrated together. As we chose the day after photoshoot, Josh and I also really wanted those long distance shots with the beautiful mountains of Fiji in the background.
We absolutely love our photos. We were jumping for joy when we saw them, and every time we go through them all we find new favourite photos of our wedding day.
Where was the location? Northern Lawns, Sofitel Resort
Who provided and set up the décor at the reception?
Grace Creations provided the stand for the seating chart, the LOVE sign, the overhead fairy flights and greenery, the white tiffany chairs for the bridal table and also organised the Fire Dancers for us.
The Sofitel provided the flower arrangements for the tables, the green leaf placemats, and also set up all of the decorations we bought from home.
We bought over gold candle holders for the tables, a guest book, table numbers and thank you cards for each guest.
What did you choose for cocktail hour? We had canapes for 1 hour after our ceremony for our guests, and also put on a bar tab with Beer & Champagne. As we had a 3pm ceremony, we had plenty of time after our ceremony to chat to all of our guests for the 1 hour of canapes, before we went off to get some photos with our bridal party.
What was on the dinner menu? We had the traditional Lovo which was delicious. All of our guests raved about how great the food was. The Sofitel made our wedding cake, we had chocolate mud cake with vanilla buttercream.
Who was the music/DJ/entertainment by? We had DJ William Lee included in our package. He also was our MC and he was hilarious! We also sent him a list of songs we wanted played throughout the night. Once the reception ended, most of the wedding guests headed up to the Breeze Bar where we continued to drink and dance the night away.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES PLANNING A FIJI WEDDING:
Always remember its FIJI TIME. Don’t stress about the small stuff, as on the wedding day you won’t even notice it (For example we wanted to do a polaroid guest book, but we forgot about it so we only had about 10 people sign it in the end 😛 This was something I stressed about and put a lot of effort into, when really I didn’t need to worry so much).
Be upfront with all of your suppliers and with the hotel you book with. They are all extremely helpful and will do everything they can to ensure your wedding day is exactly how you plan it.
Our final piece of advice to anyone who is thinking about getting married in Fiji is DO IT! You will not regret it at all. It was the best day of our lives.
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
A few highlights from the day:
- Seeing Josh’s reaction to Bree walking down the aisle
- Exchanging our vows in front of our family and friends
- Watching the sunset as we got our photos together on the beach front
- Seeing our reception set up for the first time just before we were about to walk into the reception was a really special moment.
- Dancing into our wedding reception to September by Earth Wind Fire was probably one of the best moments from the day
- Our first dance as husband and wife – everyone stood around the dance floor singing along
- Josh and I went for a quick walk half way through our reception and looked back on all of our guests dancing on the dance floor – it was such an amazing thing to see all of our family and friends having such an amazing night.