Daniela & Daniel – Wananavu Beach Resort
In 2014, after meeting online and both swiping right, Daniela & Daniel have been inseperable ever since.
After crunching some numbers (and encountering road blocks that became too stressful in the planning process) they approached friends who had gotten married in Fiji for advice. The thought of having a small, intimate and stress-free wedding in paradise was very appealing. They made a decision that Wananavu Beach Resort was the best option. Why? Hear more from bride Daniela on how she got her dream wedding day:
BRIDE & GROOMS NAME: Daniela & Daniel Smith
THE DATE: 19th May 2019
THE LOCATION: Wananavu Beach Resort
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 30
What was involved in researching and organising your wedding?
We looked at various destination wedding blogs but Bula Bride was a treasure trove of information. We used Bula Bride to research resorts, vendors and photographers on location. All the information provided is thoroughly useful and we derived styling ideas from reading featured articles of other couple’s weddings that were so beautiful!
For us one of the key reasons we chose Wananavu is because it’s located a couple of hours away from the busy resorts and we practically had the resort to ourselves. We also thought it provided the romantic location we were seeking. The long drive there is definitely worth it! Hundreds of emails were sent back and forth between Keleni, the event coordinator at Wananavu Beach Resort and ourselves outlining and planning every tiny detail of the wedding. An equal amount of hours were spent online researching styling ideas. As the wedding day grew closer, we provided Keleni with a concise word document with references of everything we wanted and she organised everything down to a T.
We were staying in the Honeymoon Bure on the very top of the hill, we woke up at 8 in the morning, the sun was shining, there was a cool breeze in the air and we sighed a breath of relief. We slipped into our comfortable robes and breakfast arrived promptly at 9am. We sat and enjoyed the warmth from the sun and talked about how lucky we were to be there with each other and share a moment alone the morning of the big day as we sipped our breakfast Mimosas. Daniel left so we could begin the exciting process of getting ready and he spent the next 5 hours swimming with the boys down by the reef with refreshing cold beers in hand while we enjoyed cocktails and girly laughs in our bure.
My dress was from: Fairytales Bridal Boutique
The Bridesmaids dresses were from: ASOS
The Groom & the guys wore: Shorts and shirts from Connor and matching bowties from Vasilina Bowties on Etsy.
Location: At the end of the pier overlooking the water with the sunset behind us. Keleni and her hardworking team set everything up and prepared the location days in advance.
The colours/themes we chose were white, navy and neutral tones to compliment the greenery in our bouquets and location of the wedding. We created the bouquets ourselves using a combination of artificial flowers purchased in a junk shop and greenery that was picked from the garden at the resort.
We wanted the ceremony to be ultimately romantic and having it on the pier overlooking the water sounded just perfect! The sun was beginning to set and I walked towards my future husband escorted by two Fijian warriors. We had a formal ceremony with a celebrant and we wrote our own vows. Our young son decided to walk up to us and held our hands during the ceremony, which made it even more special.
Our photographer was Sean Tak from Melbourne. We were looking for a photographer who specialised in taking candid shots and was also excellent at giving direction and had a keen eye for detail. Sean is also a hopeless romantic and was able to come up with beautiful ideas to stylise the perfect photo. He made us feel comfortable from the very beginning as he made this whole experience fun for a couple of camera evading and shy people like us! He became part of the family amongst our loved ones during our stay at the resort.
We wanted romantic, moody and candid shots that captured raw emotion. We absolutely love our photos! These are moments that were captured spontaneously that will be cherished forever. We love going back and noticing things we did not see at the time. Every time we go through the gallery it takes us back to the day and we get to relive it over and over again.
The reception was at the resort on the beach, underneath the palm trees. The resort provided everything from tea light candles to flowers and the lanterns hanging from the palm trees. All we had to bring ourselves was the cake topper and name placements. Keleni and her hardworking team set everything up themselves.
We decided to go with the my favourite cocktail, which is a Mojito! However, the resort was so accomodating they simply took requests. One of the bridesmaids created her own cocktail and gave it a name. If you walked up to the bar and requested it they knew exactly what you wanted.
We opted for a traditional Fijian menu in a buffet style. The resort provided a two tier naked cake adorned with fresh flowers as we requested. It was absolutely delicious!
We requested a surprise show for our guests consisting of traditional dancing and fire twirling, which the resort organised. It was a refreshing surprise and set the mood for a party vibe! Our guests were so impressed and immensely enjoyed themselves. We chose to provide our own music we played through a PA system connected to Daniel’s Spotify account! The sound system was great and they allowed us to party into the night without time restrictions. When it was time to cut the cake, the resort had organised a surprise for us which consisted of fireworks being set off on the other side of the pier! Keleni had honestly thought of everything!
Once the reception was over, the party vibe was still strong within us so we requested the remainder of the bar tab to be sent to our bure and invited all of our friends over and continued to party till 3 in the morning singing our hearts out to our favourite tunes. We had a private pool so we jumped in, and yes I was still wearing my wedding dress, and captured some of the best moments. The entire day felt like a fairytale in paradise that concluded into a rockstar style afterparty.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES PLANNING A FIJI WEDDING:
Do as much research as possible, make sure the resorts can cater to yours and the guests needs (whether it’s dietary or accessibility), maintain strong communication with your planner and vendors and above all ENJOY IT AND DONT FUSS OVER THE TINY DETAILS! You are in paradise after all!