Emily & Halani – Outrigger Wedding
It was almost a horror story when Emily’s wedding luggage went temporarily missing at Nadi airport – but after resolving the situation they got back on track and had the wedding of their dreams at the Outrigger Resort Fiji just a couple of days later. We catch up with Bride Emily on what went in to planning her Fiji wedding day:
BRIDE & GROOM: Emily Uluakiahoia & Halani Uluakiahoia
THE DATE: 11th November 2018
THE LOCATION: The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 30
Halani and I met at High School. At the time, Halani was only 14 and I was 15. Halani had received my number from a mutual close friend after probing her on who I was.
I received a message that night and it was Halani. We text each other, and hung out every lunch time for a couple of weeks before he finally asked me to be “his girl.”
At the age of 20, we fell pregnant with our beautiful little girl Lily. We have been inseparable for 13 amazing years this year.
We had a pretty large engagement party with so many family, friends and food. For our wedding, we wanted something simple with our nearest and dearest who meant the most to us.
I was actually searching beach style wedding dresses and had come across a wedding at the Outrigger Chapel. OMG I fell in love straight away. I showed Halani and he also fell in love. We knew that’s what we wanted, and what better way to have a holiday with our friends and family with an added bonus of a wedding! I searched Facebook for the Outrigger Resort and had come across the Outrigger Brides closed group which you were accepted into if you were a future or past wedding couple. The group was amazing! Any questions that I had, sometimes 20 people would respond.
Our first message in regards to planning our wedding at the Outrigger Resort was with Darshita who is one of the planners at the Resort. All correspondence went through Darshita, then we were introduced to our wedding organiser Mele. Any question, big or small she always had the answer. Nothing was ever a bother for her. As we arrived at our resort, we were greeted with a warm big hug from Va the wedding co-ordinator who went above and beyond for our amazing wedding and stay at the resort.
OUR ARRIVAL IN FIJI
Once we arrived at NADI international Airport, we were waiting at the baggage collection carousels, waiting patiently until there were only about 3 other people standing around.
We finally spotted our remaining 2 black suitcases with the bright blue organza ribbon wrapped tightly around the handle coming closer to us. Finally! But I then realised that the name tags were in fact someone else’s name! I ran straight out to security like a crazy lady and explained (most likely didn’t make sense) that someone has taken my two bags with every single bit of our wedding gear!
I then ran out of the security gates, searched up and down frantically looking at the remaining 5 people’s trolleys with no luck. They were gone! I stepped outside, at this point I was numb and just ready to go back in, looked to my left and saw a blue ribbon hanging off a black case! I ran straight up to the lady who was about to get in her lift and had just seen my name on the luggage. She was in as much of a state of shock and panic that I was in, but finally we both had our correct luggage. Someone was definitely looking over us that day that’s for sure. I was never a Bridezilla until this point!!
Halani and I did the traditional thing – not seeing each other the night before up until we would meet at the alter.
At 9am, all the lady guests met at breakfast for the buffet. Once finished, myself, my bridesmaids, my Mum and Flower-girl went back to the Bure. Us ladies had some wine; some laughs and I’d given the girls their gifts.
Halani and the boys all headed down to the buffet for their breakfast after us. Once finished, they headed to one of our guests’ room for some relaxation before his ‘big day’ preparations.
I was so lucky to have my amazing sister who is a hairdresser do all of our hair for the day. I wanted a messy braid look on the side for the girls and a high bun for myself and Lily to match. She absolutely nailed it.
I decided on Hair and Makeup Perfectionists for make-up. WOW. I couldn’t recommend them any more! They made us look amazing! We had a great time and a funny/eventful morning.
I actually came across a little dress boutique that was closing down in my small town, not planning on actually finding ‘the one,’ I walked in alone on a casual stroll and found it! It wasn’t something I chose to begin with but as soon as I tried it on, I knew there was nothing that could top it. I’ve always loved the idea of a Cinderella dress and knew that I wanted to have something different, which Is why I opted to have a detachable 5-layer tulle skirt for the top of my dress which I wore for our ceremony.
Location: Bure Ni Loloma Wedding Chapel – Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
We chose to have White Organza Sashes draped around the beautiful wooden chairs, along with an A framed stand at the entrance with framed photographs of our beautiful loved ones that were up above looking down on our special day. We had our wedding organiser Va set everything up. She had done everything exactly how we had asked. She was a pure god-send.
I made my Bridesmaid’s bouquets from artificial flowers which I packed and sent over in our luggage. I opted for fresh pink gingers to match Halani’s Buttonhole. Lily had fresh pink Frangipanis circling her bun.
I walked down to our all-time favourite song – Trey Songz, Almost Lose it, which we have had picked out since we were in our teens. It was such a special moment. We wanted a nice, short, sweet and loving ceremony which is what we received. Our ceremony lasted around 15-20 mins. As soon as we both looked at each other, it was as if there was absolutely no one else in the Chapel. It was one of the most AMAZING moments in my life. We wrote our own vowels down which felt great and close to the heart as we were able to make our own promises and commitments to each other that will never be forgotten.
We searched so many different companies leading up to the wedding, although we were always drawn to photographs that were captured by Ocean Studio Fiji.
We fell in love with the simplicity of the photos but also the elegance, the attention to detail was amazing. Our Photographer was just so amazing, direct, but so fun at the same time which is exactly what we needed. We also chose to have a videographer capture our day. As soon as we received our highlight video Halani, Lily and myself all sat around and watched together. All 3 of us had tears rolling down our cheeks! Just pure talent.
Our photographer and videographer captured the beginning of getting ready to the end of our formalities at the reception.
Location: Vahavu Reception – Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
Va and the team at The Outrigger set up everything for our reception. We chose Hessian Chair Sashes and table runners which was our first pick as soon as we were shown the multiple different colours. We had chosen to have white organza drapes hanging from the ceiling, fairy lights hanging down behind the bridal table and Pink Gingers for our table centrepieces.
We opted for a 4hr drinks package which included beer, wine and soft drink along with a traditional Lovo buffet dinner which everyone enjoyed. Our cake was made by the Outrigger which was a 2 tier rough buttercream, chocolate on the bottom and Vanilla on the top. This was also served on the dessert buffet table.
My Brother was our MC for the night who did such a magnificent job. He took the role in his stride and got everyone in such a happy place. He had organised a game – the Shoe Game which was such a laugh – Halani and I had to hold up whoever’s shoe (mine or Halani’s) we decided fit the question right. Our daughter had made up a dance to a song which absolutely everyone came up to the dancefloor and learnt. We were all doing the exact same actions and had the BEST time.
At the end of our reception, all of our guests who were staying at the Outrigger (25 guests) all made our way to the pool which we had all to ourselves and had a nice ‘quiet’ swim. It was a great end to a wonderful/memorable day and night. Halani had also planned for our room to be decorated by the staff at the Outrigger, the shape of a heart on the bed in flowers and petals throughout the room from entrance to end. It was just so romantic.
– Take your wedding dress with you on the plane. – there is always room for it to lay or hang in the overhead lockers.
– Take the day in. Stop and breathe. Soak it up because it really does just fly by.
– Make sure to look your husband in the eyes as you’re walking down the aisle. Trust me, it’s the best feeling seeing him looking straight back into your eyes and feeling like no one else is even there.
– Make sure your luggage has multiple coloured tags or a distinctive label to stand out from the rest!!
– If wearing a strapless dress, make sure you wear a strapless bra and top whilst getting ready. Nobody likes visible bra dents.
– Make sure you get the photos that you want! Write a list and hand to your photographer.
– ENJOY THE DAY!