Saskia & Jesse – Mana Island Resort
Jesse and Saskia met at a Country Pub called the Puketapu Pub in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. They were both living on farms near the pub and would met up most nights for drinks with lots of other young farmers and friends. They caught each others eye and the rest was history, and had their first son Hunter 6 years ago and another little boy Armin who is one and a half. After getting engaged in Fiji, they knew it would be an ideal wedding location. We catch up with bride Saskia on what went in to planning her day:
BRIDE & GROOM: Jesse & Saskia Sutton
THE DATE: 13th September 2019
THE LOCATION: Mana Island Resort
THE NUMBER OF GUESTS: 42
2 years ago Jesse proposed to me in Fiji at the Sofitel while we were having a very romantic dinner down on the beach. There were two Fijian men playing their guitars and singing to us it is one of my most treasured memories, it was so romantic! Jesse got the restaurant to do a dessert with an upside down ice-cream cone and put my ring on the top of the cone and in chocolate had written “WILL YOU MARRY ME”. It was truly romantic and super sweet as I didn’t think my country boy could arrange something so romantic!
Why did you choose Fiji? And why that particular location?
We choose Fiji as we love it there for it’s amazing culture! We had done family trips there and really loved it and decided we would love a very small beach wedding and where more perfect than Fiji!
We had searched on Bula Bride and a couple of other sites to help us decide where in Fiji we would like to get married and also what was a good deal for our wedding quests. We found Mana Island ticked all of our boxes.
The main reason we choose Mana Island is because they have the most beautiful location to get married – Sunset beach. It is absolutely stunning! And if it rained the have the most beautiful wedding chapel so I was calm if it rained. Thank goodness it was a beautiful day and we got the most perfect sunset beach wedding. Another reason was because its an all ‘inclusive’ resort so your meals were included in the package.
What was involved in researching and organising your wedding?
I think the main thing for me was going onto facebook sites, plus anything to do with Fiji Weddings such as Bula Bride, I Was Married in Fiji, Fiji Weddings they were all so helpful. There were a lot of posts with questions already asked and you too can post and get replies not just from previous brides but also from suppliers. I watched a lot of other Fiji bride’s wedding videos to help me choose where I wanted to get married and what suppliers I wanted to use and then basically just emailed them.
There was so much information and reviews etc on Bula Bride from previous brides. I actually used this website the most.
I ended up using Leanne from “I Was Married in Fiji” for assistance with the wedding. Leanne was brilliant! For me it was just good her helping me get answers from suppliers. Leanne was amazing full of good information and knows Fiji and the suppliers very well so she could recommend stuff to me which was awesome!
We met in the room with the Bridal party and my Mother, Mother In-law and my beautiful Aunty at about 10am. We had ordered large ice buckets and lots of bottles of champagne and nibbles so when that arrived it was time to pop the champagne and relax with some music while we got pampered!
Hair and Makeup Perfectionist did our hair and make up and I can not recommend them enough!
I am a person who loves makeup and gorgeous hair so I did my research and found the Hair and Make-Up Perfectionist team. Im so glad I choose them, they listened to exactly what I wanted and were fun, bubbly and friendly. They really made our morning while getting ready as they were happy to joke with us and have fun but were also very professional.
My dress was from: My Dress is From Astra Bridal The “BRINKLEY LYNETT” dress which is in a plus size and it was perfect! I know when you think Fiji wedding you think a light flowy dress but I’m a big personality and when I found this beautiful dress I knew it was for me ! I fell in love with it!! It was a big dress but it didn’t matter it worked and thankfully it wasn’t too hot on the wedding day !!
The Bridesmaids dresses were from: Esther and CO Australia – they looked stunning on the bridesmaids and were nice and flowy and not too hot for them!!
The Groom & the guys wore: Suits from Hallensteins
Location: Sunset Beach Mana Island
I chose bright colours! My Arch was just beautiful mainly hot pink some oranges an purples and green but mainly all hot pink and it was just stunning!
Grace Creations provided and set up the décor at the ceremony, I would highly recommend them -they did an absolutely beautiful job I was so happy!! And they were so easy to communicate with.
Flowers & bouquets were by Grace Creations and they were absolutely stunning. I sent them photos of all the bunches I liked and they did them absolutely perfect!
Our celebrant talked first just very traditional vows and then asked us if we would like to share our own vows to each other which we did. We enjoyed this as it was serious vows and then we put our own touch on it and our own promises that we knew meant a lot to one another we also threw in a few funny things just for fun.
Who was your photographer & why did you choose them?
Our photographer was Ocean Studio Fiji. I can not recommend Yoshi and his team enough! I’m so thankful for our amazing photos we have received. Yoshi captured all the special moments between my husband and I. He isn’t afraid to tell you what you need to do so he can get the magical shots in the sunset but also does very natural ones too which I love.
We did our own thing with a bit of guidance and got some stunning shots and beautiful sunset photos which we absolutely love! I think Yoshi is very good with story telling, he captures the day perfectly. If you are wanting truly magical photos and your story to be captured perfectly, Yoshi and his team is who I recommend.
Who was your videographer & why did you choose them?
I chose Zoom Fiji for our videography. Now I know you’re thinking why did you choose to different companies when you can get great package deals but I had a style of videography in mind and Zoom Fiji was the best match. The team that came and captured our day were so laid back and easy to be around! We just adore our video, its absolutely amazing.
What I loved about the videography is they did drone shots of us walking down the beach and I cant tell you how absolutely amazing they are; it just helps tell our beautiful wedding story not just to us and our kids in years to come but to friends and family that weren’t able to make it. So very special! We will forever treasure this video.
Where was the location?
We wanted it on the beach but because of wind and possible rain we ended up having the reception out by the main restaurant area and beside the pool and it was absolutely perfect! We wanted romantic and elegant and that’s exactly what we got through Grace Creations.
What did you choose for cocktail hour?
It was an open bar so everyone got what they wanted. However straight after the Ceremony we had champagne and beer.
What was on the dinner menu?
We ended up choosing the Aus/NZ Buffet bbq! This was the only downfall of the day and I wish that I had stuck with the original plan and got the plated menu.
Who made your wedding cake and what type did you choose?
Our wedding Cake was ordered through Mana Island, we sent them photos of exactly what we wanted! And wow it was DELICIOUS! We had lemon cake on one layer and chocolate on the other and it was hands down the most yummy cake I have ever tasted.
Who was the music/DJ/entertainment by?
We hired Resonate band and I can not recommend them enough they were absolutely amazing! All our guests still talk about them they were the best live band I have ever heard and knew what songs to play to get your guests up and dancing. They were super helpful – they sent lists of all their songs etc and said I can choose however I left it up to them and it was perfect.
We had Entertainment Manakiliagi Culture Group after our speeches and they really got the party going they get your guests up dancing and just having such a good time its so much fun. I highly recommend them as they give a really good fire dance show and cultural dancing and Fijian experience!!
ADVICE FOR BRIDES PLANNING A FIJI WEDDING:
1. If you’re getting married on the beach take my advice and don’t bother wearing heels or wedges you will just sink and it makes it hard to walk.
2. Give yourself a year to plan the wedding. Don’t stress if the Fiji suppliers don’t get back to you straight away and feel free to re-email if you need. They are on Fiji time but don’t stress!! They are amazing at what they do and even though it feels like you’re not getting anywhere they get it all done last minute but I think they plan behind the scene without us knowing because it all pulls together amazing!
3. My favourite thing about getting married in Fiji was on the day you truly are relaxed because you cant rush around so you actually truly get to enjoy your special day. It makes it so much more special as I hear a lot of brides at home are so busy getting stuff ready that morning they don’t get to relax so this was definitely something I loved!
4. Order champagne and food to your room while getting ready don’t forget because you will need it!
5. Canapes after the ceremony is a must but don’t go over board get no where near as much as you think you will need as its only a small time frame to eat so a lot does get wasted! The Mana island canapés were delicious!!!!
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
Apart from marrying my best friend and having a small beautiful beach wedding with my husband and two beautiful boys, probably walking down the aisle and seeing such a beautiful set up, it was just gorgeous and I’m so lucky I have such amazing friends and family to come and share that day with us.