Siobhan & Reihana
It’s really great hearing from Brides that have utilised Bula Bride as a resource to help research their Fiji wedding and know we have helped with inspiration and ideas. Equally we love hearing that brides are taking the time to be organised and communicate effectively with their suppliers as often it can be hard to plan a wedding solely by email. (For hints and tips on this please see our blog on communicating with your suppliers)
Siobhan took her time to research her suppliers end ended up with a perfectly planned wedding day married to the love of her life. We share her story and her planning in advance of her wedding day:
We met back at college and through our circle of friends we eventually hooked up. The rest is history and we finally tied the knot after 11 years together.
Fiji was a holiday destination for my parents and I when I was younger. When I turned 21, Reihana surprised me with a trip to Fiji for the two of us. Fiji has always been a special place for us and now after getting married in Fiji, it is now even more so.
The planning for our wedding involved a lot of emailing and very detailed instructions. I picked a selection of suppliers based off recommendations and spent a bit of time researching through Bula Bride to see what advice brides had to give. I had some amazing suppliers, an amazing Wedding Coordinator (Salu) at Mana Island who I worked with and Katie Bouzaid, International Travel Consultant at House of Travel Johnsonville to guide me with travel arrangements.
I was feeling a little anxious on the morning of the wedding due to some tropical rain pouring down. All I could think of was the reasons why I chose Fiji, the beautiful weather, the beautiful people and the golden beaches. I received a lot of lovely messages from our guest staying at the resort, one friend really made me smile and cheered me up, she messaged me “Just want to wish you both all the best today, this rain in our culture symbolizes blessings and children in your new journey. Love you can’t wait to see you in your dress” From there I knew it could only get better, sure enough, by the time the Totoka ladies arrived, the sun was out and the clouds disappeared.
I wore a Kate Yeung, Persian Indigo Dress and a Rue De Seine Calais Veil. My Bridesmaids wore Esther Boutique dresses purchased online from Australia.
The Groom and the guys wore a mix of Top Man and Hallensteins
Our Hair & Make Up was done by the team at Totoka Hair & Make Up. My nerves didn’t kick in until I started getting my hair and makeup done. The lovely Lydia from Totoka really knew how to calm the nerves, we spoke about all the amazing memories today would bring and laughed with the girls about things that might not quite go to plan.
Our ceremony location was at the Sunset Beach, Mana Island, Fiji. We both did traditional vows guided by a minister.
When it came time to leave my bure and the golf cart arrived, it really sank in… a glass of Veuve helped a little… but on the way around to Sunset beach all I could think of is how excited I was to see everyone and most of all my husband to be as I knew he would be feeling nervous.
Arriving at Sunset beach, I could see the set up, I was absolutely blown away with the amazing work the team had done from Grace Creations. It was exactly how we discussed and the beach ceremony set up looked stunning. I could see the crystal blue water and the green palms and all I could really think is that my dreams were coming true. 11 years is a long time to dream up my ideal wedding day
Our theming was simply white, floral and relaxed. Grace Creations and The Mana Island wedding team provided the décor and set-up of the ceremony, and our flowers were provided by Grace Creations.
Walking down the aisle I dreaded the most… everyone’s eyes on me, what if I trip on the sand? What if I don’t do what we planned from the rehearsal? I heard the music start to play and there was no turning back. It was a long walk. I don’t think I looked at a single person, until I hit the main aisle and all I could do was look at Reihana. He was smiling… no tears… yet… so I instantly felt relaxing. I am an emotional person, so I feared crying like a small child. I held it together… at least until the vows!
Our Photographer was Brady Dyer – Brady Dyer Photography who is a Wellington based photographer but travels regularly to Fiji. We didn’t have a Videographer, but Brady took some great drone footage and videoed our ceremony for us.
We had our reception at South Beach Restaurant, we set up out on the deck overlooking the water. Decor was done by Grace Creations.
We served canapes and had a bula bar set up down on Sunset beach for as soon as the ceremony was over. We went with a plated meal option for dinner. Our wedding cake was by Taste Fiji – we have a two-tiered cake, white chocolate and passionfruit.
For entertainment, we created some Spotify playlists to guide us through the day. Our MC (my big brother) managed the music through the ceremony and reception. At the end of the reception we partied through the night with all our friends!
For me was seeing everyone straight after the ceremony and enjoying a drink down on the beach. The next would have to be our reception speeches. You really do realise the amazing family and friends we have had around us during our 11 years together. I didn’t manage to hold back tears here.
Another highlight, especially for my husband was a moving Haka the boys did for him, it was unexpected and really moving experience. Also the day before our wedding the Mana Island team put on a special Kava Ceremony for us as a celebration of our marriage tomorrow and for our guest to join us. The Mana Island team really made us and our guest feel special. It was also a cultural experience for many of our guest who had never been to Fiji before.
My advice for brides planning a Fiji wedding is to be patient, trust your suppliers, ensure you brief them properly (images as well as text are a good idea) and don’t forget you are getting married in Fiji, so embrace their “no hurry, no worry” attitude. The beautiful people of Fiji do weddings all the time. It will all be perfect 😊