BEST SECLUDED WEDDING LOCATIONS IN TAHITI: ARE YOU UP FOR A FAKARAVA WEDDING?
You know of the big names for wedding locations in Tahiti, and among them, Bora Bora. Mythical Bora Bora!
The United States chose Bora Bora as a military supply base during WWII, and a supply force was maintained there until 1946. The small airstrip that was built on the island back then to accommodate small aircrafts was the only international airport in French Polynesia until Faa’a International Airport was opened in 1960 on the capital island of Tahiti.
This is when tourists started visiting the destination and a few years later, the famous overwater bungalows – a quintessential Tahiti landmark, were born.
In 2017, The Islands of Tahiti celebrated the 50th anniversary of those Bora Bora overwater huts – that were in fact born on the island of Raiatea to later develop in many more islands: Bora Bora, Moorea, Tahiti, Taha’a, Rangiroa and more.
These iconic bungalows have come a long way since their initial designs, but the principle remains the same: privacy, tranquility and crystal clear Pacific water. (Lonely Planet on Tahiti’s overwater bungalows)
Rangiroa Wedding – Photo Credit: AngelM
Talking about privacy and tranquility, did you know that French Polynesia (The Islands of Tahiti) consists of 5 archipelagos, and a total of 118 islands? Yep. While not all are inhabited, there is a crazy large choice of islands to visit and discover. The good news: most combine all the features you’ve been hoping for your Tahiti elopement:
Seclusion, Privacy, Experience.
Aren’t we now calling that social distancing, but like, on vacation? If you’ve been asking yourself any or all of the following, keep reading:
How Can I Do Social Distancing On Vacation?
Where Can I Fly To Marry Post Covid?
Is Eloping The Best Way To Marry?
If you ask me, my answers to these questions are :
- Social distancing on vacation? Choose a destination away from the crowds. Tahiti never feels crowded, even during busier months. Tahiti feels intimate, exclusive, yet super welcoming and inclusive (see what I did?) and you’ll never feel like you and other visitors at your Tahiti resort are too close together that you need to put into practice your Covid social distancing set of skills.
- Where can I fly to marry post Covid? Tahiti is the best destination to go on vacation at any given time! The hype about some destinations comes and goes. Tahiti has been welcoming visitors from around the world since 1960, and is here to stay. Some like to say this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience but I like to say once in Tahiti, forever in love with Tahiti. Couples I married in Moorea over the years have since returned to celebrate a 5-year anniversary, and I’m looking to seeing them again down the road to celebrate more anniversaries in our paradise islands. The best thing about Tahiti is that it is such a diverse destination that it feels like a new travel experience every. single. time.
- Is eloping the best way to marry? As a professional Life-Cycle Celebrant (Officiant) I am kinda biased but my answer to this is Yes, absolutely! More than ever these days, spending quality time with your bae, with your kids, with your loved ones, has become important. Making memories has become important. Paying attention has become important. Eloping in Tahiti is the best way to marry because you’ll be enjoying every minute of it, and making incredible memories in a place that emanates “MANA” (a word we use in Tahiti that translates into an energy, a life force, a presence).
Where Are The Best Private Wedding Locations In Tahiti To Hold A Beach Ceremony?
Sorry, but Bora Bora resorts are not going to make it to my list.
Don’t get me wrong, resorts on Bora Bora are beautiful. Beautiful grounds, beautiful rooms, beautiful surroundings.
Bora Bora however is the most visited island in French Polynesia, and with success come a few drawbacks: lack of privacy, not-so-authentic experience, cookie-cutter offers. When it comes to celebrating such an important life event as your wedding or a vow renewal in Tahiti, you don’t want to have onlookers, nor do you want to have the exact same ceremony another couple had this morning, or yesterday, and the day before that.
While Bora Bora is better known as the “romantic island”, there are many gorgeous islands in French Polynesia (The Islands of Tahiti) worth considering for your beach wedding ceremony, or mountain top ceremony… Moorea is the preferred island choice for those seeking adventure with plenty of activities available, Rangiroa or Fakarava are preferred choices for scuba divers, Huahine is very lush and authentic, and there are also gorgeous remote places in the Austral islands (southernmost archipelago) and in the Marquesas (northernmost archipelago).
[Between 2002-2007] I used to work with cruise ships in French Polynesia and to handling all of their calls in the islands; I would plan and coordinate shore excursions for the passengers and welcome programs everywhere in The Islands of Tahiti so I’ve visited those islands extensively.
Pass The Expensive Wedding Fees in Bora Bora, Get A Remote Location For Your Beach Wedding Ceremony In Moorea Instead
Some Bora Bora resorts will charge you wedding fees – even before you have actually booked any wedding service with them, just because. They will charge a location or venue fee to hold your beach wedding ceremony on the resort’s premises, which does not actually guarantee that you’ll be on your own on said beach, unless you go with the most expensive option to get a little more privacy on a beach located at the Spa for example, or a beach on an islet within the resort (where you’d sometimes still see other in-house guests in the distance). They will also charge you entrance fees when you bring in your own vendors, those vendors who understand your vision of the perfect beach wedding ceremony, and match your style.
With that money alone, you can rent a private beach or an islet off the main island of Moorea to hold your beach wedding ceremony, hire a private boat to get you there that will be yours for a couple of hours, and even get your dream ceremony altar! Talk about a next-level experience!
Beach Wedding in Moorea – Photo Credit: Helene Havard Photography
Interested in knowing what’s the cost of getting married in Tahiti and more precisely in Moorea? Head to this article:
How Much Does It Cost To Get Married in Tahiti
So getting married in Moorea is one option, or, if you’re more of the adventurous style of couple, you can use that money to fly your ceremony officiant and photographer to a more distant, remote island in The Islands of Tahiti. That could be a remote place in the Tuamotu archipelago (a divers’ paradise), in the Marquesas (nature lovers, the beauty of these islands are out of this world), in the Gambier or in the Australs’ archipelago (a humpback whales’ sanctuary in season). Flying yourself to these places will cost more than vacationing in the [closer-to-capital-island-Tahiti] Society Islands, but the amazingly unique experiences, incredible memories and photos that will come out of it are worth every penny.
We are based in Moorea but happy to meet you anywhere in the islands.
Here are my recommendations for a truly unique Tahiti secluded beach wedding or a vow renewal:
Wedding Locations in Tahiti: Ceremony in Rangiroa or Fakarava – Tuamotu Islands
The Tuamotu islands are any diver’s paradise. Snorkeling and diving there is just phenomenal! It’s super remote yet flying there from Tahiti is only 10 minutes more than flying to Bora Bora; a flight from Tahiti to Rangiroa lasts just an hour (with daily flights) and a flight from Tahiti to Fakarava is an hour and 10 minutes (with 3 flights a week).
In Rangiroa or in Fakarava, you can choose to stay either at a hotel/lodge, or at a family-run pension depending on how you like to be vacationing.
These islands are atolls, with no mountains at all, but huge lagoons (Rangiroa has the 3rd biggest lagoon in the world). That means, from the shore looking at the lagoon, you can’t see the end of it… it’s so big, and clear, and full of tropical fishes! Yet when you walk across towards the ocean-side, you can enjoy the sound of the waves breaking out on the reef. It’s so serene and you’ll find your own Tahiti secluded beach quite frankly anywhere!
But my fave secluded wedding locations are respectively the Blue Lagoon in Rangiroa (see here for more details and past elopement weddings – photo shootings in Rangiroa) and the South Pass – Pink Sands in Fakarava:
Fakarava - Ceremony in the South Pass and the Pink Sands in the MorningJoshua + Michelle | September 16, 2021© Helene Havard Photography & Flying World Pictures© Helene Havard Photography & Flying World Pictures
So, Why Not Having Your Vow Renewal or Wedding Ceremony in Fakarava?
Wedding Locations in Tahiti: Ceremony in Nuku Hiva or Hiva Oa – Marquesas Islands
The Marquesas archipelago is the northernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, with a flying time of a little over 3 hours from Tahiti (there’s a flight almost every day to Nuku Hiva). Much younger than the afore-mentioned Tuamotu islands that have sunk in the ocean overtime, the Marquesas feature impressive mountain peaks, sheer volcanic cliffs, huge waterfalls, and lush valleys. There you will encounter wild horses, goats or pigs as you drive or hike around. There are fjord-like bays and mostly black-sand beaches, too. The Marquesas islands are well-known for their rich culture and craftsmen who excel in the art of stone and wood carving to make sumptuous sculptures and tikis.
Engagement Photo Shooting in Hiva Oa by Helene Havard Photography
Wedding Locations in Tahiti: Ceremony in Rurutu – Austral Islands
The Austral islands are located in the south of French Polynesia, on the Tropic of Capricorn. There are two flights a week that go there and the trip is an hour and a half only. They are known for their handicraft, especially the weaving of coconut and pandanus leaves to make hats, purses, mats, and bags. While humpback whales are also present from July to November in the Society Islands (Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora, and Huahine to name just a few) the ocean that surrounds the Austral Islands is a favorite home to those whales during the season, and the ideal place to go watch them.
You know that I’m always up for something new so feel free to contact me if you’d like to hold your ceremony on one of the above islands, or anywhere in French Polynesia. I collaborate with great photographers who’re also ready to shoot new and unique images, just for you.
So, what’s your island choice for a Tahiti secluded beach wedding ceremony or a vow renewal ceremony?
** Last updated on February 10, 2022 **
Interested In More Incredible Wedding Locations In Tahiti? You May Want To Read Those Articles:
How About A Tahaa Wedding? Selected Best Tahiti Wedding Locations
3 Wedding Ceremony Locations In Tahiti You Would Never Think Of
How About A Rangiroa Wedding? Selected Best Tahiti Wedding Locations
Would You Like Me To Help You To Plan Your Tahiti Secluded Beach Wedding Ceremony, And Find Unique Locations For A Great Photoshoot? Contact Me To Get started.
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