Jessica and Jake were not going to get married in Moorea. They had their wedding plans all set for a Kauai elopement, but then Covid. Comes the month of August, and Hawaii announced that the borders would remain closed. And with that, Jessica and Jake’s vision of an ocean reef wedding went down the drain.
They were devastated, as were so many couples who have seen their wedding plans either cancel or postpone because of the pandemic.
Comes the hero photographer, Meg from Bradyhouse Photographers. She and husband Pete had spent a vacation in Moorea just a few months before, right before Covid stroke. They loved the island (who wouldn’t?) and so, they suggested to Jessica and Jake to book a last minute trip to Tahiti to keep their original wedding date and make it happen!
Borders in Tahiti had reopened in mid-July, and you can fly Los Angeles to Tahiti in less than 8 hours. That’s about the same as flying to Hawaii from the U.S. mainland.
Jessica and Jake jumped right in, and started planning their micro destination wedding in Tahiti from the ground up. The wedding was only 3 weeks away, and that’s when they reached out to me.
Here is part of what Jessica explained to me:
What we originally had planned is what we’d like to replicate on Moorea as much as we can. We had planned for a sunset cliff ceremony overlooking the water (love the idea being high up and overlooking the water and hearing the waves). […]
What we do need help with is not only having an unofficial officiant, recommendation for a gorgeous secluded ceremony location, recommendation for someone to do my hair and makeup, a bouquet with maybe some flowers for Jake and our two guests. We were originally having our Kauai officiant read a very authentic and spiritual ceremony. We did see the ceremony offered by our hotel in Moorea, Manava, but the traditional Tahitian ceremony did not align with what we were looking for. THEN we saw your classy website and had to reach out!
We don’t have cliffs overlooking the ocean in Moorea. I am however granted access to this gorgeous islet – clearly a gem location. There I can officiate my couples’ ceremonies on the reef-side when they envision an ocean reef wedding. How gorgeous and private is that?
Why An Ocean Reef Wedding At Sunset Was Preferred Over A Morning Beach Celebration
My only concern with Jessica & Jake’s plans was that their wedding date fell on a Sunday. While the island has been much quieter than normal during the pandemic, with way less visitors, it was still quite busy on weekends with locals crossing over from Tahiti for a quick beach gateway.
My recommendation is typically to favor a week day rather than a weekend day for the best privacy but Jessica and Jake had this date at heart.
The private islet reef-side location during golden hour was the most perfect, and one I had dreamed of using for an ocean reef wedding for quite some time. Jessica and Jake did some photos post ceremony both on the reef-side where the ceremony was held, but also on the beach side of the islet at sunset.
They had another photo session planned for the next morning where they went on a lovely catamaran tour, and did beach + water photos in the bright morning sun and vibrant colors, with no one to be seen around. I told you: Mondays are always quiet!
I said that before, but I am so so appreciative of my couples trusting me in developing and officiating their elopement ceremony in Moorea. In these challenging times with so many travel restrictions around the world, I felt even luckier as Jessica and Jake made the extra effort and pivoted from their Hawaii wedding plans entirely – and to be witnessing their destination do’s.
What first comes to mind when you think of your elopement or destination wedding in Tahiti? A wedding in Bora Bora of course! Why is that so? The United-States chose Bora Bora as a military supply base during WWII, and the small airstrip that was built on the island back then was the only international airport in the Islands of Tahiti for a long time – until the Faa’a International Airport was opened in 1960 on the capital island of Tahiti. With that, Tahiti has become a popular destination, and in recent years, the destination has seen an increasing number of Bora Bora weddings.
Those of you who have been following me on the Blog for some time know that I am from a hotel background. I went to hotel school at age 14 and studied hotel management, catering, cooking (yeah, if you know me on a personal level you can hardly believe that but yes, I could have become a Chef!), accounting and marketing all the way to a Master’s degree in Hotel Management & Marketing.
While I specialized in hotel management early on in my career, I worked pretty much every hotel & restaurant department including the front desk, reservations, accounting, bar, restaurant service & management and, in the kitchen as well.
I have been in the Islands of Tahiti since 2002 and worked executive positions in a Bora Bora resort (Le Bora Bora), next in a Huahine resort, and eventually life led me to Moorea where I was the General Manager & the Director of Sales & Marketing of a resort for 5 years. That is almost a decade working management positions in Tahiti resorts. I booked a number of destination weddings in Moorea over the years (not so much in Bora Bora as Bora Bora resorts were not as popular for weddings back then, and too expensive to consider bringing family and friends along + there was not such a thing as eloping in Tahiti just yet) so it is safe to say that I know my craft when it comes to booking your wedding at a resort in Tahiti.
Truth be told : the items listed in the above article are super accurate. But how is it any different when you book a resort wedding in Bora Bora, than it is when you book a regular vacation?
It’s been a number of years now that I’ve specialized as an independent Destination Wedding Planner in Tahiti and I’m seeing more and more couples reaching out to me frustrated after they’ve booked, or attempted to book their wedding at a Bora Bora resort only to find out they cannot have the wedding they want.
So here is my take on what I’ve seen being the top 3 frustrations couples shared with me :
Booking Your Wedding at a Bora Bora Resort :
Top 3 Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Are Making
Resorts in Bora Bora are gorgeous. Most of them offer excellent service and are totally great in what they do… but when it comes to planning the wedding of your dreams, not all offer the same level of service so, read on and consider those mistakes others did before you book your wedding at a Bora Bora resort.
Note that ALL quotes below are the exact wording I received from couples :
Mistake 1 of 3: Assuming 5* Resorts Will Provide Any Wedding Service For You
I want to get legally married in Bora Bora but the resort said that this is not their area of concern.
When we booked we had hoped that we could get everything done through the Bora Bora resort * wedding co-ordinator. Getting the legal ceremony done possibly in the morning and then having the proper ceremony at the resort in the late afternoon. The hope was that the Bora Bora resort * wedding co-ordinator would help us with the legal side (we see it as a formality in the morning with the real wedding being in the afternoon – ideally we could have done this all at once but it’s not possible as you can’t legally marry at the resort). We’ve now been informed that the Bora Bora resort * is unable to help us with any aspect of the legal wedding arrangements (disappointing for a 5 star resort) so we really need help with this.
The thing is, most resorts in Bora Bora (actually pretty much any Tahiti resort, or any resort around the world) have a great turnover and their so-called “Wedding Coordinators” or “Wedding Planners” do not necessarily have any sort of prior experience in planning weddings, and they’re simply trained to sell whatever services are listed on the wedding menu : ceremony A, B or C, a romantic dinner at the resort’s restaurant, a bed of flowers at turndown service.
So when it comes to the legalities they simply have no clue and will either tell you that it is extremely complicated to discourage you to legally marry in Tahiti (and to get them into doing something they have no experience with) or they will say the service is not available. Disappointing, huh?
That’s why you need me. Trust me on this one, you better not do this with your resort if they don’t know better than you do, as it will indeed feel complicated for everyone involved. Make yourself a favor (and avoid the headache) and either forego the entire legal part, or go with an experienced Legal Wedding Planner instead, so you can be confident that 1. your legal ceremony is happening 2. your wedding certificates will be valid back home.
Mistake 2 of 3: Assuming 5* Bora Bora Resorts Will Produce The Wedding Of Your Dreams
I have been going back and forth with the hotel. Now, they aren’t even allowing us to use the photographer of our choice. I’m outraged and still in the process of trying to work this out with them. I wish I would had known prior to booking with them. This is really ruining our special occasion.
The Bora Bora resort * was absolutely no help and just kept sending generic form letters back to answer my questions. Ultimately they just kicked me over to the concierge since we won’t have any food/guests.
The above were a couple who considered bringing me into their Bora Bora resort to officiate the ceremony they wanted, a personalized, bespoke ceremony that would be true to them. But they weren’t allowed to do so. They weren’t allowed to bring any other wedding vendors of their choice and had to stick with the resort’s wedding menu and contracted vendors. They were left disappointed to say the least, and eventually did not have the wedding ceremony and experience they envisioned.
Most recently, a bride of mine reached out saying the following :
I was excited when I came across your website. We have dreamed of having our wedding in Bora Bora for years. Starting to work with the Bora Bora resort * regarding day of arrangements, we realized we want our own traditions versus the Polynesian traditions. (Absolutely no offense to the Polynesian culture, we are just more of a simple, modern couple.) I connected with how personal you make the ceremony. How very special that would be! […] As of now, we have not been asked once by the hotel about our vision. It has more been a ‘check the box if you want this’ type of scenario. I would appreciate having someone there who can check on things, if need be.
Turned out, initial wedding plans made with the Bora Bora resort * were totally off the couple’s vision and wishes. Wrong style, wrong colors, wrong everything. But how would they know, without asking what the couple wanted? I worked hand-in-hand with the resort’s coordinator, and we adjusted plans to match the couple’s vision perfectly. Hooray!
Photo Credit : Neubek Photographers
Mistake 3 of 3: Not Accounting For The Higher Costs of a Wedding in Bora Bora
Bora Bora is gorgeous, and isolated, too. This one’s not really your fault as this is probably your first time planning a wedding in Bora Bora (and we hope the only time, next time we want to see you renew your vows in Tahiti!) but wedding services come at a cost, anywhere. In Bora Bora wedding services come at an even higher cost because nothing is readily available on the island. Think beautiful flowers are blooming all around? I’m sorry to break the news but this is not the case, and most flowers you’ll want in your bouquet or bouts are imported from New-Zealand to Tahiti, and then they need to be flown to Bora Bora, unless you go the standard, tropical flowers’ route.
On top of that, because we’re talking luxury resorts, big names, there will be a price tag attached to pretty much anything… and most things you would not even think about at the time you book your Bora Bora resort: there’s a cost for holding your ceremony at a specific location in the resort, a cost for spreading flower petals in the sand, a cost for taking you to the ceremony in an outrigger canoe, a cost for adding chairs if you want to seat your witnesses or guests… this adds up quickly so it is important that you review the wedding menu or romantic services list to get an idea of approximate costs you should budget for the wedding day before you book your resort in Bora Bora.
I was getting very frustrated and disheartened planning our wedding with the big resorts before I found you. You helped us come up with a plan that was best for us in so many ways and I truly appreciate it.
To sum it up, if you are contemplating a wedding in Bora Bora, choose your resort wisely, and better yet: reach out to me first so we can work together on making your Bora Bora wedding exactly the way you want!
Why Having A Wedding Planner In Moorea Is Best To Plan A Destination Wedding?
In normal circumstances, when you are this couple who wants a wedding in a destination location but don’t want to make decisions that typically come with planning a destination wedding or an elopement in Moorea – booking what’s often referred to as a “cookie-cutter” wedding with your resort’s tour desk might do just great for you. You simply confirm what package you want, and boom, you’re done. No discussing details, options, preferences, you get standard inclusions as listed on the menu, and just show up on the resort’s beach on the day.
Now think of not-so-normal circumstances (hello 2020!) when – that’s an extreme situation I agree but hell yeah, a worldwide pandemic made it very real for many couples, your resort shuts down and anyone or everyone you’ve talked to during the process is now MIA… not for days, not for weeks, but for months! No one to monitor and answer emails, no one to give you updates on what’s going on. Not their fault of course, some may have sadly been laid off, some others may still be at home unemployed… but the reality is that on the other end of the wire, you’re left on your own, and without a wedding.
This would not happen with a professional, independent wedding planner in Moorea (I’m talking about me, in case you wondered…) who will still be answering emails promptly, and taking actions promptly. Making it happen. Actually, a couple of mine recently included the following statement in their review of their experience marrying in Moorea in September 2020 :
When the pandemic strike and our travel plan became uncertain, Nelly reached out to offer assurance that all the vendors can accommodate a future date if we decide to postpone. We ended up downsizing our wedding to an even more intimate elopement with just us and two guests. Nelly was flexible with our change of plan, helped us with a few last-minute food and decor decisions, and gave us a detailed day-of itinerary. […] Nelly made this distance planning the easiest and most stress-free experience for us, and we’re so glad we found her so that we don’t have to settle for a resort wedding template.
Planning a wedding is challenging enough; planning one in a foreign country pretty much give many people anxiety. I wholeheartedly recommend Nelly to any bride who is considering a destination wedding in French Polynesia. Her service is worth every penny and saves you all the headaches and frustrations that I see from my other friends who planned their own weddings. Our friends and family are in awe of our unique wedding and we couldn’t have done it without Nelly’s help. Thanks Nelly!
Communication is key.
I also rescued two other couples who were let down by their resort(s) and completely at a loss as to what to do, who would not have had a wedding during their trip to Tahiti if we did not connect.
Back to “normal circumstances”, having a wedding planner in Moorea is best to plan a destination wedding (or an elopement) because : communication ! Most often, you will have a feeling of dis-connection with a resort’s wedding coordinator. Emails can go unanswered for days, sometimes weeks (trust me!) which can prove to be very frustrating in the long run.
If you are not yet convinced that hiring a wedding planner in Moorea is best for your sanity, I will now share with you some insights from real wedding pros, on what comes first to mind when they think of why hiring a wedding planner in Tahiti works best than relying on your Tahiti resort’s wedding coordinator.
This is all based on experience in various countries across the world, as this was shared in a group of international wedding planners that I am a part of (the only group member in Tahiti!):
The couple isn’t always guaranteed to have the person they expect and sometimes the venue coordinator isn’t there on the big day at all.
The venue coordinator is only concerned about the venue. They focus on getting u in and out and making u comfortable. They are not truly coordinating anything.
I’ve had a couple of onsite coordinators quit their jobs just before the event, so couples would have to start from scratch explaining their visions to the replacement. They’re usually thankful that they hired us.
They care about the venue. We can about the wedding as a whole.
They are comfortable with what they know. Very few look for new and different ways to use the venue. They know what works and very rarely go past that. You typically get the same experience that the bride last weekend got.
They usually aren’t there from start to finish. The turnover rate is so high!
There is often little communication between venue managers about each couple. If one quits, their notes usually go with them, which puts couples at a distinct disadvantage. I don’t think it’s malicious, but I’ve seen it happen on several occasions.
The venue is their specialty. Not logistics, vendors, execution, timeline, decorating and packing up, etc. That’s OUR specialty. They are hired by and acting on behalf of the venue whereas we are hired by and acting on behalf of the bride.
So, bottom line is, the venue coordinator is a representative for the venue. They’re great at staying on top of the staff, the space, etc., and can also help with some of the set-up, but you’re not their only clients for the day. The resort is full of other clients who also require their attention, they may even have several weddings in a single day.
The venue wedding coordinator is your venue contact / go-to person while at the venue but don’t expect him/her to stay by your side from start to finish.
As an independent wedding planner in Moorea, I will act as a liaison between all of your wedding vendors, as well as work with a very detailed timeline for the wedding day that every hired vendor will receive ahead of time from me; everyone will be on the same page and will know what happens and when. Of course, I’ll also coordinate with your resort’s staff as needed.
Working with your resort’s wedding coordinator might work just fine in most cases, if you go with their pre-established wedding packages and don’t differ too much from what they normally do. However, if you don’t want to settle with a cookie-cutter resort package, you might want to consider hiring a wedding planner in Tahiti.
Pilar & Jerry live in Modesto, CA. They reached out to me 19 months before their planned wedding date of November 24, 2019 so we started the conversation back in April of 2018. Pilar said that she had been researching places to have her wedding in French Polynesia and originally wanted Bora Bora in a resort. She however had recently seen some images of people getting married on what looked like the top of a mountain, with a beautiful green background and her fiancé Jerry loved the idea. She was looking to get a wedding planner to help her with ideas, places she could possibly do a ceremony like that, saying that her fiancé and her wanted something super private just them, a beautiful altar, and their officiant.
The images she had seen were absolutely of one of my ceremonies up the Belvedere lookout in Moorea, where I have been officiating a number of weddings and vow renewals over the years.
If that sounds like something you would also like for your celebration in Moorea, you can head to the following real wedding stories on the blog:
Why A Sunrise Beach Ceremony Was Preferred Over A Mountain Top Wedding?
My only concern with Pilar & Jerry’s plans of having a wedding on the top of a mountain was that their wedding date fell on a Sunday. While it is most common to marry on weekends when you have a home wedding – I mean, you want your guests to be off work, and to be able to rest the next day so you’d usually get married on a Saturday, you are free to marry any day of the week when you elope. No guests, no considerations of others’ availability, no pressure whatsoever.
So my recommendation is actually to favor a week day rather than a weekend day. Why? Because like Pilar and Jerry you’ll likely want something super private, with just the two of you in a beautiful scenery.
Whether you’re getting married on the beach or up a mountain, with weekends come the crowds (not that it is ever really busy in here, but still, you preferably don’t want to have any onlookers during your ceremony) and a public space – like the Belvedere in Moorea or a beach, will see an influx of visitors with peaks on weekends when locals also go hiking, cycling, swimming, snorkeling etc.
The date of November 24 was very important to Pilar and Jerry, so in order to guarantee privacy during the ceremony, they finally opted for a private islet beach at sunrise… and sunrise in November is, I let you guess, at 5am (Summer time in here!).
We would then hold their ceremony on the beach in the wee hours, and they would go shoot photos up the Belvedere next, when the lighting is absolutely amazing over the lush mountains.
Pilar & Jerry traveled with a friend of them who did Pilar’s make-up and hair at their resort. Meanwhile, we set up their floral ceremony space in the pitch dark of an almost moonless night, because that’s how much we wedding vendors care to deliver the dream experience our couples have traveled so far for.
It was a little overcast on that day but even so, the colors you can get in the photos, and the privacy, are well worth the effort!
I handed out her gorgeous bouquet to Pilar as she and Jerry arrived at the beach, she pined Jerry’s boutonnière and we went on to proceeding with their sunrise ceremony!
The sun rose in the background during the ceremony, and while they exchanged their personal vows.
I said that before, but I am so appreciative of my couples trusting me in developing and officiating their ceremony in Moorea. And when we can also witness such beauty and peacefulness all while marrying couples, I feel even luckier to be doing what I do.
Pop-up weddings have been around for some years now… you’ve maybe heard of them, but wonder, what is a pop-up wedding and how is it any different from eloping to Tahiti? If you’re contemplating a fancy elopement and personalized wedding experience in Moorea, please keep reading to understand what the difference is between a pop-up wedding and an elopement wedding.
What Is A Pop-Up Wedding? Is This Any Different From Eloping To Tahiti?
If you start digging the Internet world (aka Googling) the term pop-up wedding, you’ll quickly find out that there is not just one definition of what that is, but rather several variations of so-called pop-up weddings. Although not all pop-up weddings are structured the same, the one common trait they have is that are easy to put together and they are less expensive!
So What Sorts Of Pop-Up Weddings Are Out There And Who Are They For?
The Collective Wedding… Not A Mass Wedding
(the styled but non-personal wedding experience)
Yes there are mass weddings organized in some places where you marry at the same time as dozens (sometimes hundreds) of other couples… romantic, huh? But a most fancy version of this is when you pick a select date and location and “share the expenses of a stylish, professional, awesome elopement with some other couples but without compromising the awesomeness of the day and without taking away from the real and special moment that is [your] wedding” so “It is not a mass wedding, and no-one else is getting married at the same time or place as you.” Phew! There you have it.
So basically you get an hour time slot with reputable wedding professionals at a select venue to have a short and sweet wedding ceremony, a simply styled bouquet for the bride and photography. Don’t get there early as there will be a couple just before you, and don’t expect to take more time as there will be another couple on the hour after you. Some companies have specialized in those pop-up weddings across Australia but it has started spreading in other regions across the world. A marriage and photos, as simple as that. Then you’re off to whatever or wherever you want!
The Fancy Elopement To Tahiti… A Perfectly Arranged Small Wedding
(the styled and highly personalized wedding experience)
This is the perfect choice for couples who love to travel as it combines visiting a destination and marrying at the locale. This is also perfect for those who do not want to spend months (and lose their sanity) orchestrating a large event. You’ll work with a single person (hint: you can plan a fancy elopement in Tahiti with me) who will find the coolest of ceremony locations for you, one that is true to your couple, the hottest photographer and/or videographer (have you heard of drone wedding photos in Tahiti? Yeah, I can get that for you), a rocking hair stylist and make-up artist, pretty florals and a super creative celebrant who will develop a ceremony that is just about you and the love you share (hint: that’s me again). So basically you’re only responsible for what you will be wearing on the day and the rings… easy, right?
It is a very stress-free solution and the price is always right; you don’t have to worry about a thing, just relax and enjoy, the day is yours! Oh and you’re welcome to bring a few guests along.
Will It Be Just The Two Of You At Your Ceremony In Moorea? Will There Be Guests In Attendance?
Either way, remember that you’re marrying in Tahiti and that the décor is already there!
Take advantage of the stunning surroundings and don’t overdo the ceremony space décor.
What you will want is to materialize your ceremony space, either by having some flower petals or lovely blooms scattered on the ground/sand (marking the space where you will stand to say your I dos), or by having floral arrangements on either side or an altar to create a nice focal point of the sacred space.
Here Are 4 Creative and Easy Ways To Decorate Your Moorea Ceremony:
Same as above, using lanterns of varying size and shapes either on both sides of your sacred space, or on just one side to balance another decor/space element. You can either fill them with flowers for a daytime ceremony, or light up candles at sunset, these can go in the sand, or hanging in a tree…
If you’re thinking of having an arch or altar for your Moorea ceremony, you can head to Weddings in Moorea’s website for inspo and their latest designs’ pictures / custom-made altars in Moorea, and you may also be interested in reading this blog post on the same topic :
Unity Ritual Series : Ideas For Your Ceremony In Tahiti
I’m all for personalized ceremonies, y’all know it!
When I work and develop your ceremony in Tahiti (read more about my bespoke ceremonies here), in addition to incorporating your love story and to write a ceremony that feels true to your couple, I like to always add a unity ritual.
While I often do a wrists tying with a Ti leaf, a plant sacred to Tahitians that gives your Western-style ceremony in Tahiti a local feel / special Tahitian touch, there are plenty of different unity rituals to choose from.
Unity Sand Ceremony In Tahiti
One that works very well for a ceremony in Tahiti and especially in the outdoors, is the Sand Ceremony more commonly called the Unity Sand Ceremony.
Much like a unity candle that you’re probably familiar with, a unity sand ceremony symbolizes the two families merging together through the joining of the couple in marriage. The way it works is that the couple pours sand of two different colors – I like to do white & black sand of Tahiti, or we can do pink and black sand as well using pink sand from the Tuamotu atolls – into a common vessel; this is symbolizing the blending of the two individuals into an inseparable union that is their marriage.
Then, when you have guests attending the ceremony, we can also have them come and pour some more sand into your vessel, symbolizing the importance of their presence on the wedding day.
The cool thing with a unity sand ceremony in Tahiti is that it works wonders in the outdoors and is not too difficult to manage even with a light breeze, you can choose your own colors if you’d like, and this is a lovely memento to bring back home and to keep.
(with this type of sand ceremony kit you can actually frame photos of the day on each side, kinda cool, right?)
My recommendations for a unity sand ceremony in Tahiti is that you make sure that the sand is perfectly dry (if you think of collecting the sand on the beach the day before or the morning of for example, it is likely that there will be some humidity in it and it won’t pour well into the vessel) – if I’m doing your ceremony in Tahiti I’ll of course provide dried sand for you, and also that whatever sand ceremony kit you’ll be using, the main vessel can be hermetically sealed to transport safely back home in your suitcase… you wouldn’t want the sand to spill all over your clothes and the lovely sand design to be lost forever.
Today you join your lives together
Promising to walk side by side
Heading in the same direction
Into your future.
You promise to carry each other’s hearts
In the palms of your hands
With tender loving care
As you journey through the trials and triumphs of life
That lie ahead of you.
Now, take your individual vessels of sand
Representing your lives from birth to this day.
[couple starts pouring the sands]
As you pour them into the central container
Representing your shared union,
You are symbolically blending your individual lives
Into a marriage partnership –
Walking the road of life together
From this day forward.
Just as these grains of sand can never be separated,
So too may you be united in love
For the rest of your lives.
More Unity Ritual Ideas For Your Ceremony in Tahiti:
Let me start this post with some facts: temperature in the Islands of Tahiti averages about 79 ° F year-round, both the air temperature and the water temperature! That’s pretty cool, uh?
We are a tropical destination blessed with a lot of sun, and well, a bit of rain, too. You wouldn’t think that it can be this luxuriant and green and flowers everywhere with no rain at all? Right?
So now you wonder: “What if it rains on my wedding day?!??”
Here is a cool chart courtesy of Tahiti Tourisme that compares Tahiti vs. Hawaii:
Can you believe that Tahiti gets only half as much rain than Hawaii? There is twice as much chances to get rain on your wedding day in Hawaii than there is in Tahiti! So we can safely say…
Chances Are Big That It Will Be Sunny, But What If It Rains On Your Wedding Day?
Mother Nature is Queen.
Sure, having a plan B for rain doesn’t take as much on great importance in Tahiti than if you were marrying… I don’t know, say in Louisiana. But still, if you don’t carefully consider what effect a rainy weather could potentially have on your wedding day at your specific location, you can end up stressing out like crazy in the days leading up to the wedding and worst, on your wedding day.
So before you choose your venue or ceremony location, consider the worst case scenario.
What if it rains on my wedding day? What if it is blistering hot?
Don’t simply go with what weather you’re supposed to be having… climate change is no joke. You may come across online literature that says we have a rainy season in Tahiti, and a dry season. This used to be true (and, to a certain extent, still holds true: our Summer months from December to February do get way more rain than any other time of the year) but I have not seen a DRY season for years (with no rain at all for months, and water shortage in some areas of the island, like we often had a few years ago). Rain showers are a norm all throughout the year, but more often than not, they’re just that: quick showers.
Make sure that you are comfortable with your ceremony and reception location in EVERY possible situation.
Maya & Stefano’s Destination Wedding in Moorea (April)
Your Wedding Photos On A Rainy Day In Tahiti Can Be Damn Cool
My point is, whatever the weather, you’ll have a fantastic time because rain or shine, you’ll be bursting with love and happiness on your wedding day; rain or shine, Tahiti looks beautiful; rain or shine, at the end of the day, you’ll be married to your other half, and that’s what matters.
Lauri & Nick’s Destination Wedding in Moorea (October)
Here are 5 tips to make sure your wedding day in Tahiti is absolutely amazing whatever the weather:
1. Be decisive
Do not agonize over what you’re going to do about, or how you’re going to cope with, the rain. Decide early on what you want to do if it’s raining and stick to it.
You’ll not want to wait until the last minute to make a decision. I’d usually play on the safe side (that’s the Cartesian me) but if you do not want to compromise with the outdoor ceremony and have it no matter what, make a decision, (purchase umbrellas if you have not planned for a tent), and stick with the idea.
2. Trust your vendors
You hired professionals for a reason. They know their craft, they know your venue, so they will make it happen, rain or shine. This is where having an experienced wedding planner and photographer really makes a difference!
3. Be prepared
This either means purchasing matching umbrellas for your guests, or having a tent ordered and delivered to your location (remember quick deliveries take an all new meaning when you’re in Tahiti, where logistics are a little more difficult than anywhere else), or at the minimum communicating with your guests so that they also get prepared (and wear adequate clothing and shoes).
4. Embrace it
The forecast says there’s a 100% chance you’re going to get wet, now what? You’re in Tahiti! Have fun!
5. Appreciate it
I know photographers who LOVE shooting inclement weather days… you’ll get so many fantastic photo opportunities and also great things happen on rainy days… gorgeous sunsets!
Photo Credit: Helene Havard
** last updated on March 25, 2019 **
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When giving an initial thought to your planned renewal of vows or wedding ceremony in Moorea, what usually comes to mind is an afternoon celebration. But is that really the best time for a ceremony in Moorea?
Traditional weddings are typically held in the late afternoon after all, to be immediately followed by a cocktail hour and the wedding reception.
That’s what we all know from the home weddings we’ve attended as guests.
But your ceremony in Moorea won’t be quite like a home wedding since for one it will be in Moorea (yeah!) and second there won’t be any guests if you’re eloping… and let me take a guess:
You Want A Very Private Ceremony In Moorea, Right?
Most couples come to me with the idea of having a private ceremony in Moorea, just the two of them, on an empty beach [or whatever place they’d see themselves exchanging I do’s at].
Sometimes they are considering a wedding at their resort – which means in most places no privacy at all – sometimes they know that they don’t want the cookie-cutter resort wedding package (and all the onlookers that usually come with the package but are not listed in the package!) but what they don’t realize is that the dreamy empty beach they envision for their wedding in Moorea is more than just stopping at any beach, at any time.
An empty beach or a quiet location requires planning, connections and experience. In most cases it also comes with a cost (because one has to rake that beach to make it beautiful for your ceremony and your photos, and the most gorgeous beaches on Moorea are located off the main island and require a quick boat ride to get there).
I Know Exactly What The Best Places Are, And What The Best Time For A Ceremony In Moorea Is.
Sunrise Ceremony in Moorea:
One for the early risers! Best is to stay on the Eastern side of the island to be the closest possible to the location where the ceremony will be held. It means waking up extra early but the magic of a sunrise and the privacy is well worth the effort! Best of all it’s free!
From March to September, a sunrise ceremony in Moorea will take place between 6am and 6:30am depending on your date, and from October to December it will be between 5:15am and 5:45am.
And in case you wonder, yes we’re all happy – hair stylist, make-up artist, and me – to meet you while it’s still dark to get you pampered and looking gorgeous for the photos. We’re in this industry for a reason and we know what it takes to capture these first rays of sun!
Morning Ceremony in Moorea:
The morning is when you can capture those bright colors, many shades of blue you often see in the brochures. In order to ensure the best privacy for your ceremony, I recommend holding it before 9am, before visitors start getting out and around (and in your photos).
Photo Credit: Helene Havard (Wedding Ceremony incl. the traditional Polynesian blessings)
Afternoon ~ Sunset Ceremony in Moorea:
An afternoon or sunset ceremony in Moorea is the trickiest as this is the time of the day which is the busiest when everyone is out sunbathing and enjoying the lagoon. Colors in the afternoon also tend to be softer/whiter with less contrast between the lagoon and the sky, turning yellowish/orange as we get closer to sunset. That means a location on the Western side of the island would be preferred for best lighting.
Photo Credit: Jean-Philippe Yuam (Wedding Ceremony of a Western-style)
I’m here to help you figure out what will work best for you, depending on where you’ll be staying in Moorea, what photos and/or video you’d like to be done on the day, and also according to the location you have in mind, whether it be a beach, a mountain lookout, pineapple fields etc.
Do You Need Help Planning Your Ceremony In Moorea? Contact Me Here To Get Started!
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Among (some of) the misconceptions lots of people have about Tahiti, is the idea that all flowers are available in Tahiti. It is true that most islands are very luxuriant (with the exception of the Tuamotu islands which are atolls and have very little vegetation) and that Tahitian women all wear flowers in their hair or on the ear… so wedding flowers in Tahiti should be the least difficult thing to supply, right?
Well we actually only have tropical flowers in here, which makes sense if you think about it – we are under a tropical climate – so that makes your options kind of very limited, a handful of flower varieties really.
And no, there is no floral shop in Moorea… there are barely 3 tiny floral shops in Tahiti, the capital island, where I’ll get my florist vendors to work something as close as possible to your wedding accent color and/or preferred style for your flowers. We can’t however produce anything like those amazing bridal bouquets that are all over Pinterest & Instagram, all designed with very delicate flowers and incredible color palettes, because we don’t have any of these in here, and shipping flowers to Tahiti often always brings its share of surprises.
Tropical bouquets come in different sizes and shapes, as you can see above with a round bouquet (made of anthuriums, proteas and orchids), a cascading bouquet (made of gardenias and dendrobium orchids), and an oversized bouquet (made of anthuriums and tropical leaves/greeneries).
When popular wedding flowers such as peonies or ranunculus (my favorite!) are in season in New-Zealand, we of course jump at the opportunity to bring those beauties to our brides bouquets in Tahiti!
Interested in what a wedding bouquet costs in Tahiti? Head here.