I have always been a strong believer in philanthropy.
Many would think that philanthropy is a thing of fortune people who can donate huge amounts of money to foundations or organizations helping less fortunate people. But really, anyone can help to better humanity.
Philanthropy does not necessarily need to be all financially driven and to take the form of direct donations to charities, philanthropy is also volunteering at your local shelter, or donating your time and expertise to nonprofit groups to help implementing solutions to social problems.
Traveling overseas to have a destination wedding in Tahiti, and marrying in Moorea, is likely to be an experience of a lifetime. When doing so, and when traveling the world in general, you are given little opportunities to contribute to the conservation of the place you are visiting.
Tahiti is a gorgeous place that I am lucky to call home, and we all want to keep it that way for generations to come, and of course, for all future visitors to Tahiti.
So When Marrying With Us You Will Be Giving Back To The Moorea Community. How?
For every ceremony booked with me (whether you are marrying in Moorea or in the outer islands), a percentage of my fees will automatically go to one of two local non-profit organizations I support, and that I feel are doing an amazing preservation job in Moorea.
Eimeo Animara (caring for stray animals and finding them forever homes)
Stray animals is a real problem in the islands. All too often, litters of pups are being abandoned on the road side, in trash bins, and any place in between. Eimeo Animara is doing an exceptional job trying to rescue as many as possible, care for them, neuter them, find them foster families, and for the lucky ones, forever homes.
This is a subject close to my heart, as we’ve ourselves rescued one of those puppies a few years back, a little “Moorea-sheperd” who was abandoned with the rest of the litter in a cardboard box on the road side, condemned to a tragic destiny. Hina has become part of our family, and we just cannot imagine what her life would have been should we have not adopted her. There are so many Hina’s around the island needing help and care.
Tahiti is perfect. No, I mean really. Not only is it a super cool environment for a destination wedding, but it is also considered the most romantic honeymoon location in the world. Hey, not just me saying, but a Brides-TripAdvisor survey of hundreds of travelers who determined top destinations for the “Brides Best Honeymoon” awards, and guess what? The Islands of Tahiti ranked #1 for the best honeymoons!
Photo Credit: TT – Gregoire Le Bacon
There’s a reason the overwater bungalow was invented here.
A Dream Destination Wedding Coupled With An Amazing Honeymoon In Tahiti, All In One Trip.
Back in May 2015, I welcomed Jess on the blog.
Jess had been exploring every corner of our globe for over 3 years (and counting back then) and shared with us her take on honeymooning in the Islands of Tahiti.
The Dos And Don’ts For The Best Honeymoons in Tahiti
Tahiti is one of over a hundred volcanic islands that make up French Polynesia in the South Pacific. It’s a special place for anyone—Tahiti is widely-considered to be one of the most beautiful locations in the world (it is!), with stunning landscapes and fascinating culture. But it’s especially popular with honeymooners, who love Tahiti’s temperate weather, scenic photo backdrops, and secluded beaches.
Here it goes:
DObudget accordingly—and expect that it’s going to be expensive. We’re talking about one of the prime honeymoon destinations in the world here, and you’ll pay for a room with a view. If you’re not careful, your trip to Tahiti could set you back many thousands of dollars. That said…
DON’T be turned off by the price tag. One option would be to set up a honeymoon registry: rather than asking wedding guests to buy gifts, have them chip in towards your honeymoon. Here’s a good example. If you visit during off-season, you’ll usually find that prices are a bit more reasonable.
Photo Credit: TT – Ty Sawyer
DO stay in an overwater bungalow if you can (at least for one night). Come on, you have one chance to have the perfect honeymoon; set the scene for it. Believe it or not, you can find beautiful overwater bungalows for decent rates, especially if you go during the off-season (particularly in March or April).
DON’T stay in the capital city, Papeete, if you’re looking for that idyllic honeymoon experience. It’s the largest city of French Polynesia, and although it offers some good shopping, it’s not as secluded as some of the other spots on the island. You’re better off getting out to one of the smaller resorts.
DO get out and explore. There are plenty of waterfront activities to partake in, from snorkeling to surfing to swimming with dolphins and more, or you can stay dry and head out hiking or four-wheeling. And of course, spending the whole day relaxing on a beach is always a great option!
DO grab a lei or shell necklace. It may be a bit kitschy, but hey, what better reminder of the fact that you’re on an island honeymoon. Also, it’ll look great in all your beach photos.
Photo Credit: TT – Gregoire Le Bacon
DON’T make the mistake of buying expensive imitation black pearls made of glass or fiberglass. If you’re looking to buy black pearls, know that shops selling authentic pearls should have a certificate on the wall providing proof of their legitimacy.
DO try poisson cru, a local dish made with raw fish doused with lime juice and coconut and mixed with vegetables. It’s made with different types of fish and accompaniments and is a very light and refreshing dish, so try it in a couple different places. Also keep your eyes peeled for the scrumptious arrays of fresh fruit.
DON’T blow your whole budget on food. Some of the restaurants, especially in Papeete, can charge pretty hefty prices. Instead, check out roulottes, or food trucks, for everything from Chinese food to crêpes. Also, it’s part of French Polynesia—expect to find cheap baguettes and baguette sandwiches that make for great picnic food.
DON’T plan too much into your schedule. You’re going on your honeymoon; part of your time in Tahiti should be spent in pampering, relaxation, and spending time with your new partner. It’s okay to take time cuddling and watching Netflix in your room sometimes—use a virtual proxy network to hide your true location and Netflix’s geo-restrictions won’t cause you any problems.
Whether you plan to spend your honeymoon lazing around on a beach or want to get out and do things, Tahiti and its islands have a little something for everyone. With a honeymoon in Tahiti, you’re sure to feel like you’re beginning your happily-ever-after together. If you’ve ever imagined a tropical honeymoon, Tahiti is probably the place you’ve imagined—just get ready for it to be better in person that it ever was in your dreams!
Planning Your Wedding Or Vow Renewal Celebration In Moorea?
Today I am re-sharing a sample 24-hour itinerary for one of Tahiti’s most popular island: Moorea.
You’ll be spending a few days there either before or after your celebration in Moorea, so don’t shy away from visiting the island and venture out!
Moorea is for the adventurous with lots of things to do and see and below are (just a few of) the not-to-be-missed when you visit, updated from my original post from 2 years ago.
Sunrises in the Islands of Tahiti can be just as gorgeous as sunsets… seriously; zen out as the rising sun casts a pink hue across the lagoon and the horizon. You’re on vacation and probably want to sleep in, I get it… but, don’t we say that the early bird catches the worm? Here’s proof that a Tahiti sunrise is well worth the effort (photo taken from a smartphone, on the North-Western side of Moorea, no editing to the original):
The sun is up, greet the day by gliding over the calm lagoon waters on a paddle board; as the waters lap against your board, you will feel a sense of great empowerment. The wind can sometimes pick up a bit in the late morning (especially during our Winter time in Tahiti from June to September) and going early in the day makes the exercise easier when you’re a novice at stand up paddling.
Photo Credit : Tahiti Tourisme – Gregoire Le Bacon
Now, energize yourself with a local breakfast: cut fresh pineapple – Moorea is the pineapple island, coconut bread, “pua’a roti” (small pieces of roasted porc) and/or caught fresh locally fish specialties such as the Tahitian style raw tuna fish with coconut milk. Super delicious!
Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme – Tim McKenna
Take a hike up the Belvedere. On the way you’ll find interesting ancient “mara’e” (sacred temples) as well as the island’s agricultural school where you can take a break and enjoy a home-made sherbet or ice-cream (ginger is exceptional, and my absolute favorite!) or taste a selection of locally produced jams. Walk a little further up and enjoy the stunning view over the two bays. Don’t forget to snap a selfie while you’re up there! Stroll hand in hand down through the agricultural school’s domain which has lovely walking tracks through fruit trees plantations, pineapple fields and other endemic species.
Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme – Philippe Bacchet
Always pack a hat, sunscreen, mosquito repellent and sufficient water when you venture off on a hike, and wear comfortable shoes. BTW there are plenty of amazing hikes to the interior of the island, most are in the shade of the forest and signage has been tremendously improved this past year. However, we recommend that you always go with a professional guide (or someone who knows his/her way perfectly) for anything beyond the easy “fitness trail”, as most paths very much look alike; I go hiking pretty often and I wouldn’t be able to find my way on my own, this takes experience believe me (hum, just like planning weddings)!
Drive to the East to travellers’ and locals’ favourite: Snack Mahana. Cool off at this seaside casual place with a local Hinano beer or a freshly squizzed pineapple juice, and load yourself up with energy by ordering one of their fish specialties (they have burgers, too). You better be patient as it can take a while for your order to be processed but it is well worth the wait. Make sure you bring cash as they do not accept credit cards (also note that the place is closed on Sunday).
Just 5 minutes away is the home of the Dolphin Center. They have programs several times a day, with one starting at 3:15pm. Whether you take a program and get into the water, or admire the bottlenose dolphins zooming around their own lagoon from the former resort’s over the water bridges, we bet that you’ll be compulsively Instagramming their impressive jumps and flips in the water.
Photo Credit: Dolphin Center
This former resort is also home to a Sea Turtles Clinic that provides medical care to turtles found sick, wounded, mutilated or seized by the authorities. This is a great cause that you can support with a donation to the foundation if you care about these lovelies, so don’t forget to stop and say hi to them.
You can now stroll the boho boutiques and galleries of Le Petit Village in Haapiti, immersing yourselves in authentic Tahitian style with a large selection of pareos, sculptures, black pearls and more souvenirs from Moorea.
Photo Credit: Tahiti Tourisme – Gregoire Le Bacon
Head back west to catch the sunset as you sip a Maitai cocktail or a glass of wine (the wine cellar is amazing!) at the Holy Steak House, another locals’ favorite. Their outside garden patio and lounge bar are just so lovely that you will not want to leave and might decide to have dinner there, to end your day as blissed out as it began.
The Holy restaurant is renowned for serving exceptional meat from NZ cattle grown outdoor and grass-fed, the very best meat restaurant around. Try their mashed potatoes with chorizo as the side to your course, it’s excellent! Oh and the good news is that they also accommodate vegetarian folks.
Maybe you’ll get married in Bora Bora or maybe you’ll spend your honeymoon in Bora Bora, or maybe you’re just doing both and having a weddingmoon… Bora Bora is gorgeous and one thing for sure, you will want your Bora Bora photos to reflect just that. Talking of getting married in Bora Bora, here’s an article you may want to read as well where I share some tips and mistakes to avoid when booking your wedding at a Bora Bora resort.
So I’ve asked Ben & Chelsea, from Tennessee, who recently spent their honeymoon in Bora Bora, why they chose to do their Bora Bora photos off their resort. This lovely couple reached out to me to find a photographer who would match their style and take photos of them on the island. Not photos of their resort, but of the island.
Ben & Chelsea’s Bora Bora Photos Off Their Resort
1. Why Did You Want To Do A Photoshoot On The Island Rather Than The Traditional Resort Photoshoot?
No matter where we went on the island it had a spectacular view of either the mountain or the ocean and we wanted to take advantage of that. Yes, our resort was spectacular but we saw that every day we were there and our own personal photos were from there as well, and we wanted something different. We really didn’t know what we were getting into for the photo shoot but it turned out to be the best decision we made. We did not have a plan on the locations we would go given we had never been there but the photographer was very knowledgeable about the island and already had some locations picked out that gave us different looks in the photographs. Instead of seeing one view of the mountain we got 2 different views. Bora Bora is known for its spectacular blue waters, but what most people don’t realize is the different shades of blue throughout the island. Since we went off the resort we have every shade of blue water in our pictures, ranging from the deep blue from the dock photos facing the mountain, all the way from the crystal light blue waters from the shots off the end of the resort dock facing the ocean. If we would have stayed at the resort we would have only gotten the shade of blue at the resort, which would have been fine but this was definitely the better way to go about it.
2. Can You Describe The Morning Of The Photoshoot To Us?
How Did You Get Organized With Your Photographer And What Places Did You Visit?
It was fairly easy setting up the meeting with the photographer. We were staying at the Intercontinental Thalasso, so we were not on the main island. Intercontinental has a resort on the main island as well so our shuttle dropped us off there and that is where we met her. We started off getting some photos from the end of the resort docks looking out to the ocean as well as the mountain. The water there was spectacular and the view of the mountain was perfect for what we wanted. We went to the two different ends of the dock to give us different looks. The resort was situated next to a public beach that is well known on the island so we walked there first. This gave us a look at the ocean from the beach without any huts in the way, and the pictures were spectacular. We stayed there for a short while working our way up and down the beach a bit before heading out to a small dock across from Bloody Mary’s bar. This location gave us a great, but very different, view of the mountain as well as a deep dark blue from the ocean. From there we made another stop on a different beach between the dock and our resort. This was great because it gave us another view of the ocean from a different beach.
3. Do You Have Recommendations For Other Couples Considering Doing A Photoshoot Off Their Resort?
I highly suggest going off the resort for at least some of the shoot. We are very happy how the pictures turned out and would highly recommend going to a few different locations on the island. This gives you a big range of photographs that you will not be disappointed with. Anywhere you go on the island has gorgeous views so why not take advantage of that? When you do go be sure to bring a spare towel as well as something to cover yourself up with between shots. We decided not to put on sunscreen given we did not want the oily look in our pictures, the pictures turned out great but we both got a little sunburned towards the end of the shoot. Bring water and be prepared to do a little walking but in the end you will not regret seeing the island and getting photos from all different spots!