Sachiko & Ken live in California, and they’ve always wanted to go to Tahiti.
They love the crystal blue waters and the mountains, Ken loves scuba diving, Sachiko danced hula for over 20 years, but since they’ve been to Hawaii before, they decided on an intimate destination wedding in Moorea.
They chose Moorea, a small heart-shaped island in French Polynesia, as the place where after 15 years of being in love and happy together, they would finally become one married couple.
Thirteen of their closest ones joined them in Tahiti for the wedding.
On the wedding day, we went to the City Hall first – Sachiko, Ken, Sachiko’s two brothers who were acting as the two mandatory witnesses, and myself – for the legal celebration by a Mayor’s representative (in France, and as such in Tahiti, only a ceremony taking place before an official at the City Hall is deemed legal). This is a rather quick ceremony which really just consists of the reading of some articles from the French Civil Code and the signing of the registry, and we then drove back to their resort located a few minutes away, to get Sachiko’s hair & make-up done.
Sachiko & Ken wanted to do a photo and video shooting up the Belvedere lookout (over the two bays of Moorea) as well as in the tropical forest, so they first did a “first look” outside of their bungalow when Ken discovered his bride in her beautiful dress, and they then left with their photographer and videographer for a couple hours.
It was a rather windy day (which is typical for September) and the morning clear and sunny sky turned cloudy and overcast in the afternoon… I often tell my couples that the weather in Tahiti is very unpredictable and changes super quickly. This is why it is very important to always have a back-up plan both for the ceremony, and for the dinner if/when planned outdoors. That being said, in the past 5 years we’ve never had to relocate any outdoor ceremony, until that day.
The altar had been set up and anchored on the beach in the morning (remember, it was all clear and sunny, and reports were looking good for the day) and only the floral arrangements remained to be hung on the altar just before the ceremony so that the flowers would look beautiful. However about an hour before the ceremony was to start, the skies got really threatening and we feared that it would start raining during the ceremony, which would have interrupted the flow of the day.
So the decision was made to move the ceremony in a covered space (but still open air with a view), and to also move the altar although we now had less than an hour to set up everything (altar, chairs, and florals) when it took more than two hours in the morning for the altar alone, and we would have ideally needed 45 minutes to hang all the florals in the most perfect way… thankfully we received some help from Franck our Tahitian Master of Ceremony and his boys, who were already on site, and we made it happen!
Sachiko & Ken’s personal wedding ceremony included the traditional Tahitian blessings, as well as a unity sand ritual, which consists of mixing sands of different colors into a common vessel, symbolizing the joining of two families together through the marriage of the couple (more about this wedding ritual here).
Sachiko & Ken were given “Matai Hau Tane” (Ken) and “Matai Hau Vahine” (Sachiko) as their Tahitian married names, which means “The Wind of Peace”… a very apt choice by Franck.
Appetizers and drinks were served post ceremony to the music of Tahitian musicians and their ukuleles, and once it got dark, guests were surprised with a fire dance and haka performance, despite the little rain which had started in the meantime.
Sachiko, Ken & their guests later enjoyed an elegant 4-course dinner + wedding cake (a traditional French “croquembouche”), which we had also moved inside in a private villa venue so they could enjoy the night without worrying about the rain showers outside.
Tahitian female dancers performed Ori Tahiti dances during dinner, and a DJ handled the music for the night.
Nelly did a phenomenal job at planning, organizing, and executing our wedding. In addition to being in a beautiful location, the wedding was eventful and action packed. We had fire dancers, Ori Tahiti dances, and local Tahitian musicians. To top it off, we were blessed by a Tahitian Priest.
The weather took a brief turn to the non-ideal, but Nelly had it covered. Nelly was a warrior, all day long she was really on the ball and made sure everything was going smoothly. In addition, I know there was a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work that was done, of which we did not have to worry because Nelly had it covered.
In the end, every guest said it was the BEST wedding that they have ever attended and I definitely share their feelings.
I can’t say good enough things for the job Nelly did for us and would absolutely recommend her to anyone who is considering a Tahitian wedding.
Thank you Sachiko & Ken for trusting us with your special day in Moorea, and we wish you a long and happy life!
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