Lisa & Alex’ wedding in Bora Bora.
In case you just landed on my blog and have not heard of this lovely UK couple before (or that you have lived in a cave for the past 3 years… no, just kidding!) make sure to read their story first and what their 2people1life project is about, by going to my first two articles about their Tahiti wedding experience:
[Pause] Are you back? Okay so by now you all know that Lisa & Alex got married in a plane, which is believed to be the first in-flight wedding, on their way to the Islands of Tahiti, and then experienced a traditional Tahitian wedding on the beautiful island of Moorea.
Their Tahitian journey next took them to the “Pearl of the Pacific”:
Bora Bora, for their 3rd and final Tahiti wedding.
Today Lisa shares with us their third and final wedding experience in the Islands of Tahiti, in an overwater chapel.
Welcome back to the Blog Lisa!
1. How Did The Day Of The Wedding In Bora Bora Go?
Our 44th wedding day in Bora Bora promised to be a busy one.
We kept re-checking the schedule and trying to make sense of it…it insisted that we were due out at ‘sea’ all day and had only half an hour between getting off the boat and being at the altar ready to say our ‘I Do’s’ for the 44th time.
Now, with our experience of boat trips, as awesome as they are, they are completely exhausting! Being on a boat for 8 hours normally means too much sun, LOTS of salt water, seriously windswept hair, the need for bathroom stops and food, swimming, snorkeling and other generally exciting and tiring activities…so we were alarmed that we would have only 30 minutes to get back to our bungalow, change, shower and be camera ready, with not too sunburned faces and tidy wedding hair.
HOWEVER, what we didn’t realize was that we were not going out on any old boat we were going out on a luxury yacht complete with showers, rest rooms, a chef filled kitchen, a dining area, bedrooms, champagne on ice and a wonderful shaded relaxing area! When we saw the stunning yacht approaching we looked at each other in disbelief and tried to look behind it for OUR boat! Catherine stood with her camera at the ready and looked equally perplexed!
When a smaller boat appeared from behind the now stationary, sparkling white boat and started zooming towards us we were just completely gob smacked by the whole matter. The speed boat pulled up and helped us on board and we were introduced to the fabulous crew! We whizzed back to the super sleek yacht and were welcomed on board the magnificent beast that would take us on our Bora Bora Island tour.
We wandered around the yacht (yes it was big enough the wander around) a little awe struck probably mimicking goldfish with our mouths hanging open as we were shown around below deck, offered refreshments and planned our day with the crew.
We nodded like those little plastic dogs that sit in your car window and within no time we were off on a whole new sailing adventure around the stunning island of Bora Bora.
As we sailed we chatted with the crew who told us about the Island, its history and how they charter the yacht for weeks with families and groups on the holiday of a life time. Such an incredible job and one they were very, very good at.
We had SUCH an amazing time. We snorkeled with black tip sharks, tried our hand at paddle boarding in the perfectly clear waters and even had a little adventure in a pair of canoes. We ate an incredible meal prepared on deck with a glass of champagne or two and were invited to wear traditional Tahitian clothes and head pieces to take some pictures on the fantastic million dollar yacht.
We weren’t at all sweaty or salty when it was time to disembark and we wished we had been more prepared as we could have taken time on the yacht to prepare for the wedding. The situation was definitely more enjoyable than had we been out in a dingy (as we had imagined we might be) for the day! We were showered and ready to run to our bungalow to change and try to apply a spattering of make-up and still be on time for our ceremony.
We thanked the amazing crew for such a wonderful experience and waved as they whizzed back to their gorgeous floating luxury apartment and we jumped onto our awaiting golf cart and were whisked back to our room to change.
2. So Did You Manage To Get Ready In Just 30 Minutes? Must Have Been Short!
Well practiced at getting ready in a hurry we were wedding ready in a flash.
The ceremony was to take place in the stunning, and very exclusive over-water Glass-bottom Chapel, floating on the lagoon and ideally located in front of the mesmerising and unique “Mont Otemanu”. A colossal green volcano island that sprouts from the clear blue water across from the resort, a perfect backdrop to such an idyllic setting!
3. How Was The Ceremony Held And What Did You Like Most About It?
The wedding coordinator escorted us to the Chapel in the islands main means of transport…a golf buggy! Another awesome mode of wedding ‘car’ added to the ever growing list! The Jolly faced Tahitian Priest welcomed us with open arms and to the sounds of ukuleles and Polynesian love songs.
Traditionally dressed men and women sang, danced and scattered heavenly scented petals as we arrived outside of the Chapel and we were then welcomed inside where we stood with a whole new underwater world going on below our feet.
As Lisa & Alex come together today to unite into traditional Polynesian ceremony, let it be known, the foundation to this relationship is their love for each other and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together as friends, lovers, companions and protectors…And all things that embody the institution of holy matrimony.
The ceremony was just beautiful and mixed traditions and local touches to make the wedding even more special!
The Master of Ceremony ‘unified’ us by tying us together using “Auti“ leaves, rather like a hand-fasting ceremony but with a local twist! We were told to tie the knotted leaves to the outside of our bungalow door when we returned which means ‘private’, do not disturb! We had a little giggle at that!
POLYNESIAN SPOUSES RULES
Spouses must be mutually faithful and helpful
The husband is the head of the family
He exerts this function in the common interest of the family
The wife, together with the husband, assures the moral direction and position of the family and manages them well.
The choice of the family residence belongs to the husband
If the spouses cannot fulfil their part of the marriage contract, they will contribute to the best of their respective abilities.
With our hands bound together we were blessed with pure water from the lagoon, adorned with flower necklaces and crowns and after the ceremony we were wrapped in a “Tifaifai” (a large local blanket) which symbolizes the Polynesian union.
We were then baptised with Polynesian names and received our “Tapa” (wedding certificate). Our Polynesian names are “Poehere tane” & “Poehere vahine” which means “Pearl of love”.
Today we celebrate our marriage
And reaffirm our love and Commitment to each other.
Alex, I love you and all that I am I will share it with you.
You are my husband and my best friend,
My lover, companion, and strongest supporter.
I will cherish, honour and trust you, care for and support you,
And will love you all the days of my life.
I will face with you the troubles and sorrows of life,
And will share with you life’s goodness and joy.
You are, and will always be, the Love of my life.
Today, before God, and these witnesses, I give you my heart.
After the nuptials, the local men and women performed typical Polynesian dances and songs to celebrate our love and unity and invited us to dance with them. We of course tried our hardest at the dancing. I had to wind my hips slowly around and poor Alex had to have a go at the knee knocking dance that all of the very toned and tanned men are so good at!
We laughed at ourselves as we tried to join in and once we were suitably exhausted we thanked everyone and were led to a beautifully decorated outrigger canoe which was our wedding transport back to our incredible over-water bungalow. Our canoe ‘driver’ sounded the “Pu” (conch shell) to let everyone know we were wed!
The serene ride back to our bungalow was a blessing. The sun was slipping behind Mount Otemanu and we soaked up the last rays of light as we slid silently though the crystal clear waters rippling below us.
THE WEDDING PRAYER
God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honour mother earth and ask that our marriage be abundant
and grow stronger throughout the seasons.
We honour fire and ask that our union be warm
and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honour wind and ask that we sail through life safe and calm
As in our father’s arms;
We honour water to clean and soothe our relationship,
that it may never thirst for love.
With all the forces of this universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness
As we forever grow young together.
Credits: Wedding location – Bora Bora glass bottomed Chapel | Photography – Catherine Mead | Accommodation – Intercontinental Thalasso Resort and Spa | Logistics – Tahiti Tourism | Transport – Air Tahiti Nui
For more about the 2People1Life adventure, please contact me or head straight to Lisa & Alex’ website… and watch out, there are more weddings coming up there, they have been ALL over the place recently, from Bali to Singapore, Dubai, Jordan and now in Malaysia!
Are you planning to visit Bora Bora on a sailboat or a catamaran? Need help with your wedding there? Contact Me To Get Started!