Where : Legends Resort Moorea
Tahiti Wedding Planner : Nelly Grange (while certifying as Wedding & Event Planner)
Ceremony : some islands traditions mixed in a Western-style ceremony.
23 guests traveling from the United States and Japan.
When my fiancé (now husband) described his ideal wedding spot as somewhere “secluded, with pristine clear waters and white sandy beaches, accessible to family, and NOT HAWAII” (he grew up there) I thought to myself, “Oh boy, this is going to be a challenge!” Even after we came across beautiful Tahiti/French Polynesia, we were still unsure of how we were going to plan a wedding from thousands of miles away. And neither of us had been to Tahiti before! This past December however, we ended up throwing the most beautiful wedding – the wedding beyond my dreams – and we couldn’t have planned it without Nelly’s help. What a blessing she has been over this entire year. From Day 1, Nelly was on hand to help – guiding us through the venue, ceremony site options, timing, weather conditions… She helped us to see a vision of how beautiful the ceremony could be, and then she went above and beyond to materialize that vision. Over the course of the year we exchanged numerous emails — I, true to form, over-stressed about every small detail: the flowers, the food, the walking order, the altar, where/when to take photos… And then there were the questions and concerns from our guests for whom Tahiti was the most exotic place they have traveled: “Will it be hot? I don’t like mosquitos! How do I get around?” Nelly was extremely patient through these exchanges, carefully addressing each concern no matter how trite it was, even though she must have heard the same questions a million times during her years of managing a resort in Moorea. She understood that, to us, the wedding was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and treated it as such. The questions and requests were always responded to in a timely fashion. She really made us feel taken care of and eased our concerns of planning a wedding from abroad. During the actual event – from the dress rehearsal to the actual wedding day, Nelly was present through the entire process. She headed down to the private motu early in the day in order to coordinate the various vendors and staff – to ensure that the floral arrangements, sound system, catering, and decorations were all working together to achieve the overall vision. She made sure the transportation ran on time (not island time) and guided the guests so that everyone was on the same page around where to go and when. She organized the wedding party during the ceremony. She communicated details with the photographer, videographer, and band. She coordinated the hotel staff to ensure seamless transition from the ceremony, to the cocktail hour, to the reception (These were held in three different locations of the hotel). I had brought props from home, and at each setting the props were beautifully highlighted in all the appropriate places. She really ‘got’ it. Our wedding was in safe hands! Even when the bridal party ran an hour and a half behind the morning of the wedding (getting ready took longer than expected!), Nelly kept a cool head and accommodated all adaptations with a smile. My sister quipped that she has never met a more organized planner — and I agree! One final thing to note is that Nelly always greeted us with the most pleasant demeanor and made time to say hello, no matter how busy it was. And her staff at the Legends Resort were the same way. My husband and I have collectively been to over 90 countries, and rarely do we see such attentiveness to detail – not only were they highly responsive, they also made the time to remember our guests’ names, their rooms, little things about them. They greeted us and treated us like family. We visited five other hotels while in French Polynesia (Bora Bora and Tahiti), but none of the staff lived up, not even close! I truly believe a positive work culture is something that is reflective of great leadership, and it really says a lot about Nelly that she has instilled such a strong culture among her colleagues : of teamwork, efficiency, helpfulness, and having a positive attitude. The warmth and kindness that we met with during our stay in Moorea was something that completed our wedding experience and made our guests feel at home. Thank you so much, Nelly, for the beautiful wedding, and all of your hard work and efforts this year! Love, Scott & Aya Andrews
Photo Credit : Helene Havard Photography