Although currently on trend, exchanging wedding vows in Fiji certainly isn’t a new phenomenon. A multitude of resorts have been bringing together couples for decades. Plantation Island Resort in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands has been conducting ceremonies since it began operations in the 1970s – that includes tying the knot on the resort’s picturesque white sandy beaches.
Fast forward to present day, and Plantation Island Resort now handles around 90 to 100 weddings annually, predominantly from its Wedding Bure on the Beach. Located on a strip of beach on the western coastline, the unwalled bure sits facing the unobstructed vastness of turquoise blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The heightened roofline provides direct coverage from the elements for 40 seated guests, however for bigger gatherings, the resort is able to provide seating for up to 150 within and surrounding the bure.
The Wedding Bure is positioned near the southern boundary of Plantation Island Resort’s accommodation, in a relatively quiet spot. When a wedding takes place, seating is arranged the morning of the ceremony and signage is placed around the site advising guests that a private function is being held.
Tropical, seasonal floral arrangements are used for decoration and the Bride’s bouquet and Groom’s button hole are ordered through the local florist. Should couples with to have rose petals scattered down the aisle of the Wedding Bure, this can be arranged at an extra cost, says Plantation Island Resort’s resident Wedding Coordinator Nimka Devi.
Couples meet their experienced wedding coordinator shortly after arriving at the resort. The coordinator will run through all aspects of their wedding program and answer all questions relating to the soon-to-be-newlyweds ceremony and reception and take them on a tour of the Wedding Bure.
Conducting the wedding ceremony will be one of Plantation Island Resort’s two on-site legal marriage celebrants. Couples are welcome to meet with their celebrant prior to their wedding to go through the order of proceedings and discuss wedding vows.
For brides that like the idea of being as close to the venue as possible, the nearest accommodation options to The Wedding Bure are Studio Ocean Bures 220, 221 and 220, a bank of 1 Bedroom Garden Terraces (rooms 284-289) and 2 Bedroom Garden Bures (rooms 252 and 243). The nearest Beachfront Bures are 215 through to 218.
However, access to the site is an easy walk from anywhere at Plantation Island Resort. Brides can have a Fijian Warrior escort from their accommodation to the wedding bure. This is included with some of the resort’s wedding packages, or can be arranged subject to availability at an additional cost.
On the wedding day and to set the mood, as the bride walks towards the bure either a string band will be playing or a choir will be singing serenades (depending on the package booked). One of Plantation Island Resort’s wedding coordinators is also on hand during processions to ensure all aspects of the ceremony run smoothly and according to plan. The Ceremony itself generally takes approximately 20 minutes from start to finish.
Nimka says that in the event of adverse weather on the day of a couple’s wedding, the resort will discuss options such as delaying their ceremony to a later time of day, or moving to an indoor location, such as the Nautilus Room of Plantation Island Resort’s Convention Centre.
As for the best time of the day to hold a wedding ceremony, Nimka suggests couples go by the tides, specifically around high-tide as it will provide a better backdrop for wedding photos. Additional handy tips include making sure the wedding party has appropriate footwear for walking on soft sand, and if you plan to use confetti for post-ceremony celebrations, try to ensure it is eco-friendly.
Weddings are conducted everyday of the week but the most popular days at Plantation Island Resort are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Nimka explained.
Perhaps even more romantic, but somewhat a little more logistically challenging, are Sand Bank ceremonies which can be arranged just off the coast of Malolo LaiLai Island where Plantation Island Resort is located.
And for couples not so keen on getting sand between their toes, there is an option to wed on a private Lawn Area of the resort.
You’ll find more details on the wedding packages on offer at Plantation Island Resort here.