Alyce-Maree and Brad had been planning an elopement in Fiji for months in advance. They’ had booked the venue, a celebrant and hair & make-up artist for a private event on Monday 22nd February.
The date was special for the pair. Brad’s birthday is the 2nd February (02.02) and Alyce-Maree’s birthday is the 20th February (20.02)…. 20 + 2 = 22.
When they first became aware Tropical Cyclone Winston was heading directly for Fiji, the couple had already commenced their long journey – a road trip from Port Macquarie in NSW to Brisbane for a flight two days prior to their originally planned wedding day. Despite the uncertain outlook, Alyce- Maree and Brad remained optimistic and intent on getting to the island nation to tie the knot.
I Do Fiji Holidays contacted the now happily married Alyce-Maree last week to share her story.
IDFH: When did you learn your wedding was delayed due to the cyclone?
Alyce-Maree: We knew from the time our flight had been cancelled on the Saturday 20 February that our wedding would not be happening on the Monday. We acted promptly, contacting The Sheraton Denarau Villas, Marriage Celebrant Fiji (Usaia) and Stanley Morrell (Hair & Make-up Artist) to reschedule for later in the week, which by then, we knew the cyclone would have passed but were fully aware we would be flying into a devastation stricken country.
IDFH: What options were offered to you?
Alyce-Maree: All three parties involved in the process – resort, celebrant and make-up hair stylist were so accommodating to us. They were all still delighted that apart from the horrifying events that where about to take place on Saturday night, they still wanted to cater to our wedding, and kept us well informed throughout. We where originally having a beach ceremony in Denarau, but due to the cyclone and the large amount of water throughout the town, the celebrant was very accommodating to the fact we wanted our intimate ceremony now in our Villa. We didn’t want to take the chance at 3pm (time of wedding) that there would be an afternoon shower to add any more stress to our day
IDFH: What new day did you move your elopement date to?
Alyce-Maree: We chose our elopement for Wednesday 24 February at Sheraton Denarau Villas – just two days later than originally planned.
IDFH: Was your new wedding day what you expected? Did everything go smoothly in the end?
Alyce-Maree: I can’t actually put into words how relaxing and smooth sailing our wedding was. We woke around 8am. Usaia our celebrant arrived at 10:30 to discuss final preparation and Stanley (hair and makeup) was on site at 11am. By 2pm we where ready to take our vows.
I also need to mention the day was absolutely glorious weather wise!
IDFH: Would you hesitate in recommending a wedding at the same time of year to other brides?
Alyce-Maree: I highly recommend to anyone wanting to have a wedding in Fiji, it’s a must do! What will be will be! When it rains, it’s not constant. It’s a maximum hour long shower. And the Fijians are so lovely. They will wait for the rain to stop before they proceed with your ceremony. My outlook on everything was simple. I wanted to marry to my best friend. I didn’t want to wait another day longer.
I knew how devastating the cyclone has affected Fiji and I saw so many comments on social media from people cancelling there flights but wanting to donate.
The worst thing Australians can do is cancel there holiday after a national devastation like this. Tourism is the biggest source of income for Fiji, not only for resorts.
It keeps the Fijian people working within the resorts. Without people staying in resorts, Fijians are actually put off work in the down times, which means more loss to there families. They cant re-build if they are not receiving there very small income of FJD120-FJD150 per week.
IDFH: Describe your wedding day in 30 words.
Alyce-Maree: Our wedding was extremely intimate. We had no one else to worry about, bar ourselves. The day was all about “us” which is what your wedding should be focused on.
I Do Fiji Holidays would very much like to thank Alyce-Maree for sharing her and Brad’s story with readers, all done within 24 hours of having tied the knot (when she should have been sharing a pool-side cocktail with her new husband!).
This interview featured in the 4 March 2016 issue of the I Do Fiji Holidays newsletter.
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