What’s special about weddings and honeymoon Pacific Islands countries?
Pacific Island countries are spoilt for choice when it comes to selecting a venue for a weddings or honeymoon; from the picture postcard overwater bungalows, to modern chapels, to options in the rainforests and gorgeous hilltops. The Islands are enriched with warm friendly people; living culture; beautiful weather for most of the year.
New Zealanders take to Cook Islands for weddings and honeymoon more than they do to any other country. Main reasons for the popularity include the use of NZ Dollar as the principal currency; similar Maori/Polynesian culture; ease of access from New Zealand and idyllic romantic locations around Rarotonga and along the uninhabited islets across Muri Beach and are taken there on traditional outrigger canoe paddled by warriors and are announced by blowing conch shell.
Their prized jewels are the islands of Aitutaki that provides for the magical settings for most wedding and honeymoon hero images.
Other attractions that Cook Islands offers are quirks like arriving for your wedding on scooters and having a diverse choice of venues that are a stones throw away from the ocean. The main island of Rarotonga is compact making for easy exploration of the many attractions Apart from New Zealanders; travellers from UK/Europe, US and Australia are the main markets.
Fiji by far, attracts the most number of weddings and honeymoons than anywhere else in the Pacific across its 333 islands. There are 4 key tourism regions.
Denarau, close to Nadi airport has a range of international chain hotels; offering over 1600 rooms; more than three ball room venues capable of catering to over 300 guests; a shopping centre and three chapels.
The Mamanucas and Yasawa Islands.are easily accessible from Denarau marina. The former has a range of island resorts and the largest collection of “island resort chapels” in Fiji. Yasawa Islands are sprinkled with beach resorts that provide for stunning settings for weddings and honeymoon options.
The Coral Coast and Pacific Harbour has a collection of larger resort styled accommodation to suit a variety of wedding and honeymoon tastes.
Fiji’s Northern Group generally offer a high-end world-class experience. It also offers options such as tropical jungle themes and waterfall weddings.
French Polynesia best known of Pacific Islands countries for its perfect postcard scenery with majestic mountains and overwater bungalows.
Bora Bora is the crown jewel among the country’s key regions followed by less expensive Moorea. In fact honeymoons to French Polynesia from the United States trade on the Bora Bora name.
French Polynesia is more famed for its honeymoons than its weddings. This to a large extent is due to the lengthy process required to get a marriage licence. There is also a requirement for marriages to take place at dedicated churches.
Like French Polynesia, most visitors go to New Caledonia mainly for honeymoons. New Caledonia offers to cater to wide variety of tastes and preferences and offers unique Melanesian/French fusion of cultures. It is also home to the world’s largest lagoon that is a world heritage listed site. Isle de Pines offers the picture postcard venue and is a prized destination for honeymooners to New Caledonia. New regions such as Deva are now opening up as well as selected options across Loyalty Islands. The City Hall in Noumea provides for a certified translator service for clients that choose to marry after having been a resident in the country for one month.
Easily accessed from Northern Asia, Palau offers a small range of resorts and caters for the adventure honeymoon tourist, with a range of diving and other water sports attractions. Some resorts also arrange weddings.
The two main islands of Samoa, Savaii and Upolu offer a good choice of weddings and honeymoon settings at properties set along pristine beaches, lagoons and wonderful village settings. Connected by inter-island ferry, the lesser visited, and the largest island of Savaii offers memorable opportunities to experience the bird life, lava stones, diversity of churches with their unique architecture and opportunity to stay small family run resorts. On Upolu, the capital Apia adds “city life” elements but also has a range wedding and honeymoon resorts outside of Apia. Both islands offer unique opportunity to truly enjoy Fa’a Samoa “The Samoan Way”.
Kingdom of Tonga
Tong has many islands with small beach resorts, ideal for honeymoons, most activity options are beach based with excellent diving options in the Ha’apai and Vava’u groups. Most honeymoon destinations are small, boutique and often run by family. Tonga is a deeply Christian state and legal requirements for getting married in Tonga do require couples to be resident for one month.
Vanuatu consists of 83 islands and is home to some of the world’s best dive wrecks, amazing scenery, soft adventure and fascinating culture. Most activities are located at very close proximity from the ports/airports saving couples transit time.
Couples visiting Vanuatu have a wide variety of accommodation to choose from; those close to beaches to those that offer African safari tent type boutique accommodation; from large resorts to the unique bespoke type accommodation ranging from 3-5 stars.
The outer islands offer a more adventurous honeymoon experience. Tanna is home to one of the world’s most accessible active volcano, Mount Yasur. Santo is famous for diving as well as having cool blue water swimming holes and one of the best beaches in Vanuatu – Champagne Beach.
Wedding documentation takes 28 days to process, however it is not a requirement to be resident in Vanuatu during this time.
Other South Pacific Countries
Several Pacific Islands countries are not typical wedding and honeymoon destinations. These destinations tend to be haven for those looking for more experiential weddings and honeymoons.