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Destination Weddings In Fiji: Your Planning Guide

  |   By Jen O'Brien

Fiji has all the makings of an ideal destination wedding location with its flawless sandy beaches, year-round warm weather and its incredibly friendly people. This island nation is also home to dozens of gorgeous and secluded five-star properties where finding your own private stretch of sand to celebrate on is never a problem.

Surrounded by the crystalline South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is home to more than 332 islands, of which 110 are permanently inhabited. Choose to tie the knot on a sun-drenched uninhabited island in the Mamanucas or opt for a jungle setting with a cascading waterfalls as your ceremony backdrop in Taveuni.

Here we’ll give you all the facts you need to know about destination weddings in Fiji, from the laws and customs to the best time to plan a wedding and the costs involved with doing so.

The best time to go: For great weather and less expensive shoulder season rates we recommend planning your Fijian destination wedding in April. Although temperatures in Fiji rarely dip below 25C, November through to the end of March is considered "rainy season". Fiji also experiences its peak season from June through October -- when winter hits the southern hemisphere and travelers from Australia and New Zealand flock to its sandy shores -- so hotel rates can be higher during this time.

The flight: Getting to this South Pacific paradise is easier and more comfortable than ever these days thanks to Fiji Airways, which offers direct flights from Los Angeles to to Fiji's capital city, Nadi, on its new Airbus A330-200 aircraft. Flight duration is approximately 11 hours from Los Angeles.

The legal paperwork: Overseas visitors intending to get married in Fiji are required by law to obtain and sign a marriage license prior to the ceremony. Both you and your fiance must forward photocopies of your birth certificates and passports to the registry office closest to your wedding location in Fiji for verification at least two weeks before your wedding day. You'll also need to present original copies of these documents to the registry office upon arrival in Fiji in order to receive your license. Offices are open between 8:30am and 3:30pm Monday through Friday. Allow at least three working days in Fiji to obtain your marriage license. The minimum age to marry without parental consent is 21 years of age. If you are under this age you will need to obtain an affidavit made by your father giving consent. The cost to obtain a standard marriage certificate is roughly CAD$3.00. We recommend opting for the traditional TAPA designed marriage certificate, which is available for about CAD$9.00.

The local customs: Music makes up a huge part of Fiji's social and cultural fabric. Arrive at virtually any accommodation within the island chain -- be it backpacker resort or five-star hotel -- and you'll be greeted by a choir or staff members  serenading you with "Bula Maleya" -- a beautiful welcome song. Many couples book Fijian choirs to sing at their wedding ceremonies (an option offered with many hotel wedding packages). Another tradition popular with tourists (and offered by many hotels and resorts) is employing Fijian warriors in ceremonial garb to escort the bride down the aisle.

The budget: Depending on the resort, basic elopement packages can start between CAD$500 and CAD$1000. For groups, charges are incurred on a per person basis and will depend on your menu and cocktail selections. Fiji's basic destination wedding packages tend to include the officiant, all necessary paperwork, registration fees and transfers to and from the nearest registry office as well as flowers, basic decor and champagne.

The venue: For a picture-perfect Fijian destination wedding that will be the envy of all your Facebook friends, we recommend Likuliku Lagoon. Located in Fiji's sunny Mamanuca archipelago just an hour by boat from the main island of Viti Levu (where all international flights arrive), this luxurious, award-winning resort is home to Fiji's only overwater accommodations. Opt for a romantic sunset ceremony on the beach, a chic party beside the breathtaking horizon edge pool, or tie the knot on the deck of your own private overwater bure surrounded by the vibrant blue South Pacific.

Fiji Wedding and Honeymoon Guide

View more from our Fiji Wedding and Honeymoon Guide ›

This article was originally published on Jan 28, 2014
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