For Alycia and Gratian it all started with a date that wasn’t a date!
Three years later they came to Fiji to get married. With family in the United States and in India it was a great location in between to meet for the celebration and on the top of it ultra exotic!
These are the bride’s words, to be noted : some great advice indeed!
Why did you choose the Hilton? How was your experience with the resort?
We chose the Hilton primarily because of location and budget. Our experience with the hotel was amazing. Our wedding coordinator provided us with everything we needed to work through months in advance.
We did secure the location nine months in advance so we had plenty of time to do our own research regarding vendors but they provided us a list of everything we would need including things we hadn’t thought of.
Can you give a few tips for future brides coming from the U.S. ?
Work out exactly what is required to obtain a marriage license in Fiji well in advance. Although the Hilton wedding coordinator did provide us specifics of what was required, it was difficult to find/know what the equivalent of the office of “births, deaths and marriages” was.
After calling many different government agencies here, we finally discovered that county records were able to provide us the exact search/printout necessary.
Additionally, if your future spouse is from another country (not local to the U.S. or Fiji), the local county search they reside in will suffice and it is not necessary to get one from their home country.
If your wedding coordinator asks what time you would like to get your marriage certificate (or even if she doesn’t), make sure you choose the very first appointment (or show up before 8am to queue up and be first in line). Otherwise you will have to wait hours.
The contract we signed with the Hilton reserving our wedding date included details with regard to the need for additional insurance if something was broken or someone got hurt on property.
After many conversations with our wedding coordinator, we determined this section of the contract was negligible in Fiji. The contract seems to be standard for all Hilton use and because Hilton is an American brand, they seem to have gone with what the U.S. standard wedding contract states.
If staying at the Hilton and putting all charges on your room, at the end of your stay, settle with cash if possible. If settling with a credit card, there will be an international transaction fee on top the final amount.
We didn’t think about that because when paying instalments for the venue, there were no foreign transaction fees.
How did you enjoy the day?
We had an amazing time and wanted to do it all over again the next day. It was stress free, everything was taken care of well in advance.
We met with the flower/theming vendor and our wedding coordinator a few days prior to the wedding to put our minds at ease. Our wedding coordinator was attentive and wanted to ensure we had everything needed prior to the wedding so checked in regularly with us while we were there.
Where did your flowers come from?
The bouquet and boutonniere were provided by the Hilton, it was part of the package.
All other flowers, theming and decorations were done by Paradise Bride. We gave some ideas of what we wanted and they took it to a level we didn’t expect. Everything was beautiful and beyond expectations.
Who did your hair?
My hair was done by my cousin, Laurie Edwards, she is a stylist in the U.S. at The SideDoor Salon in Boulder Colorado. Her IG handle is blondishbaby. My sister/maid of honor helped with me makeup…more of an on the fly makeup tutorial . I’m not much for makeup.
Who were your DJs and entertainers?
We had a DJ and MC from DJ works. They were wonderful and super responsive with any questions we had. Additionally, they provided a list of songs and examples when we might want music played (there were many things we didn’t think of that helped us plan out the night). The music played was on par mixing it up with pop, country, Bollywood and everything our guests requested. The MC was amazing! He improvised and worked with us based on the minimal information we provided. He helped us have and fantastic, stress free night.
Where were your outfits from?
My dress was purchased from the Nordstrom Wedding Suite. Gratian purchased his suit from Macys. My shoes (flipflops) were purchased from some random shop in Hong Kong (my sister was on a business trip and found them for me). We purchased our rings from Blue Nile.
How was your experience with the photographer?
Our experience with you was fantastic . We were totally unprepared for the detail you requested, however it was a crucial part of “getting it right”. We really felt like you knew our story and style which was apparent in the photos. Anais was very helpful in defining our wedding runsheet, the step by step details of the day (whether you knew that or not). We really didn’t know how long everything would take, so your expertise was greatly appreciated. You helped us shift things around as necessary until we got it right.
About the photos:
We did not expect the teaser photos so were pleasantly surprised. It was so much fun to share them with our friends and family that travelled to Fiji to be with us. The sheer number of photos you took was amazing. We didn’t expect so many but it allowed us to choose our favorites and share many with our families.
The slideshow really captured the day and has allowed us to relive our wedding over and over again. It is great to share with our friends and family because it really shows how fun the day was.
Enjoy the photos and contact me for your own photo project. You can see another wedding I have photographed at the Hilton here.
Phone : +61 04 35 83 07 92FJ : +679 93 210 24