Issue 53 Wedding Guide



Brides and grooms are increasingly leaving behind the traditional church wedding in favour of nuptials in a more exotic location. Many couples opt to go for the long-distance route for a variety of reasons. Budget limitations make destination weddings the more attractive choice. In most cases, only close friends and family attend these celebrations, sparing couples from throwing large expensive receptions. Whatever the reason, destination weddings have become increasingly popular for couples of all types, from those having first-time weddings to those renewing their vows. The Pacific islands are the perfect location for a destination wedding. Not only is it at our door step, it also connects many of us back to our roots.




August 25th 2012
Le Vasa Resort, Samoa
By Pauline Nansen


The Proposal
Shane originally popped the question during our first trip to Samoa in 2008 on the balcony of our suite at Aggie Grey’s Resort. Of course I said yes! Unfortunately, we then lost a close family member each and a wedding just wasn’t on the cards for a while. Earlier this year, I guess he decided enough was enough and he popped the question again. His proposal came with a suggested wedding date and I agreed to tie the knot six short months later.


The Rings
Shane chose a titanium band with white gold inlay, diamond insert and brushed finish. I fell in love with a white gold, double banded, princess cut solitaire ring.


The Dress
I actually wore three dresses for my big day! My ceremony dress was made of royal taffeta in ivory. It had a strapless sweetheart neckline with a gentle mermaid silhouette. For my first traditional Samoan Siva, I wore a beautiful lace overlay gown with beaded detailing. To party the rest of the night away, I changed into a 50s-styled knee length satin and tulle number.


I would describe our wedding as ‘relaxed island style’. A tropical paradise does not call for elaborate decorations as the backdrop does all the work for you!


We were both adamant on one key criteria when it came to the cake : no fondant! We opted for a simple two-tiered, red velvet cake with white chocolate icing and a sprinkling of fresh white frangipanis, our chosen wedding flower.


I Dos
We wanted a simple, traditional ceremony with our own personal touch. We spent time browsing through suggestions online before selecting a personalized portion of vows to be shared in unison.


Advice for others when planning wedding?
Top three tips
• Decide what suits you as a couple and stick to your guns.
• If you have young children, start going over their role and what the day will entail as early as you can. We covered this with our daughter, who is only three. She was amazing on the day.
• A key obstacle you may face when choosing a destination wedding can be the availability of information. Look to your wider networks for potential recommendations that may help you on your journey to your perfect day!



This ever-popular theme shows no sign of disappearing, with many brides incorporating aspects of the vintage trend in to their day. Lace, birdcages, brooch bouquets and baroques are but a few of the charming details used to achieve this look.




Wedding Tip: Mood Boards
For a wedding, a mood board helps to rein in the multitude of ideas we see and think up. It will help identify certain themes that you are drawn to and also help organise all of your ideas. You can use a corkboard to stick all your swatches, photos and magazine tears, or you can use websites like Pinterest, where you can just pin photos online into one place.



Sparkle and shine
If you love a bit of bling, why not add some sparkle to your big day? Mix silver and white tones with diamante, crystals and candelabra for a glitzy celebration. This look not only adds a bit of glamour, but works perfectly in winter, too.




Favours: Bride and Groom cookies
The newest trend in wedding favours is personalised cookies. Choose different designs from classic hearts, cake cookies, or sparkling diamond rings. You can choose designs and colours to suit your wedding. We love these bride and groom favours that are sure to be a hit on your special day.




Guest Book: Wedding Tree
Add a personal touch to your guest book- literally. Have your guests imprint their thumbs on this stunning tree drawing using finger-paint or ink. Even have them sign their “leaf” so you can always remember who joined you in celebrating your marriage.


To be wed on 26th October 2013
Zoe and I met working together when we were in high school. We remained close friends. After four years of her playing hard to get, we finally got together. A year and a half later we set off for Rarotonga where I would ask her to be my wife. On August the 8th 2012, also her birthday, I took her out for dinner and then onto the beach just after the sun had set. I asked her if she knew I loved her and told her I would do anything for her. I got down on bended knee and asked her to marry me. With tears in her eyes she replied “Of course I will. I love you so much.” Now we are waiting on our happily ever after which will take place in Fiji.


Nothing beats the feeling of a crisp, clean suit. Finding one that actually fits well can make all the difference on your special day. A perfectly fitted suit literally boosts your confidence, and one that doesn’t can leave you feeling frumpy and self-conscious.


Men in search of style and poise need look no further than Dress Circle, a proud New Zealand company backed by 30 years of experience.


Dress Circle caters for a variety of tastes with more than 30 designs all made in-house by Master Tailors. What’s more, they cover a full range of sizes, from page boys to 4XL, which makes them perfect for the hefty Polynesian male.


At Dress Circle, you’ll be in good hands with industry professionals who’ll be able to measure and match you to the perfect suit, all of which come with a quality guarantee.


They also offer a broad choice of accessories like shirts, ties, cuff links, hats, braces, and even shoes, which makes them a convenient one-stop shop for last minute shoppers. If you have a suit of your own that doesn’t quite fit anymore, they can make the alterations too.


Located in Central Auckland with free off street parking, you can drop in anytime.




Yolande and Andre Wahu won the 2011 Win a Wedding in Rarotonga competition with SPASIFIK and the Edgewater Resort and Spa. Yolande shares some of the many special moments during their trip.


Andre and I had been saving for a trip to Rarotonga for a really long time. It was our dream wedding location and we had always wanted to visit the maraes and Avana passage connecting us to our distant roots.


We never in a million years thought we would win a wedding competition that would take us there, so after finding out we won, we were shocked! It was such a blessing for us to win something so wonderful.


We decided that our wedding in New Zealand would be celebrated with friends and family and our Rarotonga wedding would be an intimate ceremony for just Andre and me, as we knew it would be a mission taking people with us.


When we arrived at the beautiful Edgewater Resort and were told that we had been upgraded to a huge Beachfront Villa, we couldn’t believe our luck. It was so quiet and peaceful, had an amazing view, and included facilities such as a full kitchen and laundry.


As the big day approached, we started to feel a bit sad that we didn’t have anyone to celebrate with us, so we decided to do something a little “out-there.”


We got dressed up and went to the bar. When we were feeling brave enough we started talking to people and inviting them to our wedding the next evening. As the night wore on people started helping us by inviting more guests and, by the next day, we had asked the staff to invite the whole resort: the more the merrier we thought.


We gave our new friends honorary titles, such as aunty, uncle, and cousin, so we felt like we had family there with us. We ended up with a large honourary family who went out of their way to help and support us through the next day and evening.



The wedding itself was so special. My new Australian “cousins,” Jaimee- Ann Driver and Shelley Heriot, did my hair and helped with makeup, Australian “cousin” Ash Heriot signed the papers, along with “aunty” Denise Fleming from Taupo, and our last minute Best Man and Maid of Honour, John Guthrie and Tanya Linton from Wanganui, shot the video.


We had some gorgeous last minute Page Boys and Flower Girls from Australia too. And “Uncle” John and “Aunty” Lynda Mahony from Takapuna, “Uncle” Murray from Taupo, and “Ozzie Cousin” Angela Driver were great moral support and entertainment.


Unfortunately the weather turned bad so we had to enjoy our wedding dinner in the resort restaurant. This turned out to be another blessing though as we got to watch the Island Night show with our new friends and family.


The meal was incredible and we couldn’t finish it all, so we took a doggy bag back to our room for lunch the next day.


On our last day we enjoyed a wonderful couple’s massage from the resort. As I am a massage therapist I am extremely fussy, but I must say it was amazing and much better than I had expected. Thanks to Ase and Sunil for doing a great job!


Overall, staying at the Edgewater was such a fun experience. We made many new friends and hope to stay in touch and see them regularly back home and in Australia.


We can’t wait to go back and visit; it was the perfect location for us both. Both Andre and I didn’t consider ourselves “resort people” but have since changed our minds. Thank you to Julie, Heather, Ani and all the friendly staff for helping make our stay one to remember. 



The friendships German Matthias Reiche gained with Samoans while studying in New Zealand and Australia made him determined to one day visit the islands. The perfect opportunity arrived when choosing a destination to marry Andrea Aguiar, a Brazilian. The couple chose to have two ceremonies, one at home in Germany with their family and friends and the other for just the two of them at the Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa in Samoa. Matthias shares their story with SPASIFIK.


We met a decade ago in January 2002 in Sydney. It was love at first sight, and we have been living together ever since. We had been living together like a married couple for such a long time that I didn’t really see the point of getting married, but finally, after eight years together, I took all of my strength, bought a very cheesy ring - it was gigantic with lots of fake diamonds - fell on my knees and asked her to marry me.


Our wedding in Samoa was just for the two of us because we wanted a special day that only belongs to us, and not have to worry about guests and a big celebration.


We both love the beach and wanted our wedding on an island. I had met a lot of Samoans while I studied and worked in Australia and New Zealand. I always admired their big smiles and even bigger hearts. We were looking for an island - not too overrun by tourists – which had lovely beaches and friendly people. Samoa had all that, plus it was not too far from Sydney where we were both working and living at the time. It was our first time to a Pacific island and will definitely not be our last.


We spent the morning together at the beach, had a massage and a light meal. I relaxed by the pool with a cold beer and some champagne. Andrea was getting her hair and dress done and I wouldn’t see her for another two hours. I have to say I was getting pretty nervous. Andrea then came by canoe with six Samoans singing and paddling. She looked so beautiful. Even locals and tourists stopped and were smiling and waving at her. After the ceremony we took photos and just soaked in the fact we were finally a married couple. As the sun set we had an amazing Samoan dinner on the beach and were serenaded by a guitar player.


The next morning we went to the sea to throw the bouquet into the ocean. It’s a Brazilian tradition to offer flowers to the god of the sea and is believed to bring you luck.



Andrea got a white gold ring with a band of black diamonds. I ordered a Titanium ring in the same style. The rings match perfectly and I love how light the titanium sits on my finger.


Andrea wore a beautiful red dress, her favourite colour. She wore this with sandals and had flowers in her hair. I decided to wear a Samoan shirt and a traditional lavalava that we purchased the day before the wedding.


We had it all planned out so that the wedding would be our honeymoon. We continued our stay at the beautiful Sinalei Resort.


Just do it! Don’t spend too much of your energy on small details. The big day is made by that true feeling that comes out when you look into the eyes of the person you chose. You will be happy, even if things don’t go as you initially planned. Trust me.