Why Choose a Wedding in the Cook Islands
There are multiple factors in play as to why couples want to have their wedding in the Cook Islands. I think the foremost one is the romanticism associated with a South Seas wedding. For centuries the South Pacific has held this air of romance and paradise, with people being wooed by the magical beaches and lagoons, the hammocks swaying in the palm trees, the tropical temperatures and stunning sunsets, the wonderfully athletic indigenous young warriors and dusky maidens, and time standing still as the rest of the world just passes on by.
There are many South Pacific nations, with the more well known being Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Tahiti and the Cook islands. They all hold that romantic allure in some shape or form, but it would be fair to say that that Tahiti has always had the fictional edge as the ultimate romantic island setting. In modern times however this has waned, with many couples finding the cost of travelling to and holidaying in Tahiti prohibitive.
This has lead to the Cook Islands Weddings, which lie two hours flight time west of Tahiti, taking over the mantle of the most romantic destination in the South Pacific to get married, where you can have that intimate wedding and honeymoon in paradise, at an affordable cost. The Cook Islands are culture friendly, being an eclectic mix of Kiwi and Polynesian, English is the main language, the currency is the New Zealand dollar, tourism is geared more towards couples, and it is just so easy to live or holiday in.
Something that the Cook Islands, and Rarotonga in particular, offer over other Pacific destinations is the ‘the whole island is your resort’ concept. You aren’t confined to your resort – the whole island of 32km circumference is yours to explore, indulge and enjoy. You basically become a resident of the island with the same entitlements as we who live here.
Another compelling reason to have a wedding in the Cook Islands is the budgetary restraints that couples are faced with when planning their wedding. By getting married in your Cook Islands honeymoon destination there is a considerable cost saving by not having to ‘double up’, with the added bonus of a tropical beach setting for your wedding ceremony. It also means you can control costs through who you choose to invite to celebrate your special occasion. Some couples simply come by themselves to escape all the trappings and familial permutations that can come with weddings and then return home to a party celebrating with family and friends. Others just want some close friends and/or parents in attendance – it lets you control proceedings.
If you decide on inviting a larger circle of friends on a ‘pay their own way’ basis, then that also works, as there is a huge range of accommodation options from holiday homes through to full service resorts which allows all budgets and preferences to be catered for. This also affords everyone attending your special celebration to enjoy their own holiday as well.
A word of advice though, is if you are having a large group of family and friends attend your wedding in the Cook Islands, it is our experience at Sea Change Villas that it is worth considering having your accommodation separate from them, as you don’t want to be the centre of attention all the time, be the tour guide every day, or party all night long, and will want to be able to escape to the privacy of your own villa at times.
The actual cost of the wedding ceremony varies depending on what you want. A very simple wedding package comes in a little under a NZD1, 000 and includes your wedding coordinator and the arranging of the wedding licence, the celebrant, bouquets and a straightforward beach ceremony. You can have some or all of the ‘add ons’, which include pre and post wedding photo shoots that take you around the island, a filmed DVD of proceedings, archways and petals, drummers, serenaders, or island quartets, and a warrior to lead or carry the bride, which can bring the total cost up to around NZD4,000 for the lot.
Cook Island law requires three business days to process the wedding licence application, but it can be processed quicker than this for an additional fee of approximately NZD100. Receptions can be anything from a private table for two on the beach through to larger groups being catered for at any of the wonderful restaurants scattered around Rarotonga’s coastline. The food is of a high quality and more than comparable in price to eating out in New Zealand. And not surprisingly, with the flair of the Pacific Islanders for music and dance, there are lots of great bands and DJs for the wedding waltz and partying.
Hopefully this is helpful to you in your decision making process. Our team at Sea Change Villas are more than happy to assist you with any further enquiries or information with regards to planning your wedding in the Cook Islands, or any other questions you may have about our accommodation. We recognize that your wedding is that very special romantic occasion that needs to be perfect, and we are confident that the Cook islands will live up to all your expectations, and leave you with wonderful memories of your special wedding and honeymoon.
We have three Rarotonga wedding packages available to choose from. Take a look at what is on offer and what is available within your budget. By offering different villas with each package and different wedding day inclusions the prices vary.
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