Wedding and honeymoon tips from Fiji #Advice#eco-friendly#fiji#honeymoon#island Updated Oct 12 2015 (Posted Nov 29 2010) Megan Finley Horowitz meggyfin I recently traveled to Fiji to see what I could learn about wedding and honeymoon travel over there. I wrote a post about gay travel in Fiji and shared some photos from a wedding I got to crash. And, as promised, here is the bigger meatier post full of tips and advice. If you're considering an island destination wedding or honeymoon getaway, this is the post for you. If you're not … well, I hope you enjoy the pictures. I arrived VERY early Saturday morning to Nadi, Fiji. My very first impression of Fiji was that I have never met a warmer, friendlier, more outgoing group of people… especially at 4am! From the guy who drove me from the airport to my hotel who excited told me as much about his home as he could squeeze in to a seventeen minute car ride, to the man who welcomed me, grabbed my hand and walked me to my room … everyone was so incredibly friendly. Unfortunately, the rainy weather arrived with me. I wanted to drop my bags and immediately relax in the early morning sun, but the weather had other ideas. My SPF 50 sunblock mocked me for several days. Since I couldn't have a typical beach vacation, I had a lot of opportunities to look into, well, all of Y'ALL'S opportunities… The money situation The thing about Fiji is that it's costly as hell to get here — even with my plane ticket comped, we still couldn't afford for my husband to come with — but once you're here, everything is really reasonably priced! (approx.) $1 US = $2FJ. The legalities Except for gay weddings, all weddings held in Fiji are recognized as legal worldwide. You don't really need to jump through any extra hoops. Where not to stay Once you've paid the dough to fly yourselves to a totally different country… a place like the Sheraton or the Westin would not be the place to experience the local culture. The feeling when I got there was just like, "this could be any decent hotel on any beach anywhere in the world." I spent two days at the Sheraton itching to leave! Later, I stayed for two days on a tiny island and never got bored … so I'm gonna say that I found the international chain resorts a little lame. Related Post 5 ways to save the planet (& your wallet!) while wedding planning Trying to find sustainable solutions for an eco-friendly wedding isn't always easy, especially when you're on a budget and trying not to over-complicate things. But... Read more Feeling good about spending dough My room at the Intercontinental Once I escaped the Sheraton, my next stop was to the Intercontinental Golf resort and Spa. WOW! That place blew me away. Sanjeshni, the hotel rep, took one look at me and could tell that I just needed to relax. And relax I did, almost immediately upon entering my amazing room. My room was right on the beach and had its own private patio, hardwired internet and, get this, an outdoor tub! Yes, the outdoor tub and I spent one amazing, epic night together … and I shall never forget it. The Intercontinental is definitely NOT for your budget wedding. It may not even be the place for a wildly nontraditional wedding. But it may be a great place for your splurgefest Fijian honeymoon. Because, if you want to make sure that your tourist dollars are going towards the local economy, the Intercontinental is THEE place for you to stay and feel amazing about it. Sanjeshni told me all about how this place is Fijian owned and operated, which means everything spent there goes straight to helping the locals. Speaking of locals, the hotel is situated right next to a Fijian village and the villagers were given a space in the hotel to sell their goods. I got to catch an amazing show that they're hired by the hotel to perform for the guests. The singing was the best I heard on Fiji. It gave me chills. Having a combined honeymoon and wedding Me on the boat jetty with Mana island in the background. If you can — leave the mainland! This requires extra funds and time because of course you gotta fly to Fiji and then buy another ticket and hop on a boat that will take you to another little island, but if you can swing it, you should do it! My third stop was to Mana island and oh boy was it the awesomest of all awesomes. They put me up in a honeymoon bure, which was great … although a little sad to be there alone. But I did get to go in the ocean for the first (and only) time while I was in Fiji. And the honeymoon bures (which rent for roughly $500 US a night) have their own private beach, their own outdoor shower, and jacuzzi tub … and they give you use of your own personal golf cart. It's also situated right near the entrance of a pretty neat little hike. Basically, it would make for the most amazing honeymoon, if you have the funds and didn't want to go the luxury hotel route. Hey look, it's that awesome bathing suit again! Mana island would also be a really great place to have a combo wedding and honeymoon. They have three different spots to have a wedding, including a chapel AND underwater locations. They also have several different awesome locations to have your reception. And receptions here could go all night! For a glimpse at a wedding held on Mana island, check out the Japanese wedding I crashed. Yes, Mana island, would be a fucking sweet location for a perfect Fiji island wedding and honeymoon. If you are a couple who is more into the eco-friendly way of life and/or would like to offset the carbon footprint of that long flight, you guys would really love Matava Fiji’s Premier Eco Resort — we're talking a VERY eco-friendly wedding or honeymoon on this island with a 100% off-the-grid hotel, running primarily on solar power! For more info about eco-friendly digs on Fiji check out this post from a fellow Fiji blogger. Offbeat wedding opportunities The only good thing that came out of my stay at the Sheraton was that I got to meet with a company called Adrenaline Fiji who are very interested in orchestrating nontraditional weddings. We're talking… Hot air balloon weddings. Underwater weddings in a number of prime diving locations. Weddings that take place on a disappearing sand bar that you and your entire wedding party could jet ski to, while they bring the rest of your guests in by boat. Or having your wedding and first romantic night as a married couple held entirely on a boat while touring various Fijian sites. The folks on Mana Island also said that they could do underwater weddings, and another hotel I got to visit, Sonaisali, told me that they often have bride or groom make a grand entrance on a boat to the wedding site! Either way, there are tons of people on Fiji who are excited about helping you have a ridiculous and wonderful wedding. In closing… Bottom line, Fijans are keen on hosting weddings, so call either one of the places I mentioned and see what they can do for you. Like I said, most everything is was relatively reasonable and you get A LOT for what you pay for. For if you're looking for a great island wedding location, have saved enough money for a big plane ticket, want your dollars to go towards the greater good and want to get a cultural experience to boot, Fiji is a solid option. (Psst: For more Fiji info and vacation ideas, including more photos and a lot of awkward self-made videos, check out this section of my personal blog.) Megan Finley Horowitz When Megan's not writing, traveling, and sleeping, she's eating like the fate of the world depends on it. (You're welcome, world!) You can snoop into her personal life over on her website The Dash and Dine! @meggyfin @thedashanddine @meggyfin PREVIOUS Belinda & Craig's Aussie rock apocalypse wedding NEXT Monday Montage: lovely ladies, staggering steampunks, gorgeous goths and dazzling dancers Show/Hide comments [ 19 ] You convinced me to visit Fiji Reply I am now dying to see a Hot Air Balloon Wedding. Reply You and me both!!! Reply Me tooooo me too me too. Also 50 SPF=I love you. Totally in that boat. Reply Dude, I would have bought SPF 80 if the store where I bought it had it!!!! 😉 Reply I feel for those who burn easily. Derrik, my beau packed SPF 100 for our trip to Hawaii last year! 😀 Reply Thanks for the great info. If you're not flying from the US flights to Fiji can be very reasonable (it's a really popular honeymoon destination for Australians). Reply I just looked up Fiji on Google maps (for the millionth time, I have a mental block on remembering it's location) and was thinking this post is even better for all the Austalian and New Zealand(-ian? -er?) readers because they wouldn't have such expensive flights. Reply Yeah, from what I can understand, they're golden with the Australian and NZ market, but they're keen on getting American couples to come for a visit. Though, I will say this, I looked into flying to Australia from Fiji, since I was already over there anyway, and the flights didn't seem cheap at all — I'd pay the same for a flight from LA to AUS. I was shocked. I'm telling ya, the flights are 'spensive! Reply The flights themselves aren't dirt cheap, but because accommodation and everything over there is cheap, it makes for a very inexpensive holiday. It costs 25-75% more to fly from LA to Australia, so it depends which city you were looking to fly into and at what time of year. Its also only recently that the australian dollar has gone up enough to make it almost even with US dollar, which means its more affordable for us to travel to the US. Reply "New Zealandian" – that is so cute, I am going to start saying that now! No disrespect, it just put a smile on my face! 🙂 Reply I believe they are best known as 'kiwis'. Reply I'm confused. It sounds pretty expensive, unless you mean $1 US = $2FJ? Otherwise its like Europe, everything is twice as expensive. Otherwise it sounds amazing. Reply YES! That's what I meant — thanks! I'm going to change that now. Reply Sonaisali was a real let-down when I was last there (a few years ago), and I've heard about the lack of improvement through others working in the travel industry. If couples are looking for somewhere extra special, check out Wananavu. If I won the lottery, I would happily live there for the rest of my life. http://www.wananavu.com/ Reply If I won the lottery, we'd go back, but like Megan said we'd head straight back to the islands. We stayed at the Manolo Island Resort and it was AMAZING. Glad to see we weren't alone in thinking the islands were where it's at! Breaking up the flight made it ok for us. We stopped in LA for a few days. Reply Had a quick look at the "Matava Fijiâ€™s Premier Eco Resort" site, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they adhere very strongly to the Responsible Tourism Code of Contact, and make business decisions based on it first. That's awesome. Reply I'm glad to see how well the trip went, I was wondering how your time in Fiji ended. I hope for you and for me that you get to go on another expenses paid fact finding trip. I'd love to hear about Puerto Rico from your point of view. Reply I stayed in Fiji for a week on my way from NZ to LA, mostly on Malolo and Malololailai and what Megan says is true: the people are generally very chatty and friendly. The diving is also great. And there are some cheaper places, they're just not 'luxury'. Reply Join the conversation Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sign me up for your offbeat awesomeness newsletter! No-drama comment policy Part of what makes the Offbeat Empire different is our commitment to civil, constructive commenting. Make sure you're familiar with our no-drama comment policy. Biz owners & wedding bloggers Please just use your real name in your comment, not your business name or blog title. 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