The One Thing You Are Not Permitted To Bungle – Your Wedding Day

“Making Your Wedding Day The Best Day Of Your Life”  –  this is how an independant report covering ‘Bora Bora….the Dream Wedding of Americans – a Ceremony worthy of the Grand Hollywood Productions’ written by leading journalist Alan Lepresle appeared in ‘La Depeche de Tahiti’, French Polynesia’s major newspaper, last Sunday – the day on which the newspaper has its largest readership.

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I’ll let the article do the talking with extracts, translated into English for the benefit of readers, appearing below:

“If there is one thing that you have no right to bungle, it is your wedding! At least no right to botch the day of the ceremony – life thereafter is rarely smooth sailing. As the object of every possible analysis so as to avoid any unwanted or unexpected situation & to leave the weather as the only uncontrollable factor, your marriage marks a milestone that is unlikely to be re-enacted in a long time. So as to get it right it is best to entrust the situation to a professional who will oversee in the minutest detail all the logistics of this “the best day of your life.”

If most marriages take place in geographically convenient places so as to permit the gathering of the whole family, others happen for the “happy few” in places far more exotic and it is this niche that Bora Bora has surfed so admirably……………

And where else could newlyweds imagine is more romantic than the “Pearl of the Pacific” to say ‘yes’ and to take a name for life? Everything is there! …………… The exoticism of white sanded beaches on the motus, the gentle trade winds of the Leeward Islands thrilling the huge leaves of coconut trees, the lagoon whose facetious colors turn from lapis lazuli to emerald in less time than it does takes to look away, the luxury hotels the mere mention of which instills emotion in the eyes of envious friends and above all, the label ‘Bora Bora’ which nowadays is a brand, a luxury product, not merely a simple ‘tourist destination’.

 – “And you, where did you get married?”

– “At Bora Bora.”

Nothing more can be added; it says everything! …………. Opportunistically, several local companies have crept into this niche business of happiness, the most recent amongst them, “Weddingborabora”, actually positioning itself with a new high-end service at very competitive prices that may see them taking a significant share of market in the light of the quality of service they offer to their customers.

“Weddingborabora” is led by Roderick Page, francophone and francophile Australian married to an enchanting Polynesian, a sexagenarian trained in the law, scholarly and effusive with greying temples and a face suitably weathered by the sun of the tropics, just as at ease talking with you in his rugged French accent about Anglo-Saxon common law as about the Wallabies (the Australian Rugby team). His company operates on the basis of solid partnerships developed over time with highly regarded local service providers, including professional photographer Stéphane Debelle-Duplan and François Ferrand owner of “Manu Taxi Boat”, so as to ensure that the services he offers are undoubted, for Roderick, better than anyone, knows there is no room for error in such circumstances.

Greeted by a beautiful autumn day & the sound of ukuleles & guitars on their arrival at Vaitape ……….. & welcomed by Roderick and the team from “Weddingborabora”, Jack and Carolee have come from Livonia, Michigan (USA) in preparation to spend a day that they will not readily to forget as they will, in fact, say “yes” twice in the same afternoon…..firstly in a civil ceremony at the Town Hall in the beautiful new Marriage Hall ………….

Leaving the Town Hall, wedding ring on the finger and under a shower of flower petals, Carolee and Jack are visibly moved as they are escorted to the large and magnificent catamaran which will take them to the private motu on which a Traditional Tahitian Wedding, the second ceremony of the day, will be celebrated. And it is precisely when the catamaran leaves the Bay of Vaitape, cruising serenely off the Matira beach before piercing the emerald and crystalline waters of the southern part of Bora Bora’s lagoon that the magic happens. Amidst chilled champagne supported by the music of crooners, the misty eyes of Jack and Carolee appear no longer large enough to take in the magnificent landscape of which they have for so long dreamt as framing their union.

On the beach of the motu the ceremonial participants, under the direction of the master of ceremonies or tahua (non-denominational Polynesian priest), are in place as the catamaran moors to the sound of the “pu” (conch shell). The wedding ceremony according to traditional Tahitian rites begins under the lens of Mathieu Clavreul, videoman “Weddingborabora”, who does not miss a beat. Stéphane Debelle Duplan rapid-fires his camera, Mathieu films, Roderick coordinates, the vahines (women) dance and sing under a sky always azure and those married kiss. Happiness is on the beach!

Dancing, cocktails and music maintain the festive atmosphere until the ceremonial catamaran again takes to the waters for the return journey against the backdrop of a setting sun melting behind Motu Toopua in a festival of oranges, purples, and mauves reflecting in the emerald of the lagoon turning jade. It reminds us the poetry of Baudelaire “Happy is the one who can lovingly greet the sunset more glorious than a dream! I remember ! I have seen everything, flower, spring, furrow fainting under the eyes like a heart that beats. Run towards the horizon, it’s late, run quickly to catch at least one oblique ray. “

A few hours later Jack and Carolee will return to sea heading homewards under a starry sky where the ancestors watch over Bora Bora, both intoxicated by the unique experience they have just lived, returning to their respective occupations and destiny knowing that, despite all, tomorrow will never be as yesterday.”

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The newspaper coverage concluded with a number of both interesting & at the same time glowing comments from those directly involved in the ceremony:

Willy Tamarii, 1st Deputy Mayor, who kindly married the happy couple:

“To marry foreigners in Bora Bora has been a great pleasure for the year & a half that I have been on the Municipal Council. The simple fact that these couples have chosen our beautiful island for this big occasion is an honour for us…….. The majority of those seeking to be married are Americans who, in choosing Bora Bora, realize their dream. Bora Bora will continue to be the destination of dreams.

For this year, 2015, we have already celebrated 55 marriages of foreigners following a total of 77 such marriages in 2014 alongside 44 marriages of locals. We have also celebrated a number of same sex marriages as we apply the laws of the French Republic without discrimination. All couples who wish to be united in marriage in Bora Bora are welcome.”

Roderick Page, founder of Wedding Bora Bora:

“It all began for Wedding Bora Bora with the marriage of our daughter. With 150 international guests coming from outside of French Polynesia & unable to find the prestation of service that we sought my wife & I decided to do it ourselves. The Mayor of Bora Bora, Gaston Tong Sang, who honoured us in marrying the couple commented that he never assisted at such a large scale event on the island.

I had the great opportunity to have at my side my wife Myriama Prokop whose families the Tehuiotoa & the Vaiho are well known families from Bora Bora. We brought in the Tiare Tahiti flowers from Maupiti whilst the other tropical flowers came from Tahaa from where we also procured all the necessary ingredients for Ma’a Tahiti (special Tahitian Feast). Myriama watched dance all the groups of the island so as to select the best amongst them, prepared a gift for each of those invited & so on.  

A report covering the event appeared in “Bora Bora Insider” & we were flooded with requests from people wishing to get married or the simply renew their vows in Bora Bora. So Wedding Bora Bora was born, proposing not just a simple wedding package but creating a unique & personalised event with attention paid right to the smallest detail to produce a totally unforgettable day meeting the needs, expectations & dreams of the client. Frankly we love what we do because we bring happiness & joy to people – how can you dream of a better environment in which to work?”

Interview: Connie & Greg, Michigan, USA, witnesses at the marriage of Jack & Carolee.

“Bora Bora far surpassed our expectations of the exotic romantic paradise destination that it is.

The warm welcoming hospitality of the Polynesian people, lush green mountainside foliage with colorful fragrant flowers, tropical breezes and underwater playground in the brilliant clear turquoise waters of Bora Bora have given us many fond memories of our excellent adventure at the end of the rainbow.

Carolee and Jack were very fortunate to connect with Roderick. His attention to detail, genuine concern for all attending and the absolutely stunning day culminated in a fairytale wedding fit for royalty.

We are left with one dilemma – now that we’ve experienced Bora Bora, aka paradise; where do we go from here ……? Perhaps we will return to Bora Bora next year to ourselves get married!”

Need we say anymore!

 

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