Destination Weddings at Turtle Island Resort, Fiji Islands
There’s a trend among couples planning weddings today; a trend that has nothing to do with the latest fashion in gowns, rings, or beauty treatments. The trend is towards connection and reflection: weddings that connect the couple to the world around them, and reflect their ideals. Some couples are looking for ways to incorporate their values into their celebrations. They’re planning weddings that widen the circle of their commitment “to love and cherish.”?
Turtle Island Resort in Fiji is gaining new attention among these extraordinary couples. As a vanguard in socially conscious travel, Turtle appeals to those who want to “pay it forward”?”¦those who want to enrich, rather than deplete the places they visit. It attracts couples who would rather their money be used to strengthen the roots of a strong local community, than to strengthen the tentacles of a multinational corporation.
Turtle Island is one of the islands in Fiji’s Yasawa chain. It is part of the Nacula Tikini community, which includes 4 inhabited islands, 7 villages, and 3,500 residents.
During its nearly 25 years of operation, Turtle Island Resort has maintained a commitment to its community, with innovative programs that set it apart from other venues. Its vision has been to support and sustain the health of the community’s natural and social environments: the land itself, and the people who call it home. It has done so with programs that build opportunities and resources: in education, healthcare, and jobs.
So if you marry or honeymoon in Turtle Island, you will also be enhancing the sustainability of its island community. You’ll be glad you did once you experience this uniquely romantic South Pacific paradise, and the warm graciousness of the Fijian people. Turtle Island is a place that will enter - and alter - your heart. To celebrate your wedding, honeymoon, or anniversary there is to be married both to your partner and to a singular, remarkable place.
Turtle Island was designed for celebrations of love. They offer two wedding packages: a traditional sunset Fijian ceremony, or a private ceremony in a specially chosen pristine location. What’s more, Fijian weddings are not just for newlyweds”¦they’re also wonderful ways to celebrate a renewal of vows, or to expand on a legal ceremony held elsewhere. The traditional Fijian ceremony, or “Grand”? wedding package is held at sunset on the shores of the famous Blue Lagoon. All of the guests, along with the bride and groom, wear garlands of fresh, fragrant flowers. The bride and groom may dress in traditional Fijian wedding attire made especially for them by the Turtle Island staff members. The cloth is tapa, made from tree bark and hand-painted with traditional Fijian symbols in tan, brown and black.
The trumpeting of conch shells announce the bride's arrival on the wedding raft, or billi billi. Ceremonial drums accompany the bride as she disembarks and is escorted to her groom by two Fijian attendants. A Fijian choir sings as the couple approaches the chapel. After the ceremony, everyone participates in a Kava ceremony, an ancient tradition in honor of the bride and groom. The newlyweds are then carried onto the billi billi for their return to the wedding lovo, or feast, where, under the soft glow of lantern light, guests and staff alike raise their glasses in toasts to the happy couple. The staff lovingly cares for the couple in preparing for the event”¦preparing their ceremonial clothes, baking their cake, preparing the feast, and then entertaining all of the celebrants with traditional song and dance for a celebration that lasts long into the moonlit night.
The “Private”? wedding celebration takes place on a secluded beach, before noon on the day after the couple arrives. The bride and groom wear their own attire, and are joined by only the celebrant and a choir of eight Fijian singers. The ceremony is followed by a picnic lunch - with champagne and wedding cake - that the couple is free to enjoy in private, newly-wedded bliss!
Turtle Island Resort is already well known as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Andrew Harper called Turtle Island “as close to heaven on earth as you're likely to get." Hollywood agreed when they chose Turtle as the site of both "Blue Lagoon" movies: the 1980 version starring Brooke Shields, and the 1949 version starring Jean Simmons. Conde Nast’s Traveller has called the resort “hyper-romantic.”? A world-class, truly all-in-one resort, Turtle Island is a refuge for couples who want to escape the frenetic pace of Western life.
As a private haven for just fourteen couples, each with its own hand-crafted bure or bungalow, Turtle Island attracts couples who are deeply in love. It appeals to those who relish the space and grace to focus luxuriously on each other; those with a sense of passion and adventure. Each couple’s spacious, thatch-roofed bure has floor-to-ceiling windows, a Jacuzzi tub, beautiful hand-crafted furniture, and a private veranda with day bed.
Guests can explore the coral reefs right outside their doors, ride horseback on white sand beaches, or get a lomi-lomi four-hand massage. They can explore the island’s turquoise lagoons, hike, kayak, windsurf, sail”¦or lounge together in privacy, getting to know each other again in an atmosphere of utter tranquility. Couples can share a romantic meal on a floating pontoon dock, a picnic for two on a secluded beach, or gather at a common table for good food, wine and fellowship. The resort’s award-winning cuisine includes a wide array of organic fruits and vegetables grown on the island’s own four acre organic farm.
From the comfort of their hammock, couples can ponder the day’s possibilities. A glass of champagne may help in deciding between snorkeling or a sunset cruise, mountainbiking, deep sea fishing, or a visit to the island’s mangrove forest.
What most often surprises guests about their stay on Turtle Island is how it was infused with the warmth and graciousness of the Fijian people. The staff shares their culture and their home with a genuine sense of caring, and interest in the lives of their guests. This builds an atmosphere of inclusion, of cross-cultural connection. Most couples can count on leaving Turtle Island revitalized and refreshed, with a renewed sense of commitment to each other. But more often than not they realize another bond has also formed: a lifelong connection to the place, and the people of Turtle Island.