How to Elope in Fiji
More and more couples are growing overwhelmed with the thought of planning a traditional wedding that creates stress and protocol that’s simply not their style. It’s no surprise that these pairs are eloping to avoid the fuss.
Few places on earth compare on the romance scale with what you’ll experience with an elopement or destination wedding in Fiji–especially at Koro Sun Resort and Rainforest Spa. This exotic, incredibly beautiful South Pacific destination provides boundless private, intimate settings where Mother Nature creates a stunning backdrop.
Know Before You Go
To hold your wedding ceremony in Fiji, you need to be aware of certain marriage requirements.
Fijian weddings are both internationally recognized and legally binding. While all legally recognized weddings preformed in Fiji are civil marriages, traditional, religious or non-denominational ceremonies may accompany the registry. But the latter will not provide additional licenses beyond the Marriage Certificate obtained by the Registrar’s Office.
Aside from your ceremony attire and sunscreen, you’ll need to bring the following items with you:
1) Required Marriage Documents
Overseas visitors planning to marry in Fiji are required by law to obtain and sign a Marriage License from a Fiji Registry Office prior to the ceremony. Since some resorts will handle all legal documentation prior to arrival, the couple must forward all CERTIFIED photocopies of the required documentation preferably six weeks prior to the wedding date. All ORIGINALS of the required documents should be carried with the couple when traveling to Fiji.
- Birth Certificates–original or certified copies
- Valid Passports
- Single Status Declaration Certificate
- Divorce Decree (if applicable)
- Death Certificate (if applicable)
- Age Verification–Note that the legal age in your home country must be met for your marriage to be recognized. For example, the United States requires that both parties be 18 years of age for your marriage to be recognized upon your return to the U.S. The bride and groom cannot be related by blood, marriage or adoption. If either the bride or groom is below the age of 21 years, parental consent is required via letters of consent from both parents. If one of the parents is deceased, a Death Certificate is required.
- Certificate of No Impediment–Also known as a Single Status Affidavit, Single Status, Statutory Declaration, Certificate of No Record, Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage, Certificate of Nulla Osta or Certificate de coutume (plus an MP2A form)
2) Notice of Intention to Marry License
An application of Marriage License is available at all Registry Offices in Fiji, including the Assistant District Registrars located at rural and remote areas. The notice to marry must be completed by the couple, with all information typed in the form. The notice will be posted for 21 days prior to obtaining a marriage license, pending objections. If there are no objections, the couple is free to marry. Once granted, the license is valid for 28 days effective from the date of issue–meaning that the marriage must be officiated within this time period.
3) Witnessing and Signing of Marriage Certificate
- Every marriage in Fiji must be performed in the presence of at least two witnesses who are a minimum of 21 years of age (passports required for validating ages).
- All copies of Marriage Certificates must be signed by the party, and witnessed and endorsed by the minister or celebrant.
- One of the original Marriage Certificates will be given to the wedded couple to retain. The second certificate must be delivered with the license to the Registrar General’s Office within seven days.
Please note that since this information could change at any given moment, check online for “Updated Marriage Requirements in Fiji.”
Elopements Made Easy at Koro Sun
If any of these requirements sound daunting, they really aren’t–especially if you’re guided by the professional wedding staff at Koro Sun Resort. Our wedding team is available to absorb the stress and help guide you through the process.
The resort features a number of wedding packages and will tailor our wedding services to your personal requirements.
While we recommend that you plan to spend at least five nights at the resort, we do not require it. We also suggest having your wedding at least two days after the arrival, allowing you to rest and relax before exchanging vows.
At Koro Sun, you can select from onsite locations that range from the beach, Seaside Patio and Main Bure to the rainforest, Mountain Top Villa or another favored location.
Ceremony styles are equally varied. Our most basic is the Simple Wedding that includes a ceremony performed by a minister, traditional flowers for the bride and groom, flower leis and floral tiara (garland), and a Fijian serenade performed by three.
The more elaborate Traditional Wedding adds a pageboy and flower girl in traditional Fijian attire, Fijian warrior escort for the bride, Fijian choir, bridal toast of sparkling wine, single tier wedding cake, candlelight wedding night dinner, kava ceremony, floral turndown in bure on wedding night and breakfast in bed the morning after.
Since Vanua Levu Island’s scuba diving is so stellar, Koro Sun lures enthusiasts with an Underwater Wedding performed by a licensed minister off a fully staffed dive charter boat. Once the newlyweds emerge, they’ll dive into a single-tier wedding cake.
Naturally, we want newlyweds to stick around and bask in the afterglow of new marital status. Honeymoon stays allow you to plunge into the crystal clear waters of the Koro lagoon straight from your private beach patio, swim beneath pristine waterfalls in the lush untouched rainforest, indulge in a romantic massage amid singing birds and trickling streams, and toast at the end of the day during a private candlelight dinner. Your biggest concern will be whether to relax by the ocean with a glass of chilled Champagne or take a kayak out for a leisurely paddle.
Perfect for honeymooners and couples simply escaping for a romantic getaway, Koro Sun’s Romance Package indulges with a private candlelight dinner with bottle of wine, one-hour couple’s massage at the Rainforest Spa and breakfast delivered to your bure on the first morning of your stay.
Since a honeymoon is (hopefully!) a once-in-a-lifetime experience, why not splurge by enhancing the Romance Package basics with the Edgewater Bure five-night package. Couples are privy to continental breakfast, resort activities, ground transfers, fresh fruit platter and Koro Sun sulu.
For more details on how to elope for the Fijian wedding of your dreams, contact Koro Sun’s wedding planner at email@example.com.
Photo credits: Allan Zepeda Photography