The idea of marrying your beloved in a beautiful tropical island surrounded by bright blue seas, soft white sand and more palm trees than you can count is the definition of destination romance.
On my recent adventure to the Cook Islands, I took the time to explore some of the main island’s most popular resorts to get the low down on exactly how a wedding can take place in this stunning locale.
Just a quick six-hour flight direct from Sydney and you’ll be in tropical paradise. This somewhat of an underrated gem easy is actual very easy to get to.
To get married in the Cook Islands you need to arrive in the country three working days before the ceremony so you can apply for your marriage license. Expedia’s Aussie travellers usually spend 5-6 nights in the Cook Islands so make sure you apply straight away if you’re staying for just one week.
Bring your birth certificate, passport and any divorce or death certificates (if you’ve been previously been married). All of these documents must be in English or translated to English.
Marriages that have taken place in the Cook Islands are recognised internationally (Although some countries will require an Apostille Seal to make it so.) Most resort wedding coordinators will assist you in getting the paperwork sorted upon your arrival in the Cook Islands– from taking you to the registry office when you arrive to helping finalise it all post ceremony.
Now that the legal jargon is out of the way, you’re ready to tie the knot in tropical bliss. Where should you say the words? I found out!
If you’re looking for a resort with everything at your fingertips, then Pacific Resort is it. Comprised of 64 studio rooms, suites, two and three bedroom villas, the resort has a barefoot restaurant, active kid’s club, full array of water sports equipment, daily lagoon cruises, daily activities, and massage and beauty services.
The rooms are private and can accommodate children easily (or for a more romantic honeymoon style, try the Beachfront Premium Suite with private lagoon fronted deck, air conditioning, flat screen TVs, and basic kitchen facilities)
As for weddings – this is a space where everyone can stay on site and be very well looked after. Whether it’s just for two or you’re bringing 100 of your nearest and dearest, they’ll accommodate beachside ceremonies, a secluded space in the huge tropical gardens or a ceremony on the secluded island Koromiri Motu (with traditional Vaku arrival for the bride).
Continue your celebrations under a marquee barefoot in the sand on Muri beach or amongst the resort’s gardens decorated in true tropical style. The wedding team on hand will work with you to not only create a menu that suits your desires, but also use their contacts to ensure every element is looked after for your day.
Located on the “sunset” side of the island, Crown Beach Resort offers a range of wedding packages from simple elopements to more traditional receptions for up to 120 guests. The beach and gardens provide all the island-style backdrops you’ll desire for an island wedding, along with a range of spaces (from a private dinner for two on a platform on the beach to a marquee on the sand or the onsite function center) for your reception.
The resort is adults only for complete relaxation (although children are considered for weddings if under supervision) with rooms ranging from the private courtyard pool suites each complete with it’s own swimming pool, to the tropical inspired beachfront villas with stunning views of the brilliantly blue lagoon.
The resort has two restaurants on site, perfectly situated to watch the famous Cook Islands sunsets, an onsite day spa and regular activities like water sports, yoga and themed dinner nights.
Muri’ Beach’s eco friendly (the resort is run on 100% solar power) gem, Muri Beach resort is set with a range of villas and apartments, each with a kitchen and dining area, and a Jacuzzi spa bath set into landscaped, lush tropical gardens.
The quiet surrounds lend themselves to complete relaxation, but if you’re more into making use of the convenient location, the resort offers bicycle hire, onsite message services, water sport equipment and even scuba diving lessons.
When it comes to getting married, the resort’s wedding team can organise everything for you. The prime spot for a ceremony is on the deck overlooking the lagoon or the beach below (although the resort can also arrange ceremonies on the Koromiri Motu).
Enjoy cocktails and champagne in the gardens before heading to the poolside restaurant for your reception; enjoy a cocktail party in the gardens or a marquee on the beach or by the pool. Catering to groups up to 90, the resort offers both cocktail and sit down receptions with a focus on island style cuisine.
The wedding team has access to a range of decorations allowing them to create a wedding styled to the look and feel you desire.
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