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There isn’t anything more romantic than saying, “I do” on a white-sand beach beside a tranquil blue lagoon in Bora Bora!!!   Tahiti has FINALLY legalized destination-wedding ceremonies for U.S. and Canadian couples (in fact, for any overseas visitors over the age of 18 who are not French citizens).  So here’s the scoop:

Requirements: If you want to wed legally in Tahiti you will need to start the process at least six months in advance (you can also marry stateside and enjoy ceremonial-only vows in Tahiti with far less paperwork).  There are about six detailed documents that need to be translated and filed, including a “Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia” document; a letter signed and dated by both spouses and addressed to the mayor of the commune where the wedding will take place; proof of identities (copies of both spouses passports); a certified copy of both spouses’ birth certificates issued less than six months prior to the wedding date, authenticated with an “Apostile,” translated into French by an approved translator and legalized by the French Consulate; a “Certificate of Non-Marital Status” signed by a lawyer, translated into French and legalized by the French Consulate; and proof of residency for both spouses (such as utility bills).

Options: Without exception, the actual legal marriage will take place at the City Hall on the island where the couple will wed. This can be immediately followed by a beach, chapel, or hilltop ceremony featuring any combination of traditional Tahitian vows (presided over by a priest in plumed headdress and ceremonial garb with both couples dressed in white pareus and adorned with crowns and garlands of flowers and then wrapped together in the vibrant “Tifaifai” or wedding quilt) or Western ceremony (presided over by a justice or minister with the couple in a wedding gown and suit).  Depending on the locale, brides or grooms can arrive via dugout canoe, electric cart, or on foot to backdrops as varied as a glass-floored overwater chapel, a private motu (small island), or a catamaran sailing Bora Bora’s lagoon as the sun dips behind Mt. Otemanu.

Locations: Almost every major resort on Tahiti’s three main islands – Tahiti, Moorea, and Bora Bora – has wedding packages in place.

Moorea Pearl Resort – This Tahitian-owned property offers colorful, flower-infused weddings in two wonderful locations: a convenient beachfront at the resort with the bride’s arrival by canoe to her awaiting groom (about $800-$2,000 depending on extras such as musicians, dancers, and dinner), and a day-long celebration on a more private motu, reachable via a 20-minute boat ride (starting at about $2,000).  All ceremony packages include musicians, floral leis and crowns, and traditional pareus for the bride and groom, plus a beautiful bed of flowers and Champagne in the couple’s bungalow. Rates from $271.

InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa – The jagged green peaks of Moorea create a stunning, altar-like backdrop as couples in white pareus and a coconut-shell top (for her) stand barefoot in soft white sand next to the brilliant pale blue lagoon and exchange vows at sunset in a vibrant and enjoyable music and dance-filled Polynesian ceremony. Here, the groom arrives by outrigger canoe and the resort offers the option of a “Mini” Ceremony (accompanied by 8-10 musicians and dancers for about $1,300) or a longer “Grand” Ceremony (15-20 musicians and dancers for about $2,000). The couple returns to their flower-decorated bungalow for canapés and Champagne, followed by a private or group dinner at extra cost. Rates from $287/night.

InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa – Lapped by Bora Bora’s legendary lagoon, with iconic Mt. Otemanu in direct view, this five-year-old luxury resort mixing distinctly contemporary décor with traditional Tahitian ambience is a truly memorable spot to exchange “I Do’s.” In fact, there are several locations for weddings, ranging from an air-conditioned, glass-floored overwater chapel (from $2,050 and shown at left, courtesy of InterContinental Hotels & Resorts) to a sun-dappled beach (from $1,900) – both with mesmerizing Mt. Otemanu views. The resort’s concierge/wedding planning team aims to personalize each marriage with the couple’s preferred mix of Polynesian and Western elements and post-ceremony cocktails and dining (tip: the fire dancers are a must!). Rates from $900/night (most accommodations are overwater bungalows, with a few two-bedroom family suites from $800/night).

Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora – Couples can choose from seven wedding venues at this two-year-old five-star property – including a brand new catamaran, the Four Seasons Navigator, during a scenic two-hour sunset sail. After welcome Champagne and canapés, the couple and a maximum of 12-16 guests head up to the Navigator’s top deck for an intimate and breathtaking traditional Polynesian ceremony presided over by a Tahitian priest and accompanied by two musicians (from $2,150). As the lagoon shimmers and the passing scenery captivates, everyone revels in this very private and enchanting setting (shown at right). Other venues include the resort’s beach, its tiny offshore Sunset Motu or its open-air wedding chapel. Afterward, dining and entertainment options range from a beach barbecue (again, reserve the fire dancer!) to a fine-dining gala for up to 100. Rates from $900/night.

I have not discussed any Hawaii related travel, so when I saw this special today.  I thought I would discuss it briefly.

Resort View Room –  4th night free; American buffet breakfast daily at the Palm Terrace restaurant for a maximum of two guests per room; Daily Aloha Fun Pass per room, per day.

4 nights from $469 per person

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If you haven’t been to this resort, you are missing out!  It is Hawaii’s version of Disneyland.  Located on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii, the extraordinary property offers an unforgettable experience shrouded in breathtaking gardens, rich wildlife, and tranquil waterways.

This complex stretches out for a full mile and embraces 62 acres of lavish gardens, lagoons and electronically controlled waterfalls. Guests chose between trams or the favored mahogany cabin cruisers to get around this huge site.  The village offers a dolphin lagoon, a saltwater swimming lagoon, two large pools, and an adults-only pool.

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For those looking for a fantastic location for a Destination Wedding – stop looking any further!!!  Immerse yourself in island culture and tradition with a truly inspired destination, offering an authentic Hawaiian experience in an unforgettable oceanfront setting.  There are several wedding packages and a wide variety of reception venues to choose from.  The options are endless.

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Book Now & Travel by 12/18/09

My most favorite resorts to send my clients to in the Mexican Riviera are the all-inclusive Karisma Resorts – El Dorado Seaside Suites, El Dorado Royal and the various Azul Resorts.  Of all of them, Seaside is the most intimate.  I simply never have had a client come back miserable…YAY!!!

What has become so popular these days are Destination Weddings.  What a great idea of combining your wedding and honeymoon into one!  Not to mention, very economical.  I know what my wedding cost 15 years ago, so I can only imagine today it would be a rather nice down payment on a home.  So when I came accross this special today, I had to share with ya’ll. (Did I just go country on you????) 

If you are getting married or know someone interested in planning a Destination Wedding, consider this as an option.  One of the services I provide is dealing with your guests travel arrangements, so you don’t have to.  I also assist you with the planning of the wonderful day in paradise!

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Brides can say “I do” with their toes in the sand, or have a wedding in the sky at El Dorado Spa Resorts and Hotels and Azul Hotels, by Karisma. Luxurious Bridal Suites, a dedicated team of wedding coordinators, and an exclusive Justice of peace are just a few of the many amenities we provide. Every detail of the special day can be customized as we offer virtually limitless options. Let us help you to plan the perfect wedding!

35% off private functions and up to 20% off group room rates

Book now thru December 22nd, 2009.

Travel December 23, 2009 – December 22nd, 2010

Contact Me today for further details!

Lauren Liebert

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