“When is the Best Time to get Married on Aitutaki?”
Any time is perfect for a paradise wedding beside Aitutaki Lagoon.
If you have your heart set on frangipani as your wedding flowers, make sure you come during our glorious Frangipani Season (our ‘summer’), from November through to April (and you enjoy longer ‘summer’ days as well!)
If you live in Australia or New Zealand and you want to escape winter back home, come anytime from May through to October, our fragrant Gardenia Season.
Temperatures are pleasant all year-round with a balmy 21 to 30 degrees centigrade in ‘summer’ and 17 to 25 degrees centigrade in ‘winter’. Aitutaki is slightly closer to the Equator than Rarotonga, so tends to be a couple of degrees warmer overall than her sister island. As a result, some of the most beautiful varieties of frangipani in the world grow on Aitutaki in a riot of coral pinks, hot pinks, salmon pinks, butter yellows and blush reds, and the almost-atoll is also famous for her luscious aromatic mangoes.
All brides and grooms naturally want perfect weather for their big day, and for many the word ‘rain’ is indeed a 4-letter word! Whilst no one can guarantee a rain-free wedding day, we can guarantee a care-free wedding day as we take care of every detail so you can relax, rest easy and enjoy each other’s company.
In the event of any tropical showers, these are generally passing through, and in addition, the canopies of the Oneroa Beach Chapel or the Kuriri Point Gazebo afford welcome protection from any ‘wet sunshine’, as it’s often called by the locals! If ‘wet sunshine’ does indeed come to pass on your wedding day (such as might happen around the time of the New Moon), then think as the locals do - that this is a very auspicious blessing from above on your special day!
So when planning your tropical beach wedding, think Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is when you are standing on the shore exchanging your vows under a clear South Seas sky, the lagoon a-sparking and the sun caressing your cheeks. Plan B is when you have wisely selected a beach location which has a fall-back position in the event that any ‘wet sunshine’ makes it tricky to proceed with Plan A – especially if you are part-way through your ceremony!
Very few Plan B locations exist on Aitutaki or Rarotonga. The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa however is blessed with the only dedicated Plan B locations on Aitutaki, the fabulous Oneroa Beach Chapel and the charming Kuriri Point Gazebo – both of which are perfect for your intimate ceremony whether in brilliant sunshine or in ‘wet sunshine’! (We also offer a selection of beautiful Plan B venues at sister resort, The Rarotongan Beach Resort & Spa, including the Aro’a Beach Gazebo, the Tropical Garden Gazebo and the Blue Lagoon Marquee – ask the bride who hastily changed her wedding location from Muri Beach to Aro’a Beach recently when she realized that Plan B would be a very wise thing to have!).
Having a Plan B fallback location means you can proceed with your Plan A dream tropical beach wedding with confidence, knowing that, whatever happens, you’re … uhhmm … covered!
“Where Can We Marry?” aka Your Pick of Aitutaki Wedding Locations
The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is located directly on the world’s most beautiful lagoon, on its own private island of Motu Akitua. Here you can say “I do” on the shimmering champagne sands, with a unique, exclusive and extensive selection of breathtaking, secluded sites to choose from for your dream island wedding.
Oneroa Beach Chapel
The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is delighted to now offer Aitutaki’s first dedicated wedding venue, the absolutely stunning Oneroa Beach Chapel.
Imagine saying “I do” with the world’s most beautiful lagoon as your backdrop, you and your family and friends under the cool shade of the Chapel’s thatched canopy, the glorious lagoon glistening before you, and beneath you, a carpet of fine champagne sand. Bliss!
Named in honour of Tekura-I-Oneroa, one of the 24 beautiful royal maidens brought to Aitutaki by legendary warrior and navigator Chief Ru on his voyage of discovery in the 12th century, the Oneroa Beach Chapel is the perfect venue for the bride and groom alone in paradise, yet is just as ideal for a couple celebrating their big day with those they love, accommodating up to 50 guests.
Located on the secluded western end of Sunset Beach towards Kuriri Point, the Oneroa Beach Chapel and Wedding Pavilion is the ultimate wedding location which effortlessly switches from being the perfect Wedding Ceremony location to being the ideal location for your memorable Wedding Dinner.
Kuriri Point & Kuriri Point Gazebo
Named after the Wandering Tattler, a pretty shore bird whose musical cry sounds exactly like its name, ku-ri-ri, Kuriri Point has ‘box seats’ on Akitua’s glorious tropical sunsets and panoramic views of the world’s most beautiful lagoon, Aitutaki Lagoon.
On a typical gloriously clear day, the majestic lagoon views from here are guaranteed to take your breath away. Kuriri Point is ideal for couples in love to say “I do” in paradise, either under the canopy of the blue Aitutaki skies or under the cool shade of “The Umbrella” ~ the intimate, umbrella-style thatched Kuriri Point Gazebo, another favourite wedding location.
The sweeping swathe of champagne sands along Sunset Beach, traced on one side by a long line of elegant, softly-swaying coconut palms and on the other, by the gentle lapping of Aitutaki Lagoon, provides one of the world’s most beautiful beaches on which to seal your wedding vows.
After all, what can top saying “I do” on a stunning private beach, on your own private island, right on the world’s most beautiful lagoon? Ideal for couples in love searching for a dream location for your romantic South Seas wedding, on Aitutaki’s most beautiful private beach. Absolute Aitutaki awaits.
Palm Tree Aisle
Take a few steps back from Sunset Beach and you find yourself standing in Palm Tree Aisle, a beautiful sandy aisle flanked on each side by a line of tall, graceful coconut palms.
This makes a naturally cool canopy for your paradise wedding ceremony, or alternatively, a fabulous backdrop for stunning wedding shots after your ceremony.
(The gorgeous photograph in the Australian Women’s Weekly (June 2008) of Australia’s popular TV celebrity and “Getaway” TV show host, Catriona Rowntree, taking a carefree bicycle ride with hunky husband James Pettit while on their dream Aitutaki honeymoon was shot against Palm Tree Aisle with views of Aitutaki Lagoon beyond.) Another truly unique location.
“What Time Can We Get Married?”
Each part of a perfect day in Paradise has its own special charm.
Late afternoon is a wonderful time of day to exchange vows as you bask together in the golden glow of the Aitutaki sun, and later your Wedding Photographer can capture you standing together against a riot of oranges, pinks, yellows and reds as the sun melts into the horizon.
If you prefer shots of glorious blue skies at the height of their brilliance, you should consider opting for earlier in the afternoon as your preferred ceremony time, such as 1pm.
Or you may prefer a slightly cooler part of the day – and you may be yearning to become Mr & Mrs as soon as possible on your wedding day! – in which case mid-morning at 10.30am may be your better option.
Wedding Ceremony Times at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa:
- Mid-morning – 10.30am
- Early Afternoon – 1pm
- Mid-afternoon – 3pm
- Late Afternoon leading into Sunset – 4.30pm
“How Should I Go About Choosing My Wedding Date?”
The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is a very exclusive wedding destination, and we are pleased to generally be able to offer most wedding couples their first or second choice of wedding date, sometimes even at quite short notice.
Our policy is to perform only one wedding per day so we can offer our undivided attention to you as our special wedding couple.
Some dates such as national and international public holidays (including Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and New Year’s Eve) may not be available for wedding ceremonies. Religious-observance and respect for family time are important values in the Cook Islands, and at such times it is difficult to secure services such as those of a Celebrant or Minister. Where a wedding can be held on a public holiday there is a surcharge on all goods and services.
Please contact your Personal Wedding Planner for advice at firstname.lastname@example.org (or at our sister property, email@example.com) when choosing your wedding date.
Weddings at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa are performed for in-house guests only. To deliver the best service possible and to fulfill legal requirements, the Bride and Groom are required to be staying in-house a minimum of 5 nights, including at least 3 working days prior to the wedding date (this can include the day of your Marriage License Application), the day of the wedding itself, and the day following the wedding.
“How Do I Book My Wedding Date?”
Once you have chosen your date and confirmed availability with your Resort Personal Wedding Planner, you will want to secure the date, and this is possible by making an advance deposit (check with your Planner for details).
We appreciate that it may take a little time between selecting your Wedding Date and arranging your Flight and Accommodation bookings, so we would be pleased to hold your wedding date ‘penciled in’ for 3 weeks to allow you time to co-ordinate your arrangements prior to making your deposit.
Thereafter we reserve the right to cancel a wedding date booking should the deposit not have been made to secure the date.
Full payment of the balance of your chosen ‘Elope to Paradise’ Wedding Package must be made at least 60 days prior to your arrival. Please note that we reserve the right to refund your deposit and release the wedding date should your accommodation booking not satisfy the minimum stay requirements outlined.
Your Personal Wedding Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org is also able to assist you with your Accommodation and Air Rarotonga bookings, or you may wish to consult your friendly Travel Agent.
“What If I’m Planning to Bring Wedding Guests?”
You may be wanting to elope to the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa for your wedding day, just the two of you. Or you may be yearning to share your happy occasion with those you love.
You may be wanting to bring with you just a small handful of special friends or family, or you may have in mind a truly Big Day in Paradise and make a party of it with 20, 40, 60 or more people. Whatever your style, the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa is the ideal destination for your wedding or wedding group.
We would love to welcome you and your wedding guests to this very special resort destination. In consideration of other guests who may be staying at the resort during the time of your wedding, we do require that a minimum of 50% of your guests be staying at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa for the duration of their stay on Aitutaki. For further information please consult your Personal Wedding Planner at email@example.com
“How Do We Apply for our Marriage License?”
The Cook Islands Registrar of Marriages requires the Bride and Groom to apply for their Marriage License, in person, at least 3 working days prior to their wedding date.
When applying for your License you are required to bring with you to the Registrar’s Office the following:
- your current Passports
- your Birth Certificates
- your Divorce Decree (if divorced)
- the Death Certificate of your deceased Spouse (if widowed)
Where there has been a name change of either the Bride or Groom, you will also need to provide supporting documentation for this.
All documents are required in English, or with an official English translation.
Your Wedding Planner will personally escort you to the Register’s Office to apply for your License.
“Who Will Officiate at Our Ceremony?”
As Bride and Groom you are able to select either a Non-Religious Celebrant or an ordained Minister to perform your ceremony and declare you Husband and Wife.
The services of a Celebrant or Minister are included in the cost of your selected “Elope to Paradise” Wedding Package. If you require an Officiator of a certain faith or denomination please consult your Wedding Planner for availability. Aitutaki’s small and remote location means that we are unable to guarantee the availability of an Officiator of a specified faith or denomination.
Catholic couples may wish to note that the Cook Islands is in the unique position of being able to offer Beach Weddings to Catholic couples.
Occasionally couples wish to supply their own Officiator. This requires prior authorization from the Ministry of Justice. Please consult your Wedding Planner for further advice.
“What Venues can We Choose from for Our Wedding Reception?”
The Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa offers the ideal South Seas experience for any wedding couple searching for a truly distinctive location for your once-in-a-lifetime occasion to share with your special guests.
Our experienced Weddings Team is able to coordinate your wedding and reception from beginning to end, with great service blended with the friendly warmth and charm of the Cook Islands, making this destination a truly memorable one for you and your guests.
When you choose to say “I do” at the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa, you are taking advantage of having everything you need for your dream day right at your fingertips:
- exclusive world-class locations such as the Oneroa Beach Chapel and Kuriri Point – right on the shores of the world’s most beautiful lagoon (no other resort can offer you such stunning locations)
- your Personal Wedding Planner on-hand to take care of every detail
- your therapist at SpaPolynesia Aitutaki to help you feel relaxed and look your best
- a fabulous selection of venues for your Wedding Reception and
- unsurpassed Function Catering for you and your guests
Your Wedding Dinner or Wedding Reception Venue:
- Oneroa Beach Pavilion
Blessed with the world’s most beautiful lagoon as its stunning backdrop, and a canopy of thatched local palm-fronds, the very stylish Oneroa Beach Pavilion is a truly unique and exclusive location for your special event. Highly recommended. Seats up to 50 people
- Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill
Any closer to Aitutaki Lagoon, and you’d be in the water. Named in honour of the glorious Tasman Empire Airways Limited (TEAL) Flying Boat aircraft which used to land on Aitutaki Lagoon during their Coral Route heyday in the 1950s), this is another completely unique venue.
Hand-worked by local craftsmen of ano and toa (ironwood) trees and kikau (thatched palm fronds), the Flying Boat Beach Bar & Grill makes a breathtakingly beautiful location for your wedding reception, and comes complete with the best views on Earth of the world’s most beautiful lagoon! Seats up to 40 people
- Bounty Restaurant
For couples wanting to top off a Big Day with a big party, the Aitutaki Lagoon Resort & Spa’s Bounty Restaurant provides the largest quality venue on Aitutaki. Named in memory of the European discovery of Aitutaki on 11 April 1789, the day Captain William Bligh dropped anchor just 17 days before the infamous mutiny on the HMS Bounty, the Bounty Restaurant is a magnificent space befitting its bounteous name.
Graced with a high ceiling and adorned with local artifacts, the Bounty Restaurant is the ideal option for larger groups with a wonderful outlook along one side onto Bligh’s Beach, the O’otu (Full Moon) Channel and Aitutaki Lagoon beyond, and on the other side, opening out onto the sundeck and swimming pool.
Seats up to 150 people
- Sunset Beach
Nestled just in front of Palm Tree Aisle on Sunset Beach is a wildly romantic and exclusive location for your Private Candlelit Dinner, just the two of you. With your toes wriggling in the champagne sands, imagine sitting at your beautifully-draped table as a riot of reds, oranges, pinks and yellows set the sky ablaze. Toast the first day of your new lives together as flame torches flicker about you and the mysterious lagoon gently caresses the shore. Then watch as the sunburst colours melt away into a vast black velvet sky sparkling with a trillion twinkling stars, and set off with the fattest yellow moon you’ve ever seen. This is your night, your night together on Sunset Beach, your faces alight with candlelight, starlight, and joy.
A Private Candlelit Dinner can also be set for you in a variety of other locations, such as the over-the-water verandah of your Overwater Bungalow, the intimate poolside privacy of your Villa Te Arau ~ Royal Honeymoon Pool Villa, or tucked under the romantic thatched canopy of “The Umbrella” – Kuriri Point Gazebo.
Seats up to 4 people
Venue hire and set-up fees apply, please consult your Personal Wedding Planner for details.
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