2nd May 2013
We had a VERY busy day ahead of us in Bora-Bora on our 44th wedding day!
We kept re-reading the schedule and trying to make sense of it…we were due out at ‘sea’ all day and had only half an hour between getting off a boat trip and being at the altar ready to say our ‘I Do’s’!
Now, with our experience of boat trips, as awesome as they are, they are exhausting! Being on a boat for 8 hours normally means too much sun, LOTS of salt water, seriously windswept hair, the need for bathroom stops and food, swimming, snorkelling and other generally exciting and tiring activities…so we were alarmed that we would have only 30 minutes to get back to our bungalow, change, shower and have camera ready, not too sunburned faces and tidy wedding hair.
HOWEVER, what we didn’t realise was that we were not going out on any old boat, we were going out on a luxury yacht with showers, rest rooms, a chef filled kitchen, a dining area, bedrooms, champagne on ice and a wonderful relaxing area! When we saw the stunning yacht approaching we looked at each other in disbelief and tried to look behind it for OUR boat! Catherine stood with her camera at the ready and looked equally perplexed!
When a smaller boat appeared from behind the now stationary, sparkling white boat and started zooming towards us we were just completely gobsmacked by the whole matter. The speed boat pulled up and helped us on board and we were introduced to the fabulous crew of the Tahiti Yacht Charter! We whizzed back to the super sleek yacht and were welcomed on board the magnificent beast that would take us on our Island tour.
We wandered around a little awe struck probably mimicking goldfish with our mouths hanging open as we were shown around below deck, offered refreshments and planned our day with the crew.
We nodded like those little plastic dogs that sit in your car window and within no time we were off on a whole new sailing adventure around the stunning island of Bora Bora.
As we sailed we chatted with the crew who told us about the Island, its history and how they charter the yacht for weeks with families and groups on the holiday of a life time. Such an incredible job and one they were very, very good at.
We had SUCH an amazing time. We snorkelled with black tip sharks, tried our hand at paddle boarding in the perfectly clear waters and even had a little adventure in a pair of canoes. We ate an incredible meal prepared on deck with a glass of champagne or two and were invited to wear traditional Tahitian clothes and head pieces to take some pictures on the fantastic million dollar yacht.
We weren’t at all sweaty or salty when it was time to disembark and we wished we had been more prepared as we could have taken time on the yacht to prepare for the wedding. The situation was definitely more enjoyable than had we been out in a dingy for the day! We were showered and ready to run to our bungalow to change and try to apply a spattering of make-up and still be on time for our ceremony.
We thanked the amazing crew for such a wonderful experience and waved as they whizzed back to their gorgeous floating luxury apartment and we jumped onto our awaiting golf cart and were whisked back to our room to change.
Well practised at getting ready in a hurry we were wedding ready in a flash.
The ceremony was to take place in the stunning, and very exclusive over-water Glass-bottom Chapel, floating on the lagoon and ideally located in front of the mesmerising and unique “Mont Otemanu”. A colossal green volcano island that sprouts from the clear blue water across from the Bora Bora Intercontinental resort and Spa, a perfect backdrop to such an idyllic setting!
Sophie, the Wedding Coordinator escorted us to the Chapel in the islands main means of transport…a golf buggy! Another awesome mode of wedding ‘car’ added to the ever growing list! The Tahitian Priest welcomed us with open arms and to the sounds of ukuleles and Polynesian love songs.
Traditionally dressed men and women sang, danced and scattered heavenly scented petals as we arrived outside of the Chapel and we were then welcomed inside where we stood with a whole new underwater world going on below our feet.
As Lisa & Alex come together today to unite into traditional Polynesian ceremony, let it be known, the foundation to this relationship is their love for each other and their desire to spend the rest of their lives together as friends, lovers, companions and protectors…And all things that embody the institution of holy matrimony.
The ceremony was just beautiful and mixed traditions and local touches to make the wedding even more special!
The Master of Ceremony ‘unified’ us by tying us together using “Auti“ leaves, rather like the handfasting ceremony but with a local twist! We were told to tie the knotted leaves to the outside of our bungalow door when we returned which means ‘private’, do not disturb! We had a little giggle at that!
POLYNESIAN SPOUSES RULES
Spouses must be mutually faithful and helpful
The husband is the head of the family
He exerts this function in the common interest of the family
The wife, together with the husband, assures the moral direction and position of the family and manages them well.
The choice of the family residence belongs to the husband
If the spouses cannot fulfil their part of the marriage contract, they will contribute to the best of their respective abilities.
With our hands bound together we were blessed with pure water from the lagoon, adorned with flower necklaces and crowns and after the ceremony we were wrapped in a “Tifaifai” (a large local blanket) which symbolises the Polynesian union.
We were then baptised with Polynesian names and received our “Tapa” (wedding certificate). Our Polynesian names are “Poehere tane” & “Poehere vahine” which means “Pearl of love”
Today we celebrate our marriage
And reaffirm our love and Commitment to each other.
Alex, I love you and all that I am I will share it with you.
You are my husband and my best friend,
My lover, companion, and strongest supporter.
I will cherish, honour and trust you, care for and support you,
And will love you all the days of my life.
I will face with you the troubles and sorrows of life,
And will share with you life’s goodness and joy.
You are, and will always be, the Love of my life.
Today, before God, and these witnesses, I give you my heart.
After the nuptials, the local men and women performed typical Polynesian dances and songs to celebrate our love and unity and invited us to dance with them. We of course tried our hardest at the dancing. I had to wind my hips slowly around and poor Alex had to have a go at the knee knocking dance that all of the very toned and tanned men are so good at!
We laughed at ourselves as we tried to join in and once we were suitably exhausted we thanked everyone and were led to a beautifully decorated outrigger canoe which was our wedding transport back to our incredible over-water bungalow. Our canoe ‘driver’ sounded the “Pu” (conch shell) to let everyone know we were wed!
The serene ride back to our bungalow was a blessing. The sun was slipping behind Mount Otemanu and we soaked up the last rays of light as we slid silently though the crystal clear waters rippling below us.
The Wedding Prayer
God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honour all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.
We honour mother earth and ask that our marriage be abundant
and grow stronger throughout the seasons.
We honour fire and ask that our union be warm
and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honour wind and ask that we sail through life safe and calm
As in our father’s arms;
We honour water to clean and soothe our relationship,
that it may never thirst for love.
With all the forces of this universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness
As we forever grow young together.
When we arrived via our balcony we were surprised yet again by stunning cake, a bottle of champagne and more stunning flowers which was to be transported to our private romantic dinner by the lagoon.
We had had such an incredible day, so many wonderful life experiences in a short 12 hours! Experiences we will never forget and that we will recommend to everyone we ever meet for the rest of our lives! Bora Bora is truly heaven on Earth, a place made for the ultimate relaxation, a place to immerse yourself completely in beauty and nature and the perfect place to run away to to get married in an incredibly unique way!