Real Weddings

Ginaya & Jason's Tropical Island Wedding

Eloping to the tropical island of Vanuatu, Ginaya was able to create an intimate celebration whilst still honouring their parents and her Maori heritage. 

Elegant, colourful and brimming with island happiness, it is impossible to admire these photos without wanting to jump on a plane directly to Vanuatu. Ginaya shares their story:

"Jason and I met on a blind date with my friends who had set us up. It was my first and my last blind date. We both made a connection and I gave Jason my number to catch up another time. Jason proposed to me Christmas Eve 2011. We had been together for over six years. I had just finished day shift. We went for a walk on Stockton Beach with our 2 dogs. Jason made me freshly cooked Salmon and even let me watch whatever I wanted on tv that night. I never noticed Jason had left a Christmas card for me on my pillow. I read the card which enclosed Jason's proposal.

We agreed that only the two of us were going to elope to Vanuatu. I sprung it on him a few weeks out that I invited both of our parents and Jason's god-mother along. Jason was not sold on the idea until after the wedding. He realised that family is important to us and that they really did make the day memorable. Relaxed elegance was the theme when we decided to elope to Vanuatu. I recommend anyone planning to elope to consider Vanuatu. Intimate memories filled our wedding day. We stayed at the boutique Eratap Beach Resort, this is the resort to elope to! The authentic Ni-Vanuatu people and beautiful landscape/fresh produce makes it an absolute paradise.

There was only one dress I wanted to wear for my wedding. I went into Johanna Johnson and fell in love with the Vivienne gown in ivory. The price of the dress did not match my budget. Determined to get the dress I wanted for the right price I came across the exact dress from the Still White website. I was so lucky to have come across it. I have never seen the same dress for sale since. It was the only dress I could see myself in for the wedding. I also purchased my Johanna Johnson cuff from Still White, and my jewelled Johanna Johnson belt was purchased from the JJ website directly.

I had a fantastic wedding planner Pascale at Eratap Beach Resort who had organised our wedding. I had searched the internet for any wedding photos in Vanuatu so I had an idea on the types of flowers we wanted. I wanted vibrant colours from Vanuatu. My only request was for no frangipanis. The rest was easy with an emphasis on us blending in with the beautiful landscape that surrounded us. Everything needed to be relaxed and flowing. Add to that a little touch of my Maori heritage by wearing my family Korowai (traditional Maori cloak) tied it in nicely. It was such an honour to wear such a glorious cloak and just thinking about it always brings on such a strong emotion.

Standout memories were having my dad (in his pink flamingo shirt and bow-tie) walk me down the aisle towards Jason. Our photographers travelled from Cairns especially to shoot our wedding. Jaypee and Victoria of Mefoto really suited our relaxed elegance theme when I was searching for a photographer. They were like photo-ninjas the whole day. Jason and I are not photogenic people and we felt so comfortable with their direction. For our ceremony it felt as though I was alone with Jason. The wedding dinner rounded off our awesome day. Picture being out under the stars feasting on fresh Vanuatu produce on a plate. I ate freshly caught seafood platter for 3 all to myself."

Ginaya has this advice for other brides /couples: "Be selfishly true to yourself. Plan the wedding you want to have without any third party influences. Be flexible in your planning. I wasn't able to buy the wedding dress of my dreams at the time. But I never gave up and finally found it for an affordable price. If you are planning to elope, establish good communication with your wedding planner."

Congratulations on your marriage Ginaya and Jason! Thank you for sharing your special day with us!

Photography by mefoto. Location: Eratap Beach Resort Vanuatu. Ginaya recommends using Tripadvisor if you are planning a destination wedding.

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