elopement

Tropical Wedding Fiji – Esther and Iliesa

This has been a long time coming, 9 years in total…plus everything in between. We’ve known Esther for a number of years and we remember those days when we’d ‘joke’ about her future husband (like..where was he already) and what their lives together would look like! And so to arrive at a point where the dream was now a reality and not only that but to be able to capture that moment (as well as spectacular OTBP session at Iliesa’s village on the Island of Naqara, that included a shipwreck) filled us with an overwhelming sense of ‘heck yeah, this is happening!’

As you can imagine, 9 years gives a girl a lot of time to plan and pour her dreams into her wedding day :) And Esther, who has such a keen eye for detail, pulled out all the stops! From designing their own save the date cards, invites, and ceremony programs, to pulling together a talented crew lead by Ela and Tui Ledua to style their reception.

When we asked them what marriage meant to them, they quoted from Wendy Treat, “Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your spouse everyday!”…’It’s so true as humans we can get selfish at times but when you’re married, you’ve got to put that aside, look out for each other and cheer each other on, no matter what life throws at you. That’s what marriage means to us.’

We fell head over heels in love with Esther’s dress, gosh who wouldn’t! So we couldn’t wait to hear more about it: ‘To be honest, the dress experience was a bit hectic at first because I was a very indecisive bride-to-be. By August I had no idea what I wanted, and I was getting married in 4 months time!

Thankfully my sister suggested re-using our mum’s wedding dress, an off-white French lace dress she wore 30 years ago. It was perfect because for one, I am a very sentimental person and secondly, it gave me an idea to go with a vintage style.

I got in contact with Hupfeld Hoerder around mid August. Once I sat down and discussed the design with Huppy I felt at ease and a bonus was that we both love vintage designs.

The top part of my dress particularly the sleeve was a design I had seen on Kama Catch Me’s Pinterest page. Huppy incorporated a piece of the lace from mum’s dress for the top half and the bottom part was Huppy’s hand-printed designs. The end result exceeded my expectations and overall it was a lovely experience!’

Iliesa recalls his favourite moment seeing Esther walk down the aisle, memories flashing before him and knowing that this moment had finally arrived. For Esther, her ‘stand out’ moment was during their first dance…’Every time I hear our song “Nothing Can Change This Love” by Sam Cooke, it brings back good memories.’

‘The Best is yet to come’ x

A few days after…

Any mentions you’s like to make: ‘We would like to thank Kama Catch Me Photography (your team made us feel at ease during the photo sessions and the bouquets and headpieces by Gitte were absolutely beautiful). Tui & Ela Ledua, this couple are our very dear friends and only style weddings for close family and friends, they did an amazing job styling our reception venue and definitely went above and beyond, as you’ll see from the pictures.’

Vendors:

Wedding Venue: Wesley City Mission Church

Reception Venue: Lagoon Resort, Pacific Harbour 

Wedding Coordinator: Esther & Iliesa

Wedding Stylist: Ceremony- Neomai Katonivualiku / Reception – Tui & Ela Ledua

Celebrant: Reverend Immanuel Reuben

Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Mansukh Jewellers (Wedding bands) / Jewels Fiji (Engagement ring)

Dress/s: Hupfeld Hoerder

Veil/headpiece: Veil- Grace Loves Lace / Flower crowns- Gitte Kama (Kama Catch Me)

Shoes: NOVO

Accessories: Lovisa

Hair & Makeup: Alipate Ubitau (Hair) / Katarina Uluibau (Makeup)

Flowers: Gitte Kama (Kama Catch Me)

Bridesmaids:  Hupfeld Hoerder

Accessories (shoes, jewellery, …):

-Bridesmaids wore their own/borrowed shoes as long as it was red heels.

-Earrings: Lovisa, Australia

Bridesmaids gifts:

-Lavalava(sulu’s) & frangipani’s – Pacific Jewell, Samoa

-Fans (iri) – Asenaca Lesu of Daku Village, Tailevu.

Robes: Lavalava (sulu’s) – Pacific Jewell, Samoa

Groom and Groomsmen: Shirt – Jacks, Fiji / Pants – S. Nagindas, Fiji.

 

Page boy shirt & pants – JenHen, Fiji.

Page boy’s suspenders – Kmart. JenHen, customised by sewing Hupfeld Hoerder’s material onto suspenders to match the bridesmaids dresses.

-Page boy’s shoes- Deluxe kids, Fiji

Groomsmen gifts:

-Lavalava (sulu’s) – Pacific Jewell, Samoa

-Fans (iri) – Asenaca Lesu of Daku Village, Tailevu.

Cake: Taste Fiji

DJ or outsourced entertainment: Police Band & DJ Sekove Tukana

“Highlights 2016”

We don’t know about you but 2016 has been an amazing and eventful year for us! Although the year started off rough with Gitte fracturing her elbow in April (and sidelining her for the rest of the year), the injury however gave way to the induction of ‘Faith Yolanta’ into our lives sparking the start of a new chapter and friendship of which we’re so grateful for :)

This is the year that was 2016! There’s so much more that we would have liked to include in our highlights and it was always going to be a difficult task to select our favourite moments.

So this collection is a mash up of Weddings, ‘Off The Beaten Path’ adventures, location scouts, countries, cultures, couples, memories and all the good vibes in-between that have brought us fully fired up into 2017.

We are so grateful and truly honoured at the opportunity to capture so many amazing and adventurous couples, without you none of this would be possible so thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Now come celebrate with us.

Here’s to you guys.

From Ropate, Gitte and Faith

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Fiji Wedding Locations & Landscapes

“Fiji Westin Wedding Photographer” – Diana & Peter

Diana has a multicultural background, born in Hungary and raised in Germany, and Peter grew up in a small coastal town in New South Wales Australia, so it was an exciting adventure for Peter when he moved to the hustle and bustle of Sydney to be with Diana & later on to start a new life with her in Germany where he was introduced to a more cosmopolitan way of life.

They’ve only recently moved back to Australia from Germany, where their daughter Evie was born, and 2 days before their wedding in Fiji, they got word that Diana had finally received her long awaited permanent residency making it a double celebration.

Here’s what Peter had to say about their journey: We had so many uncertainties along the way during our relationship, due to constant issues with Diana’s visa. We were never able to settle for any long periods of time at any one place and were always prepared to let go instantly of anything materialistic and a secure job, just like we’d done so many times before when we had to leave Australia unexpectedly. But because our hearts are not bound to a location, all we needed was each other. We make the best out of our situation and find comfort and grounding in each other and now, also in our baby daughter. Our situation can be seen as a blessing in disguise – we’re ready to drop everything and let go at the cost of financial security, but at the gain of an immense feel of freedom, that we can go anywhere we want, at anytime.

They joked to me about having never had their photos taken together (formally) before…but I never would have guessed! They brought so much presence it was hard not to get lost in their raw affection. Not even the rain, that belted it down towards the end of the day, could drown out their vibe #Contagious

Full Vendors List to follow:

Getting Ready:

Peter – The Sheraton Fiji Resort – Denarau and Diana – Westin Denarau Island Resort and Spa

Ceremony location: Chapel at the Sheraton

Wedding Coordinator: Jennifer Yip from the Sheraton

HMUA: Lodo from Totoka Hair and Makeup

 

Intercontinental Wedding Photographer Fiji – Bec & Clint

Bec and Clint live and work in Victoria, Australia. They both have demanding roles within their occupations, a lifestyle that certainly seems to have given them a deeper respect and appreciation for life and an acute awareness for those who live in it, the balance of this ever changing Yin and Yang seems to be what they’ve found in each other and cultivated over the 6 years they’ve been together.

Bec chose a fitted couture gown from ‘Anette of Melbourne’ (full vendors list below) which came as a result of 3 full days of trying on different wedding gowns on all over Melbourne but with nothing that wowed her. This let down led her to conduct some online research of designers who created ‘custom gowns’ which is when Bec stumbled across ‘Annette Of Melbourne’, here’s what Bec had to say about her designers: “I had 1 appointment with Rose and I knew that they were the ones who would create my dream gown. These ladies at Annette Of Melbourne are beyond amazing! Not only are they super talented but the most beautiful buch of ladies who felt like family by the time by gown was complete. In total I had 6 appointments over a 6 month period to ensure the gown was just perfect. Nothing is a hassle for these ladies, they were a dream to work with.”

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Here’s that gown and this couple in action over 3 days, which apart from their wedding day also included an ‘Off The Beaten Path’ (OTBP) session in the highlands and a ‘Trash the Dress’ (TTD) session out in the middle of the ocean, nothing like a bunch of smoke bombs, highland scapes and a rising tide in shark infested waters to get your adrenaline pumping.
This is how to do it in style.
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When we asked them why they chose Fiji as opposed to ‘back home’ this was their response: “We wanted something that was different, local Australian weddings all seemed to be the same. We wanted something on the beach and because we have family in Australia and New Zealand we thought Fiji would be the perfect destination. Fiji was nice and close to both countries and had endless options for weddings. Bec did venue research online and found the Intercontinental Resort. We both loved the look of the resort and what it offers as part of their wedding packages. We decided on the Intercontinental Resort fairly quickly and from there it was full steam ahead with the rest of the planning.”

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Their advice for future couples planning a wedding (in Fiji)? “Relax and trust the process. You may not get a response straight away from suppliers etc but they will get back to you. Remember they are on ‘Fiji Time’ and I guarantee everything will work out perfectly on the day. Also plan ahead, I (Bec) did my research early and  had all of my suppliers booked in 11 months out from the wedding. From there We knew we were in good hands. The day goes super fast so make sure you’ve got amazing photographers and videographers for the memories.”

Wedding Venue: Intercontinental Resort – Chapel
Reception Venue: Intercontinental Resort – Meke Lawn
Wedding Coordinator: Jane Lesuva
Wedding Styling: Grace Creations Fiji + The Wedding Styling Co
Celebrant: Reverend Nacanieli organised by the Intercontinetal
Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Purdeys Jewellers Shepparton
Dress/s: Annette Of Melbourne
Veil/headpiece: Annette Of Melbourne
Lingerie: Intimo
Garter: Passed down from my Grandmother
Shoes: Wittner
Accessories: Chrysalini
Hair & Makeup: Hair & Make Up Perfectionist
Flowers: Grace Creations

Bridesmaids and flower girl dresses: Zimmerman
Accessories: Novo Shoes
Bridesmaids gifts: Chrysalini Earings
Robes: Bras n Things

Accessories (watch, cufflinks, (bow)tie, socks, shoes, suspenders): Oscar Hunt
Groomsmen’s and page boys attire: Country Road
Cake: Intercontinental Resort
DJ or outsourced entertainment: Tolu Trio & Kulture Entertainment
Videography: http://lovesoldierweddings.com.au/

“Fiji Mountain Elopement – Garphing & Tzeyin”

It’s been an amazing year so far, sure we started off slow but towards the end of the year we’ve found our pace and have stuck to it with OTBP sessions and elopements being at the forefront. This year has also seen a rise in us capturing couples further abroad than the “usual” Geographical locations, adventurous couples willing to push the boundaries a bit just so that they get the full flavour of a Fijian Destination wedding experience.

Garphing & Tzeyin were one of these. They are actually our first couple to capture from Malaysia (although they live and work in Singapore).

So how does a couple from Malaysia living and working in Singapore decide to elope off the beaten bath in the middle of the Fijian highlands?

Well it all started with an unusual proposal…

As it goes, one day, Garphing (the groom) shows Tzeyin a few online adverts about Fiji. Jokingly Tzeyin asks about how amazing it would be to have a helicopter proposal in Fiji and Garphing’s response was “Um, why not we spend the money to get married there instead?” And the next thing they knew they were booking flights for Fiji :) How’s that for an impromptu proposal? lol Straight for the jugular.

This is their story. Congratulations guys xo

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When we asked them why they chose an OTBP highlands elopement this was their response:

Once we decided to marry in Fiji, we looked through a lot of Fiji wedding blogs. Then we came across a Highland Elopement post on the ‘Kama Catch Me’ website. It was stunning! Both of us know this is what we wanted and immediately came to an agreement without a second thought (which is something that rarely happens between us).

The planning, researching, logistics and styling is really all down to Gitte, having fractured her arm early this year and no longer being able to shoot weddings, she has consistently poured herself into passions that make her buzz, OTBP elopements being one of them. Thankfully for us we had Pooja and the Team from Paradise Bride (full vendors listing below) to collaborate with on the setup and flowers.

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The following conversation ensued when we asked the couple what their stand out moments from the experience were:

Tzeyin: The settings! Especially the teepee. It looked exactly the same as what I discussed with Gitte.

Garphing: My bride! 

Tzeyin: *eyes rolling*

Garphing: Alright, the champagne popping. I didn’t expect to do this in the highlands. And after 3/4 bottle of champagne on an empty stomach, I felt a bit dizzy during the photo shoot. 

Tzeyin: Ohh, and the bouquet! It was lovely.

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The couples advice for anyone planing an OTBP elopement:
Have a few days of buffer between your arrival and wedding day. You never know what will happen. (we lost our baggage on the day we arrived, luckily it was retrieved later on the same day.)
And also if you can, have a face to face chat with your photographer before the wedding (like we did), it’s always good to prep yourself to know what will happen on your actual day. They can also answer all your last minute questions and it’s always easier to communicate verbally.  326-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 327-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 328-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 329-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 330-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 332-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 333-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 335-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 331-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography336-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 337-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 338-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 339-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 340-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 341-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 343-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 344-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 345-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 346-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 347-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 348-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 349-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 350-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 351-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 352-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 353-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 354-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 355-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 356-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 357-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 358-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 359-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 360-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 361-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 362-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 363-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 364-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 365-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 366-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography 367-fiji-mountain-elopement-photography

VENDOR CREDITS

Photographer: Kama Catch Me Photography
Event planner / Stylist: Gitte from Kama Catch Me
Getting Ready Venue: Fiji Orchid Resort
Ceremony venue: Fiji Highlands
Cake (and what kind): Taste Fiji – Mango Coconut Flavour
Ceremony Setup / Bouquet / Button Hole: Pooja and Team from Paradise Bride Fiji
Celebrant: Usa from Marriage Celebrant Fiji
Ring carrier & Clothes hanger: DIY by the groom (wire letter by local artist in Malaysia)
Transport: Kama Catch Me

BRIDES CREDITS
Bridal gown designer: Samantha Chua from Emmanuel Haute Couture
Veil: Emmanuel Haute Couture
Wedding bands: Custom made from Ling Jewellery
Flower crown: Gitte from Kama Catch Me
Robes: Cotton On, Singapore
Shoes: ALDO, Singapore
Hair & Make up: Ash from Hair & Makeup Perfectionist

GROOMS CREDITS
Full suit: CYC The Custom Shop
Tie: Gift from the bride
Shoes: Nike, Malaysia

“Samoa Wedding Photographer – Garden Of the sleeping giant – Josephina and James”

Josephina (Fina) and James come from Auckland but with their heritage rooted deeply in Samoa, so when we asked them why they choose Fiji as their wedding location this was their response “We knew getting married in either Samoa or Auckland would result in a financial crisis! So because every time we have visited Fiji we have loved the people and the culture, we have adopted Fiji as our third home.
We decided that we wanted our destination wedding to be as hassle free as possible for our guests so we scouted venues around Nadi that were close to different accommodation options and easily accessible. We fell in love with Intercontinental but felt it wasn’t fitting for the occasion. Denarau was nice but we both envisaged our nephews swinging from the beautiful chandeliers. The Garden of the Sleeping Giant (GOTSG) was our last visit and we were enchanted with the beauty within the gardens. We felt it offered a different side of Fiji that isn’t normally showcased which made it the perfect location for our wedding.”

This was another incredible wedding put together and coordinated by Louise and the team from Taste Fiji, and as always she came up trumps with the ceremony being held at the quaint and picturesque ‘Natalau Methodist Church’, in Sabeto and their reception venue at the GOTSG which made this wedding all the more special! Totally off the beaten path with nothing but the lush gardens and the towering mountainous backdrop to absorb the buzz of this vibrant Samoan celebration.

Fina told us how their wedding was a collective input from family and friends.
“There was a bit of DIY with the lawn games – the jenga and noughts & crosses were made by my school technology department. All the stationery was created by my amazing friend Marissa Ramlu, which then made the printing and cutting a DIY project.
The decorating of the church was done by my family who had all contributed Samoan fine mats fala su’i for the occasion.”

And it didn’t stop there. “My traditional wedding dress was designed and made by my uncle, Visesio Lui Thomsen a renowned Samoan designer based in Auckland. Because of his talents, I didn’t have anything to do with the design of the dress! The material for this dress was all sourced through family back home in Samoa.
My reception dress was from Kellylin bridal in Auckland. I tried on a maximum of twelve dresses from two different stores and was well over dress shopping by the third white dress at the first store! I found the experience overwhelming but taking mum, dad, and one of the besties along made it seem bearable. Always trust your gut when trying on dresses!”

The following highlights are from the wedding day itself and also from their OTBP session a few days after. Enjoy

Any stand out vendors from your wedding? Who did you connect with? Who went above and beyond?

Louise Acreman from Taste Fiji and Kama Catch Me were definite standout vendors. We connected with both on a personal level and now consider them family!

Wedding Venue: Natalau Methodist Church, Sabeto
Wedding Coordinator: Louise Acreman – Taste Fiji
Celebrant: Rev Aliitasi Aoina Salesa – Wesley College, Auckland, New Zealand
Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: James – SeventySix Design, Ponsonby, Auckland. Fina – Meadowlark
Reception Setup: Taste Fiji

Dress/s: Visesio Lui Thomsen and Kellylin Couture
Veil/headpiece: Visesio Lui Thomsen
Lingerie: Bendon
Shoes: James – ASOS. Fina- Mimco and Steve Madden
Accessories: Pearls – own. Earrings – Zoe & Morgan
Hair & Makeup: Lodo from Totoka Hair and Makeup
Flowers: Local florist

Bridesmaids and flower girl dresses: Visesio Lui Thomsen
Accessories (shoes, jewellery, …): Shoes – ASOS. Earrings – Karen Walker. Flower girl shoes – seed.
Bridesmaids gifts: Plantation house bags. Flower girl gift: Pandora.
Accessories (watch, cuff links, (bow)tie, socks, shoes, suspenders): Shoes – ASOS
Groomsmen and page boys attire: Visesio Lui Thomsen
Groomsmen gifts: Christian Paul watches
Cake: Taste Fiji
DJ or outsourced entertainment: Entertainment – Natalau Methodist church choir, Liam Ray band, DJ Tim Tam – Brisbane, Australia

“Matangi Fiji Photographer – Dan & Lisa’s Private Island Elopement”

Whenever we get the opportunity to see a part of Fiji we’ve never been to before, we tend to jump in headfirst. Matanagi Private Island Resort wasn’t even on our radar until Dan sent us an email asking if we were available to capture his and Lisa’s elopement. We didn’t need any convincing, although a quick google session got us buzzing to see it for ourselves.

The award winning Matangi is just off Taveuni and boasts having one of the ‘top 1000 places to see before you die’ in the form of the breathtaking ‘Horseshoe Bay’.

Dan and Lisa who’d been together for 5 years and only recently got engaged said that they chose Fiji because they didn’t want the stereotypical Mexico or Hawaiian wedding, and with a ‘Fijian marriage Certificate’ being recognized in the USA, this was a life changing adventure they simply couldn’t resist.

The couples advice for others planning a Fiji destination wedding was ‘Do it. It was a blast. Don’t forget to get the notary done in the states before you come though.’

Any thanks or mentions you’d like to make: ‘Kama Catch Me were professional and fun. Ropate was amazing at how quickly he could connect with us and how we interacted. I also think Matangi was beyond amazing. The staff was gracious and made us feel important.’

Wedding Venue:  Matangi Private Island Resort

Reception Venue: Matangi Private Island Resort
Wedding Coordinator: Matangi Resort and Linda Gutekunst from South Seas Adventures
Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Shane Company  

Suit: Ralph Lauren  
Dress:  JJ House
Lingerie and Garter: Victoria’s Secret
Shoes: None – Barefoot
Accessories: Diamonds self owned
Hair & Makeup: Self done
Flowers and Setup: Matangi Private Island Resort

Matangi Fiji Photographer

“Royal Davui Elopement Photography Fiji – Pierce and Raina”

Pierce and Raina travelled from Riverside in California to elope at the Adults only ‘Royal Davui Resort’. These were fun loving entrepreneurs with a taste for adventure. They openly chatted about how inseparable they’ve been over the past 10 years together, saying that they spent 99% of the time together. A cool fact about them is that they both share the same birthday and birthdate (31st of August 1988). Pierce proposed last year the day before their birthday and the plans to elope in Fiji soon transpired, choosing for a remote destination far away from the hustle and bustle of their daily norm.

This is a strong coupe with solid values, Pierce believing that marriage is all about ‘The willingness to provide for the family. Less ego and more “us”, and Raina viewed marriage as being about ‘Responsibility, honesty, compromise, and mutual support.’

Built on strong stuff. This is their story.

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Raina remarked how she really wanted a simple and special wedding dress ‘I found exactly what I was looking for from ‘Reformation’ (see vendors list below). The lightweight, silky material was easy to wear and the beach wind made the dress the perfect choice for the wedding.’

What was your favourite moment of the day?  ‘The moment that we fell down on the sands. It was the happiest fall ever.’

When we asked them if they had any funny memories from the day, this was their response: ‘We woke up five minutes before Ropate and Faith showed up at the door lol. Neither of us heard the alarm on our phones, which has never happened before. So we kind of rushed the preparation stage. But everything turned out great.’

Pierce and Raina’s advice for couples looking to elope was ‘Keep it Simple’

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Wedding Venue: Royal Davui Resort

Wedding Coordinator: The ever friendly and hardworking ‘Kimi Batibasaga’

Wedding Bands + Engagement Ring: Wedding Band – Harry Winston ; Engagement ring – Bluenile 

Dress: Cabot Ivory Gown from Reformation

Lingerie: Victoria’s Secret

Shoes: Stuart Weitzman

Hair & Makeup: Done by Raina herself

Flowers: Provided The Royal Davui

Pierce: Shirt – Armani Shorts – DKNY

Shoes: Vivienne Westwood

Elopement Photography Fiji

“Rainy Day Wedding Photography – Warwick Fiji Wedding”

Last year ‘agronomist‘ Nathan and ‘primary school teacher’ Jo (Joanna) were at the Warwick on their first ever Fijian holiday, it was during that trip Nathan proposed …and a couple of months later and they were back where it all began to tie the knot.

With their families spread across Australia (Jo’s family from Perth and Nathan’s from Regional Victoria) it was a great chance for them to spend some time together and for the extended families to finally get to meet each other in a relaxed holiday environment. With both of them coming from grounded families, it wasn’t a surprise to see both sets of parents fully involved with Jo’s Mum and Dad both giving her away and Nathan’s folks waiting beside him at the isle. This is what Nathan had to say about the day “It was great enjoying the day with close family and friends and having special moments with each of them without feeling rushed. We were all running on ‘Fiji Time’!”

Despite not being able to have their ceremony on the beach because of the gloomy weather, having an indoors celebration didn’t dampen their spirits as they held fast  to the old wives tale that ‘rain on your wedding day meant good luck!’

These guys are definitely Lucky in Love. Congratulations Guys x

And as luck would have it, it was from Jo and Nathan’s wedding that Faith won her first photography competition with Kama Catch Me making it a double celebration for us.

Is there any advice you’d like to give future brides in preparation for their big day:
Trust in the Wedding Planner at the resort – in only a few days they can organise the whole ceremony and reception. And even reorganise it at the last minute when the weather doesn’t cooperate! Just bring a few things over to personalise the venues.

Any special thanks or mentions you’d like to make:
We’re so grateful for our family and friends who were able to travel from Australia to celebrate the day with us. And also for all their help leading up to the day.
Thankyou to all the staff at the Warwick – especially Una (the Wedding Planner) for making us feel so welcome, paying attention to the little details and coming up with Plan B when the rain arrived! Nothing was too much trouble for them to do.
And cheers to the team at Kama Catch Me for capturing our day beautifully and making us feel so at ease.

Vendors List:
Wedding Venue: The Warwick – Navau Deck
Reception Venue: The Warwick – Navau Deck
Celebrant: Rev. Taniela Nodrayaca (organised by The Warwick)
Rings: Larsen Jewellery – Melbourne
Dress: J’Adore
Accessories: Collette and Etsy
Hair & Makeup: Stanley Morrell and his team
Nails and Tans: Balance Fiji
Flowers: supplied by The Warwick
Suit and Accessories: YD
Cake: supplied by The Warwick
Entertainment: Manakilagi Cultural Group – traditional dancing and fire dancing

“Coral Coast Photographer – Off The Beaten Path – Sarah and Brett”

A few moments from our OTBP session together with Sarah and Brett.

Harsh light had forced us indoors at the beginning, which they both took in their stride and openly embraced allowing us the chance to capture a difference perspective to the Outrigger Resort.

And in its wake the setting sun let up colours that were worth the wait.

What made you choose Fiji: We have friends and family from all over New Zealand and Brisbane and we really liked the idea of having a wedding where all of our guests could meet each other for the first time in a relaxing environment. Fiji made perfect sense for its central location and as a beautiful tropical destination. Everyone was overwhelmed with the kindness and happiness of the Fijian people and culture, and the team at the Outrigger made us feel at home right from check in.

Can you tell us a bit about the day through your eyes:  It went so fast! The morning flew past and we were standing in the chapel looking at each other in no time. It was amazing to catch our breath taking in the view of the coral coast during our portraits, before dancing all night back at the reception.

Coral Coast Photographer

Is there any advice you’d like to give future brides in preparation for their big day:   Search through all the Fiji Wedding Facebook groups and pages for inspiration as we got great results by providing detailed images and written descriptions to our suppliers about what we were after every step of the way.

Any special thanks or mentions you’d like to make: Firstly to our Family and Friends for being so amazing by not only being at our special day, but also being so open to creating new friendships with each other. To the Outrigger staff, Ropate and Faith, and DJ Ranjit for making the day everything we dreamed of.

Wedding Venue: Bure Ni Loloma Chapel, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Reception Venue: Vahavu, Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort

Celebrant: Provided by the Outrigger

Rings: Crown Family Jewellers

Dress/s: Kelly – Made with Love

Accessories: Belt from EYMbellish Designs https://www.etsy.com/shop/BridalBeltsandSashes. Shoes Kurt Geiger

Hair & Makeup: Hair N Makeup Perfectionists

Flowers: Provided by the Outrigger

Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS

Accessories: Shoes from The Iconic

Suit: Suit by Oxford

Accessories: Tie and Tie Pin by Ben Sherman, Cufflinks custom made by Rachael Harris, Socks by Happy Socks

Groomsmen’s attire: Suits by Oxford, Socks by Happy Socks

Cake: Provided by the Outrigger

DJ or outsourced entertainment: DJ Ranjit Raju

Trash The Dress Fiji – Nathan and Jo

A couple of days after their wedding day we hooked back up with Nathan and Jo for their ‘Trash the Dress’ session. The conditions were prefect being slightly overcast and the ocean was a warm with an enticing temperature.

This is one of our recently discovered OTBP location finds and as usual we had the beach all to ourselves, the only welcoming interruption was when local farmhands brought their horses for a cool off swim after a long day on the grind.

Welcome to Fiji.

 

Dress: J’Adore

Accessories: Collette and Etsy

Suit and Accessories: YD

 

“Indian Fusion Wedding Fiji – Garden Of The Sleeping Giant – Leigh & Kimti”

When Leigh and Kimti initially approached us and spoke about having a wedding that drew elements from Kimti’s Fijian roots, and that they had Louise from taste Fiji (with her meticulous attention to detail and eye for styling) onboard with helping them create their vision, we knew that this was going to be an ‘Off The Beaten Path’ Wedding that we couldn’t miss out on!

And what a memorable wedding it was. From the build up which saw Kimti and the girls getting ready at ‘Naisoso Villas’ and the guys a few Miles down the road at ‘First Landing Resort’, and then the off road journey by 4WD into Sabeto towards the heart of the ‘Garden of the Sleeping Giant’ where their ceremony took place in and amongst lush green vegetation inhabited by an array of exotic flowers, with rustic wooden benches for guest seating, right down to the Pineapple theme than ran throughout including the use of baby pineapples as button holes! Kudos to the Team at taste Fiji (full vendors listing below) and to Leigh and Kimti for pulling off their dream wedding, as well as a dream for us to capture.

This wedding reflected a fusion of cultures and races, infusing the buzz of emotions mixed with laughter, and tears of joy. Close your eyes and you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’d journeyed back in time to when Fiji was genuinely considered ‘The way the world should be’. This was a celebration, this is Fiji! Enjoy.

Here’s what the couple had to say about the day:

What made you choose Fiji: Fiji is Kimti’s birthplace and with mainly Fijian, New Zealand and Australian guests it was the perfect meeting place for all. 

Can you tell us a bit about the day through your eyes: We felt lucky to be able to create a personalised wedding outside of the resorts, in a location that was both breath-taking and sentimental to us. For us, it was like hosting an event akin to something we might attend each year at the Adelaide Fringe Festival on a balmy summers night! 

What were you’re favorite moment/s of the day: Saying our vows and being married in a tropical rainforest ceremony venue with light filtering through the trees was more wonderful than we ever could have imagined. Without a doubt, it will the be the most fondly remembered part of the day for years to come.

Is there any advice you’d like to give future brides in preparation for their big day: Choose a few things each that are important to you each, and then for the rest – accept that there will need to be compromises!

Any special thanks or mentions you’d like to make: To Louise Acreman and her entire team at Taste Fiji and to all of our guests for their sense of adventure in joining us!

Vendors:

Getting Ready Locations:

Kimti and the Girls: Naisoso Island Resort Villas

Leigh and the Guys: First Landing Resort Private Villas

Celebrant: Livai

Location: The Garden of the Sleeping Giant

Bridal Dress: Custom Dress by Rapsimo (Adelaide, Australia)

Rings: Dhamani Jewels (Dubai, UAE)

Accessories: Earrings – Lulu Frost; Vintage Bouquet Brooch (Strathalbyn, Australia).

Hair & Makeup: Dale Dorning (Queensland, Australia)

Flowers: Tadra Flowers & Taste Fiji 

Groom Tuxedo: Cambridge

Groomsmen Suit: TM Lewin

Button Hole Baby-Pineapples: Tadra Flowers & Taste Fiji (Lou from Taste Fiji picked the baby pineapples from their home garden).

Accessories: Fans, frames etc sourced by couple.

Reception Setup: Banquet chairs and Tables and rustic ceremony benches by Party and Event Hire

Arch, benches, dessert table and Bar furniture , Table flower arrangements- Taste Fiji Events

Catering and Wedding Cake: Taste Fiji

Videography: Jetmo 

DJ or outsourced entertainment: Liam Ray – Acoustic Duo, DJ Will

Chauffeur Service: Pacific Destinations Fiji 

“Off The Beaten Path Wedding – Mandy & Trent”

What made you choose Fiji as your destination wedding location? We had never been overseas before and we had seen a few weddings done over there that were amazing so we thought ‘why not?’.

Can you tell us a bit about the day through your eyes: Once the rain stopped it was pretty relaxed. Before that I was pretty upset the only day it rained during our trip was our wedding day! But it turned out to be beautiful and we all had a lot of fun.

What were you’re favourite moment/s of the day: Seeing everyone dresses up and enjoying the day with our close friends and family rather than a big impersonal wedding, getting our Portrait photos done at the fort was probably my favourite part of the day as it was the first time we left the resort and it was just such an amazing place to go. I could have stayed and looked at the view all day I would love to go back there. Also we had fire dancers at our reception which was pretty amazing!

Is there any advice you’d like to give future brides in preparation for their big day: Be sure to involve your future husband, even if you think he wont care. The day is for both of you. Get organised early so you can sit back and chill knowing its all taken care of.

Any special thanks or mentions you’d like to make: Our family and friends for making the trip, The outrigger for making the best day for us, seriously these guys were amazing and know everything there is to know! Jennifer Reagan and white runway for our dresses and of course ‘Kama Catch Me’ not only for giving us some amazing photos but also being so easy to get along with and taking us off the beaten path for an experience of a life time!

Off The Beaten Path Wedding Vendors:

Wedding Venue: Outrigger on the lagoon Fiji

Celebrant: Rev. Alipate Mo Tukiliu organised by the Outrigger.

Rings: Michael hill Jewellers

Gown: Raven dress by Jennifer Reagan.

Accessories: Samantha Wills Jewellery 

Hair & Makeup: Outrigger wavelengths

Flowers: Light pink gingers supplied by the Outrigger

Suit: Bent Threads Bathurst NSW

Photographers: Ropate and Faith

ZKIN camera bag REVIEW

ZKIN Camera bag Review – By Ropate

Around 3 years or so ago we were in Hong Kong looking for gear when we stumbled across a local brand called ZKIN .We were initially drawn to how stylish their camera bags were (as you do) and so we decided to invest in the ‘Yowie’ backpack and later on added the Yeti and Champ to our collection.

The further we traveled the more we began to appreciate the practicality and most importantly the durability of this growing brand (the ZKIN gear having outlived the remainder of our other camera bags that we’d accumulated over the years!) It was almost as if they were designed with going ‘Off The Beaten Path’ in mind but would equally be at home within an urban setting!

CHAMP – Shoulder bag

‘Champ’ is my go to ‘grab bag’. I take it everywhere. It is a perfect carrier for photo sessions, weddings and traveling. The Champ is Ninja Sleek! Because of its design and design it allows us to be invincible, whilst still being able to hold a DSLR and 2 extra lenses.

In the past I’ve had ‘shoulder bags’ that were too bulky, so much so that when I was moving through tight spaces or guests at a wedding, I’d constantly have to to flick the bag in front or behind me (or just leave it somewhere out of the way) just so I didn’t end up knocking into anyone or anything.

With its easy accessible brass stud closure and adjustable compartments, everything is at arms reach for me and out of reach for anyone else.

They say that when you look good, you feel good, and you always want to turn up to a wedding looking and feeling good (without outshining the Bride or Groom…obviously). The same relates to shooting weddings. Champ’s stylish two toned leather and polyester front instantly gives off a professional presence when you enter a room, the rest is all on you.

‘Champ’ in Detail:

YETI Backpack

The YETI is a backpack with a lot of capacity.  I mostly use the Yeti for Urban sessions and consultations or for travel when I want to take a lot of gear. It fits 2 bodies and 3 lenses or 1 body and 3-4 lenses and has plenty of space for personal stash. We also like that our 15” Macbook pro slides in and out of it effortlessly. There is also a little zip on the side that lets you access the top compartment without having to open the whole backpack. Both Backpacks are super comfy to carry around.

YOWIE Backpack

YOWIE is mainly used for going OTBP.  We’ve pushed this backpack to the limits from the Scottish highlands, to the deserts (and alps) of Morocco, the heat of Santorini, the challenging conditions of the Grand Canyon, and all across Fiji! The YOWIE is still going strong.

We like that you have space on top to carry personal belongings and that you can extend the top to fit in more. There is also a little zip on the side that lets you access the top bit from the side without having to open the top.

‘Yowie’ is slightly smaller more compact version of the Yeti.

zkin-bag-review-kama-catch-me-7

 
Ropate and Yowie at Horshoe Bend – USA

“Traditional Indian Wedding Fiji Highlands – OTBP Session – Bharkha & Anish”

Any couple that are game enough to take on the challenge of an ‘Off The Beaten Path’ (OTBP) adventure has instantly won us over.

It’s more than just the epic landscapes and its natural beauty but its the connection to the moment, that feeling of a genuine Fijian experience, out here in the elements, away from it all.

A few days after Bharkha and Anish’s emotional Suva City wedding at the Grand Pacific Hotel, we took them for a drive up into the Highlands.

This is their story.

Traditional Indian Wedding Fiji Highlands

“Traditional Indian Wedding – Grand Pacific Hotel Fiji – Bharkha & Anish”

What made you choose Fiji: Bharkha has family in Fiji and Anish had never been, so we thought ‘why not?’ We could have an awesome island honeymoon after the wedding!

Can you tell us a bit about the day through your eyes: It started off a bit hectic with possible rain and things starting on ‘Indian time’, we were so well organised that the bride and groom and our parents were ready to rumble and get the party on the road but we arrived and the setup was still taking place. Once things got started though, it was surreal. We were finally on the opposite side of the crowd getting married, it was such an overwhelming feeling but we were marrying our best friends and that’s all that mattered to us.

What were you’re favourite moments of the day: We loved every part of our wedding day and every moment of our wedding day. Granted it wasn’t as huge as your average Indian wedding, we were still surrounded by people that meant the world to us and that loved us.

Is there any advice you’d like to give future brides in preparation for their big day: Remember the bigger picture – if you go out of your way to keep everyone happy, you’ll end up losing focus on what’s important and that will be your significant other.