When Jone and Kate popped over to ours for a chat about their wedding, we automaticaly got a sense that this was going to be an adventurous kind of wedding. Kate (an art teacher at the International School here in Fiji) is the gorgeous live wire, who speaks so freely and rapidly almost as if her creative brain can’t hold it all in at once and so she has to keep sifting it out verbally (this helps us imensly as Photographers as she knew exactly what she was after and more importantly, how to communicate that ha ha). Then on the other hand you have the coy, soft spoken, man of few words, Tailevu No Leqa, guns blazing, Big hearted ‘Jone’, and it was the lush contrast of these two love birds that warmed us deeply as it kind of reminded us of our own relationship.
The ceremony – What an experience! From the preparations and traditional dress etiquette (Kuta) the lashings of oil, to the spiritual blessing and then the ‘Tevutevu’ Laced with protocol and rich in cultural heritage,
The word “Tevu” in English means “to spread” and ‘Tevutevu’ is the spreading or showcasing of gifts (western and traditional gifts), which in this instance included fine mats & masi, including the dowries: Yaqona, root crops, and a Tabua (i.e. Whales tooth. “Tabua” are the most valuable of dowry items within the Fiji Islands) these dowry items are presented by the respective side of the family to show how heart felt the weight of such an occasion is, it also signifies not just the unity of Jone and Kate as one, but the joining of two families as one.
It is an amazing experience to behold and once the traditional ceremony is over the feasting begins, in Fiji for any formal celebrations then the weapon of choice for dining is always a ‘Lovo’ this is where a pit is dug in the earth and huge fire is lit within it, upon that fire large stones are placed that act as coals, once these stones are heated/ turn white then the meat and root crops (wrapped in Coconut and Banana Leaves) are placed on top of the rocks, hessian sacks are then placed over the top of them and then the pit is covered over with soil sealing in the heat. Depending on how hot your stones are you can expect the food to be cooked to perfection within or up to 3hrs. If you have never dined this way….then surely you haven’t lived ha ha
We managed to steal Jone and Kate for a couple of hours and they totally owned the camera, they took us to shoot locations around Jone’s place in Caubati that just sent us into a haze of dreaminess. Thank you so much Guys for having us come catch you and for the experience of a life time.
Stay tuned for their Official wedding which was held on the gorgeous Island of Leleuvia…coming soon.
Ropate and Gitte x
Vendor Credits:Outfits: Made out of masi hand-painted with traditional Fijian patterns, by Jiuta from Vatulele IslandCake: Elsa Joseph (Forest Hill, Queensland)Food: Traditional Fijian Lovo, Food made ready in an Earth oven Which you can see smoking in the photographs :)Traditional Fijian Tapa/Masi: Custom made pieces by Jiuta from Vatulele IslandTents: International School SuvaDecorations: Jone’s FamilyFlowers: Suva MarketCeremony Location: Backyard of Jone’s family home in Caubati (near Suva, Fiji Islands)