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Frequently Asked Questions – Weddings

We hope that we have covered any questions you may have but if not please do not hesitate to email us and we will get right back to you.

Wedding Communications:

Who will be taking care of my wedding arrangements?
Your Personal Cook Islands Wedding Planner will start immediately handling all your accommodation and Cook Islands wedding arrangements. We will be in contact with you via email or skype communications to work with you until all your wedding arrangements are finalised.

A few weeks out from your arrival in the Cook Islands, we will arrange with you a convenient meeting time for a consultation. Our Wedding planners will meet you at your accommodation on the scheduled day to go through all your wedding plans.

Wedding Consultation:

What else does the Personal Wedding Planner do for us prior to our wedding?
On your consultation day, your Personal Wedding Planner will drive you to the Justice Department so you can apply for your Marriage License. We will also take you to meet your Wedding Celebrant and your Florist. When you return to your hotel or accommodation, all of your wedding details will be reconfirmed and the order of events revised and reconfirmed. Your Personal Wedding Planner will also provide you with all important contact details. It is our job to make your Cook Island wedding the dream event you imagined, so if you have any further questions or requests just let us know and we will be happy to assist.

Wedding Celebrant:

Can we meet the Celebrant before our wedding?
Absolutely yes, you will meet your Celebrant prior to your wedding day. Our role is to make sure you are comfortable with everything that will happen during the Ceremony and feeling at ease with your Celebrant is extremely important. Our Wedding Cook Islands Celebrants have worked with us for many years and are not just part of our company but also great respected friends.

Does the celebrant provide vows?
We provide you with the options - so yes, if you require standard vows our Weddings Cook Islands Celebrants are able to supply those for you. Many couples choose to write their own vows to add that individual touch. Either way, what you decide is easily added to your ceremony. Your wedding is about your preferences and we are here to facilitate your individual touches with ease. Your Celebrant will also help you decide which reading is most suitable and at which time.

Do we have to remember our vows?
This isn’t necessary as your Celebrant will guide & prompt you throughout.

Can we have a Reverend or Minister from a particular religious denomination?
If they are available, this can be arranged for you. Please note that for Roman Catholic wedding ceremonies, the priest will need copies of the bride and groom’s baptism certificates.

Marriage Licence:

When the Registry Office is open?
From Monday to Friday: 9.00am to 3.00pm. The Registry office is closed on Public Holidays.

What are the requirements to get married in the Cook Islands?
To obtain a wedding license in the Cook Islands, the Justice Department will need to view your original Birth Certificates, actual Passports as well as original Divorce Decree (if applicable) or if widow / widower, original Death Certificate of former spouse.

These documents must be original and written in the English language or accompanied with a certified English translation.

How many days do we have to be on the island, before we get married?
Three full working days prior to the wedding are required to process the marriage license, however if you are unable to include the required days into your itinerary, you can apply for a wedding license waiver at an additional cost of NZD$50.00 (minimum of 24 hours process).

The wedding day is not included in the 3 full days required.

Is the marriage certificate legal in all countries?
Yes, your marriage will be recognised worldwide. All certificates (except for those who reside in New Zealand) will be stamped with an Apostille Seal (making it legal overseas).

For Italian couples who wish to marry in the Cook Islands there are additional documents and procedures to be taken. Your wedding coordinator will provide you with this information.

Do we need an Apostille certification if we live in New Zealand?
No, Cook Island’s marriage certificates are recognised in New Zealand.

Are the costs of Marriage and Apostille certificates included in the ceremony packages?
Yes, both are included.

Ceremony:

What days of the week can we book our wedding?
Weddings can take place from Monday to Saturdays.
Due to local customs we are unable to provide weddings on Sundays.
Any weddings held on a Saturday or Public Holiday will incur an NZD$200 surcharge.

Will there be any other weddings on our wedding day?
Our policy is that we only have one wedding ceremony a day. So No, your Wedding will be our one and only. We understand that your Wedding Day is one of the most important moments in your life. We focus on delivering our best services and taking care of all the details for you. We dedicate our services to you on your Wedding day

How long does the Wedding Ceremony run for?
Approximately 20 minutes is standard, however it depends on whether you introduce readings, poems, music or other special touches. Once we have established what your intentions are then we can provide a timeframe.

When is the best time to get married?
Cook Island Law allows marriages to be performed between 6am to 8pm. For the best light and least heat we suggest you hold your wedding between 3.00pm & 5.00pm, but we understand that you may have your heart set on a particular time of the day and we will endeavor to do just that. Should you require a sunrise wedding to start at 6am or a late afternoon wedding from 6pm, a NZD$200 surcharge will apply.

Will we have a detailed briefing on the Ceremonial procedures?
To ensure you are comfortable with the order of events for your Wedding day, a briefing will be scheduled before your arrival in the Cook Islands, and your Wedding Planner and this briefing will take place soon after your arrival to the Cook Islands.

Wedding Venues:

Which is the best location?
Our Weddings can be set on a Private Beach, Church or Garden Setting or other special locations.
We often create private, intimate wedding ceremonies offering a unique and personal experience away from the hustle & bustle of a busy hotel. We offer venues that provide the complete Polynesian experience or the remote castaway dream of your own private islet (or motu, as they are known here in the Cook Islands). Our tropical destination offers venues that only a paradise can provide - such as the white sands of the lagoon beach front, or lush gardens of the tropical jungle, hill tops overlooking a panoramic view of the pacific ocean or private islands in a turquoise lagoon. We have a diverse range of restaurants, resort rooms and conference centers, umu huts and cultural villages at our finger tips to create your Wedding reception.

Do you do weddings on an offshore island?
Yes. In Rarotonga you can go to Koromiri Island, which is an uninhabited island and a short 5 minute boat trip from the main island. This idyllic islet is where many couples have held their wedding ceremony.

In Aitutaki, weddings can take place on our stunning One Foot Island (an uninhabited island) - located in the middle of Aitutaki lagoon.

Where is One Foot Island and how far is it?
One Foot Island is a deserted atoll in the middle of the Aitutaki lagoon with a secluded white sandy beach. You will be taken over by boat, with the trip taking approximately 25 minutes on a small boat and 30 – 45min on a larger boat.

What is a suitable wedding time for a wedding on One Foot Island?
We plan our weddings on One Foot Island from 3pm to 6pm. This is the best time as couples will experience total privacy on the motu and we avoid to heat of day.

How hot will it be?
This all depends on the season and we will regularly be checking the weather reports for you so you are kept informed of temperatures. Aitutaki is closer to the equator than Rarotonga which means it is often a couple of degrees hotter. On One Foot Island it can get very hot during the day - as there is little shade - so we plan for shade protection.

Do we pay to use any of the wedding venues?
Your venue fee is included in the Wedding Ceremony Packages; however please note that for Koromiri Island (Rarotonga) an extra charge is incurred for boat transfers.

Will there be people around, if we were to have a wedding on the beach?
Quite possibly yes, as the beaches are not totally private and people may take a ‘distant’ interest in a wedding ceremony. However, with that in mind, we have created many private intimate wedding ceremonies offering a unique and personal experience away from the hustle & bustle of a busy hotel. We focus on you and your day ensuring true intimacy. Our experienced and professional planners will make sure your wedding is the experience you dreamed of.

What happens if it’s a rainy day?
Depending on your ceremony's style and your guest numbers, we can move you into a covered deck area or set up a marquee. We make sure we have suitable plans in place to provide for changes in weather. Should we need to move to our alternate plans, this will be decided 2 hours prior to your Ceremony.

Entertainment:

Can we have live traditional music at the Ceremony and how long do entertainers perform for?
Yes you can, and adding some Island atmosphere with a serenader, string band or drummers is a beautiful touch to your Ceremony. Our entertainers perform for approximately 30 minutes to an hour. We will work with you to program the best place within your Ceremony for their performance.

Can we bring our own music for the Ceremony?
Absolutely - Yes you can. Please make sure that you label your songs clearly in a playlist and we will take care of the rest. We will work with you to program the best place within your Ceremony to play your music.

When does the serenader begin singing and for how long?
Usually the serenader will begin about 5 minutes prior to the arrival of the bride at the ceremony site and then they will also continue for a short period after  the ceremony ends.

What song genre does the string band play? How long do they play for?
They play Cook Island Maori songs for approximately 1 hour to 1.5 hours.

Flowers:

Can I choose my own flowers? What type of flowers do you have in season?
Yes you can choose from the selection of seasonal flowers that are available at the time. From November to May (our summer season), we have frangipanis, Gardenias, hibiscus, orchids, and much more. From June to October (our winter season) our flowers are limited and we will need to check with our local florist as to what is available. To ensure you are happy with your flowers, a visit to the local florist is scheduled prior to your wedding day to finalize your selection.

Cakes:

Can the baker do pretty much anything we would like?
Yes, we work with a supplier that makes the best island wedding cakes in the Cook Islands! You can send a picture through and we will make your dream Wedding cake a reality.

What flavours do you provide? What shapes do they come in?
Flavours: Moist Chocolate, Banana, Lemon, Carrot and Coconut.
Shapes: Round – Square – Heart.
Decoration: Ribbon & Flowers to match Bridal flowers.

If you have a particular style, let us know early and we will work with our cake suppliers to find out if what you desire is possible.

Photographer:

Do we get to meet the photographer for a consult before our wedding day?
On your consultation day we will schedule a meeting with your photographer to discuss your photo ideas. Our photographers are experts at capturing the shots you require but it is important to know what you are after, so we encourage you to provide ideas, or even pictures that you want to have copied for your shots. We know that this meeting ensures quality and gives you comfort to know that your special day will be recorded just how you had planned.

How long does the photographer stay for?
Typically between 1-2 hours according to the photo package you choose.

Do we get to keep all of our images on CD?
Our packages outline how many images are on the CD. For an additional fee you can have all raw images included.

Can we see examples of the photographers’ work?
Yes, please have a browse through our image gallery.

Videographer:

Do we get to meet the videographer for a consult before our wedding day?
On your consultation day, we will schedule a meeting with your videographer to discuss your photo ideas. Our videographers are experts at capturing the footage you require but it is important to know what you are after. We know that this meeting ensures quality and gives you comfort to know that your special day will be recorded just how you had planned.

How long does the videographer stay for?
Typically between 1-2 hours, according to the video package you choose.

Hair & Make-up Stylist:

Will I get to meet my stylist for a consultation?
On your consultation day, we will schedule a meeting with your Hair & Make-up stylist to discuss your ideas.

Can the stylist provide services for my bridal party, friends and family?
Yes, and it is necessary to book in advance.
Couple under the archway at ceremony on the beach
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Couple share a kiss
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Your wedding cake is part of our wedding packages
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Couple embrace at sunset
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Local flowers for a colourful bouquet
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