Finally the big day came, several months of preparation and we were ready. In Fiji only Court weddings are recognized, so everyone who wants to get married has to go to the Justice of the Peace. Also if your from a different country you have to bring a notarized apostilled Single Status Certificate or Certificate of No Impediment from your country. As long as you have that document its really fairly straightforward to getting married in Fiji and many couples, especially from New Zealand choose Fiji as a wedding destination.
You go to the court and they enter all your information into their system and then schedule you to come back the next day to bring at least two witnesses, stand in front of the very nice officer, say vows, sign papers and then you get a lovely marriage certificate!
Going to the court was the very first thing we did that day, about 10:00 AM. Nancy wore a dress with a traditional decorative necklace and I wore a Bula shirt with a traditional Sulu garment. After that stage was finished we went and got some bubble tea in the MHCC mall in Suva.
After we got bubble tea and some food it was nap time until later in the day when the other events started. We had rented a restaurant and hall for the evening and decided to do a short ceremony of blessing / devotional from a pastor and repeat our vows and exchange rings again before the audience before launching into the food and festivities for the 100 or so people who had blessed us with their presence.
So after the vows, rings, and blessing by the pastor, the food was brought out and the feast began. They has prepared a stage and we sat traditional island style cross leg while the various dishes were brought out before us. Very tasty food and some new dishes I had never had before. We wore one set of wedding cloths and then when it was time to dance we put on the traditional Tuvaluan costumes. Now I’m not versed in traditional pacific dancing but my wife is, she is very talented and knows multiple styles, She she was the dancing star and I just tried to make some decent artistic moves and look enthusiastic. Its ok, as long as you look happy and dance they realize you appreciate their culture and forgive you for any dance blunders. After dancing there was a time of giving gifts and many of the dear people gave us gifts and cards.
It was a blessed day and went well, and were were blessed by others serving us and hopefully were a blessing to others as well as we committed to starting a life officially together!