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  Richard & Vanessa

Thank you to Tonia for always being so friendly and positive when answering all our questions (and there was a lot) about organising our cruise (with our 33 guests), rooms, insurance and giving helpful advice when deciding where in Vanuatu to get married. 

She was our first port of call for liaising with P & O, about organising our cakes for our wedding and organising a special birthday occasion...

Having our own website on the Bon Voyage link was a fantastic way for our family and friends to have a look at and decide whether they could join us on our wedding day and have a holiday around New Caledonia and Vanuatu at the same time.

 The day went as follows:

 

When we sailed off on a P & O cruise in 2012 and got engaged on the Pacific Pearl, we thought, it would be fantastic if we could take all our family and friends with us on holiday and get married in Vanuatu.  That is exactly what we did.  We left Auckland on board the Pacific Pearl for a 9 night adventure visiting New Caledonia and Vanuatu.
We arrived in Port Vila at 8am and decided to take in shopping at the port markets before being picked up at 10am by “Around Vanuatu Tours” to be taken to the mainland jetty, where we then had to catch a small boat to get to the beautiful island in paradise, “Erakor Island Resort and Spa”.  When we got off the boat, we were greeted by our wedding co-ordinator – Lita, who showed us around the island and most importantly, where the ceremony and after party was going to take place.    (We had great correspondence via email, leading up to the wedding with Lita and Natalie organising all the special touches to our wedding day package).
My sister, daughter and I had our make-up and hair done in one of the beautiful Villas overlooking the lagoon.  As we were getting ready, Richard and the guests were arriving at the island to be greeted by the friendly people of Vanuatu and be given a flower lei and a tropical punch drink, before being shown to their seats at “Coconut Beach”.
I arrived to the beach on board an outrigger canoe, decorated with beautiful flowers to match our flower arch and one of the warriors blowing the conch shell.  It was an overwhelming experience, coming around the corner in the canoe and seeing all the guests and Richard waiting under the arch, to the music that we had chosen (Endless love).  The warriors then helped me out of the canoe, and gave me to my dad to walk up the beach behind my flower girl, page boy and bridesmaid.  We were all in bare feet which made it a nice feeling walking, with the sand tickling our toes.   The ceremony was short and sweet with our celebrant, making it a memorable experience with lovely words and then we also exchanged our own vows, the rings and then we had our own music playing for the signing of the register.
After the ceremony we had photos with our family and friends.  Then the wedding party moved down to Sunset Beach to have some photos taken, while the guests were enjoying canapés, a bar tab and champagne, along with the local string band for entertainment. When we returned we had speeches and our wedding dance with each other and family.  I then surprised Richard, by performing a Tongan dance with my friends for him, and in return, my daughter performed a Maori song as thanks to the staff and local string band at Erakor Island Resort and spa.  The band then continued to play music for us to dance to, until we had to leave the beautiful island to return back to the Pacific Pearl. 
Our guests have described our wedding on Erakor Island Resort and Spa as a “Fairytale Wedding”.  It was definitely the perfect day for us.  A day our guests and ourselves will never forget. 
We highly recommend Erakor Island, as a beautiful island paradise to get married on.  We were able to choose our own photographer from Vanuatu who followed us around on our special day and captured all those special moments.
When we arrived back at the port, Richard then carried me up the gangway as we walked onto the Cruise ship, along with other passengers cheering and clapping.  We then had our reception at “The Waterfront” restaurant on board the ship.  The waiters had made the tables extra special, by folding all the napkins into birds and provided Richard and I with a complimentary glass of bubbles each.  They then brought out our cake (with our cake topper that we had made in Auckland) and cut the cake together to share out with our guests.
After dinner, we went and had some photos taken by the ship’s professional photographer, which ended up being one of our best photos of the day.

We are glad that we were able to share our special day with our family and friends on board The Pacific Pearl and at Erakor Island Resort and Spa.  We would definitely recommend the whole experience.  You get to have your special day and a holiday with all your favourite people.

 Richard & Vanessa, Vanuatu, 2013