May 27, 2010

Pacific Island Inspired Wedding

{Leave the passport at home and invite as many guests as you’d like – It’s a non-destination “destination” wedding! Choose a destination that inspires you, one you and your partner have visited, or simply choose a place that you’ve always dreamed of exploring. Take cues from the scenery, cuisine and atmosphere in order to create the feeling of a true destination wedding. Today’s post is the third and last -- read the others here and here -- in a series of three non-destination “destination” weddings.}

*I am so excited to introduce today’s guest blogger, Jennie. Jennie works at as the Senior Merchandising Specialist. When I was discussing this wedding post series with her, she proposed the idea of writing about the Pacific Islands. The islands are very special to Jennie, as she lived overseas in New Zealand, and has traveled extensively throughout Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. In this post, Jennie offers a wealth of knowledge about the Pacific Islands, and beautiful inspiration for a wedding. Enjoy!*

Pacific Islands

While traveling around island groups in the Pacific Ocean it is easy to develop a special appreciation for the rich culture and beauty that Oceania has to offer. The people of each country may have their own traditions and customs, but their friendliness and hospitality are the same on every island. The variety of landscapes such as volcanic mountains, lush rain forests, colorful coral reefs and pure white sandy beaches is sure to invoke a sense of being in paradise. With a range of bright colors, beautiful flowers and a few other small touches, you can recreate the feel of the Pacific wherever your wedding takes place.

Pacific Island Inspired Wedding

  • With so many tropical flowers to choose from, there are endless color options. Why not mix and match your favorites to reflect you personal style? Hanging bunches of sweet-smelling frangipani flowers, which are available in a variety of colors, is sure make your guests feel as though they are on a far away island -- Villa Jineng

  • This invitation brings out the blue of the ocean while keeping with the simple, easy-going feel of island life --

  • Many Pacific Islanders use woven leaves from plants such as Harakeke or hala trees to create anything from mats, bags and even traditional clothing. Fill these small lauhala boxes from Hawaii with a sweet treat and tie them with a ribbon to create favors your guests are sure to appreciate -- pieKnits

  • For a striking look, use bird-of-paradise flowers for your bridal bouquet. To coordinate with your groom, have your florist create a complimentary boutonnière from the mini version of the same flower -- Junebug Weddings

  • The Maori people of New Zealand have many important symbols in their culture. These custom wedding bands feature a koru design which is based on an unfurling silver fern. The spiral shape of the koru symbolizes new beginnings, strength and peace making it a wonderful symbol of marriage -- Stephen Einhorn

  • Have your bridesmaids wear tea-length dresses which can be customized in your choice of colors. By mixing the dress and sash colors, your wedding party is sure to look fun and sophisticated at the same time -- The Dessy Group

  • An island-themed soirée wouldn’t be complete without tropical cocktails such as the classic Mai Tai! Although this drink was not actually created on the Polynesian island, the name comes from the Tahitian word “maita’i” meaning “good” -- Restaurant-Dining Critiques

  • These grilled chicken skewers look so delicious that they could be served as an appetizer or entrée. The recipe suggests adding pieces of mango, papaya and pineapple, then marinating the skewers in a flavorful peanut-rum sauce -- yumsugar

  • A classic white wedding cake can be dressed with colorful flowers to keep with the island theme -- Forever After Cakes

  • Set up cushioned benches for your guests to sit on during the ceremony. Provide lauhala fans so your guests can feel as though they are relaxing on a tropical island. Bowls of flower petals next to each bench not only look lovely as they line the aisle, but can be thrown as the bride and groom leave the altar -- Project Wedding

Photo of Tahiti, Samoan school children photo is from the guest blogger's personal photo collection, Coral Reef Photo