A change in the French law for overseas countries of France (such as French Polynesia) allows non-French nationals to be legally wed in the Islands of Tahiti. White sand beaches, overwater chapels or beautiful yachts in the middle of Bora Bora’s turquoise lagoon are just a few of the stunning backdrops for couples to say their vows.
Many of the hotels and resorts throughout the islands can offer a local wedding planner or an on-staff concierge to assist with the required paperwork and event details.
There are several steps and a handful of documents required in order to have a legal ceremony in French Polynesia. Tahiti Tourisme North America recommends working with a Tahiti Tiare Agent, who specializes in destination weddings or a destination wedding specialist; to walk clients through the necessary steps. The entire process takes approximately three to five months to complete.
For details and background information on procedures, formalities and to order a free Wedding Planner, please visit “weddings”.
Already known worldwide as the ultimate honeymoon destination, the islands of Tahiti are the perfect setting for an unforgettable wedding. A few top reasons couples will be getting married in Tahiti:
- Seclusion: Intimate resorts, small peaceful villages, and miles of quiet pristine beaches
- Overwater Bungalows: Escape to turquoise lagoon waters in a thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first class hotel room.
- Polynesian Spas: Experience true relaxation and rejuvenation at one of the many luxurious spas while nurtured in the tropical ambience.
- Cruising: The world’s most romantic voyages depart every week for Tahiti’s most beautiful isles. Voyage within the legendary South Pacific aboard a luxurious cruise ship, super yacht, or freighter passenger that travel between Tahiti’s most beautiful islands.
- Activities: Enjoy the perfect place to do everything or nothing at all. Jump in the lagoons by diving, snorkeling, or boating or explore the islands by safaris, hiking, or shopping.
- People: Embrace and share in the warmth and welcome of Tahitian hosts whose love for their islands is seen through music, dance, and flowers.
In addition to legal ceremonies, hotels, tour operators, and cruise lines can arrange a romantic and festive traditional Tahitian wedding ceremony or vow renewal ceremony. Not legally binding, the traditional ceremonies are popular for people on their honeymoons and those celebrating anniversaries.
Although there are many different variations, the ceremony traditionally begins with the bride being treated to a soothing monoi-oil massage by her Tahitian “bridesmaid,” with monoi oil while being sung to and adorned with fragrant flowers. Meanwhile, the groom is taken to a motu (small islet) by outrigger canoe, painted with tattoos, and given a crown of tropical leaves. The bride wears a traditional Tahitian wedding pareu and a flowered headpiece.
A priest conducts the wedding vow renewal ceremony in Tahitian and each couple is given a Tahitian name and a name for their first-born child.
A Tahitian marriage certificate made of tapa parchment is presented to the couple while village women sing traditional songs. The ceremony is often followed by a romantic sunset cruise where the bride and groom continue to be serenaded by soft Tahitian music. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can only be found in the islands of Tahiti.