A traditional Polynesian wedding in The Islands of Tahiti is a moment of pure romance. Wearing white pareos, shell necklaces, and crowns and garlands of hibiscus and tiare tahiti, the bride and groom are summoned to exchange their vows in an emotional ceremony that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.

A traditional Tahitian wedding is a symbolic union of two people. It is an ancestral rite that blesses the couple and ensures them peace and harmony, by reminding them of the importance of a loving relationship in their marriage. The ceremony represents the union of two individuals and also their two families. The prayer expresses the desire that the couple be protected by the forces of nature and the gods of their ancestors, and that they should live long and fruitful lives. A Tahitian wedding is a wonderful celebration and a cultural ritual. The flowers, music, dance and other elements, create an atmosphere infused with tradition and romance. It is also possible to have a civil marriage in The Islands of Tahiti and you’ll find a list of the formalities to complete in this article.

Rites and traditions in The Islands of Tahiti

Flower petals are spread on the sand as you wait on the beach for the bride. The sound of the (conch) announces her arrival in a traditional outrigger canoe. The ceremony begins with you both receiving the blessing of the tahu’a (Polynesian high priest) using an auti leaf. He then tears the leaf in two and ties each half as a bracelet on your wrists. Then he purifies you by pouring coconut water on your hands, before inviting you to exchange your garlands and crowns in a gesture of mutual devotion.

It is then the moment for you to exchange your wedding vows and rings. After that, the tahu’a wraps you both in a red tifaifai quilt, a symbol of royalty, love and acceptance. This is the moment for your first kiss as a married couple. The ceremony ends with a display of traditional music and dancing, as the tahu’a announces your ‘wedding name’. This is a Polynesian tradition in which your couple is given a Tahitian name that came to the tahu’a in a dream. He will then give you a wedding certificate inscribed on a sheet of tapa cloth.

Formalities for a civil marriage
in French Polynesia

Here is a list of formalities to complete for a marriage in French Polynesia:

– Application form «Marriage for foreigners in French Polynesia»
– A letter addressed to the mayor of the town where the ceremony will take place, dated and signed by the wedding couple
– A copy of the passport of the bride and the groom
– A copy of the couple’s birth certificates, certified by an Apostille. Important : the legal duration of the certfication of a birth certificate is 6 months. The two birth certificates and the Apostille must be translated into French by a translator approved by the French Consulate. A list of translators can be obtained from the consulate’s website.
– Evidence of non-married status signed by a lawyer, translated into French and certified by the French Consulate. A list of lawyers can be found on the consulate’s website.
– Any prenuptial agreement must be translated into French and certified by the French Consulate.

There are several hotels and resort complexes that propose personalized wedding ceremonies, a chapel and all-inclusive packages :
– InterContinental Tahiti Resort & Spa
– Te Moana Tahiti Resort
– Royal Tahitien
– Tahiti Pearl Beach Resort
– Hotel Tahiti Nui
Bora Bora
– The Méridien Bora Bora
– InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa
– Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa
– Conrad Bora Bora Nui
– Four Seasons Resort
– The St. Regis Bora Bora Resort
– Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach Resort
– Sofitel Bora Bora Private Island
– Maitai Polynesia Bora Bora
– The Brando
– Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
– Manava Beach Resort & Spa Moorea
– Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort
– Maitai Lapita Village Huahine
– Relais Mahana
– Royal Huahine
– Le Taha’a Island Resort & Spa
– Vahine Island Private Resort
– Hotel Kia Ora Resort & Spa
– Le Sauvage Private Island
– Motu Teta
– Hotel Maitai Rangiroa
– Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort
– Ninamu Resort
Hiva Oa
– Hiva Oa Hanakee Pearl Lodge
– M/S Paul Gauguin
Wedding Planners
– Legal Tahitian Wedding Ceremony
– Wedotahiti
– Wedding secret Tahiti
– Tamanui Services Event & Wedding Planner

Your travel and wedding can be arranged through your usual travel agent if he/she specializes in wedding vacations.


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