A change in French law for France’s overseas territories (including French Polynesia) permits the legal marriage of foreign citizens in The Islands of Tahiti. On the beach, in a chapel by the sea, or on a yacht floating on the turquoise waters of the lagoon in Bora Bora, are just some of the exotic settings where couples can exchange their wedding vows.
Many hotels and hotel complexes can organize the wedding ceremony and take care of local administrative details.
Certain papers are required for the ceremony in French Polynesia to be legal. Tahiti Tourisme recommends that couples contact a representative of the Programme Tiare Spécialiste (TSP) who will be able to advise and guide them through the French administrative process, which can take from 3 to 5 months.
Already considered to be the perfect honeymoon destination, The Islands of Tahiti also offer an idyllic setting for an unforgettable wedding ceremony. Among the reasons why couples choose to be married in The Islands of Tahiti are:
- Tranquility: secluded hotels in exotic surroundings, the easy-going lifestyle in the peaceful villages, and the endless kilometers of immaculate beaches.
- Overwater bungalows: a bedroom with a terrace above the gently lapping waves of a turquoise lagoon, with all the normal service and standards to be expected of a first-class hotel.
- The Polynesian spa offers a moment of relaxation and well-being in an exotic, tropical ambience.
- Cruises: the most beautiful journeys in the world start in The Islands of Tahiti, such as a luxury cruise in the South Pacific or as a passenger on a cargo vessel going from island to island.
- Activities: The perfect setting for doing as much, or as little as you like. Diving, snorkeling or sailing on the lagoon. Exploring the islands on an ATV safari or a hiking trek. Discovering the traditional local arts and crafts. Or just lazing on the white sandy beach of a motu.
- Polynesians are famous for their kindness and traditional warm welcome and enjoy sharing their passion for their islands in song and dance.
As well as the official wedding ceremony, hotels, tour operators and cruise companies can organize a traditional Tahitian ceremony, where couples can also exchange their vows. These ceremonies are particularly popular among honeymooners and couples celebrating their wedding anniversary.
The traditional Tahitian ceremony begins with a monoi oil massage for the bride, who is then dressed in a pareo and adorned with garlands of scented tiare flowers by her maidens of honor. The groom arrives on an outrigger canoe and is crowned with a garland of leaves.
A Polynesian priest conducts the ceremony in Tahitian and attributes a Tahitian wedding name to the couple and a Tahitian first name to be given to their first-born.
At the end of the ceremony, a wedding certificate etched on tapa cloth is presented to the married couple, as women from the village sing traditional songs. The couple are then taken by pirogue to see the sunset over the lagoon. A magical and romantic way to say I love you, in The Islands of Tahiti.