On Bora Bora, the competition among hotels is stiff. After touring about a half-dozen resorts on a previous trip, we chose the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa for our intimate Tahitian wedding ceremony to which our only invited guests were our parents. The head concierge dealt with all the details from finding a stylist to do my hair and makeup to booking fire dancers to perform during dinner and a videographer to record the festivities. All we had to do was show up — with our credit card, of course (room rates start at $1,125 a night and include Internet service and non-motorized watersports; tahiti.intercontinental.com).
On our wedding day, I was picked up from my overwater bungalow in a canoe decorated with garlands of flowers. The paddler blew a conch shell to alert the wedding party of my impending arrival. Musicians were beating drums as Polynesian dancers entertained our family on the beach. As part of the wedding ritual, we were given white ginger leis and crowns and were wrapped in a tifaifai (Tahitian quilt) to symbolize our unity.
As is tradition, the priest gave us a new family name, Vaimana, which loosely translates to the "spiritual power of the ocean." After the ceremony, we enjoyed dinner and an awesome show of fire dancers.
Photo Credit: Tim McKenna