Why Have a Wedding in Rarotonga or the Cook Islands?
Something as beautiful as choosing to spend the rest of your lives together deserves a beautiful destination to commemorate the moment. With fluorescent water encircling idyllic islands, the Cook Islands might just be that dream destination. But there’s more to the Cook Islands than the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. Getting married here can be effortless, exotic and just plain… different! Check out some of the reasons why you might want to consider tying the knot in the South Pacific with this list of reasons to have a destination wedding in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands.
1. Two Stunning Islands to Choose From
Elopement weddings in the Cook Islands take place either on Rarotonga or Aitutaki; two of the most stunning islands in the South Pacific yet totally different from each other. On Rarotonga, you have dramatic volcanic peaks behind its glorious beaches, while Aitutaki is a true coral atoll with pristine white sands and turquoise water. Although slightly different vibes, both Rarotonga and Aitutaki provide an idyllic backdrop for an island wedding.
Compare the two islands further in The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Rarotonga and The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Aitutaki.
2. The Legal Formalities are Effortless
The paperwork is just about the only drag of getting married, especially when organising a destination wedding. However, the Cook Islands’ wedding formalities to obtain the marriage license, for instance, is pretty straightforward. As long as you are of age, can legally be in the country (have a valid passport, for instance) and have been for at least three days prior to your wedding (or shorter for an additional fee), have original or certified copies of your birth certificates and any applicable divorce or death certificates, then you shouldn’t have a problem getting married in the Cook Islands.
Find out more about the legalities of getting married in the Cook Islands in our guide, What are the Marriage Requirements in the Cook Islands?
3. A Marriage in the Cook Islands is Internationally Recognised
The Cook Islands is part of the Hague Convention Apostille where you can get the Apostille Seal to make your marriage certificate from the Cook Islands internationally recognisable. How handy!
4. Wedding Packages Make it Easy (But There’s Not Too Much Choice)
When you look at destinations like Fiji and French Polynesia, every resort and its dog are offering a wedding package, which can be extremely overwhelming. Don’t worry, it’s not that crazy in the Cook Islands thanks to only a few resorts and boutique accommodations offering comprehensive wedding packages. There are also a couple of dedicated wedding planners on the islands, should you want something independent of a resort. Either way, there are wedding packages to suit intimate elopements up to full celebrations with friends and family. Check them out in the 10 Best Wedding Packages in the Cook Islands.
5. The Cook Islander Culture Makes a Memorable Addition to the Wedding
The Cook Islander culture can be incorporated into your wedding as much or as little as you desire. Adding a Cook Islands touch certainly makes for a memorable and exotic experience. Cook Islander-inspired inclusions with many wedding packages often feature a ukulele band playing at your ceremony, a ceremonial planting of an uto (coconut palm), a floral ei (head garland) for the bride and neck ei for the groom or, if you want to go all out, a vaka (canoe) transfer to a private island paddled by a Cook Islander warrior!
6. The Weather is Glorious
Did we mention that the Cook Islands is a tropical paradise? The Cook Islands experience warm and soothing temperatures year-round. There are two distinct seasons: the dry season (winter) and the wet season (summer), with the dry season being the most popular time for couples to tie the knot. However, the wet season often comes with irresistibly cheap airfares and even warmer temperatures that, you know, just feel so darn good. Learn more about the climate in our guide, Rarotonga & the Cook Islands Weather, Seasons & Climate + Weather by Month.
7. Share Your Special Day with Only Your Nearest and Dearest (or Just the Two of You)
The beautiful thing about a destination wedding is that you don’t feel obligated to share your special day with people you hardly know. Being a destination wedding, your wedding in Rarotonga or Aitutaki will most likely only be attended by your nearest and dearest who will make the extra effort to celebrate this special day with you. Otherwise, the Cook Islands is ideal for a secret elopement.
8. It’s Often Cheaper Than Getting Married at Home
Weddings are expensive, there’s no way around it. However, a destination wedding, as mentioned above, often means a limited guest list or simply no guest list at all! With that, the overall cost of the wedding is cut down considerably when you don’t have to worry about hiring a large venue, food for everyone and entertainment. Plus, your wedding and honeymoon are all rolled into one… More on that in point #10.
See typical wedding costs in How to Plan a Wedding in the Cook Islands.
9. Privacy is Easy to Find
There’s no other feeling like being alone together away from the world. With adults-only resorts, boutique resorts and even private island excursions, finding unparalleled intimacy and seclusion is effortless in the Cook Islands. You can even amp up the experience at one of the islands’ luxury villas, often featuring private plunge pools and access to the beach.
10. Be Different
How many of your friends have had an island wedding? We thought so. Have a barefoot wedding with your toes in the sand, walk down the aisle to the island tunes of the ukulele or say “I do” on an uninhabited island in an azure lagoon. Choose a wedding that is as unique as the couple that you are.
More Reasons to Have a Wedding in Rarotonga and Cook Islands…
… Because we have done all the research for you; all you have to do is read our FREE guides and pick and choose from our wedding advice as you wish. Speaking of which, here’s some more of that free advice:
- The Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to the Cook Islands
- How to Plan a Wedding in the Cook Islands
- 10 Best Honeymoon Packages in the Cook Islands
Finally, complement your wedding with amazing experiences as outlined in the 20 Most Romantic Things to Do in the Cook Islands.