A Celebration of Love & Life in French Polynesia

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A Celebration of Love & Life in French Polynesia

Some love stories have hard beginnings. People can choose to let the wind take their love away, or they can fly all the way through the storm to each other.

Noran and Jay are this kind of strong and hopeful couple.

After facing life’s hardest obstacles such as distance and illness, Noran and Jay traveled to an earthly paradise to celebrate their love and lifelong journey together.

Noran first realized how in love she was with Jay once he was thousands of miles away from her at the very beginning of their relationship. Instead of tearing them apart, distance strengthened their bond forever.

Thus, when Jay was diagnosed with stage-3 kidney cancer some months later, they both relied on the power of their love to defeat the disease.

“She was a true fighter; a determined, emotional, spiritual and physical guardian; determined not to let cancer get the best of us,” explained Jay, of his beloved Noran during these trying months.

“Noran” might mean “yellow” in Korean (her native country), but in Jay’s life…

her name will always mean guardian angel.

Thanks to Jay’s bravery, Noran’s unconditional love and everyone’s prayers; Jay beat cancer and today is in remission.

After such an emotional adventure, they both knew they were meant to spend the rest of their lives together. Thus, when Jay proposed, it was without a doubt, but with a lot of emotion, that Noran said YES!

So when organizing their wedding, Noran and Jay wanted to combine their ceremony with their honeymoon; and they realized that for the same cost of a large wedding at home in California, they could travel to the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora with their closest friends and family members.

Exchanging their vows on an earthly paradise after all they had been through really resonated in the couple’s minds; therefore, Noran and Jay turned to LLG Events to plan their special destination celebration. LLG planned every detail ahead of time to make the organization easier once everyone landed in the remote dreamland where nor the couple, nor the team, had ever been.

That is LLG’s specialty: planning a destination event anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.

Noran and Jay wanted their wedding to be a four-day, unforgettable experience for them and for their guests. Bora Bora’s culture, combined with the Four Seasons’ unique setting on a secluded motu (island), offered an array of splendorous and memorable activities.

The result, LLG Events designed a destination wedding of love, friendship, and joyous thrills with activities such as an exclusive waverunner tour around mainland Bora Bora and a private French Polynesian boat tour where guests only knew to show up at a specific date and time.

They were then led on an aquatic adventure by local Tahitian sailors who double as a musical group of ukulele players and island drummers. They snorkeled through coral reefs, swam with black-tipped reef sharks and fed stingrays.

After the adrenaline-pumping excitement, the wedding guests were chauffeured by decorated canoe to a private island where an overwater frui-cruterie spread was set up for lunch (a new trend started by LLG!).

In line with the island’s natural sustainability efforts, plates and utensils were woven from local palm leaves; and drinks were served directly from coconut shells.

On a subsequent evening, the group was presented with a tropical rehearsal dinner utilizing flora and coral from around the island. LLG pulled inspiration from the nature of the island to create a local tablescape display of coconuts, greenery and pitate (jasmine flowers), which symbolize love and good luck.

The wedding day combined this local culture and French Polynesian tradition with Western wedding customs, as Noran and Jay wanted to fuse both elements into their celebration.

That’s how Noran chose her wedding dress; she envisioned a beautiful blend of formal wedding attire in contrast to her beach destination. She walked down the aisle in an elegant and shimmery white dress that sparkled in the sunlight, carrying a bouquet of Tahitian flowers matching the one in her hair, softly covered by a white veil. And of course, yellow flowers were incorporated for a symbol of her and Jay’s own Korean culture.

Jay was joyfully waiting for his bride under a square arch made of white wood, palm leaves, and local flowers matching her bouquet.

This charming and romantic love scene took place on a white sandy beach on the edge of the turquoise ocean, to the rhythm of the waves, kissed by the sunlight setting over Mount Otemanu with soft clouds dotting the pastel sky.

The ceremony was led by an enthusiastic local priest, who happily guided the couple through local traditions and their sacred vow exchange. Thus, Noran and Jay had the wonderful chance to experience traditions such as the tifaifai, which requires the couple to be wrapped in a traditional red wedding quilt as they are pronounced husband and wife.

Our newly-married couple was also given Tahitian names by the priest, right after being dawned with haku leis (flower crowns) and leis (flower necklaces).

Finally, before the reception began and the party enjoyed an authentic fire dancing show, the bride and groom was fully embraced by Mana, the spirit of the islands. As a rainbow emerged from the sky, they knew that their love story was blessed for a happy ending together.

Their celebration of love and life in an exclusive and idyllic place between heaven and heart is a sweet reminder that love always wins.

Vendors

Event management, design and execution: LLG Events, @LLGevents

Venue: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, @FSborabora

Lead photography: Marc Gerard Photography, @Marc_Gerard_Photo

Secondary photography: Sasha Popovic, @Popovic_Sasha

Videography: Sadry Ghacir, @Sadry78