Registry office not for you? If you dream of trading the traditional for a tropical wedding, the Cook Islands could be the perfect answer. A barefoot wedding in the South Pacific can be free from stress and full of sunshine, not to mention less expensive than arranging the full-works at home.
Comprised of 15 castaway islands sitting in turquoise waters, the Cook Islands make for a dreamy destination wedding. You can even choose to get married on tiny, uninhabited One Foot Island, regularly voted amongst the top ten beaches on the planet.
Tempted? Here's everything you need to know about getting married in the Cook Islands:
With a warm and sunny climate all year round, there's never a wrong time to get married in the Cook Islands. This makes it an excellent place for a destination wedding, with sunshine practically guaranteed. The cooler, driest months run from April to November, so this period is a safe bet for a sun-drenched wedding. From November until March, the warmer weather arrives, bringing with it the occasional tropical downpour before the sun breaks through again.
In total, there are 15 different islands in the Cook Islands, all with their own charms. The main island, Rarotonga, is home to the international airport, making it the easiest place to reach. However, our favourite place to get married in the Cook Islands is One Foot Island. This tiny, uninhabited islet is prettier than any postcard and makes the most beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony.
There's no accommodation on One Foot Island itself, but you can stay on neighbouring Aitutaki, which sits in the middle of an azure lagoon. What could be better? On your Big Day, you can take a boat across to One Foot Island to say 'I do', and drink some bubbles on your way back. Take a look at our Signature One Foot Island wedding package for more details.
We can help you plan a wedding in the Cook Islands that includes all your wishes. Many of the resorts offer wedding packages that include tropical flower arches and traditional bands, as well as a candlelit reception on the beach.
Everything can be tweaked until your wedding is perfect for you - all you have to do is ask. Choose your island, pick your favourite Cook Islands resort and let us do the rest. Make the first step by calling us on 01273 005930 or sending us an email with your request.
To legally marry in the Cook Islands, you need to:
To get married in the Cook Islands, you'll need the following paperwork:
You must arrive in the Cook Islands at least three working days before your wedding day (not including the day itself). This is very important. If you are unable to be on the island three days before the wedding, a waiver fee will be added to the cost of the wedding package. Due to local customs weddings cannot take place on a Sunday.
There are registry offices on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki that will issue your marriage license and help with all the necessary paperwork before the ceremony. Both you and your spouse need to attend the registry office to receive the license.
The registry offices on both Rarotonga and Aitutaki open from 9.00 am - 3.00 pm Mondays to Fridays. The office is closed on public holidays. For weddings on a Saturday, a public holiday, before sunrise or after 6pm, a surcharge will apply. Due to local customs weddings cannot take place on a Sunday.
Our Signature package includes 7 nights of accommodation in a luxury boutique resort on Aitutaki, smack in the middle of a bright blue lagoon. All transfers to and from Rarotonga are included, along with legal proceedings and a simple, beautiful ceremony on One Foot Island itself.
As South Pacific travel experts, we've personally scoured the Cook Islands looking for the most romantic, secluded resorts. Here's our pick of the bunch for a wedding escape:
The Cook Islands are a long way from home, so make the journey worth it by rolling your wedding and honeymoon into one. For inspiration, take a look at our favourite multi-stop trips that include the Cook Islands. We can tailor any itinerary to your personal requests. Just ask!
We're South Pacific experts with years of planning weddings and honeymoons in the Cook Islands. We can help you put together your perfect island wedding, feel from stress and confusing red tape. To get the ball rolling, call our wedding team on 01273 964 035 or send us an email and we'll get back to you.