Hi Marianne, sorry I didnt reply to this earlier. I was in the thick of the wedding planning. I am now back from the Outrigger and I am full of information for you!!! I will try and upload some photos… if I can work out how to!
We just booked through a normal travel agent that specialised in Fiji. They confirmed for us the wedding date, wedding package and accommodation. For all of the wedding stuff I dealt directly with the functions co-ordinator at the Outrigger, Moreen, who is absolutely amazing. She can do everything you want and need. She also returned all my emails within hours which made the whole thing less stressful. We booked about 8 months in advance and even then we couldn’t get the first date we wanted. We wanted to get married on the Saturday but it was already booked so we went for the day before. When we were there, Moreen told us that there are 171 wedding confirmed for 2011!!!
It took us about 90 minutes from the airport down to the Outrigger. We were on a big coach and dropped off at The Fijian on the way down to the Coral Coast. We also stopped in Nadi for about 20 minutes for no reason. I am not sure how we ended up on the coach because all our wedding guests got a mini bus or private transfer straight to the Outrigger and it took them just under an hour. It was well worth the trip though. Your given a little preview of the Outrigger by the guy who operates the boom gate. He stretches his arms out above his head and yells BULA as loud as he can. As soon as you get into reception the Fijians are welcoming you home!
We went with the dream wedding package and we had 60 guests. This wedding package was well worth it. We got table service for all our drinks. Chair covers and sashes were included as well both for the ceremony in the chapel and the reception. I'm not sure what the traditional buffet is like because we upgraded to the BBQ buffet. All the food at the Outrigger was amazing though. There was way to much food for the number of people we had. The 2 tier cake included in the package is beautiful as well. It had vanilla icing and was decorated with frangipanis. I upgraded our flower arrangements to orchids and frangipanis and ordered a few more arrangements to use as our table centrepieces for the reception. Moreen sent me a couple of pictures of the traditional flower arrangements and they were beautiful as well. The only thing we really had to do ourselves were the place cards and the table seating chart. Moreen took these off me as soon as we got there and set everything up for us on the day. We hired the Ipod dock and we had access to it for the both the ceremony and reception.
We got married in the chapel which is stunning. All our guests had to be at the main reception area an hour before the ceremony starts and its because all the guests have to get the golf carts up to the chapel. The chapel is across the road and up a huge mountain and in the steaming hot weather no one would walk up there. I also organised a cart to pick up my nan from her room, so she didn’t have to make her way up to reception, which isn’t that far for most of us. All the staff are happy to help where they can so it was not a problem for them to organise. All our guests were up there for about half an hour before the wedding actually started and it was really hot in the chapel. Some of the guests went up to the Kalo Kalo bar to kill time. The ones with kids couldn’t go to the bar and there is not much to do up there. All of our 60 guests had a seat in the chapel. It was a bit of squeeze and would probably be close to the maximum number of people they could fit in the chapel. The trio of serenaders stand outside the Chapel and welcome the guests. I had the Fijian warriors walk down the isle in front of me which all the guests loved. I think they must have been dressed for one of the activities or a performance because I didn’t book them, they just turned up. I probably wouldn’t pay for them.
We had our reception in the level 5/6 terrace area. This area is located in the main building and when not set up for a function it looks a bit like a large empty foyer area, and there are walkways to the ocean view rooms on either side of this area. It doesn’t sound very appealing and I was a bit sceptical myself but they had it converted beautifully for the reception. They blocked off the entry ways so people staying in the rooms surrounding the terrace area had to use a different access. The terrace area is an L shape. Our tables of 10 and the bridal table were set up in one half of the L and the buffet and dance floor were on the other half. There are large windows that overlook the resort from the terrace area which was very nice, especially when the sun was going down. I think this area may have had a few ceiling fans but no aircon and it did get very hot and sweaty on the dance floor. We booked indoor ceremony and reception because it is wet season. It rained the afternoon before the wedding and for about an hour the day of the wedding, but cleared up for the wedding and photos and the weather perfect.
We booked the band for the last two hours of the reception and they were great. We didn’t have any other entertainment at the wedding but I think all the entertainment that you can book, like the traditional Meke dancing and fire dancing, can be seen for free during the week. Our band was performing the night after our wedding in the lounge. Also I know the fire dancing cannot be held in the terrace area, so if you had your reception there all your guests would have to go down to the lawn for the entertainment and then back up to the terrace.
I’m sorry I don’t really have information on the other ceremony or reception venues around the resort. Hopefully others can help fill in the gaps here! The beach was pretty dirty when we were there. There was a lot of dead seaweed along the beach and the tide came up pretty high. There was also a bit of slope heading down towards the water so I‘m not sure how they would set up a chairs for guests if you had a lot attending.