Throughout the Pacific, February 14 was especially romantic for guests at Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, thanks to the dedicated work of Outrigger employees across the Pacific who coordinated complimentary Valentine’s Day vow renewal ceremonies on property.
Dozens of couples vacationing in Hawaii, Australia, Tahiti, Guam, and Fiji took advantage of the romantic offer to re-tie the knot in special oceanfront ceremonies at 18 Outrigger properties. The complimentary Valentine’s Day vow renewal ceremonies were offered as a way to promote the many romantic locations across the Pacific where Outrigger operates hotels and resorts, and it is hoped that these ceremonies will become an annual event.
In Hawaii, 44 couples were gathered on Waikiki Beach to renew wedding vows, as the sun rose over Diamond Head and lit up the golden sands of Waikiki. Despite the large turnout, the occasion was kept very intimate and personable by performing four separate ceremonies in groups of 10 to 12 couples. Kumu Blaine Kia coordinated the ceremony, with help from his halau, and ensured it was meaningful and respectful for the participants and the Hawaiian culture. Each 15-minute ceremony included a chant, song, hula, and lei exchange between couples. Couples then enjoyed champagne toasts after the ceremony and received a commemorative vow renewal certificate.
A lot of time and energy by Gay Shinbara, Lori Naone, Luana Maitland, Matt Sprout, Elliot Takane, Barbara Gusman, Nina Capllonch, Ethan Chang, and Mary Lou Foley helped the entire event run smoothly.
On the Big Island at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, thirteen couples participated in a very successful first annual Valentine’s Day vow renewal ceremony, according to Noel Parrish, who coordinated the event. Kumu Keala Ching and his halau performed a touching service that started with a lesson in Hawaiian language, followed by an exchange of vows and lei between the couples. Kumu Keala then chanted out to the sea while he collected the ocean water. He took his tea leaf, dipped it in his ceremonial bowl, which contained sea salt, and proceeded to bless each person one by one. The halau then performed a traditional hula, while Kumu Keala narrated the meaning of this performance. Some people were overwhelmed with emotion and extreme gratitude for this vow renewal. One couple had tears in their eyes and requested to be the first ones to sign up for next year’s ceremony.
South of the equator in Tahiti, seven couples at the Te Tiare Beach Resort recited vows on the very beach where crewmembers from the HMS Bounty fell in love with the local islanders in the late 1700s. According to General Manager Philippe Sizaret, it was a very popular activity for the guests on-property.
Across the international dateline in Guam, four Japanese couples recited vows through a translator at the Outrigger Guam Resort for a special ceremony GM Charlene Goo is sure earned a spot in their hearts for Outrigger. A special thanks to Janet Schmull, Gina Ramos, Dolores Muna, Francis Belandres, Michiru Sato, Yumi Oka, Kara Sablan, Christine Restuvog, Marvin Pinaula, and Rogelio Peralta. In Fiji, two couples actually got married in special ceremonies on property at the Outrigger on the Lagoon-Fiji.
“Down Under” the Outrigger Mooloolaba International Resort hosted 13 couples after the staff did a great job promoting the ceremony to arriving guests. At the Outrigger Hervey Bay Resort, Kristen Maile and GM Paul Brasch reported eight guests participated in a special sunset ceremony, along with numerous witnesses, who took the pleasure of signing the couples’ individual certificates. Couples exchanged vows specially written by Celebrant David Proctor. Borrowing from Hawaii’s culture, couples exchanged floral lei instead of rings. Marina Photographics partnered with the property to help capture life-long memories for guests to reflect on for years to come.
Up the coast at the Outrigger Beach Club & Spa at Palm Cove, four couples celebrated the world’s most romantic day of the year by renewing their wedding vows overlooking the South Pacific Ocean. According to conference Sales Manager Elissa Murray, couples enjoyed a beautiful sunrise ceremony on the beach. All received a certificate, professional photo, and champagne breakfast in Tamara’s Restaurant.
At the Outrigger Sun City Resort, a husband surprised his wife by bringing her to the hotel for a surprise mini vacation and participation in the vow renewal, according to Juanita Delaney. Helping create these special memories for the guests were employees Jody Denny, Lindsay Wright, Rebecca Townsend, and General Manager Grant James who was present as a witness.
In Waikiki, guests Frederick and Rosemary Depew of Montour Falls, New York, decided to celebrate their 50th Anniversary by participating in the ceremony in front of the Outrigger Reef. “We just love it here,” Rosemary said after the ceremony. “This is our 14th visit in 14 years. Our first trip here was a dream, and I didn’t think we’d ever be able to return. If we had come here when we were young, we never would have left.”
Another couple, Tim and Gerri Reagan, who met in Hawaii while attending high school, celebrated their first return visit to Hawaii after 21 years of marriage, by participating in the ceremony. “I was shopping for hotels on the Internet and looking for a good rate,” said Tim, an officer in the United States Air Force. “When I read about the Valentine’s Day Vow Renewal ceremony, that was what clinched it for us to stay here (at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach).” The couple met in Hawaii while their parents were stationed at Hickam Air Force Base in the late 70s and became high school sweethearts. They stayed in touch after their families moved to the mainland and later married after college.