Mark & Lauras wedding was announced on the black board and there was an open invitation to all the guests.
We spent the wedding morning snorkelling and boating.
I took out a spy board and mark & john towed me behind their cycle boat to the coral reef. Gary took a canoe and the rest snorkelled. We spent an hour or so messing about watching the fish. The water was much calmer so it was possible to see quite well from the boat. We saw quite a lot of parrot fish amongst other things.
Nowhere near as stressful as a normal wedding morning!
After lunch we relaxed and waited for Mark to come by our bure to get ready.
The wedding was taking place on the beach right outside our bure, so at 5:00 pm we went down the few steps to the beach to wait for Laura. She was being escorted from her bure by 2 warriors and native singers.
The staff had laid out mats and a table ready for the ceremony. The small mat that Mark and Laura stood on during the ceremony was edged with bright colors and is theirs to keep.
Shortly after 5 we heard singing and Laura and her dad appeared. The sun was beginning to cool and there was a pleasant breeze. The ceremony was a civil one and it passed without hitch. The native fijians had gathered on the mat behind us and sang the hymns in their language and we listened. It was very informal.
After there was a kava ceremony where each person is offered a small bowl of kava which they drink in one gulp. It is offered to the bride & groom first. Before you take the bowl you have to clap once and say 'bula' and after you clap 3 times. Everyone shouts what sounds like 'our mother' but is in fact a fijian word for empty.
The photographer then spent a good hour taking pictures against the setting sun and we all milled around enjoying the evening.
Later the staff served our evening meal on the sand by candelight, accompanied by fijian guitar music and singing. Between the songs we had our traditional speeches and card reading.
All the staff on Navini worked amazingly hard setting everything up and ferrying our meals to the beach. All we had to do was turn up. FABULOUS!