Amore Abroad: Destination Weddings & Honeymoons

4 April 2014

Do we hear wedding bells? From April 4 to 6, betrothed ladies and general bridal buffs will flock to the Queensland Brides Wedding and Honeymoon Expo at Brisbane’s South Bank to suss out all things ‘tying the knot’: the cake, the dress and – most important of all – the place.

For 20 years Queensland Brides magazine has been equipping brides-to-be (and some very hands-on grooms) with inspiration and advice for planning their special day. Flight Centre’s expert wedding and honeymoon team will be at the Expo today, tomorrow and Sunday to help plan your dream destination wedding or honeymoon, which might look something like this...

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Cook Islands

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A still relatively hidden gem of the South Pacific, the Cook Islands are perfect for the couple who dream of an aisle made of sand and a wedding march of lapping waves and gently swaying palms. The Cook Islands are an archipelago of 15 isles, each pulsating with enchanting Polynesian culture and fringed by idyllic white beaches.

The island of Rarotonga is where most visitors spend their beach-dwelling days, but it’s the northern island of Aitutaki – set on a stunning coral lagoon – that lures a loved-up crowd. For five-star luxury, Pacific Resort Aitutaki is the whole package. Say ‘I do’ to romantic serenades by local village musicians, sunset ceremonies and candlelit dinners right on the sand.

 A lot of love on the island of Aitutaki

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Maldives

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Island hopping, reef combing and resort dwelling are all part and parcel when it comes to weddings or honeymoons in the Maldives. Made up of a sprinkling of some 1,200 islands south of India, the Maldives boast one of the most perfectly pristine backdrops anywhere in the world.

Most resorts in the Maldives take up their own island, granting you a level of intimacy that is hard to beat. You can leave all the fine details in the hands of Flight Centre's wedding specialists, who have the know-how to make your Maldives wedding dream a reality – including pre-wedding pampering at the likes of the Four Seasons, Shangri-La and Sheraton.

 From the bouquet to the bridal shower, the magic is in the Maldives

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Bali

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One reason Bali is so permanently popular with Aussies is that out dollar stretches much, much further in Indonesia. Add to that the beautiful Balinese customs and a varying landscape from surf-worn coast to jade terraced hillsides and you’ve got yourself a winning wedding and honeymoon destination!

There are few things Bali does to a tee: indulgent couples massages, sumptuous fresh banquets and poolside cocktails at swim-up bars. If you’re planning a big day with a youthful vibe, try the beaches of Kuta or Legian, or go a little more upmarket in Seminyak or Nusa Dua. Inland, central Ubud is ideal for a ceremony in misty mountain surrounds.

 Start your union off on the right foot with a romantic getway

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Bora Bora

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Bora Bora – the island so nice, they named it twice. Part of French Polynesia and often looped in with its equally attractive neighbour Tahiti, Bora Bora is popular for both weddings and honeymoons abroad. Bora Bora’s azure lagoon is dotted with thatched over-water bungalows, which offer a wonderful setting for getting ready for the main event or cultivating a little newlywed romance.

Swimming, kayaking or snorkelling amongst the colourful marine life is the perfect way to wind down after the big day, while a French influence means the island is filled with fine wining and dining options in nothing but five-star fashion.

 The beauty of Bora Bora's overwaters bungalows

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Hawaii

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Getting hitched in Hawaii is on the ultimate wedding wish-list of many a bride-to-be. This far-flung state of the US has six main islands to choose from, each teeming with luxury resorts, celebrants, caterers and decor gurus ready to make the magic happen.

From quaint tropical chapels to windswept cliff-tops with pods of dolphins swimming down below, Hawaii’s landscape pretty much guarantees a flawless wedding album. For a trademark romantic Hawaiian holiday, book in your big day on the island of Oahu, where you can swap rings on the sands of Waikiki before retiring to the pretty-in-pink Royal Hawaiian resort.

 Say "aloha!" to your new life as Mr & Mrs

Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg