Cook Islands Beach Wedding
As a destination of unsurpassed natural beauty, the Cook Islands is the perfect venu for a tropical island beach wedding. Powder white sand, friendly locals and a great climate make for an unforgettable beach wedding – anywhere in the Cook Islands.
It's easy to arrange a beach wedding or have your wedding ceremony conducted in a lush tropical garden or chapel. Many resorts in the Cook Islands offer wedding packages that can be customised to suit your own needs.
Obtaining a wedding licence
It’s best to arrive in Rarotonga at least four days before your wedding ceremony to allow time to apply for a wedding licence from the Registrar of Marriages. You can apply for the wedding licence yourself, let the hotel arrange things for you as part of your wedding package or use a wedding planner. An application for a wedding licence cannot be made outside the Cook Islands.
Choose either a non-religious celebrant or a minister to perform your wedding. In the Cook Islands, you can find a variety of religious denominations including Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Congregational, Cook Islands Christian Church, Seventh Day Adventist, Mormon and Ba’hai. Marriages performed in the Cook Islands are recognised internationally and are legally binding worldwide.
Here's what you require for a Cook Island's wedding:
Location – The Cook Islands form part of Polynesia and are scattered across
- Passports and birth certificates for both participants
- Notice of Intended Marriage (undertaken at the Registrars Office
- Decree Absolute document (divorced papers), if relevant
- Death certificate of deceased former spouse, if relevant
- Deed poll (proof is required if you have changed your name)
- Parental consent if under 20 years of age
- Catholic couples need to have completed a course for engaged
- couples, such as the FOCCUS program, and will need to have baptism certificates.
2 million sq km of the South Pacific, about 3500km northeast of New Zealand and 1000km southwest of Tahiti.
Getting there – Air New Zealand operate flights 6 times weekly to the Cook Islands between Auckland and Rarotonga with connections from all major Australian airports.
Flight time – 7 hours from Sydney plus transit time (via New Zealand), 11 hours from Perth plus transit time (via New Zealand) to the Cook Islands.
Flying in – Rarotonga International Airport is located 3km west of Avarua on the main island of Rarotonga. Hotel and resort courtesy buses meet every flight. Taxis and hire cars are also available.
Entry requirements – A passport valid for at least six months beyond intended period of stay as well as a ticket for return or onward travel. Australian citizens do not need a visa for a stay of 30 days or less in the Cook Islands.
Getting around – Between islands: Air Rarotonga connects the main island with the islands of Aitutaki, Atiu, Mangaia, Mauke, Manihiki, Mitiaro and Penrhyn. On land: A round-the-island buses can be flagged anywhere and everyday except Sunday. Taxis and hire cars are available – 4WDs and motorcycles are best to reach out-of-the-ways spots. Traffic drives on the left.