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How to get married in Fiji

With a choice of luxurious resorts, friendly ‘bula’ charm and idyllic white-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palm trees, Fiji offers the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding in the South Pacific!


Fiji Marriage Requirements

Fiji offers an excellent choice of luxury resorts located on secluded atolls just a few hours away from Nadi by high-speed catamaran or plane, as well as several 5-star hotels on the main island of Viti Levu.

In Fiji, you may choose to get married on a beach or – for those who prefer a traditional church wedding service – take your vows in a beautifully decorated wedding chapel.

Non-resident visitors intending to get married in Fiji are required by law to obtain a special Marriage Licence from the nearest registry office prior to the wedding ceremony.

Marriages performed in Fiji are recognised internationally and are legally binding worldwide.


Residency Requirement

None, but you'll need three full days before your marriage ceremony to allow time to apply for a Marriage Licence from the nearest marriage registry or district office.


Marriage Licence

The application for a Special Marriage Licence must be made in person to the Registrar of Marriages on the island where the wedding is intended to take place at least three working days prior to the marriage.

The special licence is effective immediately after the application is received and processed by the registry (within one working day), and is valid for 28 days from the date of issue.

Registry offices are located in Nadi, Suva, Lautoka and Sigatoka and are open between 9am and 3pm Monday through Friday (excluding public holidays).


Required Documents

Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name.

All documents must be original – or a certified copy – and written in the English language or accompanied with a certified English translation.

Documents required for getting married in Fiji, include…
  • Valid Passports
  • Birth Certificates
  • Decree Absolute, if either party is divorced
  • Death Certificate of deceased spouse, if either party is widowed
  • Names of two witnesses who are 21 years of age or over
  • Parental consent, if under 21 years of age
  • Koseki Shouhon (Japanese citizens only)
  • Certificate of Single Status (or) Certificate of No Legal Impediment, but only if the marriage is between a Fiji citizen and a foreign citizen, between foreign citizens resident in Fiji or if both parties are former citizens of Fiji
  • Catholic weddings require a letter of Freedom to Marry, sent at least two to three months in advance to the Fijian priest, along with baptism certificates. Usual pre-wedding studies must be completed with a letter from your priest.

Most resorts have wedding co-ordinators on staff that can get the application process started using copies of your legal documents; however, you and your future spouse will need to bring the original documents to the marriage registry office together to sign and pick up your Marriage Licence.


Marriage Ceremony

In Fiji, you may choose either a non-religious marriage celebrant or an ordained minister to perform your wedding ceremony; you may also choose to marry at the registrar’s office.

Some faiths may require additional documents for a religious service, whether held inside a church or elsewhere. You may want to check this with your wedding co-ordinator or local minister.

For instance, couples of the Roman Catholic faith should allow at least six months before the planned wedding date in order to process all the necessary paperwork (certificates of baptism, dispensations, statements of freedom to marry, etc.).

You should make contact with the priest whom you want to have officiate at your wedding as soon as possible. He will help you complete the necessary paperwork and provide part of your marriage preparation instruction.


Marriage Certificate

Following the wedding ceremony, the Certificate of Marriage is signed in triplicate (original plus two copies) by the bride and groom, the witnesses and the marriage officer. One copy is kept by the couple, and the original is sent (within seven days) to the district registrar or Registrar General in Suva to officially record the marriage.

Note: The Marriage Certificate signed by the newly-weds, witnesses, and marriage officer is not yet the 'official' certificate because it does not bear the seal of the Fiji Registrar General.

However, once the Fiji Registrar General has received the completed Certificate of Marriage together with the Marriage Licence and verified the documents, they will officially register the marriage.

You can obtained the official Marriage Certificate via mail or in person for a small cost. You should contact your local embassy if you require a translation and authentication for your resident country.

The bride and groom may require their Marriage Certificate authenticated with an Apostille Seal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade before they depart Fiji.


Apostille of Marriage Certificate

European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated).

This does not apply to citizens of United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Celebrant as to whether an Apostille is required for your country.


Fees


Applicable fees, include…
  • Application for Marriage Licence – F$25
  • Marriage performed within the Registrar General or District Registrar (including Certificate of Marriage) – F$22
  • Registrar General or district registrar solemnizing marriage outside normal office hours (including Certificate of Marriage) F$30
  • Standard Marriage Certificate – F$$5
  • Tapa-designed Marriage Certificate – F$$15

Wedding Planners

Many hotels and resorts offer experienced wedding co-ordinators who can insure that the entire process of getting married in Fiji, including fulfilling all legal requirements, is stress free.

For more information:
Registrar General’s Office, Suva: Open 8.30am – 3.00pm Monday – Friday, Tel: 331 5280 Fax: 330 4917;
Divisional Registrar, Lautoka: Open 9.00am – 3.00pm Monday – Friday, Tel: 666 5132 Fax: 666 5132;
Divisional Registrar, Labasa: Open 9.00am – 3.00pm Monday – Friday, Tel: 881 2477 Fax: 881 4181.


Wedding Customs and Traditions in Fiji

Here's what to expect from a wedding ceremony in Fiji…

Traditionally dressed Fijian warriors accompany the bride across the lagoon on a flower-bedecked barge to her groom waiting expectantly on the sandy shore.

The local village choir sings a haunting melody as a Fijian minister presides over the couple’s exchange of vows. Shortly afterwards, local village children toss fragrant flower petals around and onto the newly-weds.

After the ceremony, guests are invited to participate in champagne toasts and take part in a traditional kava ceremony where blessings are bestowed on the couple by Fijian tribal elders.

As the sun sets, the special Fijian wedding feast is followed by ceremonial dances performed for the newly-weds until at last they retire to their romantic thatched-roof bure.

Bili Bili

The Bili Bili is a bridal boat adorned with colourful flowers – Fiji’s version of a limousine. Native Fijians in traditional dress man the oars of the Bili Bili, escort and carry the bride and her wedding throne to her groom.

Salusalu

A flower necklace made of tapa cloth, leaves and brightly coloured flowers.

Meke

A combination of dance, song and theatre performed at feasts and on special occasions such as your wedding ceremony.

Traditional Fijian wedding attire

Any garment made with tapa cloth. Tapa is the bark from an indigenous, non-endangered Fijian tree pounded into a fine cloth and hand painted with traditional patterns of Fiji.

Lovo

An underground oven made by stacking and burning dry coconut husks in a pit. Once the fire is well lit, stones are heaped on top. When most of the husks are burnt away, the food is wrapped in banana leaves and placed on the hot stones – traditionally fish and meat are placed below with vegetables above.

Kava ceremony

Kava is a tranquilising, non-alcoholic drink that numbs the tongue and lips. It comes from the waka (dried root) of the pepper plant.

The ceremonial preparation is the most honoured feature of the local life of Fijians. It is performed with utmost gravity according to a sacramental ritual to mark marriages, births, deaths and official visits.


Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.

Latest update: How to get married in Fiji: 30 December, 2018


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