Mo'orea, French Polynesia Elopement
CYNTHIA & BRYAN
Mo’orea, French Polynesia
@cynth_hutton and @bhutt13 got married last month in Mo’orea, a humble beautiful island off of Tahiti. They discovered us by walking by our former studio loft last year and trusted us 110% to travel 5,000 miles to capture their intimate elopement in the remote corners of the South Pacific Ocean. Race and I can’t express how grateful we are for the opportunity to experience one of the prettiest islands in the world. It was a huge pleasure and the best experience we have had to date. Congrats, Cynthia and Bryan. Mauruuru!
We flew into Tahiti and were greeted with a warm welcome. From Tahiti, we took a 40 minute ferry ride to Mo’orea. Approaching the island felt like we were entering Jurassic World. The tall and sheer mountains made for a perfect backdrop. For our destination weddings and elopements, we fly in 2-3 days early as a safeguard in case travel hiccups occur plus it’s a perfect opportunity to get a lay of the land. We utilize this time to capture b-roll footage and environmental photos to place context to the story.
Cynthia and Bryan stayed at the Hilton Mo’orea where they got ready and had their ceremony. We wanted to implement some lifestyle shots into their film and photo gallery so we captured them hanging in and around the water out at the Hilton Lagoon Mo’orea.
Preps were held in their overwater bungalow and the first look was on their dock.
Cynthia and Bryan had a Traditional Tahitian Ceremony which consists of:
Reciting of the Vows
As the couple faces the sea, the priest will read in a combination of Tahitian and English from traditional wedding vows and offer a blessing with the sacred auti flower and coconut milk, while joining their hands together and reading from a certificate of tapa cloth, which is made from the bark of the bread or hibiscus tree.
Giving of Tahitian Names
After the exchange of ceremonial flowers and leis, the priest bestows upon the couple traditional Tahitian names, known only to them.
Wrapping in the Tifaifai
The vows culminate with the wrapping of the couple in a traditional tifaifai, a colorful Tahitian wedding quilt as they are pronounced man and wife.
A Celebration of Song and Dance
The newlyweds are then serenaded by local musicians and dancers-as few as two or as many as a dozen-who invite them to the middle of a circle to imitate their hip-shimmying, leg-shaking traditional Tahitian dance moves as drum beats and joyous chants tell everyone within earshot that a wedding has taken place.
Outlive: How did you know Bryan was the one?
It's funny because Bryan is not what one I would call "emotional," but I've never felt so fiercely loved by anyone in my life. That goes without saying there are things about him that drive me insane, but we are so 100% a team in everything we do and there's just no world or path in which I don't see him. -Cynthia
OUTLIVE: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ELOPE?
“We always joked about how weddings were for everyone else but the bride and groom and both agreed that if we got married, we wanted it to be about us. Having that moment together was important, and we wanted to be selfish with it - relish in it and remember all of the little moments that make a wedding day so special. It was amazing to not get caught up in the rush of the day - I mean, the morning of we woke up at 7:30, jumped into the ocean, had breakfast together. I think I even snuck in a nap. I loved our decision and would do it ten thousand times over.” - Cynthia
OUTLIVE: WHY DID YOU CHOOSE MOOREA?
“There was such a draw to French Polynesia - it seemed so peaceful - and that's exactly the sort of place we envisioned saying our vows. When we started doing research we kept reading about this small island that was perfect in every way. We were excited about choosing a destination "less traveled", kind of like how we chose our path for marriage.” -Cynthia
OUTLIVE: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO OTHER COUPLES INTERESTED IN ELOPING?
“Don't second guess your decision. Someone will always be unhappy about your choice, but it's your day to do exactly what you want with. There was something so incredibly beautiful about being just with my husband, and I love that for forever, it will always be our moment to share. No distractions, no show - just us and the ocean.” -Cynthia
OUTLIVE: IN SHORT, SUM UP MOOREA
“Mo'orea was incredible. It was so much better than I pictured it to be and I can't wait to go back. We had so much fun getting to know the culture and meeting people from all different walks of life - from our snorkel buddies to our ATV guide - it was incredible through and through. It's no use in even trying to verbalize how beautiful this place was because honestly words don't do it enough justice. Go. JUST GO. Beautiful, amazing, stunning, breathtaking, magical, dreamy.” - Cynthia
OUTLIVE: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TAKE AWAY?
“The day we got married I saw the most beautiful sunset I think I've ever seen. I'm not one to get cheesy about "signs" or "meant-to-be's" but there was so much stillness in my heart that day and I knew that standing on the beach with Bryan was exactly where I was meant to be. My favorite takeaway is that we did exactly what we wanted to do and came out of it with a memory that will never be beat. Also, bring Outlive Creative with you on your adventure because holy moly you guys - having this video for life is invaluable and I can't wait to one day show my children or look back on it when we're old and grey and reminiscing on the past. Thank you so much Race and Jess for being such an integral part of the best day of our lives. We love you guys!!” - Cynthia