Weddings in the Cook Islands

Everything you ever dreamed of and more. Our tropical paradise offers hundreds of possibilities for your never-to-be-forgotten wedding day. Many of our visitors are so moved by our paradise, they renew their vows at special ceremonies. Whatever your needs, you’ll find the setting and ceremony to fit your budget. Cook Island marriages are internationally recognized and, of course, legally binding worldwide. Rarotonga Wedding

The Cook Islands offers a romantic backdrop, and many picturesque venues for many special occasions such as weddings.

You can choose to get married on one of Rarotonga’s beaches, the botanical gardens, an uninhabited islet, a local church, or at your Hotel - a wide choice of many beautiful spots.


Getting to the Cook Islands  Cook Islands Accommodation options  Transport around Rarotonga

Your ceremony can be as elaborate as you wish, from the bride, groom, two witnesses and the minister, to any selected number in the wedding party. You may wear traditional wedding attire or you may prefer an island wedding with Polynesian grass skirts, head bands and bare feet. Another apparel option is for the bride to wear a local pareu and the groom a Polynesian shirt. Polynesian attire may also be rented or purchased.

Everything you ever dreamed of and more. Our tropical paradise offers hundreds of possibilities for your never-to-be-forgotten wedding day. Many of our visitors are so moved by our paradise, they renew their vows at special ceremonies. Whatever your needs, you’ll find the setting and ceremony to fit your budget. Cook Island marriages are internationally recognized and, of course, legally binding worldwide. Rarotonga Wedding

The Cook Islands offers a romantic backdrop, and many picturesque venues for many special occasions such as weddings.

You can choose to get married on one of Rarotonga’s beaches, the botanical gardens, an uninhabited islet, a local church, or at your Hotel - a wide choice of many beautiful spots.

Your ceremony can be as elaborate as you wish, from the bride, groom, two witnesses and the minister, to any selected number in the wedding party. You may wear traditional wedding attire or you may prefer an island wedding with Polynesian grass skirts, head bands and bare feet. Another apparel option is for the bride to wear a local pareu and the groom a Polynesian shirt. Polynesian attire may also be rented or purchased.

Some popular venues

St. Mary’s Catholic Church The wedding in the Catholic Church is done the Cook Island way, with a full Cook Islands Choir singing Maori songs. Communion or the lighting of candles may be included in the ceremony.

Motu Koromiri (Koromiri Island) Probably the most popular spot of them all. Weddings here can include a mix of any or all of the following elements

  • Travel by glass bottom boat from Muri Beach to Koromiri Island.
  • Enjoy a string band and Polynesian love songs while making your way across the lagoon.
  • After the wedding sip champagne, slip off your shoes and dance on the sand Polynesian style to the tunes of the string band.
  • Enjoy a Polynesian dancing group performing just for you.
  • Stroll along the beach while being serenaded by love songs.
  • For something different, the Bride can travel to Koromiri Island by canoe. Cook Island Drummers signal the brides’ arrival on the island. The bride is lifted from the canoe by the warriors and as the chief warrior chants and the drums are beating the bride is escorted to her waiting groom.
  • After the ceremony both the bride and groom return together via the canoe.
  • Planting an Uto Tree is a custom in the Cook Islands. It signifies a new birth or a new beginning.
  • The planting of a new tree is incorporated in many weddings which are held on the beach or island locations. After the tree is planted it is given a name by the wedding couple and this name will stay with the tree forever.
  • Fire Knife Dancing shows are sometimes included in your wedding celebrations.

The shows are especially prepared for your wedding day and add a long-time Polynesian traditional event to your special day.

“One Foot Island” Aitutaki. Another popular location - a remote islet within the vast Aitutaki lagoon. There are many other beautiful locations for weddings in Rarotonga or Aitutaki, and most major accommodators have professional Wedding Co-ordinators at your service.

Legal Requirements

  • The following is general information for getting married in the Cook Islands.
  • It is recommended that you check with the marriage licensing bureau in your state or province for local requirements regarding marriages.
  • Legal age of consent to marry is 20 years, otherwise written approval by parents required.
  • Application for Marriage License must be made in person to the Registrar of Marriages, on the Island where the wedding is intended to take place, at least 3 working days prior to the marriage.
  • The current valid passport and birth certificate of both intending Bride and Groom will be required when filling out the “Notice of Intended Marriage” at the Registrars Office.
  • If divorced a copy of the Decree Absolute in English will also be required.

Fees

  • Marriage Licence $100.00
  • Marriage Certificate $25.00
  • Marriage Waiver Fee ( If you wish to be married less than the 3 days residency requirement) $50
  • Marriage Amendment Fee $50.00
  • Church Minister or Priest a donation ( we suggest minimum of $100.00)
  • Marriage Celebrant from $150.00
  • Registrar of the Court. Free if conducted between 8am and 4pm week days and in courtroom only.

Churches on the Island

Cook Islands Christian Church, (Protestant) Latter Day Saints, Seventh Day Adventists, Roman Catholic. It will be necessary to check with your local minister regarding the requirements to marry in the church as they will also apply to the Cook Islands.

Services

There is a choice of ceremony:

(1) at the registrar’s office Monday to Friday from 8am to 3pm at a cost of $100.00 and subject to court availability; or (2) at another chosen location at a cost of $100 upwards.

  • Two witnesses are required for either ceremony.
  • The main denominations in the Cook Islands are:
  • The Cook Islands Christian Church (CICC), Roman Catholic, Seventh Day Adventist, Bahai and Mormon.
  • You must select the minister from the village in which you plan to marry. You may also choose a marriage celebrant to conduct your wedding services.

Like someone to arrange it all for you?

  • Consider a wedding package.
  • Consider a Wedding specialist who can then ensure all your needs are met.
  • Do all the arrangements yourself

The Cook Islands has wedding specialists who are extremely experienced and qualified. You will find that most accommodation properties offer wedding and honeymoon packages, and they are able to cater to your special needs. Renewal of vows ceremonies can also be arranged. Every accommodation facility in the Cook Islands has the ability to ensure that your honeymoon be everything that you dreamed it would be.