From Bride Noran: “We chose a destination wedding so we could have small and intimate wedding. We also thought it was a good idea to combine wedding and honeymoon together. We chose Bora Bora because it is very remote paradise island. Bora Bora was further away then Hawaii, but not too far like Maldives from our home. Bora Bora seemed more private and exclusive then other areas. We chose the Four Seasons Resort because we felt that we would be treated special for the very special event in our lives. Our wedding really surpassed our expectations! We chose color schemes of yellow and white because the Noran's name means "yellow" in her native language. We wanted to incorporate local flowers as much as we can since Bora Bora is one of an amazing paradise (incorporating shells picked up and made by our wedding planners was perfect way to compliment florals!)”
First off, how did you two meet? “Our story begins with a “Like,” a “Bagel” and a cup of coffee. The algorithm gods must have been wise. Our love affair began with an iPhone app, but we’re so blessed to be spending the rest of our lives together in the real world. Our journey was not without hiccups and detours. As with all rewarding life events, we were both forced to deal with the fear of unknown, perform the expected dating dance, and overcome our own insecurities. We had both been in and out of relationships, failed once and we suppose we were both weary. We weren’t exactly recent college grads and had been shaped by (some would say hardened) by our experiences. Yet, we shared an indelible faith in lasting love and the will to keep moving forward. One of our first dates didn’t go so well, when Jay asked Noran to drop by his house after dinner for a drink. Although he didn’t mean it in that way (he swears), Noran was put off and decided to cancel the next date (at the last minute no less). This didn’t discourage Jay who asked her out again, this time to an art exhibition, a public safe place. LOL. Jay has always been interested in art and all things visual. Noran finally saw the side of Jay she actually liked! That evening was when Jay made the move for the first kiss and Noran didn’t actually resist! Fate would have it that soon thereafter Jay was set to travel to Senegal and The Gambia, West Aftrica. Contact was difficult given the lack of reliable internet connection. Still Jay reached out to Noran, whenever he could, when wi-fi was available. Noran was impressed by Jay’s efforts given that he was thousands of miles away in a distant African continent. Noran’s impression changed and feelings grew, each day he was away. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and in this instance it was definitely true. So much so that on the first day Jay returned from his trip, that evening in a dimly lit Korean bar, Noran asked Jay to be her boyfriend! Jay was honestly surprised by this early bold move and yet, something about it seemed right and he said “yes!” knowing if he didn’t, he wouldn’t see her again. Needless to say, this was the most important and the right decision he made in his life. Even after just two dates, we knew somehow we were meant for each other. Soon after their relationship began, we were met with a serious life challenge, as if God was shining a light to a path towards the future. Jay was diagnosed with stage three kidney cancer. There were no prior signs and yet here it was. No one, including Jay could believe this was happening. This tragedy, however, was a gift in that it brought us so much closer together. Noran was a true fighter, a determined emotional, spiritual and physical guardian, determined to not let cancer get the best of us. We went through it together and with the grace of God, Jay has fully recovered and is in remission. This experience really solidified for both of us, how important and amazing we are to each other. On March 7, 2018 on Jay’s birthday, at a surprise party thrown by Noran, Jay proposed, to the sheer delight and surprise of all of their friends and guests. And she said “Yes.” Together, our journey continues!”
Tell us more about your wedding! “Unlike other resorts where we were contacted via emails with list of event details, we met in person with the Four Seasons rep (Paula) who greeted us and explained details, possibilities and other concerns we had at the time of initial planning. After meeting Paula, we were able to "put a face" to the venue and felt confident that the resort will make sure that our wedding will be special and memorable for us.”
Whats style of wedding were you going for? “We wanted a Western-style wedding with Polynesian details for the ceremony and it turned out perfect! Noran wanted to have a Western-style wedding dress and more formal wedding attire, although the wedding was outdoor by the beach. Polynesian details like hand washing, blanket wrap, flower crowns and etc. made the ceremony so unique and memorable. We felt like we had best of the both sides.”
What emotions were you feeling throughout the day? “We loved so many parts of our wedding, so it's hard to chose our favorite part. But if I have to chose one part, it would be the sunset over Mount Otemanu and Pahia, especially the glimpse of rainbow during our photoshoot after the wedding was just magical. I choose that part because it was something I didn't expect at all, it was something I couldn't even have planned and purchased. We also really liked the floral crowns and leis during our wedding ceremony. We liked the Polynesian wedding name given to us, as well as the blanket wrap and hand washing. It was fun, different and memorable. Unlike any other wedding we've seen.
What was the most memorable part of your wedding? “The most memorable part was our snorkeling tour and private beach party! All of our guests told us that the private beach party was once in a lifetime experience and they will remember it for a very long time. Food, scenery, music, band, drinks and everything else was just perfectly done; a very unique to Bora Bora experience!”
Advice for future brides? “The biggest challenge is that we chose our destination wedding at a place where we had never been. The whole venue/destination (Bora Bora) was an unknown place with big question mark.We saw pictures of it, but had no actual experience of the place. We had to trust ourselves and everyone who helped us to plan the wedding. The best advice to other couples would be to hire LLG Events! Having excellent wedding planners should be the first thing to do!”
Venue: Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora | Planner: LLG Events | Photography: Marc Gerard Photography & Sasha Popovic | Videography: Sadry Ghacir | Dresses: Sottero Midgley & Badgley Mischka | Jewelry: Cartier