Here, we answer basic Bora Bora elopement questions and give you ideas on how to best spend your honeymoon in paradise.
Eloping in Bora Bora: The Basics
While the budget range for a wedding in Bora Bora will vary depending on your personal preferences, where you get married, what you include in the wedding package (food, photography, etc.) and the time of year, a typical wedding package starts at 3,000 USD per person.
Unless you are a French citizen, you can get legally married in Bora Bora.
You may be imagining a glorious beach ceremony at sunset, but there are so many more choices when it comes to eloping to Bora Bora. Choose from private island weddings, hilltop ceremonies, even a special “I do” moment in a tiny chapel on a beach, in a jungle or in the midst of tropical gardens.
Legally, Bora Bora allows weddings anytime except Sunday or public holidays, but it’s prudent to consider the season both for budgetary and weather purposes.
Bora Bora has three distinct seasons: dry season (June to October), wet season (December to March) and shoulder season (April, May and November). The least expensive of these, if you have flexibility, is going to be shoulder season. The weather is all but guaranteed to be lovely, despite the occasional shower, and the prices throughout the islands are more affordable. The dry season is a sure bet for hot sunny days and blue skies, but that promise brings higher prices. As for the cheapest time to get married in Bora Bora, take your chances during the wet season, when it’s very hot and humid.
Certainly there is some appeal in working with a resort for your elopement in Bora Bora – they’ll have the inside track on a wedding planner, locations, meals, photographers and extras. Say “I do” in a hilltop chapel, on a long white-sand beach or even in the privacy of your own overwater bungalow. Resort “romance specialists” can craft an entire experience to your personal preferences, even offering traditional Polynesian outfits for your vows, ukulele musicians, Bora Bora dancers and island wedding rituals.
However, it’s not absolutely necessary to elope at a resort in Bora Bora. You can easily get married on the main island for a lower price and just as much magic. Seek out an island tour operator or travel agency, who generally employ wedding experts with just as much insider knowledge as the resort wedding planners.
Honeymooning in Bora Bora
You’ve said “I do,” now it’s on to the honeymoon. The best part? If you’ve eloped to Bora Bora, you’re already there. No additional packing or dealing with airports. Just grab your loved one’s hand and start celebrating your new life together.
Don’t miss these bucket-list items when you’re honeymooning in Bora Bora:
If you’re not already checked in to a honeymoon resort, and your budget allows, it’s worth it to spend a few nights in a luxurious overwater bungalow. The epitome of a French Polynesia vacation, these villas allow you to have room service delivered to you by canoe! If that’s not enough, consider waking up in the morning and diving directly off your deck into the pristine turquoise water or peeking through the glass window on your bungalow floor to watch rainbow-colored fish flitting by below you.
Swim with sea turtles (or sharks or stingrays) during a snorkeling excursion in Bora Bora. If you’re a diver, opt to go deeper underwater to meet even more varied marine life. Most resorts throughout Bora Bora offer boat trips, with snorkeling gear, or you can work with a local tour operator.
The ceremony planning is behind you, so relish the peace and quiet of a couple’s massage in a thatched-roof beach hut, soft ocean breezes caressing your skin and the sound of the waves lapping close by. It’s one of the most blissful Bora Bora experiences.
Get the adrenaline pumping with a volcano hike on either Mount Pahia or Mount Otemanu. The views are sublime and you’ll get the bragging rights of saying you hiked, well, a volcano! (For Mount Pahia, you’ll want to employ the services of a local guide – it’s rigorous and not particularly well marked.) Not into hiking? You can still experience Mount Otemanu via 4×4 tour, boat tour or helicopter tour. Other sun-soaked adventures in Bora Bora include kayaking, paddle boarding, jet skiing, aqua bike riding and windsurfing. Guided jeep safaris take you to local villages, lookout points and World War II remains. Try something new!
Considered Bora Bora’s best beach, Matira is known for its gently sloping white sands, clear turquoise, flat-bottomed lagoon and swaying palms. Walk for a while then stop for an alfresco lunch at one of the casual eateries or beachfront restaurants along the sand.
It’s your honeymoon, after all, so let a local tour operator take the reins and introduce you to the best Bora Bora honeymoon experiences. They’ll guide you to secret beaches, take you on jeep safaris, boat tours and bike rides, show you how to snorkel with sharks and stingrays and help you memorialize your honeymoon with photo lagoon tours.
If you and your betrothed are scuba divers, head to Tupitipiti Point, known for its purple coral and steep dropoff. Swim alongside sharks, stingrays, groupers and parrotfish. You can snorkel here, too, with a professional guide, if you’re not a diver.
As wondering as Bora Bora is, there’s so much more to see in the French Polynesian archipelago. Check out some of the other 100 islands via domestic flights or boat trips. If you can’t bear to leave Bora Bora for more than a day, consider chartering a crewed yacht. You’ll head deep out into the ocean, where you can swim, snorkel, soak up the sun and watch an incredible sunset.
Bora Bora’s biggest city is Vaitape – with just shy of 5,000 residents – and it’s a great place to experience a slice of island life. Spend a few hours dining from street stalls and shopping for fresh produce, local handicrafts and souvenirs.