Feature

Wailoaloa Community To Give A Stranded Couple In Fiji A Dream Wedding

‘We will do whatever necessary of this big day. We are there just as support players’
12 Aug 2020 11:40
Wailoaloa Community To Give A Stranded Couple In Fiji A Dream Wedding
Peter Cooney and Nina Boekhoven at Wailoaloa Beach on August 11, 2020. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

The Wailoaloa community has come together to give a stranded couple their dream wedding after being stuck in Fiji because of the COVID-19 travel ban.

Three years ago, Australian, Peter Cooney and Dutch, Nina Boekhoven met but it wasn’t until a year-and-a-half later that they began dating.

Last year, the couple holidayed at the Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay and talked wedding plans.

This year, they met again in Fiji and at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Cooney was forced to choose between leaving Ms Boekhoven to return home to Australia.

He chose otherwise and since the couple has been living a blissful experience and making many local friends these past months.

They have been in the country since March 16.

So when their wedding plans were out, Bamboo Travellers owner, Richard Hatherly, who spoke on behalf of the supporters of the couple’s union said: “We will do whatever necessary of this big day. We are there just as support players.”

The services are being provided for free.

Mr Cooney, 33, a painter, said: “I would rather be here than be in any place in the world. Safe here, better to escape Victoria which is not doing so well.”

Ms Boekhoven, 33, is from Groningen City in the Netherlands. She is a student in Applied Physiology.

Mr Cooney said: “We may be far from our relatives and family but we have a grand family back here in Fiji. We are grateful for them for making our special day.”

The following are providing:

  • Bamboo Travellers – wedding venue,
  • Smugglers Cove Resort – wedding night accommodation,
  • A church pastor – marriage celebrant will conduct the service and provide marriage certificate.
  • Honeymoon on a yacht
  • Wedding cake, catering and entertainment by locals

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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