Asheville Charm Meets South Pacific Timelapse… “Sota Tale”
As a travel and lifestyle writer, deciding where to celebrate our marriage and honeymoon was not an easy one. We knew we were not going to have a traditional wedding, and wanted to make the celebration uniquely our own, reflecting our love and closest friendships. With options for private Haciendas in the Yucatán Peninsula, and romantic hotel stays across the globe, we knew we wanted a place that was a first for both of us together. So where did we go?
A private island resort in Fiji, Royal Davui.
However, before the actual vow exchange on an intimate beach engulfed by sparkling turquoise see-through waters, we had a big party with forty of our closest friends and family.
Meeting in the impromptu city of Asheville, North Carolina, we kicked off our “murried” weekend with laughter. It was the first time Utah friends met North Carolina friends and vice versa, so the only way to get everyone acclimated was with a private comedy tour on LaZoom. The big purple bus of Asheville was at the top of its game with our laughter officiant, Cookie, who customized a tour unique to us and gave a Jimmy Fallon worthy experience. Scott, my husband, had never been on LaZoom, and after he said, “You were right, that was the best way to kick off this celebration.
If you have been on LaZoom, you know that wine and beer is allowed on the bus, which meant our guests needed food. Heading to the off-the-beaten path downtown Asheville restaurant, Storm Rhum Bar, where we dined outside and enjoyed multiple variations of craft beer and pigs ear appetizers. They also have some of the best burgers in Asheville (kudos to the Chef!), and the patio easily accommodated our gregarious group.
That was enough to end the first day of our forty-eight hour celebration. Saturday, the guys golfed at the Omni Grove Park Inn, the best course in the city limits of Asheville, while the girls enjoyed a foot soak at Wake in the Grove Arcade. After foot soaks we had brunch on the rooftop at The Social Lounge on Biltmore Avenue downtown, where wine and Bloody Mary’s were a hit.
Back to the Asheville Crowne Plaza Resort to get ready for the big event, our wedding dinner at Golden Fleece. Luckily the weather cooperated so we were able to enjoy cocktails and a private dinner on the terrace among Asheville’s beautiful landscape. My favorite dish is the Octopus, it is one of the best recipes in Asheville and nationwide. The setting was perfect, as was acknowledging the friends and family who were able to celebrate our union as husband and wife.
One of the reasons we chose Asheville, was the uniqueness of its location, Our guests received wine and local craft beer selections from Metro Wines, truffles from French Broad Chocolates, and an indulgent carrot cake for dessert from AshevilleCake.com. Yet our wedding favors were some of my favorites – a champagne stopper from the girl who’s motto is “life is better with bubbles” and a cigar from My Father’s Cigars, representing the groom’s love for back porch sitting conversation, and why Golden Fleece was the perfect way to end our party in Asheville.
The morning after, we said our goodbyes and made the long trek across the globe to find ourselves in the Nadi International airport in Fiji where we boarded a helicopter to our private island oasis.
The sixteen villa, adult only resort was captivating from the moment we arrived. Greeted with stringed instrument Fijian lyrics and bright smiles, the private island located in the Beqa Lagoon is a sanctuary of sand and lush land and seascapes bottled into a curated rendezvous that allows time to disappear and soul connection to the one you love…
We were married two days after arriving, allowing time for jet lag and time change to catch up with us. The morning of our vow ceremony, we sipped morning coffee from our warm splash pool overlooking an ocean where humpback whales and dolphins danced majestically, almost providing us an omen, that we were meant to be. It started magical, and continued through the entire day. Our photographer, Kezia, from Ocean Studio Photography, arrived to do a pre-ceremony photo shoot, where tender tears of joy escaped each of our eyes as we relished in the rare love we have. As our wedding officiant said, 1 + 1 = 1, and it is true, there is not a more perfect explanation of how we feel about each other and why we chose to live the best of our years hand in hand.
The day following the ceremony we had a picnic lunch on the sand cay, a deserted beach the size of a football field exposed out of the turquoise waters for a few hours each day. A reminder, that if ever in a situation where you could choose only one person to be by your side, it should be that person sharing that moment with you. I made the right choice… wait… we both made the right choice.
Filling our days with world class snorkeling, low-tide paddle boarding, kayak jaunts, spa treatments, and uninterrupted moments of intimate connection, this was the perfect place to dedicate ten days to beginning our life as Mr. and Mrs. Murry
The little moments of smiles and connection were almost life changing, inspiring new ideas and motto’s to live by. Royal Davui was our perfect way to make a commitment to each other for life and beyond that we promise to honor, respect, love, laugh, and live our life to the fullest together.
Where does a travel writer get married? At a place that nurtures love, integrity, laughter, and inspires hopes and dreams.
Thank you Asheville and Royal Davui for the most magical two weeks of our lives.