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Love is all around as wedding season starts

Saturday 24 December 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features


Love is all around as wedding season starts
Newlyweds Mr and Mrs Taureka Hugh Henry and Temarumaru Henry on Honeymoon Island, Aitutaki. PC: INE SOSENE. 22122006

Love is All Around sung by British band Wet Wet Wet, pretty much expresses the abundance of love drifting around the island like a sweet summer breeze, considering the significant number of weddings held in the country this month. Couples are taking their affirmation of mutual love seriously taking the plunge into marriage – the legal, and binding union of two people to journey through adult life as partners in a celebration of love and friendship and a bright future together. Three newly-wed couples have kindly shared with us their images and stories of their enchanting, beautiful wedding days making the commitment day as husband and wife.

Honeymoon wedding: Mr and Mrs Taureka Henry

On a magical tranquil day surrounded by Aitutaki’s captivating blue lagoon, Temarumaru Quarter and Taureka Hugh Henry declared their love and commitment to each other on Honeymoon Island.

“It was everything we had imagined and more,” says the beautiful blushing bride.

The weather is always a worry for brides who have outdoor weddings.

Leading up to the wedding, the day before Aitutaki was experiencing heavy rains and strong winds which triggered frayed nerves amongst the planners. However, Temarumaru stayed confident.

“Rain or shine I was going to have my motu wedding…” she said.

The next day the sun came out blazing, beaming through clear blue skies.

“And to top it off we had an evening under stars…it was just perfect,” said Temarumaru.

Two hundred and twenty guests from near and far attended the couple’s official union – the ceremonial ceremony on Honeymoon Island and the reception function at Tamanu Beach Resort, Aitutaki on Monday December 12, 2022.

Temarumaru and Taureka first met 18 years ago. The first trip as a couple was a cultural trip to Europe in 2009.

The couple left Rarotonga 10 years ago to live in Perth, Western Australia where they reside today. Taureka finally proposed in 2019. Initially, the couple had planned to tie the knot the same year, but those plans were put on hold due to the Covid pandemic.

Temarumaru is the youngest daughter of Rouru Quarter and Mii Upu, and Taureka is a son to Mike and Kuraono Henry.

Creative and artistic in design and crafts, Temarumaru designed and made one of the two stunning dresses she wore on her wedding day.

A close friend of hers, talented Taratuaau Cuthers, is the mastermind behind the classy décor scheme which created an elegant, groovy atmosphere for the wedding.

“He is such an amazing and talented young man,” said Temarumaru.

Together the pair came up with the concept of the beach wedding on Honey Island and the starlight reception at Tamanu Beach Resort.

Dazzling white lights draped in the form of a sprawling tent under the night sky of brilliant bright stars wowed the guests at the evening reception.

“It was simply breathtaking,” said a stunned guest, who also complimented the arrangements and the settings of the ceremonies.

Decorations were brought over from Perth and blended with the natural plants and fibres on the island to create the décor, and Temarumaru used her artistic eyes for design on the final touches.

Breaking away from the usual or traditional way of doing things – not seeing each other on the wedding day until the actual ceremony – the bride and groom shared a quiet calming moment together before the ceremony.

“At first it did seem weird, thinking about it, but it turned out to be the most romantic part of the day,” she said.

The bridal party then joined the couple and all together nerves were calmed before heading out to the motu.

Cook Islanders are known for their love for family, food and friends.

This bride is no different: “My favourite part of the day was obviously eating, drinking and catching up with families and friends.”

Last year the couple welcomed to the world their first child, a beautiful daughter named Ky’a-Aries Mii-Kura Paradise Henry.

Temarumaru admits she had felt quite concerned for Ky’a-Aries because of the heat, “but she was a true champ and stayed with us right up until reception”.

As is the custom with most Cook Islands families, on the wedding day Taureka was presented the name of “Nakuao” by Temarumaru’s Nukuroa Mitiaro family - which her families now address him as.

Temarumaru chose to have a big bridal party including her sisters Adrianne Pua and Yvonne Simona, friends and family - Edna Kata, Lillyanne Marsters, Mahana Sijp, Mariana Pere, Claudean Robati, Ebony Richards, Alana Short and Lemaya Quarter.

The cute flower girls were Mulan Quarter, Purotu Messine, Leaia Chan-Ting and Nii-Rangi Mokoroa.

Taureka’s brothers Tiavare, Hugh and Teiti joined in the groomsmen party which also included Maka Tereu, Tuakana Mataiti, Steven Henry, Jacques Henry, Aaron Vaiimene and Tupuariki Puna.

As much as the couple love being back on Rarotonga and Aitutaki reconnecting with family and friends, they will soon return back to their home in Australia and to their two adored fur babies.

“Back to reality and back to work, so we can save for the next trip. We will be back soon, and we are so happy the direct flights will be starting up again,” she said.

The couple are also looking forward to building a home here in the Cook Islands - the next project on their agenda.

“Taureka and I are truly grateful and would love to thank everyone who made this day possible for us,” she said.

The newly-wed Henrys would like to acknowledge all their families, friends, the bridal and grooms parties, parents and guests for being a part of their memorable occasion: Tamanu Beach Hotel and staff for the hospitality and accommodation during their stay in Aitutaki; Eikura Henry, Kuraono Henry and Mike Henry for always being there; Taratuaau Simiona Cuthers - for  finalising the dream wedding; Ani George-Kainana and Candice Samuel for their hard work and helping Tara with everything; Messine, Turia and Chartered Boats- from building props to driving the boats; the Upu family, Puna Family, Henry Family, Mitiaro family, Rouru Quarter and the beautiful people of Aitutaki; Mii Upu for the Oora and always being the life of the party; Emcee Tenoa Puna, Aunty Vikki Henderson for the cake; Dianne Henry for the floral arrangements and everyone else who contributed towards their special day.

“And to our daughter Ky’a-Aries, mummy and daddy have been extremely busy leading up to this moment and we would like thank everyone who helped babysit our daughter, we’re forever thankful.”