The CICC Takamoa Theological chapel Te Vai Ora was filled with colour, songs and joy for the matrimonial union of Shekinah Marsters and James Ah Sin.
It was the first time in 11 years that the
chapel had been full of people to witness and celebrate a wedding occasion.
“Our day was perfect, a day full of love,
happiness and unity,” says Shekinah.
“The whole day was an absolute dream.
Perfect in every way. It was definitely a day we will never forget.”
Both Shekinah and James understand the
sacred nature of the Takamoa grounds, the connection with ancestors and the
amazing history it holds.
Shekinah spent a lot of time at Takamoa
when she was living on Rarotonga. Her father, Reverend Tere Te Akaraanga-Marsters
has been the principal of Takamoa since 2017, and she feels a special
connection to the place.
“The undeniable presence of God that is
felt as soon as you walk through the gates, the vintage, simple, innocent, and
pure beauty of both Te Vai Ora Chapel and Takamoa,” says Shekinah.
Almost 500 people attended the wedding
ceremony and reception.
“It was the perfect venue and we were
humbled to have our wedding in such a beautiful place,” says Shekinah.
“We felt every single emotion, the presence
of our ancestors, the love and grace of God and the pure happiness of every
person that was there.”
The couple were privileged to be married
by CICC president Papa Orometua Tuaine Ngametua (Papa Ngateitei) from
Akatokamanava, Mauke who is also related to James.
Initially Shekinah had wanted to wear her
mother Yvonne’s wedding dress, but it had been damaged from the 30 or more
years of sitting in a closet.
Shekinah carefully selected her wedding
dress based on its similarity to a dress her mother bought from a boutique
bridal shop in Auckland.
“It was the second dress I tried on and I
fell in love with it. I couldn’t part from it and felt like wearing it every
day, so I knew it was the one.”
The couple both aged 25, first met at the
Avarua CICC Ekalesia in 2015 when they started a friendship. They parted ways -
she moved to Auckland, New Zealand and James to Sydney, Australia.
In 2016, their friendship developed and
the couple fell in love, two years later, James relocated to Auckland so they
could be together.
James took up HVAC engineering and Shekinah
was doing a degree in criminology and Pacific Studies.
After a few years they both wanted to
pursue more studies for their future.
Shekinah started a law degree after
completing her BA and James began his electrician’s apprenticeship. She is now in
her final year of law school and James has one more year to go to become a qualified
The groom’s parents are the late Abraham
(Jimmy) Taoro Ah Sin and Frances Taoro from Akatokamanava, and Shekinah hails
from the island of Palmerston, where she has lived most of her life.
Family and friends made up the wedding
parties: Groomsmen were: Best men -
Wayne Chang, Ngatokorua (Sabb) Vainekeu and Tamaiva Mateariki; Bridal party
Maid of Honour - Shekinah Kapao, Brigitta Ah Sin and Tatyana Vakatini
Eventually, Mr and Mrs Ah Sin plan to
return home and contribute to the Cook Islands economy.