Real Wedding – Nikki & Robbie Rakete

Real Wedding – Nikki & Robbie Rakete

If you like Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain

Photography: Melanie Cooper

Real Wedding - Nikki & Robbie RaketeEveryone loves a wedding … the bride with a big dress and the boys in their big suits, and the big car and the big church … all that’s really, really lovely, but Nikki and I decided we just wanted to have something really simple and get married on a beach; just with close family, the kids and mums and that kind of stuff,” says Robbie Rakete, host of the Breeze’s morning show.

“So we asked around a few friends, went on the internet and had a look at a couple of places and decided to get married at the Pacific Resort in Rarotonga. From our room we looked out over Muri Lagoon, which is straight off a postcard … beautiful palm trees, wonderful sandy white beaches and calm waters.

….This is the moment I’ve waited for… “Thank you, Elvis Presley, I couldn’t put it better myself. This was indeed the moment. The day of the wedding the weather was stunning. Myself and the wedding party went over to Koromiri Motu in a glass-bottomed boat. Nikki was back at the Pacific Resort where she was waiting to be paddled over on the traditional vaka. Now, I asked for a big, fat, old, slow, creaky warrior to paddle her over; instead we got Mat, a good looking brother … spunky as, buffed up, tattooed, and a really nice guy!

Real Wedding - Nikki & Robbie Rakete“We do” was followed by more vows, laughter, maybe a few tears from the groom and then Dorice Reid pronounced us Man and Wife. They blew the conch shell and there were fireworks, and a marching band, and a jet flyover, and more dancing … okay maybe less of the marching band and the jets, but there WAS a thunderstorm on its way!

“Nikki and I were on the vaka making our way back to the resort when this almighty thunderstorm hit. Since we were wet anyway, we decided to jump into the lagoon and join our children for a swim. There was my beautiful bride in her wedding dress in the water. I looked like an extra in a Ricky Martin video coming out of the water! It was an amazing day!”

Back in Auckland, Robbie asked Nikki what her highlights were. “Well, it’s got to begin with the beautiful, delicious food, starting with the most exquisite muesli ever at the Sandals Restaurant every morning. The visual feast for my eyes when sitting under the palm trees at the resort. The warm, gracious, funny people who treated us with a huge amount of aroha and of course Melanie Cooper with her photographic brilliance. The sound of the conch shell as I was being paddled from the Pacific Resort, and the sight of you waiting for me on the shoreline. Marrying you has been one of the greatest highlights of my life.”

Robbie’s highlights were eating raw fish and coconut cream while drinking mojitos next to the beach …. “Noooooice,” he reckoned!

Both agreed that their New Year’s eve ceremony was a wonderful metaphor for married life – beautiful sunny days followed by thunderstorms. “You just deal with it. That’s what marriage is about.”

Robbie says that a return to Pacific Resort Rarotonga is definitely on the cards as they’d love to revisit the Koromiri Motu where they planted a coconut tree, and share a few more pina coladas. “Every time we ordered another cocktail we would think of the lyrics to the Rupert Holmes song Escape. “If you like Pina Coladas”. It sort of became our song.” ♥

Real Wedding - Nikki & Robbie RaketeWHO WE USED:

Venue: Pacific Resort:

Photography: Melanie Cooper,

Nikki’s Dress: from an online website – (Robbie says: “My missus is budget and beautiful! Believe it or not that dress arrived from China vacuum-packed in a parcel no bigger than a packet of 2 minute noodles. Don’t ask me how they did it!’)

Robbie’s Attire: Robbie says: “I channelled Elvis in the wedding scene from Blue Hawaii so the white jeans and white shirt were already in my overcrowded wardrobe. The e’i is what really made it ‘authentic’ making it more like Blue Rarotonga.”

Nikki’s Ring: Michael Hill,

Robbie’s Ring: The art market at Earnslaw Park, Queenstown

Celebrant: Dorice Reid (Ed: sadly, Dorice passed away as this story was being edited. Our condolences are extended to her family, friends and colleagues. Dorice was a living legend in the Cook Islands, and will remain a legend to many for a very long time.)

Hair & Makeup: Pacific Village Salon, Pacific Resort