Jenny & David, Water Elopement at Intercontinental Thalasso Resort Bora Bora

Ia Orana lovers! Are you ready for another water love story? Not all the elopements happen at sunset. Jenny & David redefined romance with a morning elopment, full of crispy colours and sparkling water! Could’t feel more refreshing!

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day?

Our wedding day was absolutely perfect.  Our inspiration was  to make it all about us. We wanted each other, romance, intimacy, and a place we could honeymoon as well. We have both always dreamt (as many have) of vacationing to a place with an over-water villa. We are both VERY romantic and emotional by nature. We wanted a place that exuded love, passion, intimacy, and some fun. 

There was nothing where we live in Santa Rosa, CA  or the surrounding area that we liked even by a long shot. We felt very strongly that we did not want to  get married at a winery.

There was also the reality that the COVID pandemic would ruin the event, and also put family and friends in an uncomfortable situation to travel and risk their own health. Sitting together on the couch one night we said, “what about Bora Bora? Just us? Social distancing  at its best?!?” We slept on it and the next day were so excited and we booked it! After our searches,  we contacted the The Intercontinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa. They had just re-opened, and had multiple options for venues throughout the resort. We chose the Intimate blessing private ceremony, which was just the 2 of us, on their private beach with the lagoon behind us. The concierge/wedding planner was amazing. She made everything so easy from the ceremony, to the photographer choices, hair and make-up, every accommodation, you name it. We had no theme other than to make this the most epic trip of our lives to celebrate our love and new life together.

Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?

We  made it to paradise – French Polynesia, Bora Bora!. The decor was the beauty around us. So simple and amazing… no stress! From our gorgeous villa, to the lagoon off the villa overlooking the Otemanu mountain,  to the private beach decorated so meticulously for just the 2 of us.

The hair and make-up artist came to our villa, set up a chair overlooking the mountain and lagoon while she worked her magic. Our photographer came and quietly took pictures of our rings, my dress, and then the 2 of us at first sight.  We were picked up from the deck of our Villa in a beautiful canoe decorated with flowers, taken to our private lagoon ceremony, and then escorted for the most amazing photos one could ask for. When we came back to our villa to trash the dress our patio was showered with flowers and champagne.  The only thing we did was show up and say yes!

What were the florals like in your wedding?

I am the type of woman that knows what she wants exactly- but  cannot plan or organize it! I am the worst person to have as a client, while at the same time receiving the “compliment” that at least I know what I want. I had the most beautiful, yet simple bouquet of pink flowers delivered to me the morning of the ceremony. They lasted all week. We had traditional Tahitian crowns and leis which were part of the sacred ceremony. The lagoon was so gorgeous it looked as if the lily pads, trees, and plants were placed perfectly for the pictures. The ocean and mountain speak for themselves. We left it in the hands of the planner and our photographer, and wouldn’t change one thing that was done for us to make this day perfect.

What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?

Even though this was the easiest and most carefree way to get married (in my humble opinion), David and I truly felt like it was everything we wanted and personalized to us.Parts that were super fun:-being able to get ready in the comfort of our own villa-the canoe ride to and from our ceremony-the ceremony and tying the leaves to our wrists, pouring lagoon water over our clasped hands, and tying them on our villa doors in traditional Tahitian fashion. The pictures!!!!!!One of the things we were MOST excited about was that we got the chance to book Damien Gobron as our photographer! He is absolutely amazing and we were lucky enough that because everything just re-opened from COVID that we were able to get him.  Once I saw his portfolio, we knew we had to have the best day of our lives captured by him.  It was SO fun and I happily and excitedly trashed my dress! Its so much fun showing our photos to family and friends.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?

Due to COVID, bridal boutiques were either closed, or one needed to go try on dresses alone. I do not like to clothes shop in general, but I had an idea of what I wanted my dress to look like- it needed to be classy, sexy, but simple, and most importantly,  one that accentuated my back and shoulders which David loves to see. I wanted no veil, minimal to no train, and I did not want the dress touching the ground because I knew I would trip over it. My dress search was in true COVID fashion – online shopping and selfies in the bedroom mirror.  Since I couldn’t afford to buy 10 dresses at once, I made a plan to buy 2 at a time, try them on, and then send back and order more as needed.  After a week or so of searching, I only found 2 dresses I would even consider.  

The first dress was the Estelle gown, part of the Jenny line by NY designer Jenny Yoo.

The second one, was called “Sauvignon” from Reformation.  Ironically,  My name is Jenny, and the  only 2 wines I drink are Sauvignon blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon… total coincidence, and absolutely hilarious. The Estelle gown came first and when I put it on, it was perfect in every way. I didn’t even open the other one. Jenny chose the Jenny… perfectly serendipitous

David knew he wanted to go simple, and barefoot. He always migrates to blue to accentuate his eyes. He is an avid surfer who loves the beach and the blue hues of the ocean. “I wanna look so good for you baby.” He did not disappoint. He chose a white dress shirt  from Proper Cloth, no tie, rolled sleeves, dark blue pants by Ted Baker (happens to be a favorite line of mine), and a light tan belt. Cant forget the spiked hair and little bit of scruff that I love so much. Guys have it so easy 🙂

How did you meet?

David and I met at work. I am an OBGYN and he is a CRNA (Certified Nurse anesthetist) at The Permanente Medical Group in Santa Rosa, CA. I take care of mommas-to-be, and he takes their pain away in labor.  The first shift we worked together, I was smitten. He was so kind to me (as  I was new to the group) and beyond easy on my eyes…. all I could see behind the scrub hat were his blue eyes and smile… and that there was no ring on his left hand.We worked twice together, gently flirted back and forth and casually made comments to ensure we both knew each other was single.  I couldn’t take it – I broke down and looked up his number and texted him, making a joke about a C section we did together. After one date, the deal was sealed. We have been together since, and somehow have never worked the same shift again!

Tell us about the proposal.

We had 2 fun trips planned, one to Seattle and one to Maui. Due to COVID both got cancelled. We had never been on a vacation together, and our entire relationship before Bora Bora was at home, sheltering in place. We were supposed to get engaged in Maui. Instead, we  got engaged in the hallway at home – yes, the hallway. I was in pajamas, and looking so far from my best thanks to no salons or anything open for months. David got the ring delivered that day, and  sent me a selfie with tears running down his face after his first look at it. When he came over he walked into the house, hugged and held me and told me he loved me so much and then asked me if he could give me the ring. On one knee he cried and asked me and I knelt down next to him and cried and said yes… he put the ring on me and I couldn’t look at the ring!He kept saying to me, “baby, look at it” and finally when I did, my response was “holy shit!” We still laugh about it today.

What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?

I asked Dave this question, and his response was “kissing you for the first time as your husband” (Suck up! Ha!). We honestly anticipated just being able to travel to this utopia called Bora Bora, and make this wedding happen.  Given we both work in healthcare and had to have negative COVID tests to get on the plane, there was a scary reality that one of us could test positive and ruin the whole trip. It was terrifying.  Also… we totally anticipated the photos, specifically the jump from our villa to trash the dress. I literally threatened Dave that he had ONE chance to make the jump right and he better not screw it up!!

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?

No matter how you choose to celebrate your wedding, keep at the forefront of your mind that its all and only about the two of you, and the love you share with each other. Fancy weddings, nice venues, and expensive flowers are all great, but in  1, 5, or 10 years they won’t matter- what matters is the love the two of you share. If its not there, nothing about the wedding day matters in the long run.Dave’s response: “go to Bora Bora, and have Damien take your pictures”

Jenny Murray