New Year’s day wedding welcomes in a lifetime of love

By Tony Callaghan - The Samoan Photographer ,

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The wedding party surrounded by the lush gardens of The Orator Hotel.

The wedding party surrounded by the lush gardens of The Orator Hotel.

As Samoa is now one of the first countries in the world to see the new day, what better way to start the New Year than to face the one you love in front of your families and friends to say the words  “I Do” and be one of the first couples to get married in the world this year!

New Years Day brought over 250 guests together to witness the marriage of Zhenna-Lei Jaya Chan Mow to Apelu Fa’aiuga. The wedding was held at the beautiful garden grounds of The Orator Hotel in Tanumapua.

After a week of inclement weather leading up to the big day, many prayers were said asking for a day free from rain. 

Those prayers were finally answered and the Bride and Groom were blessed with a wonderful warm and sunny day to have their families and guests witness their union of love for each other.

Zhenna, who runs the Niu Phamacy hails from the village of Ululoloa and Apelu who works with the Ministry of Health is from Moata’a here in Upolu and also Gatavai in Savaii. 

Present to give their daughter away to Apelu was father Tugaga John Chan Mow and Iona Tuugalei (Nee Vaai). Apelu’s parents were represented by Iupeli Faaiuga (nee Enoka) and in spirit by Faaiuga Mapuilesua (deceased).

Showing their love and support and being right there by their side was the Best Man Leuluaialii Maiava Li'a Palala and Maid of Honour Lorraine Alofa Moala. The flower girls on the day were Rose Tuugalei Matangaro Agnes Pereira & Genevieve Tauveve Jacobsen.

The marriage ceremony was officiated by Apostle Viliamu Mafo’e and M.C. Lealailepule Rimoni Aiafi coordinated the day’s proceedings with much skill and humorous aplomb.

Among those present on the day were a number of distinguished guests including the Head of State, His Highness Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Taisi Efi and the Masiofo, Her Highness Filifilia Tamasese, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi and his good lady Gillian. Chief Justice, His Honour Patu TIava’asue Falefatu Sapolu and his good lady Iliganoa, Judge Vaepule Vaemoa Vaai and Moana Kruse-Vaai. Apelu's boss, the Director-General for the Ministry of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri was also in attendance.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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