Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga(c) Pxhere.com
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga

Getting Married in Tonga: How to Plan a Wedding in The Kingdom

(c) Pxhere.com

The Complete Guide to Getting Married in Tonga

You know who you want to spend the rest of your life with. You know that you want to get married in the beautiful islands of Tonga. Now, all you need to do is figure out how to make this work… Admittedly, the process for overseas nationals to get married in Tonga is quite a complex one to reflect the deeply religious society where marriage is a truly sacred union. Nevertheless, for the determined couple, a truly unique wedding awaits in The Kingdom. Learn everything you need to know about getting married in Tonga in our complete guide on how to plan a wedding.

Before we jump into our Tonga wedding guide, you might also like to check out The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Tonga and 10 Romantic Things to Do in Tonga for more wedding tips.

5 Tips for Getting Married in Rarotonga and the Cook Islands

  1. Arrive in Tonga at least one month and one week before your wedding day so you qualify to apply for a marriage license and have time for it to process
  2. Familiarise yourself with Tongan customs and traditions. Incorporating local elements into your wedding ceremony can make it more meaningful and respectful of the local culture
  3. Consider hiring a local wedding planner who is familiar with Tongan regulations and customs. They can help you navigate the paperwork, coordinate the ceremony, and ensure everything runs smoothly
  4. There are no “wedding packages” in Tonga, so contact resorts and accommodations individually to arrange a custom wedding
  5. Ensure that all your required documents, such as passports and birth certificates, are properly authenticated before arriving in Tonga.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

When is the Best Time to Get Married in Tonga?

So you know that you are ready to tie the knot, but the big question is when?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the “best time” to get married in Tonga. First, you need to consider when you have over a month free to meet the requirements of the Special Marriage License and have time for the wedding ceremony. Second, you might also want to consider the season for the weather you ideally want to experience.

When to Arrive in Tonga for Your Wedding

By law, you need to be in the country for at least one month before you can apply for a Special Wedding License. On top of that, you might want to consider the fact that the Supreme Court Registry is closed on weekends and public holidays and that the Immigration Authority Permit may take 2-3 days to process. So arrive in Tonga at least one month and one week before your intended wedding date.

The Best Time for a Tonga Wedding

You might want to consider what is the best time for you to have a wedding in Tonga. Tonga has two distinct seasons known as the wet season (summer) and the dry season (winter). The dry season is the most popular time for couples to get married in Tonga, with less chance of downpours to spoil your outside feet-in-the-sand wedding ceremony. However, that doesn’t mean that the wet season has constant rain, so some couples might be willing to take the chance in the wet season in exchange for discounted airfares and accommodation rates. Therefore, we consider the best time to have a wedding in Tonga are the months between the wet and dry seasons: May and June and October and November.

See more benefits of the low season in the 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in Tonga. You can also jump into the subject in more detail in The Best Time to Visit Tonga: A Month-by-Month Guide.

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga(c) Pexels

Where to Get Married in Tonga

Tonga is home to some 170 islands, so choosing where to get married can be pretty overwhelming. However, it is worth taking the time to compare island groups to make sure you get your wedding day right. Choose something easy, like a wedding in the heart of Nuku’alofa, just 30 minutes from Fua’amotu International Airport or get off the beaten track to a remote outer island with sandy shores in Vava’u.

Wedding Guides for Tonga

We have done the hard work for you, summing up the wedding and honeymoon offerings on each island group with our Wedding, Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guides. Start browsing and find your dream wedding destination in Tonga:

You can also browse some of the most romantic resorts that may provide an unmatchable wedding venue and honeymoon accommodation in the 10 Most Romantic Honeymoon Accommodations in Tonga.

Are There Wedding Packages in Tonga?

Note that “wedding packages” are not really a thing in Tonga due to the barriers to entry when it comes to foreigners getting married. Nevertheless, resorts are often willing to work on a more one-to-one basis to help arrange a custom wedding experience.

The Best Wedding Venues in Tonga

There are two main options when it comes to wedding venues in Tonga; the island beach wedding or the religious church wedding.

Many couples from overseas choose Tonga for its glorious island landscapes. For that, more and more resorts and hotels are offering custom wedding services, where they can provide stunning indoor and outdoor wedding venues, as well as arrangements for decorations, entertainment and catering. Some of the resorts known for their wedding services include:

Tonga is also a highly religious country with the dominant faith being Methodist, while all other religions are a denomination of Christianity. Organising a church wedding in Tonga is best done through your own church and its contacts. Bear in mind that some faiths require additional documentation for a religious service.

Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga(c) MaxPixel

Making Your Marriage in Tonga Legal

As mentioned, you have to jump through quite a few hurdles to legally get married in Tonga. Couples wishing to elope in Tonga will need to reside in the country for one month before they intend to wed, get permission from the Tonga Immigration Authority, and apply for a Special Marriage License at the Supreme Court Registry.

The legalities for foreign couples to organise in Tonga include:

  • An extended Visitor’s Visa
  • A Permit to get married from the Immigration Division
  • A Special Marriage License
  • An Apostille Seal (if required by home country).

Check out our guide to the complete process of the marriage paperwork for Tonga in What are the Marriage Requirements in Tonga?

Can You Get Married in Tonga?

It’s also worth mentioning that you need to know whether you are legally able to get married in Tonga.

To get married in Tonga, both you and your partner need to:

  • Be over 18 years of age or have the consent of your parents to marry
  • Be single, divorced or widowed
  • Apply for a permit from Tonga’s Immigration Authority before obtaining a marriage license from the Supreme Court Registry
  • Reside in Tonga for at least one month before the intended wedding date.
Everything You Need to Know About Getting Married in Tonga© TongaPocketGuide.com

What to Do on Your Honeymoon

The great thing about getting married in Tonga is that you’re already at your honeymoon destination! With that, there’s a spectacular range of romantic activities, accommodations and eateries for couples to enjoy. Discover honeymoon experiences in the 10 Most Romantic Things to Do in Tonga. Luckily, we have entire guides on how to enjoy a honeymoon in each of Tonga’s most romantic destinations, so take a look at the guides below for inspiration:

Finally, plan your whole trip to Tonga from what to pack to getting around and more using The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Tonga.

More About Getting Married in Tonga

That’s it for our guide on getting married and how to organise a wedding in Tonga. For more on the subject, take a look at more of our insightful articles:

Finally, you might also like to check out The Honeymoon & Romantic Getaway Guide to Tonga and 10 Romantic Things to Do in Tonga for more wedding tips.


Laura (Lola) S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Tonga. She knows the islands inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Tonga’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.

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