Getting married in Paradise

by | 3 September

Picture yourself standing on the soft white powdery sand of a palm fringed beach, listening to the gentle lapping of the turquoise water beyond, and about to marry the love of your life. Could anything be more romantic?

I recently stayed at the Constance Ephelia Resort in Mahé, Seychelles and I began to wonder what it would be like to do just that, so I set about seeking out their resident Wedding Co-ordinator. I met Miss Juliana Francoise, a delightful and most helpful lady, who explained to me the process of marrying at the resort and creating for couples this little slice of heaven.

It is relatively straight forward to get married in the Seychelles. Most couples will book a destination wedding with a travel agent or specialist destination wedding planner. You or your travel agent will need to provide details and copies of your passports, birth certificate (and divorce certificate if applicable) to the State Officer, at least three weeks prior to the ceremony. The bride and groom have to arrive 3 days before the ceremony, which is a lot shorter than many destination weddings.

On arrival at Constance Ephelia you will be met by Juliana and her team to discuss the finer details of the wedding. Thereafter, you can relax, and rest fully before your big day. The resort’s spa is breathtaking and the biggest in the Indian Ocean, and is equipped with thermal pools and hamam facilities, as well as offering classes such as meditation and yoga, providing the perfect setting for couples seeking pre wedding tranquility. For the day itself, there is a make-up artist and hair dresser at the spa, which most brides make use of. The humidity makes styling challenging, when not left to the professionals!

The day itself is very much all about you as a couple. There is only ever one wedding a day so no conveyor belt system here. The majority of couples just come out on their own and get married, a few are supported by family and close friends. The wedding takes place in the early afternoon on one of the two beaches, to the north or the south of the resort. The bride and groom are driven to the beach in a golf buggy decorated with flowers. The wedding itself is simple, natural and tropical, with brides often choosing to go barefoot. The civil ceremony is conducted by the State Officer with the couple standing under a simple arch created from beautifully scented frangipani flowers.

The magic continues as the couple celebrate with sparkling wine or champagne and a cake on the beach. Photographs are then taken around the hotel by Cameraline Prodocutions. In the evening there is a special wedding dinner at a secret location, of which I have been sworn to secrecy, yet can only say it is blissfully romantic!

The Seychelles is made up of a number of islands and many of the couples leave Constance Ephelia a day or so after the wedding to stay on one of the other islands such as Praslin, La Digue or Ste. Anne. They then head home, relaxed, rejuvenated and ready to celebrate with friends and family, often opting for some sort of blessing followed by a wedding reception.

Although I love a quintessential English wedding I can really see the attraction of having a romantic beach ceremony for just the two of you, away from it all and then returning home to have a fantastic celebration with family and friends.
Photographs courtesy of Constance Ephelia, Seychelles and Cameraline Productions
and Charles Wilford