Imagine getting married on an unbelievably soft, white, sandy beach with the idyllic backdrop of scenic mountain peaks in the distance and turquoise blue waters lapping gently at your feet… or delivering your vows under a canopy of palm trees amongst the tropical flowers of an exotic garden that could easily be the elusive Garden of Eden… The enormous diversity of the Seychelles islands ahs shown to be ideal for your tropical dream wedding, honeymoon or romantic break…
Even if such a sublime location required endorsement, well, that has recently been provided in the most emphatic way by the couple behind the wedding of the year: the newly-married Duke & Duchess of Cambridge who chose to honeymoon in Seychelles, having already visited the islands once before.
The royal couple are only the latest in a long line of V.V.I.P’s who make the pilgrimage to islands considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. They are attracted, not only by the extraordinary natural beauty and tranquillity of the place, but also by the remoteness of the islands from the crowds and from the cohorts of paparazzi who find it difficult to follow them there.
When you add to the mix the innate romantic ambiance that holds sway over Seychelles’ 115 islands, the natural friendliness of their tiny, 88,000- strong population and the grand diversity of experiences that the islands offer, it’s easy to see why a Seychelles’ Romantic Holiday is so high on many people’s bucket list.
So, what of the nuts & bolts of such a holiday? What are the other advantages and benefits of the ultimate in romantic holidays?
Top of the list must come the fact that the Seychelles Islands offer such diversity – not only in the islands themselves (74 low-lying coral atolls and 41, steep, granitic Inner Isles), but also in their flora & fauna, ethnicity, architecture, cuisine, traditions and activities. The islands offer amazing diving, fishing, sailing, trekking, eco-holidays, spa & wellness vacations and golf.
It is exactly this heady blend of attributes which underpins the Seychelles tourism logo: The Seychelles Islands…another world and Seychelles’ particular style of tourism, announced in mid 2010 by President James Michel who also holds the portfolio for tourism. He strongly believes that Seychelles needs a diverse product base to cater for today’s tourist who is not so much looking to flop and drop as savour the experiences that the country has to offer – experiences that will take them ‘beneath the skin’ of the islands and offer them unforgettable memories of a unique place with unique attributes.
Beyond a Seychelles wedding making a lot of economic sense when compared with the costs of tying the knot at home, when planning a wedding in Seychelles, it’s also handy to know that Seychelles is one country that does not require a visa from anyone.
All that is required to enter the country is a return ticket, proof of accommodation and sufficient funds for the stay to qualify for a one-month visa. Also, hotels in Seychelles perform only one wedding per day, so clients are assured of the wedding team’s full attention, right down to the minute details. Where necessary, members of the wedding team are also able to serve as witnesses.
Another good bit of news is that, for British citizens getting married in Seychelles, the wedding certificate is recognised in the UK. In the case of British nationals wedding a foreigner, then an Apostille stamp will be required on the certificate so that the same may be recognised in the partner’s country of origin. A British citizen marrying a French, Italian or Swiss citizen, will have to follow the procedures applicable for these nationals.
The couple in question should be sure to arrive in Seychelles and be at the hotel at least three days prior to the ceremony in order to add the final touches to the wedding arrangements, which is actually a pre-requisite from most hotels when they draw up their wedding contracts.
They should also ensure that all required paperwork and documents are forwarded on time as per the Registrar’s requirements. It is important to note that, in the case of church weddings, these require the approval of the Bishop of the couple’s religious denomination.
Getting down to details, it is strongly advised that the couple book the services of a professional photographer and, also, those of a hair and make-up artist for the bride. They can also arrange for a special candle-lit dinner, either on the beach or in their villa on their special day. They should also pre-book the menu to avoid disappointment.
There is also the option of engaging a solo musician to serenade them at the ceremony, and also of marrying on a catamaran in the late afternoon so that they may also enjoy the pleasures of a sunset cruise. The choice of accommodation in Seychelles is very wide and there is something to suit every budget, from the unbridled opulence of the many 5 star hotels and exclusive island resorts, to the charms of the smaller Creole hotels, guesthouses and self caterings. Each occupies its own special niche and offers its own brand of unforgettable, Seychelles hospitality.
Seychelles is the perfect backdrop for a wedding, honeymoon or indeed any type of romantic break. Here, among islands lapped by sapphire seas in the land of perpetual summer, there is a certain timeless quality to life that is hard to replicate anywhere else. From whichever aspect, it is almost as if the Creator designed these islands with lovers in mind – a fact that an increasing number of couples are taking to heart.