This article is long overdue. Do you want to plan a destination wedding, or renew your vows, visit this romantic destination of tropical islands, Seychelles. It is called a paradise on Earth for a reason. I will be sharing about my marriage adventure, and how I planned my destination wedding in Seychelles. Read on to know about my full experience.
How it all began
I fell in love with a classmate at my University during my Bachelor's degree. Being both internationals who fell head over heels in love on foreign soil complicated things for us quite a bit. After our Master's degree, we decided to take that large leap. Then we faced all that Telenovela style drama head-on. We did not know how to respond to things like, he doesn’t speak our language, or she doesn’t cover, and so forth. But hey, when you are in love, you gotta do it right?
Why did we go for a destination wedding
After all those situations, came the part about how to get married. Before all the sparring session could take place about where the wedding would be, or the infamous dowry haggling, we decided to sort-of runaway.
It was also due to the fact that none of us like a big wedding. While growing up, I always wanted to have a romantic destination wedding without so much fuss. It is who I am, and everybody should get married the way they want. But trust me, a lot of times, brides and grooms get pressured to have a big ceremony due to family or societal expectations. Well, I decided to have my wedding my way.
While we were planning that, we got to the part that a simple marriage requires tons of paperwork. And for some paperwork, we needed to visit our own countries. Now, it was all good but we were planning to evade our family and marry at a different time than they expected.
If you do not have Telenovela situations, then you can marry in your country even and just host the ceremony at your favorite destination. If you do that, you can have Bali, Indonesia as your option as well. Also, you will have less hassle after you get your certificate.
We started searching countries that did not require a single status affidavit letter. Then, we were choosing among New Zealand, Denmark, Jamaica, Seychelles, and Las Vegas as they do not require that document. These destinations are also great for interracial marriage, and also for people of different religions.
As much as Las Vegas has drive-through weddings, the marriage certificate might not be accepted in some countries. Jamaica will give you the marriage certificate after six months. New Zealand was our second favorite after Seychelles. Seychelles is a beautiful romantic destination and they have wedding organizers who handle the whole wedding planning thing. So, we went forward with Seychelles.
Choosing Seychelles Wedding Organizer
When we searched we found many wedding organizers in Seychelles, which raised our suspicion. We did not want to get scammed. On top of that, we were planning all of this behind our families’ backs. Yes, we did not want to comply with a big ceremony according to our family's wishes. But that does not mean we did not want to make it memorable.
We found a Tripadvisor review which was quite old about “Seycaptures”, a wedding organizer in Seychelles. Looked them up on Instagram, and found that they were still organizing weddings. We also came across “Dream Weddings & Honeymoons Seychelles by MARCO PROSS” by “Marco Pross Group Limited”, another wedding organizer in Seychelles. Both of them are quite popular, but we went for Seycaptures as we contacted them first. I will share their websites, and Instagram accounts below. There is a super-fast marriage service for residents of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with a letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all. Contact them and get your dream destination wedding come true in Seychelles.
Have either flowery arrangement or even coconut and shells!
Seycaptures- Seychelles Beach Wedding Website Instagram account: @weddinginseychelles
Dream weddings & Honeymoons Seychelles by Maro Pross Website Instagram account: @wedinseychelles
Seycaptures Wedding Planning is handled by a couple called Mario and Nazmah. They are both very sweet, and patient which is what I needed for organizing our destination wedding in the faraway paradise, Seychelles. I bombarded Mario with emails as I had so many questions, and he patiently reassured me everything would be fine. Any romantic destination wedding will be more on the pricey side, so make sure to plan ahead.
You can choose among many packages starting from an in-room wedding where you get married in your hotel room, or in your office. Also, you can arrange a romantic beach wedding, or have themes such as coconut or tropical beach weddings. If you are looking for a religious wedding, you can do it too. Oh, almost forgot to mention the part where you can also choose to get married on a yacht or helicopter.
They take the whole planning process, decorating, cakes, and all as their headache. You just don’t worry. Beauty parlor staff will come and fix you up even if you want. We opted for a romantic beach wedding as a ceremonial celebration. You can also use photography services from these organizers for your honeymoon as well. And oh, they also get you a bottle of champagne on your wedding day.
Day of Arrival and Marriage
Airport Pick-Up & Accommodation
Excitedly, we booked our flight to Seychelles from Malaysia. It was such a long flight. We already arranged airport pick-up with Mario for 55 euros.
Our accommodation was a highly rated romantic honeymoon villa from booking.com. You get your own villa with beautiful green scenery on top of a hill with a balcony overlooking that. The owner gave us water every day for 5 euros. You can also order room service, or even cook after you buy some things from nearby departments. However, internet speed is slow throughout the whole country. There were no insects inside. You can use my code for a discount, which I will share as well.
We had hassle-free immigration and our chauffeur was waiting for us with a signboard to take us to our villa. After driving past breathtaking views for about half an hour, we reached our villa. After reaching the villa, we booked a car from the contact of the owner. Without a car, it’s really hard to move around. Seychelles has the steering wheel on the right-hand side and they allow you to use your foreign driving license so no need for an international driving permit, as long as you are at least 21 years old, you are good to go!
Hillside retreat in Baie Lazare
Around 11 am, we had our beach wedding planned. So, we decided to rest. Somehow, we overslept, maybe due to the exhaustion of the flight. I rushed through doing my hair and makeup. Luckily, it was raining so Mario called us and told us to do it at 1 pm instead.
By then, the sun started to come out and the weather was breezy. Since we had an issue in understanding the location, the lady of the villa went with us; it was so sweet of her. We went to the Baie Lazare beach in Mahe island which was 10 minutes away from our villa. Mario, with his staff and wedding officiator, was waiting for us.
After a welcoming greeting, and exchanging of vows, we got married holding hands saying “To have and to hold…”. Tears welled up in my eyes because, after all we faced, that moment to become each other’s forever was worth whatever came at us. We would do it all over again. Because how do you replace that? That person you fall in love with and who is your ride and die?
We had an hour of photography service but I was too emotional. Well, after I managed to get a hold of myself, and as the sea started to look bluer, we started to take photos. Pictures were merely for some take-away for the memories. Because what is etched on my brain, can’t be erased if God wills.
Mario informed us of the tourism places, and that we will get the certificate in 5 working days. I was in no mood for island hopping, though you definitely should visit “Praslin”, and “La Digue”. With the high of this planning, we really just wanted to relax on the beach, tan, and drink fresh juice. The lack of high-speed internet makes you actually enjoy time with each other.
I trashed my wedding dress by going in the water. At a point, we just stopped driving, and took off our clothes, and went snorkeling in those mesmerizing turquoise water. The sun started to set, and it was dinner time. Had a candlelit romantic dinner at Kapatya restaurant, their fish tastes delicious!
Day of Leaving
The chauffeur picked us up from our accommodation and dropped us at the airport. Mario gave us the marriage certificate in hand. He explained that this marriage certificate has the apostille stamp so normally most countries accept the marriage certificate as it is.
Unfortunately, since our countries are not under the Hague Convention, we needed to get the certificate stamped by our embassies. Since our embassies are not in Seychelles, we needed to get the marriage certificate stamped from the accredited embassy for Seychelles. That was in Mauritius and we did it via DHL
As internet speed is slow, Mario told us it will take a few days for us to receive our pictures. It takes time to upload those high-resolution images. The internet also delays them from being very prompt in replies like how we normally expect.
Like that with a heavy heart as my honeymoon just got over, and with excitement for our future, we boarded the plane. We were ready now to deal with Telenovela part 2 since our families were going to be outraged that we wedded like that instead of a ceremony or a plan. And not to mention, we kept families in the dark by maintaining normal communication without a hint to what we were doing.
Anyway, all that is dealt with. We cannot wait to go renew our vows on our 5th anniversary on a yacht this time if God wills. After all that we faced through COVID and losing everything, we pretty much need that. I will share how this pandemic affected me in my next article, mainly because of Malaysia. Hoping that this article will be of help.