Wedding in the Seychelles- Everything You Need to Know to Get Married in Heaven
The Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands scattered in the Indian Ocean, is not just a tropical paradise for honeymooners, but also an idyllic destination to tie the knot. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush landscapes, the Seychelles offer a romantic and exotic setting for couples seeking a unique and unforgettable wedding experience. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through the process of getting married in the Seychelles, from legal requirements to choosing the perfect venue.
- Why getting married in the Seychelles
- Wedding Planner
- Legal Requirements
- Registering the Wedding
- Cost of the Dream Wedding
Why Getting Married in the Seychelles?
The Seychelles is not only the ultimate romantic destination for couples. It is one of the few countries that make official, legal marriage ceremonies very easy for foreigners. No need to apply for residency, or arrive weeks before to make everything happen. With the right representative on the island who will take care of all your requests and needs, all you need to do is prepare a couple of documents. After that simply sit back and relax, knowing that your special day will be perfect.
Where to start?
First and foremost- you must find the right wedding planner. This person will not only oversee all your wishes, but will also be responsible for all the legal documents and will be talking directly to the civil registry office in Mahe. If you do not live in the Seychelles, it’s unfortunately not possible to do it without such person- we tried. The civil registry office in Mahe, Seychelles told us that we need to have a representative on the island.
How to find the perfect wedding planner? You can of course look online and find dozen people offering their wedding services in the Seychelles. However, if you really want a stress-free and unforgettable experience, we recommend that you choose a wedding package from one of many amazing hotels in the Seychelles. The wedding package includes a designated wedding planner who will take care of absolutely everything for your special day. And you won’t need to worry, or read countless reviews- you can be sure that you will receive the best service, as the hotel wedding planner has so much experience in this matter and is hired by the hotel directly.
This decision is crucial- the hotel will also be the venue for your wedding. Make sure that you love the area and that the hotel has the venue that you dream of.
Finding the right wedding package
We fell in love with Raffles Seychelles property and decided that we want to spend our wedding/honeymoon there. Then we chose the Classic Wedding Package – as we wanted a very simple wedding ceremony, it was perfect for us.
You can also have a look at the wedding brochure from Constance Hotels, or Kempinski. In fact most hotels in the Seychelles organise weddings. Find the place you’ll fall in love with and contact their concierge to see the wedding options.
Once we decided that we want to get married in Raffles Seychelles, we simply send them an email with our dates and chosen package. Just a few days later our stay was confirmed and we were put in touch with Mariam & Francesca- our wedding planner. They are topnotch and made the whole process a breeze for us.
How long in advance do I need to start planing?
We contacted Raffles in July and chose to get married on the 2nd November. Ideally you should start organizing everything 3-4 months in advance. You want to take your time with planning and make sure you have the documents ready. And of course the hotel, the venue and the officiate from the civil registry office in Mahe must be booked in advance!
Legal Requirements (excluding french citizens)
Next up- paperwork. Before exchanging vows in the Seychelles, it’s crucial to understand the legal requirements to ensure a smooth and hassle-free wedding experience. The basic requirements for a legal marriage in the Seychelles include (for a foreign couple and NON french citizens):
- birth certificate – you each must provide a birth certificate max 3 months old, translated to French or English AND apostilled
- a copy of your passport
- a filled paper form (that the wedding planner will provide)
- if widowed or divorced, a death or divorce certificate is required
And that’s it! You will need to send copies of all those documents to your wedding planner in the Seychelles approximately 2 months before the wedding and she will take care of everything else.
Legal Requirements if one or both parties are FRENCH
The Seychelles used to be a French colony and for this reason it is harder for the French citizens to get married in this country. The process is longer and can be troublesome and I will walk you through it, step-by-step. To get the documents that will allow you to get legally married in the Seychelles as a French citizen, you will be dealing with the Embassy of France in Mauritius.
There are two parties involved, the Seychelles and Mauritius, so you’ll need 2 sets documents.
The Seychelian part includes:
- Birth certificates – you each must provide a birth certificate max 3 months old, translated to French or English AND apostilled
- a copy of your passport
- a filled paper form
- if widowed or divorced, a death or divorce certificate is required
Send a copy of those documents by email to your wedding planner in the Seychelles approximately 2 months before the wedding and she will take care of everything else.
The Mauritian part includes:
- a filled paper form demanding for a “Certificat de Capacité à Mariage” (CCAM)
- birth certificates – you each must provide a birth certificate max 3 months old, translated to French or English AND apostilled
- a copy of your passports
- one picture each
- proof of address each
All those documents you must send to the Embassy of France in Mauritius max 2 months before the wedding (we sent everything 3 and half months before). You will then receive an email with a confirmation that the Embassy of France in Mauritius received your documents and will proceed with the formalities.
The embassy will issue ‘bans’- announcements that two people want to get married. Those bans will be displayed in the Embassy and equally will be sent to the city hall of the French spouse’s residency. The bans will be on display for 10 days and after that time, if no one objected to the two of you getting married, you will receive the CCAM.
You should then take the CCAM with you to the Seychelles together with the rest of the original documents.
This is the creative part- the best part! Create a Pinterest folder, (or use ours 😄) with inspiration pictures of your dream wedding. You need a picture of the dream arch, walkway, surroundings, cake etc. Basically everything that you want to have on your wedding ceremony. Look for tags “Seychelles wedding”, “beach wedding” etc. Once you’ve gathered all your inspirations, screenshot them and send to your wedding planner.
If you’d like to get your hair and makeup done, your wedding planner will arrange that. How about hiring a photographer? She will send you a list of the photographers in the Seychelles together with their rates. If you’d like a live band to play on your wedding day, your wedding planner will suggest the musicians. Although you can also make your own playlist and have it played from a speaker at the ceremony and after. We did that and loved having our favourite songs play at the special times.
Your wedding planner will tell you what’s possible and how it can be arranged. We chose a simple beach setting, an arch made from drift wood and chose only white flowers for the decoration. We decided we didn’t want a walkway. Mariam organised everything exactly as we asked- it was perfect.
We highly suggest you to arrive at least 2 days before your wedding. It will give you enough time to relax, go over everything and if necessary- make some last minute changes.
For example- once we saw the chosen venue in real life, we didn’t love it. So we changed it. Because of that change we needed to move up the wedding from 4pm to 2pm, because the second venue could work only during the low tide. Then it rained the day before our wedding and the sand from the second venue got washed away. So we changed the venue for the third time. Mariam & Francesca were so patient with us- they were totally fine with all the changes and managed to convince the officiant who was coming from Mahe to marry us, to arrive 2h earlier. And all this happened the day before our wedding!
Don’t be afraid to speak up your mind. It is your wedding day and its natural that you want it to look exactly as you’ve dreamed. And don’t forget that it is the wedding planners job to do everything they can to make that happen.
The Wedding day in the Seychelles
Finally the big day is here! In the morning, head out to the venue to make sure everything is looking good. The arch and the walkway won’t be placed until an hour before the ceremony, but you should still make sure nothing has changed during the night.
Our wedding day morning was very exciting. Every wedding package at the Raffles Seychelles include planting a Tree of Love in the garden. At first we didn’t think much of it, but it turned out as a wonderful way to start the most important day of our lives. We planted a sprouted coconut, seed of a palm tree in a beautiful spot right by the sea. Hamilton put the seed in the sand and I watered it. It was truly a unique expression of our love that will grow from that day onwards.
We started to get ready 2h before the ceremony. We decided that Hamilton will go down to the venue approximately an hour in advance to make sure everything is perfect and to set up the cameras (since we were taking our own pictures and videos). As soon as he left the villa I started doing my own hair and makeup. I did very delicate make up and my usual hair style. 15 minutes before the ceremony Mariam came to accompany me to the SPA area where I changed into my dress (usually you take the golf cart directly to the venue, but I didn’t want to wrinkle my dress sitting in the golf cart with it. I changed in the Spa area and walked to the beach).
Our song played in the background as I walked towards the love of my life. I saw a tear run down Hamilton’s face when he saw me. It was a dream. The officiant introduced himself and the ceremony began. He spoke very fast and in two languages- French and English. We said our vows and exchanged “I do’s” and 20 minutes later we were officially husband and wife!
The emotions are hard to explain. A mix of pure happiness and excitement. It was perfect. Mariam and Francesca were present with us all the time- they were also our witnesses, since it was just us two.
After the ceremony we popped a bottle of champagne and cut a delicious cake prepared by the patisserie chef at Raffles. We danced and laughed in pure happiness, while our camera captured every moment.
And just as we were finishing the photoshoot, out of nowhere- the sky darkened. It poured rain and we had nowhere to hide. So we didn’t. We embraced the new circumstance and danced in the rain. Mother Nature served us the perfect allegory- for the marriage is not only sunny days, but also the stormy ones.
After the wedding
Our wedding package included a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach. So at 8pm, we changed into second wedding outfits and head out to have a first dinner as a married couple.
The following morning a floating breakfast was brought to our private villa. We couldn’t imagine starting that day any other way.
Registering the wedding
You wedding is legal and official – but for now only in the Seychelles. To make it legal everywhere you need to register it in your home country. Your wedding planner will oversee the creation of the official wedding certificate. She will then make sure it gets apostilled (an official way of legalising documents to be valid abroad) and send it to your home address once it’s ready. It will take about a month. It is important that you request at least a couple wedding certificates, to be able to give them in the right offices once back in your country.
Once you receive the wedding certificate, you must translate it into your language and take it to the civil registry office in your hometown. I suggest you to call ahead and get a list of documents you need to bring as most likely you will also have to include other documents like a birth certificate and a passport copy of your spouse. At the civil registry, you will then submit all the documents and fill in paper forms to ask for the wedding to be officially registered in your home country.
Changing your name
If you choose to take your husbands name, or he wants to take yours- it will be done back in your hometown during the registration of the wedding at the civil registry. You should request a form that will allow you to add this information to the wedding certificate.
However remember that after you change your name officially, you must also change all your documents. Your passport, id, driving license, bank informations, doctors office, insurance, phone company, employment, even the gym and your supermarket card.
Registering the wedding as a FRENCH citizen
You must fill in the paper form that requests the transcription of the wedding.
Then send that form and the wedding certificate (apostilled) to the Embassy of France in Mauritius. The Embassy will issue the right documents and send them to Nanterre, France, where they will be officially entered into the registration and your wedding made legal.
Cost of the dream wedding in the Seychelles
Weddings are not budget friendly. However since your dream wedding in the Seychelles is a wedding AND a honeymoon in one, we consider it a very good deal.
Naturally the cost of your wedding will depend on many factors: which hotel you will choose, which wedding package, how long you decide to stay before and after the wedding etc. We suggest you to stay a minimum of 3 nights in the hotel where you will have your wedding- unless you choose to spend all your trip there.
The Classic Wedding Package at Raffles Seychelles costs 1950 Euros. It includes everything wedding related, but doesn’t include the stay. The amazing private villas at Raffles Seychelles start at 1000 Euros per night.
The cheapest wedding packaged at Constance Ephelia costs 1200 Euros. Their suites start already at 300 Euros per night.
Everything depends on your budget and ideas. I am sure that you can have an amazing trip to the Seychelles AND a spectacular wedding for a total of 6000-7000 Euros- including return, international flights for two, accommodations for 7 days, all meals, ferries, excursions and 3 nights at a 5* hotel and the wedding package. It might seem like a lot, but only a venue back home would cost more than this.
For us, our wedding in the Seychelles was a dream come true and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We also know that there isn’t much online informations about the process of getting married in the Seychelles. So if you also dream of eloping in the Seychelles we will be happy to answer any other questions you might have. Ask us as a comment down below or send us a DM on Instagram @voyageinstyle_ ❤️