The Seychelles Islands need little introduction as the perfect venue for a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, or just that impromptu, romantic break. For many years, just the name “Seychelles” has conjured up magical images of a necklace of surreally beautiful islands, lost to the world and time itself, where dappled sapphire seas conspire with silver sands and emerald palms to offer the very best in romantic experiences.
Glynn Burridge, the Consultant and Copywriter at the Seychelles Tourism Board, this week explained that even if such a sublime location required endorsement, that has recently been provided in the most emphatic way by the couple behind the wedding of the year: the newly-married Duke and 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 VVIP’s who make the pilgrimage to the islands considered by many to be the most beautiful in the world. They are attracted not only by the extraordinary natural beauty and tranquility of the place, but also by the remoteness of the islands from the madding crowd 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, 87,000-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 and 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 and fauna, ethnicity, architecture, cuisine, traditions, and activities. The islands offer amazing diving, fishing, sailing, trekking, eco-holidays, spa and 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 Seychelles President James Michel who also holds the portfolio for tourism. He strongly believes that Seychelles needs a diverse product base to cater to today’s tourist who is not so much looking to flop and drop as much as savor 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. 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 a Seychelles wedding certificate (based on the English system, as the Seychelles was a British Colony until 1976) is recognized right accross the world. The only requirement is for the couple in question 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 prerequisite 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.