Getting married abroad was something of a no-brainer for us. The husband hates fuss and fanciness. The thought of standing up in front of people – albeit our friends and family – filled him with dread. I could have taken it personally, been stubborn or refused to marry him, but in truth I liked the idea too. For me being married was always about being with him and making our vows together. The big day and the fancy car and meal and stuff wasn’t at the forefront of my mind.
we I started investigating where to go. It made sense to be somewhere exotic and farflung. It would be our honeymoon destination as well, so it needed the pre requisite good weather, beautiful beaches, palm trees. It needed to be somewhere that offered a wedding package, that we could trust to make our day what we wanted it to be. Also, importantly, it needed to be a country where our marriage would also be recognised as legal in the UK, and where getting the marriage licence wasn’t an unknown quantity and a bit of a faff (as was the case with Thailand).
And so we settled on Mauritius.
I can’t emphasise enough how easy the whole thing was. I found a company online (Paramount Travel) who worked directly with hotels on the island who specialised in weddings. They were so helpful and accommodating; working with me to find the best dates, advising on weather and times to travel, going backwards and forwards when I kept changing my mind and wanting to know more and more little details. We chose our resort and hotel and dates and then they made all the necessary arrangements – flights, accommodation, wedding package booking, legalities. It was that easy!
My Mom made my wedding dress – it was something I’d always wanted as a kid (she’s a good dressmaker, it wasn’t a DIY crappy job!) Because of the heat and being married on the beach I wanted something very loose and flowing with chiffon. I was able to pack it in my case and hide it in the wardrobe, rather than having to get it transported separately, although I did request extra luggage allowance from the airline, which I was entitled to as I was travelling as a bride.
We didn’t need to do anything else until we arrived.
On the advice of the travel agent, due to the micro-climate and best weather for that time of year, we chose a resort in the North of the island – Grand Baie – and a hotel called Le Mauricia which was on it’s own private beach. It was quite a drive from the airport, in the South, and the weather was quite dull and rainy all the way there, then when we arrived at the resort the sun came out and it was glorious! What a sign!
On our first day there we met with the wedding co-ordinator who showed us around the hotel and the various spots we could choose to have our ceremony. We’d always said it needed to be on the beach, and there was a lovely palm fringed area that we could actually see from our room where weddings took place. We chose our flowers, and food and wine for after the ceremony and that was that. We had 4 days to relax – the only thing we were told not to do was get sunburnt! 4 lovely relaxing days of eating, drinking cocktails, relaxing in the sun and getting plenty of sleep. Bliss.
On the day before our wedding ceremony we got picked up early by a pre-arranged taxi and taken to the capital to do all of the legal paperwork at a solicitor’s office. The taxi driver was slightly crazy and the driving was a little manic, which was all good fun! And that was that. Next stop, the big day.