You are engaged….congratulations!!!
But now the planning starts.
Do you spend your hard earn cash on the expensive venue, flowers and overpriced food that your guests will complain about anyway, or do you make it all about you and your future partner?
For us, it was an absolute NO to the overpriced wedding!
We got married in Mauritius and it was magical. Many South Africans do choose Mauritius, as a honeymoon destination, however, we decided to do both.
Today I will tell you all about the Do’s and Don’ts of getting married abroad, but first, how we decided that this is for us…
We knew we wanted to get married in March 2017, however, after spending days driving around looking at wedding venues and being shocked about the ridiculous prices quoted these days for a plate of food for your guests, we were forced to seriously scale down the guest list.
But one Saturday morning, after browsing, once again, through various bridal shops, we jokingly said: “This is crazy, let’s just elope!”
But that idea stuck with us and before we knew it, we had a plan. We were going to get married on the Island of Mauritius. The no.1 go-to for Island lovers.
Can South Africans get married abroad? Absolutely Yes!
We did our research on the best times to go to Mauritius, in terms of weather and then started to get some quotes from various travel agencies. March happened to be just perfect.
We booked our trip through Toni at Constantiaberg Travel, who offered us the best value for money. (Shop 7, Meadowridge Village Shopping Centre, Meadowridge, 7945 Tel: 021 715 2850)
You also need to decide where on the island you would like to stay, which also depends on the budget and which hotels really tickles your fancy.
We decided on Beachcomber Resorts and Hotels, with 8 resorts spread around Mauritius.
Our choice was Canonnier Golf Resort & Spa. It was the giant cannons that sold it for my husband LOL
Le Canonnier Beachcomber Golf Resort and Spa exceeded our expectation, with their amazing service, great food, friendly staff and beautiful location.
Our Wedding package with Cannonier included Hair, make-up, our very own wedding planner, flowers, our own rooms to get ready for the day (subject to availability), out of this world yummy cake baked by their head chef and a romantic candlelight dinner.
You need to be in Mauritius for 3 days prior the wedding ceremony to meet with the minister, register your intended matrimony with the local authorities and discuss all the arrangements with your wedding planner (all expertly arranged by our hotel), therefore we stayed on the island for a total of 10 days.
You can make use of the resort photographer or choose one of many available photographers in Mauritius to capture your special day.
And if you’re lucky you meet fellow South Africans to make your moment even more special.
In total, our wedding costs were R65 000 (excursions excluded) and zero debt afterwards.(March 2017) No overpriced venues, no crazy food prices or heavy décor fees.
We say excursions excluded, because you may just love laying around the pool, or watch the waves all day, or whatever your venue offers. You may get away with very little, as many resort packages include excursions and water sports. When it comes to Mauritius you are spoilt for choice! Make sure to discuss your preferences with your travel agent to ensure the best package for you.
We absolutely love to explore and Mauritius offers so much to see and do that we cannot wait to return.
So here are our tips:
Once you decide where it is you want to get married, do some research in terms of the weather. What time of the year is best if you plan an outdoor wedding? What does the hotel or resort offer as a wedding package, so that once you are there, you do as little as possible and enjoy your holiday/honeymoon?
Get a Travel guidebook that offers you more information about the island or country you’re going to so you know what you would like to see, or not and learn a bit more about the history, customs and culture.
A few documents may be required by the officials at your chosen destination to make your marriage official. Your travel agent can assist.
Do still take along the special dress, the perfect shoe, hairpiece or tie that will make your day super special. For us, it was a custom made cake topper that made it there and back in one piece 😊
Once you have returned from your honeymoon, you both need to go into your nearest Home Affairs office to complete a little form indicating which surname you would like to use and they will send it to head office. Within 3 months your status will be changed to Married. Yay!
And don’t forget, host a small party afterwards for your nearest and dearest friends and family to celebrate your marriage and show off your tan, because you still want some gifts… don’t ya? 😊
Don’t try and book everything yourself, it’s a huge job to take on and travel agents offer special packages from the hotels.
Travel light if you’re going to an island and try and keep the wedding dress and suit as light and cool as possible, it can get very hot and humid. 😉 We know that now!
If the officials require your unabridged birth certificate, do apply well in advance and follow-up regularly, as it can take a long time to get it from home affairs.
Enjoy planning your special day! Let us know how your Wedding day was by commenting below.
A few pics from our special day