Getting married in the Seychelles, with its stunning natural beauty and endless sunshine is like a dream come true. Here’s everything you need to know before saying “I do” in the Seychelles, from the legal aspects to one of the most beautiful resorts to how and where you can marry.
The Republic of Seychelles is a luxurious island paradise, perfect for a secluded beach wedding. It consists of a series of about 110 islands in the Indian Ocean, a thousand miles west of Mombassa, Kenya. The Seychelles is around ten hours away by plane, with a time difference of four hours, so the good news is you won’t feel jet-lagged after your flight and you don’t need a visa to enter the country. There are just a few restrictions to getting married in the Seychelles which you need to be aware of before you go.
White sandy beaches and clear Indian Ocean of the Seychelles, photo courtesy of Beachcomber Tours.
Seychelles Wedding Ceremonies
To legally marry in the Seychelles you must have a civil wedding through the Civil Status Office, located on the island of Mahé. You will be required to show your birth certificates, passports and other relevant documents, including divorce papers if either of you is divorced, or death certificates if widowed. You could marry in gorgeous surroundings at your hotel, in the gardens or on the beach, or have your wedding on board a yacht.
A wedding on the beach by Beachcomber Tours.
Religious ceremonies can be arranged, though the law there does not recognise them so you will be required to have a civil ceremony prior to your religious one and it is prudent to ask your parish priest to contact a priest in the Seychelles directly for help with arranging this.
Sainte Anne Island Resort
The tranquil island of Sainte Anne has just one hotel, owned by Beachcomber Tours, experts in organising weddings in the Seychelles and Mauritius. It is located in the protected waters of the Sainte Anne National Marine Park, and has perfect white sandy beaches all around. The hotel is just 10 minutes from Mahé by boat which makes getting married there ideal, it is also a good place from which to go island hopping.
Residency: You must be resident in the Seychelles for 11 days before your wedding, although you can get round this by applying for a Special Licence.
Proof of ID: You will need to show your original birth certificate and a valid 10‐year passport, with at least two free pages.
Proof of status: You are required to obtain a certified affidavit declaring that there is no lawful impediment or lawful hindrance to your marrying.
Divorced: If either of you are divorced you will need to produce your court-stamped Decree Absolute.
Widowed: If you are widowed, the death certificate of your deceased spouse and previous marriage certificate are both required.
Age restrictions: You must be at least 18 to marry in the Seychelles, or have your father’s written consent. If your parents are not married then the consent of your mother will be accepted. If both of your parents are deceased then you will need the consent of your guardian.
Name change: If your name has been changed by Deed Poll, you will be required to provide legal proof stamped and signed by a solicitor. This also applies if a married woman has reverted back to her maiden name.
Evening on the beach in the Seychelles, courtesy of Beachcomber Tours.
Obtaining a Marriage Licence
You should make arrangements for obtaining a marriage licence with the Senior Officer of the Civil Status Office but do allow at least two months to process the documentation and to make the necessary arrangements. You should then send certified photocopies of all the relevant documentation and take the originals with you when you travel.
When to Visit this Tropical Climate
This group of islands has a gentle pace of life where you can relax on pristine white sandy beaches with the clear water of the Indian Ocean all around. The best time to travel to the Seychelles is between May and September, though you can enjoy year-round sunshine as the temperature is consistently between 24-32°C with some humidity at all times. The Seychelles really is a perfect paradise for your wedding.
Please note that we make reasonable efforts to obtain data from reliable sources and to keep the contents accurate. However, specifications and requirements may change and Confetti cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the content or information. We strongly advise you to consult other sources of information including the embassies or consulates of the country before booking your wedding there.
Kate Thompson is Confetti's features editor and wedding expert, and has worked in the wedding industry for 15 years. A widely published lifestyle writer, she has made BBC television and radio appearances discussing wedding trends in the UK.