Are you thinking of Getting Married in Seychelles?
Then you have come to the right place. Before planning your wedding - the actual organisation of your special day and all the fanfare that surrounds it - its best to understand the legal requirements for getting married in Seychelles, so that you can get those organised and out of the way and start focusing on the fun stuff!
This post aims to help you do just that - understand what will be required to make your wedding in Seychelles legitimate, so that you can get this out of the way and start planning your dream wedding in paradise! Having said that, taking your vows in Seychelles is actually quite easy, and you can certainly do-it-yourself, have it arranged by ahotel hosting your wedding, or get the help of one of the numerous travel companies and wedding planners available.
So what are the Legal Requirements for Marrying in Seychelles?
There are numerous rules regarding getting married in Seychelles, especially for visitors / foreigners wishing to get married in Seychelles. Below we provide all the rules and steps to consider from the legal side of planning your wedding in Seychelles.
- A church/religious wedding without a civil ceremony is not recognised as being legal and the parties must therefore contract a civil wedding prior to, or directly after, the religious ceremony. Therefore, in order to get married in Seychelles, a civil ceremony must be arranged through the Civil Status Office.
- Persons wishing to organise their own wedding must apply to the Seychelles Civil Status Office in Victoria on Mahé for a civil ceremony and the relevant church body for the religious ceremony. If going through a hotel, tour operator or wedding planner, this will usually be arranged for you.
- The couple must be present in Seychelles at least 2 days prior to the civil ceremony.
- It is advisable that the wedding is planned at least two months in advance to allow for the processing of documentation, and couples must advise the Civil Status Office of their wedding date at least eleven calendar days in advance.
*However, this eleven-day period may be exempted by applying for a Special Licence, normally issued within two days from the date of application at a charged fee.
- Birth certificate or certified copy thereof
- If either party is divorced, the decree of divorce must be produced
- If either of the parties is a widow or widower the death certificate of the former spouse must be produced
- Legal proof in the case of a name having been changed
- Copies of the first 2 pages of both parties’ valid passports
- Document to show that there is no impediment or lawful hindrance to the intended marriage (If this cannot be obtained, an affidavit has to be signed in Seychelles after a solemn declaration has been made to that effect)
All the above documents must be originals or copies duly certified before departure from one's home country and must be translated into either English or French if the translation has not already been made.
- Civil ceremonies may be conducted around the hotel property with permission from both the hotel and the Civil Registrar. Weddings outside the hotel property can only be performed in private and authorised places. The authorisation needs to be obtained from the Civil Registrar.
- Weddings can also be performed in the Civil Status Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 0900hrs and 1100hrs, in the presence of two witnesses provided by the parties themselves.
- Couples wishing to marry outside the Civil Status Office will be required to pay a fee. This fee applies to ceremonies held on any weekday on Mahé or one of the Inner Islands.
*It should be noted that the Inner Islands include: Anonyme, Bird, Cerf, Cousine, Denis, Frégate, La Digue, Moyenne, North, Praslin, Round, Ste Anne, and Silhouette islands. The couple will be required to cover the transportation cost for the Registrar officer to travel to these islands. However, the Civil Status Office also has officers on both Praslin and La Digue.
- Couples wishing to marry on one of the Outer Islands, including Alphonse or Desroches, will be required to pay a different fee plus the transportation cost to these islands for the Registrar officer.
- A fee is charged for ceremonies held after 1700hrs on a weekday or at any time on a Saturday and Sunday.
- Legally conducted marriages in Seychelles are recognised under European laws.
- There are no nationality requirements that need to be fulfilled.
- A special stamp (apostille) is required to validate the marriage certificate obtained after the civil ceremony for all nationalities except for British nationals. This stamp is available at the Registrar's office located at the Supreme Court.
- French law requires that French nationals wishing to get married abroad follow certain specific procedures. For information concerning these, contact either your local municipality or the Seychelles Civil Status Office or the French Embassy in Seychelles.
French Embassy of Seychelles 1st Floor, La Ciotat Building Mont Fleuri, Mahé Tel: +248 4 38 25 00 Fax: +248 4 38 25 10 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 0800hrs-1300hrs & 1400hrs-1700hrs
For more information and details of the different fees mentioned above, please contact the Seychelles Civil Status Office directly.
Seychelles Civil Status Office
PO Box 430, Victoria, Mahé Tel: +248 4 29 36 13 / 4 29 36 04 Fax: +248 4 32 10 46 Email: email@example.com
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 0800hrs-1130hrs & 1300hrs-1500hrs Closed on weekends and public holidays.