Thinking of Planning Your Own Wedding in Seychelles?
If you are dreaming of wedding in Seychelles, but don’t really know where to begin, then you have come to the right place. Weddings in Seychelles can be as easy and affordable as you would like them to be, depending on which route you would like to take.
1. Do-It-Yourself Wedding in Seychelles
Planning your own wedding in Seychelles may require a bit of work, but it certainly is doable, provided you know where to start and cover all your bases. Planning your own wedding in Seychelles is especially appealing if you have budget constraints and need to cut out the middle man and take control of your spending. Planning your own wedding in Seychelles may seem like an impossible task, but it can be done. Below find a few things’ you’ll need to consider.
A. First up – get the legal side sorted. This is the most important thing and needs to be done right, and well in advance, so start with this. However, it is quite easy to get all your documents in order and arrange your own civil service. You can read our post “Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Seychelles” for a step-by-step guide to what’s required.
B. Choose an Island. For a do-it-yourself wedding in Seychelles your only options really are the main islands of Mahé, Praslin and La Digue, as well as the smaller Cerf Island. This is because Seychelles has a ‘One Island, One Resort” policy and the majority of the other islands will require you to stay at the main resort and use their in-house wedding planning services. Mahé would be the easiest island to arrange everything on, with Praslin being not too far behind in ease of getting things together. La Digue is also doable as it is close to Praslin and you could find much of what you need from there (ie: teh marriage officer could come from there). Likewise, Cerf is a short boat ride from Mahé.
C. Find a venue. If you plan to get married in a public place you will need to get permission from the Seychelles Civil Status Office (See the blog post mentioned above for more info and their contact details). However any private property can be used, and many hotels, resorts, guest-houses and restuarants etc would let you use their property even if you are not staying there (for a fee). If you are planning on a religious ceremony (church, mosque or hindu temple), then you will need to contact the relevant authorities, but note that religous ceremonies are not binding, so you would still need to organise a civil cermeony with the Seychelles Civil Status Office.
- 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.
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