A guide to getting married in Mauritius
According to a new report by UK tour operator Kuoni, Mauritius has now topped the list of destinations for weddings abroad, knocking previous no.1 Sri Lanka into second place and the USA into third.
A recent feature in the UK’s Daily Mail told how Mauritius beat off the competition in part because the legal requirements have been simplified, making it easier for couples to plan their special day.
So how exactly do you go about getting married in Mauritius?
The easiest way by far is to choose a hotel that offers wedding and honeymoon packages – of which there are dozens in Mauritius – who will have dedicated wedding planners on hand to help you through the process. But there are still a few things you’ll need to be aware of before the big day itself. We break it down into four easy steps.
Step one: Decide on a venue
It sounds obvious but the first thing to do is decide when you want to get married, and check with your chosen venue that no other ceremonies are planned at the same time. Note that Mauritius weddings only take place from Monday to Friday. You’ll also want to bear in mind the year-round tropical climate of Mauritius. January to March is the hottest and most humid time of year, and July and August can be windy, so April to June and September to December are considered optimum times for the perfect wedding, especially if you have your heart set on a beach ceremony.
Step two: Check your paperwork
Depending on whether you book with a tour operator in your home country, or are dealing directly with a wedding planner at your chosen resort, some of these requirements may be arranged on your behalf. But to ensure everything runs smoothly it’s always worth knowing what your legal obligations are.
Before you can get married in Mauritius, you will need to provide copies of your birth certificates, copy of passports, your decree absolute (if divorced), death certificate (if widowed), adoption certificate (if adopted) and deed poll notice (if you’ve changed name). These must be sent to the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Port Louis four weeks prior to the wedding. Your birth certificates must be no more than three months old, so either have them re-issued before you leave, or send as they are and they’ll be re-issued and date-stamped in Port Louis. You must then get married within three months of this date.
Step three: Consider your guests
You will need a minimum of two witnesses at your wedding who are aged over 18. If you’ve decided on a quiet, private wedding just for the two of you, this can always be arranged by the venue. But if you are bringing friends and family along, give them as much notice as possible. The best option is to have as many of your guests staying with you at the same resort, as many hotels offer discounted rates for wedding party groups.
Step four: Last minute checks
Before you leave, make sure you’ve considered specialist wedding and honeymoon insurance. This often includes cover for the cost of replacing any essential documents for the wedding should they get damaged or lost. Another thing to look into is the transportation of your wedding outfits.
Air Mauritius allows a second piece of checked-in baggage not exceeding 23kg especially for your wedding dress, in addition to your standard baggage entitlement. If your dress is particularly fragile or prone to creasing, it’s also worth investigating specialist packing services to ensure it arrives in tip-top condition.
For more information on getting married in Mauritius, check out the further information on the Mauritius Tourism Office website.