• Rene Kukk

We Got Married in the Seychelles!

Updated: Apr 17

This week we share a diary of our wedding and honeymoon weekend in Mahé.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Dubai

It's an afternoon like the others in the office. Deadlines to meet, presentations to send, spreadsheets to look over, business as usual. Yet, all I can think of are the days to come. Giulia is messaging me that she loves her wedding gown and just can't wait for me to see it already on our special day. She also got our rings adjusted and checked that everything is good to go.

It's happening.

In a few hours, I will be speeding home, grabbing our suitcases, and off we go to catch our 2:00 AM flight from Dubai Airport.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020, Dubai to Mahé

The flight goes by fast. Indeed, the Seychelles, while being rather far from our native Europe, are only a short, 4h direct flight away from Dubai. We are both exhausted from the overnight journey, but as soon as we start approaching the tiny Victoria Airport on Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles, we are wide awake again, excited to be landing soon. We start approaching a wonderful coast. We see the mountains on the horizon and the abundance of greenery that we don't get to experience often in Dubai.

Arriving to Victoria Airport in the Seychelles

Once we land, we are welcomed by the warm, sunny weather that makes us regret the choice of wearing long pants. We easily go through the security and visa controls at the airport, and at the exit, we are greeted by our driver. On the way to our hotel, the first question he asks is whether we are about to get married. Pretty accurate guess. We drive along a scenic seaside route for about half an hour North, towards our hotel in Beau Vallon, one of the most magnificent locations on the main island.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020, Beau Vallon

When we make it to the hotel, we are so happy with the choice we made. It looks unreal, as if it was straight out of a movie. While being a pricy choice, I feel reassured by the fact that the three nights we booked are rather affordable compared to general price levels in Dubai. We check into our room and go admire the view from our balcony. It's breathtaking.

It's still early morning and we decide to take advantage of our super comfortable bed and take a mini-nap. We want to make the best of our short time here, but we also need our beauty sleep for tomorrow after all. Without even realizing it, we are asleep again.

There is something incredibly relaxing about being on an island in the midst of the Indian Ocean. We are close yet far away from our busy daily life in Dubai, and two hours of sleep can feel much more replenishing than an entire night before going to work.

When we wake up, we feel energized and ready to discover our surroundings. We grab a bite in the hotel's restaurant, and we decide to go for a swim. We first dip into the pool, then go for a walk on the sandy, white beach right by our hotel. The turquoise water is crystal clear, the sand warms our feet. Blissful.

Our afternoon is spent on the beach, lying under a palm tree and sipping a cocktail. The sun sets exactly at 6:00 PM and we enjoy a dramatic view of the sun gradually hiding behind the clouds over the ocean.

It gets pitch dark very soon, and we decide to return to the hotel. After a seafood dinner and a relaxing warm bath, we go to sleep early. We are both a bit nervous and excited at the same time for the next day.

Thursday, 13 February 2020 a.k.a THE BIG DAY IS HERE, HOLY CRAP

We wake up in the morning to the sweet thought that in a few hours, we will be husband and wife. We look outside and we are relieved to see that the weather is sunny and the sky is clear. A perfect day to get married on a beach.

I take a shower and iron my dress shirt, while Giulia is rushing to make the room presentable. Her makeup artist and hairdresser will be here soon. I'd better get ready and disappear by then, she lets me know. So I do. Within thirty minutes, I am out of the room. I grab a book and go downstairs to the reception. I begin to read, though my thoughts are rushing in all sorts of directions. An hour and a half later, I am still reading. And then, suddenly, she is there. She looks just like the girl I would want to marry. Giulia is wearing her white gown, with her hair and makeup beautifully made. I am in a state of shock. There are people looking at us and congratulating us.

Soon, our wedding planner arrives. Marco is the Croatian gentleman who attentively planned all the details of our ceremony with his wife Sonia and their team. He enthusiastically greets us and makes sure we are comfortably seated in the car. He begins to drive us South towards the location of our ceremony.

We are impatient and can't stop asking how much more there is left to our wedding place. "Not long", Marco reassures us. Giulia is a bit car-sick, I can see it on her face. But she holds herself in her immaculate dress. Soon enough, we arrive to a secluded location. We walk through a quiet trail covered by palm trees. We can hear the waves crashing in the background. We are really close now.

When we get there, all of our expectations vanish. They are substituted by the incredible reality unravelling in front of our eyes. This is the most beautiful beach we have ever seen. An aisle with bamboo poles and fresh flowers is set up for us. It's all white and turquoise, just like we wanted it to be. We meet the lady who will celebrate the wedding and our Italian photographer Paolo.

Our wedding in Baie Lazare, Mahé

The ceremony is a very emotional moment. We walk down the aisle and reach our table. The sun is shining. We are both moved and as we say our vows in front of the lady, the photographer takes many photos of us. As we exchange our rings, we are all smiles and our hands are a bit shaking. Some tourists at the other end of the beach are curiously looking at what's unfolding.

At 1.30 pm we are officially married under Seychelles-law. We pop a bottle of champagne and try our two-storey wedding cake. Tastes just as great as it looks. Marco cracks a few jokes and congratulates us.

We end our ceremony with a two-hour photoshoot on the beach and we are reassured by the photographer that we will get all the photos along with a drone footage of us as soon as possible.

Just married!

Our wedding day feels so smooth, so stress-free. We are able to sip in every moment and just enjoy the beauty of the nature around us. We wish we could be surrounded by our friends and family, but we also know that it would have been pretty difficult to arrange for everyone to come to the Seychelles with us.

On the way back to our hotel, Marco and his wife play some loud Italian music, matching the cheerful tone of our day. They deliver us safely to our resort and depart wishing us the best for our life together.

Once we're in our room again, our parents congratulate us on Skype. We sit on our bed and decide to attack the remaining bits of our cake, before spending the rest of our late afternoon relaxing by the pool.

We left in the morning like fiancés and we are now husband and wife. It's an amazing realisation to make.

In the evening, we find out that one of the best restaurants on the island is just a few meters' walk from our hotel. So we show up without a reservation, but that doesn't seem to matter. Giulia bonds with the Italian owner, who serves us the best creamy salmon linguine we have had in a while. Once we mention we just got married, we are showered with good wishes, and offered two shots of Limoncello.

We walk back to our hotel under the bright, starry sky, and before we know it, the night is gone.

Friday, 14 February 2020, Somewhere on a boat

It is our last day in the Seychelles. We naturally sleep in and once we're up, we decide to celebrate our wedding and Valentine's Day with a boat trip around the archipelago. We discover some hidden gem pristine beaches and try different snorkelling spots.

We don't see as many fish as we hoped for in the water, but we sure do for lunch. A grilled seafood platter later, we are back to our boat and navigate to other minuscule islands.

It doesn't take too long before we both get reasonably sunburnt and bitten by mosquitos, so we decide to start heading back to our place in Beau Vallon. We enjoy the rest of our afternoon drinking a mojito by the pool, strictly under the shade, and we check out the few photos we already got.

It is almost 6:00 PM and about to get dark again. We opt to have another delicious dinner to end our wedding and honeymoon weekend and we successfully learn how to clean and eat a crab properly.

Once we're full, we head to back to the hotel and begin to pack for our early morning flight. We sit on our balcony for the last time this weekend and observe the stars above us.

Friday, 15th February 2020, Somewhere in the sky

On the flight back to Dubai, we reflect on everything we just experienced. We had the most incredible wedding and we are so thankful to our planners for doing an amazing job which went above and beyond our expectations.

The Seychelles are a perfect location for a destination wedding. The easiness of the paperwork and process made this location especially attractive for us, given our different nationalities. We wanted our special day to be not only unique, but also as hassle-free as possible, and this is exactly how it was.

Our dreamy movie-like ceremony in Baie Lazare, Seychelles will always occupy a special place in our memories.

About Us

The Weekly 24 is a blog where we write about our life as a couple based in Dubai, having lived in the UAE for 6+ years. We also write about travels to our favorite destinations, reflecting on each trip 24 ideas at a time.

©2020 by Giulia Turchetti & Rene Kukk.