Tying the knot in exotic Seychelles |13 May 2021
Our team at the Seychelles Tourism Board met with Natasha and Bhim, bubbly newlyweds who chose exotic Seychelles to say ‘I do’.
Surrounded by clear, blue skies and turquoise waters, Natasha and Bhim Gupta united their destinies in an intimate wedding ceremony off the South East coast of Mahé on Monday May 3, 2021.
The newlyweds, who both work in the hospitality industry, met in Dubai and although they worked for the same hotel, their paths had not crossed until one evening when Natasha took her family to dinner in the restaurant where he was working.
Although they never dreamt of a destination wedding, Seychelles came into the picture when they were searching for somewhere where it would be easy to get married and at the same time experience a different country.
“We wanted the wedding and honeymoon, all in one. Seychelles came into the plan when we were searching for a destination where the marriage process would be hassle free and we would get the benefits of the island experience as well.”
The couple added how Seychelles’ uncomplicated formalities and flexibility had a great impact on their final decision.
Commenting on the wedding services in Seychelles, Natasha and Bhim remarked how the flexible and accommodating nature of their local hosts helped create their fairy-tale wedding.
Getting married in the midst of a pandemic is certainly different; however, the couple mentioned how there were no issues in regards to this as at this point, safety measures have become the norm and did not affect their special day. Even the absence of their rather big families did not cast a shadow on their moment.
“The fewer the better I suppose, more food for us,” Natasha joked. “Imagine his Indian family and my Chinese family, and no food for us.”
They added that everyone did make an effort to be present through video calls, which mattered just as much as their physical presence would have.
The few guests that were present were from all corners of the world. Not requiring any visas, Seychelles proved to be the ideal destination, the couple said. Furthermore, the islands are perfect for international families, as with English and French, no translators are required to roam around.
The Seychelles service industry made a lasting impression on the couple, who remarked how attentive the local people are, always aiming at enhancing their experience in every way possible, which is something they noted is not always the case in bustling cities. They also acknowledge the hard work of Seychellois in coping with the challenges brought about in the tourism industry by the pandemic.
The newlyweds described the most memorable part of their trip, snorkelling in the crystal clear waters among vibrant fish and gentle sea turtles. Bhim enthused how this was a new experience for him, especially as he does not know how to swim; although scary at first, he found himself easing into the experience, eventually finding the Seychelles marine world soothing. Natasha, being a swimmer, added how this was something exciting to do with her husband as it was their first time exploring the waters together.
Despite all their research and anticipation, the Seychelles islands went beyond the couple’s expectations, noting how the local culinary scene was another incredible aspect of their trip.
As a result of the pandemic, they did not get full creole touch of the local food stalls by the beach, this alone making them eager to return. Even the tropical rains added to their experience, giving them a different feel of the islands and a much needed dose of rain before they returned to the desert heat.
The couple said that although this is their first visit in Seychelles it is definitely not the last, as they would love to come back and discover more the islands. With many of their family and friends already asking about the Seychelles islands, the couple said that they would most certainly recommend a holiday to the archipelago.
“The tourism you have here can cater to a wide range of people; couples who seek isolation, seeking private islands, while others like us who want to travel a bit more can discover other islands. We got a feeling of both sides of the island, getting married in the south and staying in the north. You have so many options; if you aren’t a swimmer, you can go trekking or go see waterfalls and the birds,” Natasha said.
“Seychellois are very homey and welcoming, we did not have to make so much effort to strike up a conversation and certainly did not feel like foreigners.”
The pair emphasised how the laid-back attitude of the Seychellois and their easy-going personalities gave them a taste of warm, creole hospitality.
The destination remains a wedding favourite for lovers across the globe and the local authorities and tourism trade are constantly ensuring that safety remains central when providing the ultimate romantic location.
Wedding service specialists and the related service providers in the islands are currently operating under new safety frameworks required under the new normal.
Minimum contact is to be made between wedding organisers and their clients through measures such as social distancing, use of disposable biodegradable items wherever applicable, no sharing of items and constant use of disinfectant and sanitation processes. Weddings taking place on the beach are temporarily subject to a maximum of four persons – the happy couple and two witnesses, in addition to the persons officiating the ceremony – under the regulations currently in force.
Clients also have to abide by the tourism accommodation establishment’s health and safety regulations, which are reinforced by the Public Health Authority and the department of Tourism.
Contributed by STB