What’s not to love about the gorgeous Maldives?
Mother Nature has created perfection in this stunning collection of tropical coral islands, and thankfully the Maldivian government has been giving nature a helping hand by carefully nurturing the area to preserve its unique beauty. It is now a top destination for loved-up couples and honeymooners for the tenth year running.
The Maldives is a nation of around 1,190 tiny islands, many still uninhabited, grouped into 26 natural atolls in the Indian Ocean, beginning around 250 miles south west of India and stretching down towards the equator. These islands offer a wide range of hotel resorts, first class facilities and picture-perfect scenery. Luxury hotels are built on private islands using natural materials indigenous to the islands and everywhere, the lush vegetation has been carefully preserved, marine life protected and beaches groomed and extended to create what can only be described as paradise.
The tropical island resorts are reached by speedboat or via a spectacular seaplane journey from the capital, Male. From the windows of the seaplane the lush Maldives islands appear as emerald gems in the ocean, surrounded by their turquoise coral reefs. Accommodation is usually in beautiful beach villas and water villas extending out on stilts over the lagoon. The hotels offer incredible fresh cuisine, luxury accommodation and world-class spas.
Down on the white sandy beaches, lovers snuggle in rope hammocks under coco palms or snorkel together over the coral reefs to view the amazingly colourful marine life. As the sun sets, beaches are transformed into candle-lit restaurants as couples dine beneath the stars.
Although you can’t legally marry in The Maldives, the breathtaking scenery and sheer luxury of the resorts make this a wonderful place for beach blessings and romantic non-religious ceremonies, which can be arranged through your hotel or wedding planner.
These ceremonies can take place in a choice of exotic locations – from unspoiled powder beaches and tiny sandbank islands to catamarans at sea and even during diving excursions on the coral reefs. If you are planning a wedding in The Maldives, simply marry legally at your local registry office before leaving the UK, then, to all intents and purposes, your destination wedding in The Maldives will be your Big Day in paradise.
Wedding under water
Getting married on a pristine beach in the Maldives will always be special, but couples looking to go the extra mile can wed beneath the waves at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island resort for the ultimate wow-factor wedding. The resort is offering the Ithaa Undersea Ceremony for couples to say “I do” at the world’s first and only glass chapel five-metres under the sea.
The chapel is encircled by the colorful coral reef and bride and groom are surrounded by the blue water, with the marine life swimming and visible through the glass as they exchange their vows. If you prefer to wed above water, you can choose a barefoot ceremony on the beach or an intimate gathering in Rangali Island’s charming thatched Chapel of Love.
March to wedding drums
Located on a nature-filled island, Angsana Velavaru offers couples an authentic Maldivian wedding. starting with the planting of a coconut tree, a national symbol of the Maldives embodying the idea of stability. The wedding couple are escorted to the Angsana Stone where the groom carries the bride three times around the threshold, it is believed in local folklore that evil spirits hide under the threshold and it is the responsibility of the groom to carry his bride to safety and happiness.
The final part of the ceremony takes place at the resort’s chapel, over the water, culminating with ‘Bodu Beru’ drummers welcoming the bridal couple into marital bliss. Setting the beat for the ceremony, the reception continues with a beach BBQ dinner as the sun sets, an ideal time for the couple to scribe wedding wishes into a coconut husk which is thrown into the ocean for perpetuity.