Dream Beach Wedding in the Maldives
One thing is certain if you have aspirations of a dream wedding in the Maldives: it’s very difficult to be disappointed. A string of more than 1,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, each with a white sandy beach and clear waters more stunning than the one before? It’s the stuff dreams are made of. World-famous for having a cluster of luxury resorts, there’s also an array of dream accommodation on offer to match up to the postcard-perfect surroundings.
One bride from Hong Kong planned her wedding in the Maldives in 2013: “It’s difficult to pick one hotel in the Maldives as you have many great options.” After choosing a hotel, she was pleasantly surprised when she arrived. “Although I had seen pictures from the hotel’s website, the real setting turned out to be amazing. I had never expected them to use so many flowers… With crystal blue water, white sand, a floral decorated arch and beloved music… [I had] the dream wedding I longed for.”
Dusit Thani is a popular choice for couples looking for a special wedding. Found on Mudhdhoo Island in Baa Atoll, the resort is 35 minutes from Malé by seaplane and 10 minutes by speedboat from the domestic airport. Winner of the World Luxury Hotel Award 2014, Dusit Thani is home to 94 beach front residences and villas on stilts over the water. Spa treatments can be taken in elevated pods amid the coconut palms, while sea life fans can swim out to the reef or snorkel with turtles. It’s a fantasy castaway holiday spot even before the wedding takes place.
As soon as a couple decides they want their wedding at Dusit Thani, they’ll be in touch with a wedding organiser from the resort to plan the dream day. Some would worry it’s difficult to know what you want from afar, but Dusit Thani’s management know what works well and they offer genuine advice on how the day could best run. In fact, it’s a relatively pain-free way to have a wedding ceremony and puts the bulk of the planning on someone else’s shoulders.
The white sandy beach is a favourite choice of location for the ceremony, but couples also choose the over-water deck or the tree-top deck amid the palm trees. There can be traditional Maldivian Boduberu drumming and blessing rituals, a Maldivian sand pouring ceremony and any other personal touches the couple wants. Vivek Suri, the Marketing and Communications Manager at Dusit Thani said every ceremony the resort hosts is individual, but one of the most memorable was a recent renewal of vows ceremony at the resort’s Yoga Pavilion. “It was distinct because of the gorgeous set up accompanied with the traditional Boduberu drumming, which thrilled all of our guests. It was a group wedding from the Middle East and was attended by over 20 guests.”
After a romantic beach barbecue or restaurant meal in the evening after the wedding, couples are treated to an aromatherapy oil bath, as well as a private in-villa champagne breakfast and a couples massage the next day. There’s also an option to hire a private Dhoni — a traditional Maldivian boat — for the couple to go to the sandbank on the wedding day.
While the weather usually behaves itself in the Maldives, especially between December and April, Dusit Thani also has alternative undercover and indoor options on stand-by for the ceremony, just in case the elements don’t play ball.
It’s worth pointing out that weddings in the Maldives aren’t legally binding as non-Maldivians cannot legally marry there. Nevertheless, this doesn’t stop people from planning their dream wedding on the islands. They get legally married at home first before having what they see as the ‘proper’ wedding in a luxurious Maldivian playground, complete with the romantic ceremony, enchanting photos and exclusive honeymoon. It’s also popular for couples to renew their vows or celebrate anniversaries in the Maldives. Wedding packages at Dusit Thani start from US$999 and although adding on more bespoke elements onto the wedding experience bumps up the cost, it shows that having a dream wedding in paradise doesn’t necessarily have to break the bank.
One anniversary celebrant, who travelled with his wife from Singapore to Dusit Thani to mark their wedding anniversary in 2012, didn’t regret his decision to splash out for the special occasion. “On the anniversary day itself…we had some of the best diving and snorkelling experiences…before heading off to a sand bank for a champagne sunset. Serm, our butler, came with us and created the most romantic setting on the beach, serving us with a constant flow of champagne. We were then whisked off into the sunset ready for our private beach barbecue. I really cannot capture in words all the little elements that make this island so special; small things like every staff member knowing our names and remembering what we had done the day before… This really is a special location.”