White sand beaches, crystal clear blue sea, beautiful reefs, and phenomenal weather; it’s no wonder why many people consider having a Maldives wedding. It truly is a barefoot paradise that offers plenty of options for the perfect destination wedding. From sunset cruise weddings to exchanging vows right on the beach, there is no doubt that a wedding in the Maldives will be unforgettable. Here are a few things that you should know before you save up for the big day.
A wedding in the Maldives between two foreign nationals is not legally binding. Even though the day is very much real, complete with a ceremony and the perfect beach wedding dress, it will not be recognized as legal when you get home. Most people who get married in the Maldives have a legal wedding at home, and the beautiful ceremony in the Maldives. This is the only way to have a Maldives wedding, but it doesn’t make it any less fantastic.
There is a big wedding industry in the Maldives islands for foreigners that want to have a wedding on a magnificent beach on a tropical island. In fact, many resorts offer wedding packages, most of which combine both the wedding and the honeymoon.
Exchanging vows, rings, and loving glances will all happen at a Maldives wedding, but there are also other things to consider when thinking about your wedding ceremony. Like whether or not you want to add any Maldivian culture into it.
In the Maldives, a traditional wedding ceremony includes a Bodu Beru (drums) procession. This is a procession of around 20 drummers that play Bodu Beru dressed in traditional clothing, leading the happy couple down the aisle and to their wedding ceremony. It is topped off by having a local gazi (judge) preside over the ceremony, all of which is done in the local Divehi dialect. Some couples that go the traditional route also choose to wear traditional Maldivian clothing.
Couples can also, of course, have a western wedding and skip all of the Maldives cultural aspects. Still, many Maldives resorts that offer wedding packages due include the bodu beru drummers, as it is a great way to remind both the couple and their wedding guests that it is, after all, a destination wedding.
The beach is the most popular place for a wedding in the Maldives, and why wouldn’t it be. The Maldives is home to some of the best beaches in the world, making it a dream spot for a destination wedding. Especially considering its exceptional backdrop of glistening waters and swaying palm trees. Most beach weddings will not only have the ceremony on the beach, but also the reception, complete with flowers, music, and excellent food.
It is also possible to have a Maldives wedding in a location other than on the beach. You can have it on a traditional dhoni or luxurious yacht in the sea, on an isolated sandbar far from everything else in the world, on a rooftop terrace at sunset, or at the edge of a pool. You can also have a wedding in one of the Maldives top restaurants, like the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant, 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, or Botanica Restaurant.
A wedding can be an expensive ordeal, what with the attire, the flowers, the photographer, hair and makeup expenses, the cake, the ceremony, and the reception. In fact, according to the business insider, the average cost of a wedding in the US is $33,391. This amount is doubled if you get hitched in Manhattan. This price does not include the honeymoon, which, according to Forbes, is an additional $4,000, if not more.
Having a wedding in the Maldives is substantially cheaper and will save couples a lot of money. A wedding package in the Maldives is anywhere from $550 to $4,000. Add in the flights and it is still less than $10,000. The best part is that you don’t have to fork out even more for the honeymoon, as the wedding and honeymoon are all rolled up into one package deal. The entire ordeal –wedding and honeymoon- could end up being just $3,500, making a Maldives wedding quite an affordable dream.
Maldives resorts that offer wedding packages include the flowers, the makeup, the cake, the photography, and the venue. Even the most basic packages include these things. You can also splurge and get add-ons, like bodu beru players, a bottle of champagne, alter decorations, a romantic sunset cruise, and a 60-minute relaxing couples massage, among other things. Let’s not forget that your Maldives honeymoon package will start as soon as you say ‘I do’.
The Best Resorts for a Maldives Wedding
There are many resorts in the Maldives that offer wedding packages, but these are the best in the bunch.
Four Seasons Maldives at Kuda Huraa
Exchange vows on a pristine beach, in the garden, or at the edge of the pool at the spectacular Four Seasons Maldives Resort at Kuda Huraa. Everything down to the finest detail will be taken care of by your very own personal wedding planner, from the invitations to a relaxing massage before the big day. Wedding packages at this luxurious resort include the ceremony, the bouquet and boutonniere, bridal hair and make-up, the photographer, the wedding cake, and the celebration. They even throw in a romantic 3-course meal, a floral bath, breakfast in bed, and a 30-minute private yoga session. Plus, you get to create the perfect menu for you and your guests.
But it doesn’t stop there. The bliss will continue on into the honeymoon, with the resort offering tailored packages to suit each and every couple’s needs. This could mean that you are celebrating your honeymoon together with guests that came to share this special day with you, or all on your own. The accommodations at this 5-star Maldives resort will let you have peace and quiet alone in an exceptional Sunrise Villa with Pool, where you will wake up each morning with the ocean breeze in your face while enjoying a coffee right over the lagoon. Or you can stay in one of their two- or three-bedroom suites and enjoy your honeymoon with your closest friends or family members. Click here to make a booking.
Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa
Have a memorable wedding in a once-in-a-lifetime location in one of the Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa’s ocean facing wedding pavilions. Make it even more memorable by having an Arabic, Indian, Japanese, or Chinese themed wedding, or exchange vows on the resort’s luxury yacht. No matter what location you choose, a Maldives wedding at this grand resort will be exceptional. It can be a traditional western wedding or a Maldivian wedding; the resort’s wedding planner will organize the wedding of your dreams. Wedding packages include the venue, the decorations, music, photography, the bouquet, the cake, and the ceremony. They also add in a few extras to make it that much more special, like a 90-minute spa treatment, in-villa breakfast the morning after, bed decorations, and coral planting.
After the wedding, enjoy your honeymoon without having to leave the resort and enjoy all that it has to offer. Go diving, hike around the island and enjoy its natural beauty, play tennis, or even play a round of golf. You can even just spend the entire time in your private villa with your feet dangling over the lagoon from your open-air terrace. Or stay in a villa on the white sand beach with panoramic views of the ocean. If nature is more your thing, escape to one of the Ocean Tree House Villas, which is perched on stilts among the treetops, and boasts amazing views of the ocean. Click here for more photos or to make a reservation at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa
One&Only Reethi Rah
Offering beachfront soirees and weddings under a traditional pavilion, the One&Only is one of the top Maldives resorts for a destination wedding; and Vogue magazine agrees. Exchange vows in the afternoon or at sunset, followed by a picture-perfect celebration. You can even have your wedding right in front of your beach front villa! The One&Only Reethi Rah will make all of your wedding dreams come true, from the stunning backdrop during the ceremony to the pedal shower. Every single detail is looked after, so all you have to do it show up, and allow the staff and the wedding coordinator to pamper you. Afterwards, you’ll be whisked away on a floral decorated golf buggy to a romantic candlelit dinner at the exceptional Reethi restaurant.
The wedding will carry on into the honeymoon, where you will enjoy private romantic dinners, couples spa treatments, and romantic walks along the pristine beach right from your villa door. Or opt for a water villa and enjoy a dip in the lagoon from your very own private access. Afterwards, lay around holding hands on the wrap-around hammocks that float over the water. You can be completely on your own, or meet other resort guests at one of the main pools, on a diving trip, or by going on a whale shark adventure. You can even spend an evening at one of the resort’s chic bars sipping on fine wine or exotic cocktails. Find current deals at One&Only Reethi Rah here.
Anantara Veli Maldives Resort
Standing under a floral arch while the sun sets, having the ocean breeze blow through your hair, or being on a private island with up to 100 of your favorite people, Anantara Veli Maldives Resort can make your Maldives wedding dreams come true. Before the big event, calm pre-wedding nerves by having a 60-minute massage. Then walk down the beachfront aisle to the sound of drums and exchange vows in a dream location. Wedding packages include everything you could possibly need to make your wedding day a memorable one, including photography, a floral bouquet, and a floral bath ceremony to enjoy on your wedding night. After the ceremony, enjoy a private dinner on the beach or a soirée under a tent on the beach with your friends and family.
Once the wedding is over you can enjoy your honeymoon in one of the resort’s amazing bungalows, all of which are perched over the water. Each and every bungalow at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort has a sundeck with day beds and access to the lagoon, with some having a tub for two overlooking the water, and others featuring a private plunge pool. The rest of the resort is just a spectacular, from its magnificent restaurants to its tranquil spa. They also offer yoga classes, Ayurvedic programs, diving excursions, and island picnics. Or you can just stay in your bungalow and celebrate your love. Click here to find current deals at Anantara Veli Maldives Resort.
Conrad Maldives Rangali Island
Ever dreamed of getting married under the water? Well at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island that is possible at their renowned Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. If you would prefer a barefoot wedding they can also arrange a Maldives wedding right on the beach. Wedding packages start with a spa treatment for the bride and groom to calm pre wedding jitters, followed by a ceremony at the location of your choice. A three-tier cake, sparkling wine, photography, and all decorations are included, as is the ceremony itself. After the wedding, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island will be sure to make your wedding memories last forever with its in-villa features.
There are 10 different wining and dining facilities at this top luxury Maldives resort, including a cheese bar, a wine cellar, a Japanese restaurant, and an award-winning open-air over-water restaurant. Then there is, of course, the amazing Ithaa Undersea Restaurant. Accommodations at this magnificent resort are all sitting right over the water, and boast a private deck and pool, with steps leading down into the crystal clear blue lagoon. You can even go all out and book yourselves into a villa with a spa treatment room and small gym. Click here to see more photos or make a booking at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.