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Andy & Anita's adventures

Getting married in a foreign land

AUSTRALIA | Friday, 21 May 2010 | Views [473]

Bonjour from Mauritius. It’s done – I am finally a married woman!

Mauritius is everything the postcards say; it is tropical, picturesque and the people are amazingly friendly. Those who know us realise that we are not the ‘5* resort’ type so it has been a bit of a learning experience for us to be waited on, and we have had to learn how to sit still and do nothing - but it has been thoroughly enjoyable.

Legends Resort has been great. Most days begin with a lazy breakfast by the pool (consisting of more food then I would ever dream of eating at home!), a cocktail or two by the bar, lounging on the beach with a book, perhaps a stroll around the grounds, a tennis lesson or a daytrip to somewhere beautiful (if we feel like we want to exert ourselves) and then a long lazy dinner.

The lead-up to the wedding went pretty much to schedule. We arrived in Mauritius really early
on the 19th May and stepped off the plane into 25 degree weather at 7am. Customs was really quick (we were put in the priority line because of the wedding dress slung over my arm) and then we were on our way from the airport (in the far south) to Legends in Grand Gaube (on the northern tip of the country). We had to wait until 1pm for our room to be ready but the resort entertained us, gave us a place to shower, provided a vast array of food and drinks and then pointed us in the direction of the beach whilst we waited

I booked us a Junior Suite (one step down from the best Villa in the place) and I am really glad I did. The room is perfect – with a big balcony overlooking the beach, an even bigger bed, all inclusive mini-bar and a Jacuzzi that you can open-up to the sea breeze. We are going to be having breakfast on the balcony today – it is my favourite spot. The only thing is that the staff here are too friendly and efficient – they are always coming by to turn-down the room, restock the mini-bar or to provide soaps and scented cloths to tuck under the pillow at night... but I can’t really complain about that!

On the 20th we had to head off to Port Louis (about 1 hour drive) to attend the Supreme Court and swear our Affidavits so that we can get married. We LOVED Port Louis! It is an eclectic mix of elements from other places we have been – the culture of French/ Indian (but not as overwhelming!), the streets of Malaysia and even buildings that loosely replicate what we saw in Mexico. The buildings are a little old and the streets are narrow – that is the real Mauritius and we were in our element.

The guy that drove us to the court (I feel terrible that I can’t remember his name!) was really nice. He loved discussing Mauritian culture and what it is like to be Hindu with Andrew about showed us a movie on his phone of when he pierced his entire body with needles as an offering to Shiva – scary stuff! But he explained that he did it because something good had happened in his life so it was his way of saying thankyou to his god... I think I would prefer to send flowers! Haha

The process was so simple. We went to the Registrar to have our documents checked, went to the Supreme Court to swear them and then went to the Office of Civil status to meet our celebrant and make a time for the wedding. We were all done by noon. It would have been wonderful to spend some more time in Port Louis and we are considering getting a taxi there on another day so we can look around.

Our wedding day – May 21 – didn’t start the usual way. We had a very early start (5.30am)but it wasn’t to have hair and makeup... we went swimming with Dolphins! There is this incredible open bay in Tamarin (just south of the capital city) and at 7am it is warm, picturesque and buzzing with life. We joined a small fleet of speedboats which proceeded to chase this pod of wild Dolphins all around the bay – it was funny! But the dolphins were obviously used to it and put on a great show – even the babies were doing flips for the camera. And when you jump off the boat into this amazingly clear and warm water and look just underneath the surface to a huge pod of dolphins... bliss. It was really funny when Andrew did a dive for a dropped flipper and hit me in the face – I thought I was going to be a bride with a fat lip!! Thankfully it went down by lunchtime  He felt so guilty! haha

After returning to the Resort we had a quick breakfast and then Andrew went off for a nap (he had a 24 hour bug so wanted to rest as much as possible before the ceremony) whilst I had my hair and makeup done at the spa. By the time we got dressed and popped a bottle of bubbly it was time to get married! I have to say that weddings are obviously something that this resort does very well – from the moment we left our room I didn’t have to think about a thing and it ran like clockwork. It was perfect and exactly what we wanted. We were married in the garden in an informal civil ceremony (to Code Napoleon – Andrew loved that!) and I particularly liked agreeing to the various parts of the Mauritian legislature that make us promise to give our children the best and highest education we can provide, rather than the usual religious vows we are used to hearing - It really suited us!

So after we were married (and complete with a shower of rice from our witnesses which the birds came to clear up later – I hope their tummies were ok!) we sat and had a glass of champagne and some cake before having photos on the beach and the jetty. That was it. It was so perfect and exactly what we wanted. I think we grinned like silly little kids all afternoon!
That night we went back to the garden where we arranged to have dinner under the stars with our private waiter, Dinesh (he was also one of our witnesses). We wanted for nothing and it was so wonderful. Oh, we also stopped by the business centre to change our status – because it isn’t real until it is on Fackbook!! haha

Now it is the morning after and we still haven’t tired of referring to each other as ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’. Andrew needs to get used to wearing his ring – I see him playing with it a lot! – but we couldn’t be happier if we tried. I know that the way we got married isn’t ‘traditional’ and some people didn’t understand our reasons for doing it but I am so glad we did. We got married for ourselves in the way that felt right to us. I can’t imagine going through a ‘usual’ wedding in Australia because I can’t relate to it and it wouldn’t suit who we are (particularly as we are not religious) – personally, I would feel really embarrassed to stand up and profess my love to Andrew in front of everyone we know! I am really happy that our moment was private. I really respect those that go the traditional route but I don’t know where you get the stamina – I relaxed for half the day, had no guests to entertain and I was still exhausted by 10pm! Haha

So now it is 5.30am and I can’t sleep at all so I am writing this whilst Andrew watches the BBC. Today we plan to have a lazy breakfast in bed and then massages at the spa before retiring to the pool for a relax in the sun – going to be wonderful! We also get the photos today so I look forward to seeing them. I will be sure to share in the next few days!

Love to all,
Mrs Anita Cripps xxx

Tags: anita cripps, beach, married, mauritius, resort

 

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