Arrival at the Hotel
When I arrived at the Heritage Awali it was that picture postcard moment that you dream of, as you step out of the car and walk over the bridge to the sound of African Drums before seeing the resort open up in front of you.
Natasha, the Wedding Coordinator greeted up with a glass of chilled champagne and checked us into our room, which was situated overlooking the pool and beach.
My organisation skills in packing came in useful and meant that we didn’t even have to wait the few short minutes for our cases and could go out and explore the resort and enjoy a well earned cocktail.
Within a day of arriving you have a pre-wedding meeting with the Wedding Coordinator who goes through all the important items of the wedding such as the location, flowers, reception, hair and make up and menu for the evening
Photography can also be arranged however I had arranged our own who I had known for over 10 years and lives out there.
Here come the Guests
I had pre-arranged for some little surprises to be in the rooms when out guests arrived as well as a list of all the guests attending, all in a nice beach bag
Every day after that we had guests arriving in resort and we always tried to meet them with a glass of chilled champagne. Even BA cancelling all their flights didn’t stress me out as our guest’s were put on an Emirates flight and sent out the very next day.
Everyone fell quickly in love with the chilled vibe and atmosphere of the resort.
Whilst there are a number of amazing places to eat the Heritage Awali, we loved Infinity Blue for lunch as it is situated overlooking the fantastic beach and indian ocean. It was also a great place to meet for sun-downer cocktails after leaving the beach
Don’t miss out on a fresh coconut at the coconut shack which is at the edge of the resort, they are freshly cut daily.. Add your own kick from a choice of Mauritius rums – it was certainly a popular location with some of our guests
The C Beach Club is a great place to be during the day, there are comfortable sun beds on the beach and an amazing swimming pool, the water sports centre is located there where glass bottom boat, snorkelling trips, water skiing or kayaks can be booked (all included in the All Inclusive package). Lunch is served there so you can relax and spend all day there if you wish. At night the place changes with some ultra cool lighting. The bar there has a very cool vibe and the restaurant is fantastic, we even choose to have the Hen Party there and a pre-wedding dinner the night before the wedding complete with fresh tuna which had been caught by the boys on their stag party fishing trip.
Wedding Set Up
You can chose anywhere in the resort to get married, however the Wedding Coordinator will suggest locations that will be suitable for the number of people attending. We had decided on the wooden gazebo overlooking the beach and the ocean.
I had taken a few of my own little extras out for the guests as well as the bags. They included pashmina’s for the ladies, sunglasses (with “protect your eyes our love is blinding” labels on them) and flipflops in case their feet got tired. I’d also made fans with the order of service on to be put on all the ladies chairs in case they got a little warm.
The Wedding Day
Depending on the time of your wedding (ours was 3pm) we spent the morning together having a lovely group breakfast before choosing a sunbed and chilling out on the beach.
There is a bridal suite at the Heritage Awali and my wedding dress was hanging up waiting. Whilst you are getting ready they bring you lunch and open a bottle of champagne that you can enjoy a little drink with your ladies or even on your own!
One of our guests had previously owned a bridal shop so she was able to lace me into my dress, however the Wedding Coordinator is there to assist brides that need help getting into their dress.
At the pre-wedding meeting you get to chose the flowers we wanted and the bridesmaids flowers and bridal bouquet were brought to the Bridal Suite along with some fresh flowers for my hair. You may want to add your little touches, I’d taken some little photos of my grandmas to go on my bouquet in memory.
Here comes the Bride
Our wedding transport from the Bridal Suite was by golf buggy complete with pink bow. People had got to know us in resort, well there were 23 of us so it was hard to miss, so we had a few well wishers on route.
I recommend taking three songs with you, one for walking down the aisle, one for the signing of the paperwork and the other for walking back at husband and wife, you could have these on your phone, CD or memory stick but take a back-up with you. So the music started, and I walked down the red carpet between our guests to Andy waiting in the gazebo.
The ceremony time can vary depending what you choose to have included, ours took approx 20 minutes and exchanged rings with the beautiful beach and sea behind us.
The time of the wedding is often chosen depending on what time the sun sets so you know you have time to have some photos around the resort. Jean, our photographer had also brought along her drone so we ended up with some great shots of the resort as well as some stunning sunset shots.
The few drops of rain we’d had before the ceremony had brought out a stunning rainbow.
There is always a back up as no-one can tell what the weather may do and as the storm clouds came over and we had to change our location to inside. I could do a lot of things but I couldn’t control the weather!
And so that was it, after 18 months in the planning we were husband and wife. It wasn’t over though as we still had over a week in Mauritius on Honeymoon and a stay in Dubai!
Getting married abroad is wonderful and I can certainly recommend it, we didn’t just have one day with our guests we had a week with them and it was amazing.
Call Lesley on 0800 983 0075 for more information on having your own Destination Wedding