So, as with a lot of items on the wedding list, I headed to Pinterest to create a mood board with some ideas that really fitted with our beach wedding: luggage tags with our date on, passport covers, fridge magnets and messages in a bottle – there are a whole host (if you want to see my Pinterest board, just drop me a message). Likewise with a lot of wedding paraphernalia there are so many ideas you can never run out! However, not for the first time, it was in our every day lives that our answer jumped out for us, while I was holding a frozen pizza and a carton of milk in our local supermarket I spotted them: POSTCARDS! Standing as they do ready to be swung around and cheery picked by tourists, it seemed like the perfect idea. A postcard to our guests to invite them to our island wedding. What’s more, it saved the printing hassle and cost (win!) and meant that we could individually write notes on each to let people know we were really being serious wanting them to come all this way.
It also meant we got the fun of exploring some Mauritian stamps at the Caudan Waterfront Post Office and Museum in Port Louis, where they have a beautiful selection that range back through the decades. Ok, so a Post Office Museum might not be in the tripadvisor top ten things in Mauritius or on your own wishlists, but I enjoyed it!
With the postcards and the stamps in the bag, we wanted to keep adding to the holiday theme. After some days with the postcards staying stacked up on the kitchen table, James’ mind stumbled upon the idea of making our own stamp – inspired! It’s very common here for all organisations to stamp every formal letter so we had already had some made for other reasons in our other work lives. So, on to another fun day weaving through the tiny backstreets of Port Louis finding the shop, picking out the wording, shapes and sizes. In fact, the owner of the shop had to come and find us on his scooter and lead us to the shop, which, despite the lost hours, made it all the more memorable. When we finally found the small hidden stamp makers, we loved the idea so much we picked two: Save the Date and Pack Your Bags (with the compulsory Dodo, of course).
James and his sister Laura writing and stamping the save the dates (you can’t see the pile of pizza boxes in the background!).
Some time later (much later in fact!), we got around to the formal invites for our guests. We wanted a theme that complimented our wedding style: rustic, simple but elegant. Having read about the idea on Bride de Force (a must read if you don’t already – full of resources and beautiful ideas), I went for an invite set from Etsy. It’s an easy and simple process, where you pick your theme from hundreds of styles, send them your details and within 24 hours you have your full set of cards to print off yourself. I could not have been happier with the final result.
The timings of the day itself proved to be the trickiest part of putting the invitations together. Traditionally in Mauritius people get married after 4pm, largely due to the sun and because, if they are on weekdays like ours, they need to give their guests time to get out of work.
With most of our guests coming from overseas, we were in a different position, so went for Wednesday, placing it in the middle of the week as most people were booked for weekend to weekend. With this in mind, we also wanted to go for a more UK traditional time of 1pm, to make as much of the day as possible (and keeping my dress on for as long as possible!) Of course we knew it would be hot, but actually one of the main reasons we chose April was because it’s out of the peak summer times (November – February are just TOO scorching!). And being on the beach, we should be in with a good chance of a fresh breeze. That’s the plan, anyway. Fingers crossed!
The day itself came together after a few meetings with our wonderful, patient and very generous wedding co-ordinator from the Beachcomber Hotel group, Sabine. We decided to flick back and forth during the day between the beautiful thatched roofed restaurant of La Ravanne, and our own private villa right next door. Trying to create the illusion that we are at home (ha- and one day we will have a house like this…!).
That meant some fun and games, including building a small bridge(!) between the restaurant and villa to save guests the long winded walk on the road and make the day seamlessly move from one part to the next. But as I said in the first wedding blog, who wants it simple, right?!
People had told me to expect the wedding to be more work that you could imagine, and I think in our case, it definitely was! Luckily, just in time, we found our solution. A wonderful couple called Brigitte and Benoit, who since our move to Mauritius have become real friends, agreed to become our wedding planners. Invitations, save the dates and even dresses are one thing. But now it came to placing tents and marquees on the sand, building wooden furniture items and constructing bridges, we had to call in the big guns. Brigitte and Benoit not only bring decades of working in hotels and on construction, but they have a list of contacts and friends longer than the yellow pages. It was with a great sense of relief that we had our first meeting with the hotel and the main suppliers, and Brigitte and Benoit started to take charge (which we desperately needed!).
At this stage, just over a month and a half out from the big day, things took a giant leap forward. Tents were ordered and positioned on drawings and illustrations: one large tent to give everyone plenty of shade and a separate tent for the band, DJ and the all important dancing.
The exciting part of deciding our decor and furniture under the tents was definitely inspired by Dinarobin itself, and their lovely beach bar below. We love beach chic vibe, natural and relaxed, and have tried to incorporate that theme into the planning, albeit with touches from our home in the UK and my other home Singapore too.