The glamorous islands of the Maldives, an Indian Ocean country known for its five-star resorts and celebrity clientele, call to couples who want their main wedding accessories to be sun, sand, and the planet’s clearest, most tranquil blue-green waters. If you two share serious wanderlust and a love of tropical beaches, marrying here is a fantasy come true. And if that sounds appealing, you might want to consider kicking it up a notch and exchanging vows in an overwater wedding chapel, where sea turtles may number among your witnesses.
At the Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, you can slip into a breezy bridal caftan and take a boat to the Wedding Pavilion, a simple thatched structure that sits atop sturdy pylons. A short set of steps ascends to a deck where Bodo Beru drummers sound your arrival, and usher you in to the most eye-popping feature of all: a glass-floored aisle that leads to the “altar” (weddings of non-citizens are strictly ceremonial and non-religious) and through which you can spot sea life swimming below. Though the resort’s wedding coordinator will help you organize flowers and other decor, even the most spectacular arrangements can’t compete with the views of infinite sea and sky. You’re standing in the middle of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve ocean, and it doesn’t get more pristine.
The chapel can accommodate up to 16 guests, and after the ceremony you’ve got plenty of ways to entertain then. Cocktails with your feet in the sand, canapés in a private gazebo, a beach barbecue starring Maldivian reef lobster. Of course the Maldives are a long way from home, and for a lot of couples this will be a very private event. Probably most memorably celebrated in a manner they will keep to themselves.