Anneka + Richard
We love destination weddings. There is something special about how intimate they are and the love seems to flow over.
So when we saw Anneka and Richard’s gorgeous Mauritius wedding, we once again got swept up in the magic of their wedding day and we were so happy they allowed us to share it.
They wanted to do things different and not “condemn” their guests to another buffet style wedding. So with fresh seafood, a traditional Sega procession and saying their vows on the beach, we are sure their UK guests walked away feeling oh so happy and relaxed after their wedding day.
Read on to get swept away with Richard and Anneka.
All photography by Bron Veal from Vanilla Photography.
Hooray: Hi guys, please can you introduce yourselves to the Hooray readers.
A + R: Hi Hooray! We are Anneka Bhosle Sinclair & Richard Andrew Jenns. We met at a house party of mutual friends in 2012. So I guess we’d been together for 6 years when we got married.
Hooray: Tell us about your proposal
A + R: We didn’t really have one.
We presumed we’d wait until we both had secure jobs and bought a house before we got married. But house prices are so high in London, we just figured we’d be waiting forever. Whenever we had discussed a wedding we always wanted something small and on a beach.
In 2017 we planned a holiday to Mauritius. Before we left we just casually said to each other, that if they give us a good deal we should get married. When we got there, we had a chat with the hotel wedding coordinator, florist and head chef and it all seemed pretty close to what we wanted and the price was a fraction of what a wedding in the UK would have cost, so I guess we were technically engaged then. When we got back we told our closest friends and family but some people seemed confused by our casual approach especially since there was no ring involved. In December 2017 we picked a ring together and then properly announced it, i.e. the dreaded Facebook announcement!
Hooray: What made you choose your venue?
A + R: The Oberoi hotel group is popular in India and having grown up in Mumbai I knew the brand well for its stellar service and polished style. When I decided to go on holiday to Mauritius in 2017 I found out there was an Oberoi branch in Mauritius and hence I stayed with them. I wasn’t disappointed. I absolutely loved the hotel and the service and the food was impeccable. I also fell in love with Mauritius.
I had gone by myself, without Richard. Later that year I decided to take Richard and he equally loved it-so that was that.
Hooray: The inspiration behind your wedding?
A + R: Don’t think I had one. We just wanted the beach and good food
Hooray: What was the one non-negotiable of your wedding
A + R: The food. Both Rich and I are massive foodies and we’ve got the waist length to prove it lol.
Wedding food in the UK can be quite dull and often you are limited to caterers the venue approve of. There were a handful of restaurants we knew of and liked in London that would have catered but either the venue wouldn’t allow it or it was a buffet style set up. We wanted fresh seafood, Asian inspired with big portions of food and Mauritius ticked all those boxes.
Hooray: Did you get ready together? Or just a very relaxed first look?
A + R: I had to go to the spa salon to do my hair so that’s the only reason we didn’t get ready together otherwise we would have done so in our hotel room. But we had planned to walk down the aisle together so Rich turned up 30 minutes before. I didn’t start getting ready till 2:30pm and was therefore quite rushed. I put my dress on 15 minutes before the ceremony so it wasn’t as much of a relaxed first look as much as it was –“ok I’m ready, let’s go!”
Hooray: How did you choose your photographer
A + R: Usually when you “elope” at a resort in Mauritius they have packages, which include photographers. However as we had to tailor our wedding, because we had more guests etc, we could also bring our own photographer.
Having studied photography myself for my undergrad, I wasn’t particularly inspired by what the hotel offered nor what was available on the island. I searched through the internet for days looking for destination photographers. I found one in the UK but as he would travel from the UK the costs of his flight and travel alone meant that we were looking at a rate higher than the cost of the wedding day (which don’t get me wrong, knowing that the photographs are the one thing that last beyond the wedding, I was ready to splurge on).
Luckily hidden in the corner of Google image search I found a link to a wedding in Mauritius where Bron was credited.
I looked her up and loved her style, especially her colour palette. We arranged to speak and her easy, laid back demeanour suggested it would be a good fit and it was. Hopefully featuring this wedding will help people find a photographer more easily.
Hooray: The Sega Procession escorting you down to the beach, so divine! Pros and cons?
A + R: Honestly no cons. If I had to picky, I would say that it attracted some of the hotel residents as they didn’t know what was going on so we had a few stranger on-lookers. AND NO ONE TOLD ME I’D HAVE TO DANCE THAT WAS JUST SPRUNG ON ME! Hence a series of pictures of me “dad dancing”.
Pros: Everything else but especially having beautiful, historical and moving music.
Hooray: Be honest, how many hours did you spend on Pinterest?
A + R: Hmm probably none. I didn’t use Pinterest to search for ideas I used it more to save ideas from other sites and magazines so I could show them to the co-ordinator. I can’t keep track of things otherwise.
Hooray: Your ceremony looked super relaxed, was it traditional?
A + R: Not at all, we didn’t even know what the content of the ceremony would be. I guess it was a traditional civil service in that – that’s how they do things in Mauritius but there was absolutely no mention of God. But I do remember the officiant mentioned children at one point and I was like – “say what now?”.
Hooray: 11 guests – did you always want an intimate wedding? Was it tough narrowing it down?
A + R: Yes, we always knew and it wasn’t tough for me. I have a small friends circle anyways. If anyone, Richard probably struggled the most but it was more a question of inviting our closest friends and family and those who would be willing to endure a trip across the world.
Hooray: Tell us about your bridesmaids and groomsmen?
A + R: Rich didn’t have any groomsmen but I had a maid of honour. However, she didn’t have any tasks except last minute she was designated ring holder. Our wedding was small enough to treat all the guests as wedding party. We had buttonholes for all the guests. The best part was just having such an intimate wedding that no one needed to be singled out and with the planning being handled by the hotel, everyone got to sit back and just enjoy the festivities.
Hooray: What role did your parents play in your wedding? Did they contribute financially?
A + R: None, we wanted everyone to enjoy themselves so just turn up, eat and be merry. Both our mothers did however act as legal “witness” to the wedding.
We paid for everything ourselves.
Hooray: The dress change -you look gorgeous! Tell us more.
A + R: What a saga, the dress! I panic bought the white dress and regretted it as I loved my black dress and had planned to wear that all along. Up until 15 minutes before the wedding I was like “which one to wear?!” So it was suggested to do the dress change. The black dress is super comfortable and I knew I wanted to spend the most amount of time in it.
Hooray: The one thing you would change about your wedding if you could travel back in time
A + R: The ceremony and the flowers.
Both these things we left to chance, which was kind of fun, but in hindsight needed a little more oversight than we gave it. We tried to meet with our officiant before the wedding. When we went to register, we presumed we could have a chat with her then about the ceremony but she wasn’t there. We were told she would come see us 20 minutes before the wedding but she didn’t and before we knew it we were walking down. As a result we didn’t read our own vows as we had no idea what was happening and the ceremony did bang on about the law under which we were marrying. We did laugh through it and made it work but you only get one shot at it and I was a bit miffed about it. I would really recommend to others that they insist on having that meeting
Similarly with the florist. Every country and florist have their own style of doing things so its best to pick styles to suit that. However I never insisted on a seeing a concept design nor did I have a meeting with him on the wedding trip therefore it didn’t quite look like what I wanted. Although I would say this was probably something only the bride would notice everyone else thought it was beautiful.
I would again recommend insisting on meetings and getting a clear concept/sketch and approving before the day. Also, we only arrived two days before the wedding, so preferably leave more than two days on the island to do these things before the wedding.
Flower designs and prices weren’t sent over until the week before we travelled, so I would recommend brides really put their foot down with these elements so you don’t get caught out.
Hooray: The biggest hurdle you faced planning your wedding?
A + R: I love the island laid back living but when you have a wedding to plan it can be an obstacle and like I said you can end up with important things like your ceremony not going as you want it to – which could really upset some people.
I also found that resort weddings have a pattern and style of doing things so you must be a bit adamant when you say you do or don’t want something. For example we had champagne served the minute – I MEAN THE MINUTE after we got married. We had a designated cocktail hour after the ceremony for guests while we had our photos taken but the hotel insisted on the champagne….so here we were on a windy beach and half way through the ceremony, the champagne glasses all went crashing in the middle of our vows lol!
Also one needs to factor in the time difference. Everything shuts at 4pm in Mauritius so you have to think ahead when approaching communications.
Hooray: Advice for brides choosing Mauritius?
A + R: Chase the officiant about the content of ceremony and put your foot down with getting quotes and concepts well before one week prior to the day.
Maybe also don’t get married in their winter. We were extremely lucky it didn’t rain on the day. The following week of our honeymoon was just a tropical storm so maybe pick their summer which runs from the end of September to April.
Otherwise the whole idea of this kind of wedding is to relinquish the stress of wedding planning… so sit back, put your feet up and actually enjoy your wedding day.
Hooray: After all this, what was the best moment of your wedding day?
A + R: The Mauritian Sega procession-when they started singing and escorting us down the “aisle” that was really moving and of course actually getting married!
Anneka and Richard, thank you so much for allowing us to share your special day with our readers. We absolutely got swept up in it all and will be day dreaming of Mauritius weddings for the next week!
Venue: The Oberoi Mauritius Turtle Bay
Photographer : Vanilla Photography
Caterer : The Oberoi Mauritus
Brides dresses: Both from Jenny Packham
Grooms Attire: Paul Smith
Grooms’ Shoes: TOMS
Rings: Brides: Annabela Chan, Grooms: Tiffany & Co.
Decor and flowers: Local florist that the hotel used, Patrick Armand