First group of private wedding celebrants in Seychelles sworn into office
The 20 civil wedding celebrants were presented with their certificates and sworn oaths in a special ceremony. (Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - A group of 20 people are now officially licensed to carry out civil marriage ceremonies in Seychelles for both locals and foreigners.
The 20 civil wedding celebrants were presented with their certificates and sworn oaths in a special ceremony on Thursday at the National History Museum.
This follows the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers in July 2022 for the decentralisation of civil marriages. Interested Seychellois citizens had to apply to become private marriage celebrants and attended relevant training.
The training featured various elements, such as the wedding ceremony itself, the laws in regards to weddings, customer service, business, and marketing as well.
The course, which lasted four months, was an initiative of the Department of Immigration and Civil Status, along with The Guy Morel Institute (TGMI), and it was representatives of the two entities that presented the graduates with their certificates.
The new wedding celebrants will be able to conduct weddings as a full-time business or simply as a way to earn additional income after normal working hours.
During his address, the Minister for Internal Affairs, Roy Fonseka, said that "When the government took the decision last year to decentralise the conduct of civil marriages, we did so in order to entice local participation in all aspects of its planning and administration."
He said that the idea was to open up the sector and provide talented Seychellois with the opportunity to take ownership in shaping up this highly-prized niche tourism market.
"And so, to you the newly graduated celebrants, I would like you to take notice that this new status has catapulted you to the forefront and in the frontline of a delicate enterprise, where expectations are high; but where the rewards can be substantial," said Fonseka.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, is an ideal location where many tourists come to have their dream weddings, especially on the sandy beaches the islands are famous for.
The executive director of The Guy Morel Institute, Patrick Bristol, said that this falls in line with their mission to continue to build capacity locally.
One of the new celebrants, Jasmine Talma, said that as she is a romantic at heart, it was a great opportunity for her to bring that joy to other couples and hopefully one day she herself can get married.
"For me, doing this will allow me to have a little side hustle, since I am employed full-time, so this will allow me to make some more money on the side," added Talma.
Steve Thelermont, another new marriage celebrant said, "I am very happy and honoured to represent Seychelles, especially by being part of this special day for tourists that come to Seychelles."