I know what you’re thinking.
Arguably one of the most unrivaled luxurious destination hot spots in the world – the Maldives archipelago is, in fact, a dream. But before we get into what these glimmering islands are like to vacation on, let’s start here:
Why was the Maldives stop #1 for the Bests?
Let me take you back a couple of years ago, when Andy and I were JUST friends. Brace yourself (this is the part where my constant over-sharing comes in and Andy will be cringing). Over coffee, Andy and I were having a chat about our travel plans for that year and my bucket list came up. As he was scrolling through it, we somehow got to the topic of relationships (which we so often did) and Andy asked, “what do you have envisioned for your wedding?”.
I quickly answered, “I’ve never wanted a lavish wedding. I’d love something small and intimate, maybe somewhere crazy like the Maldives.” I literally blurted out the first island I could think of.
It was about a week later when I opened up my Bucket List on my phone, there was now a line that said, ‘Marry Andy in the Maldives’.
I’m pretty sure my stomach dropped to my butt.
Dramatic, as usual, I immediately called him to see why he would write that so sneakily and he just calmly responds with “maybe someday”.
Okay well if that isn’t the quintessential Rom-Com quote then I don’t know what is.
Let’s press the fast forward button for a minute.
Taking you to just a few weeks before we got engaged in July of 2017. We had started talking a little more seriously about our potential 2018 travel plans. Andy made a comment along the lines of, “why don’t we start our trip in the Maldives?”
I thought to myself REAL quick… I KNOW WHAT HAPPENS IN THE MALDIVES.
I suppressed the excitement I had inside me and said, “eh, I don’t know maybe somewhere like Thailand first?”. Even though there was no doubt in my mind I wanted the Maldives to be first.
But a girl can’t be that obvious, can she?
OK – now we’ve fast forwarded just a couple more weeks to our engagement in Portugal (which you already know about). What I didn’t tell you was Andy had printed out 2 fake plane tickets: one that had my name, Samantha Best (which I totally didn’t even notice… whoops!) and one with his. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him… in the Maldives.
I’ll just pause for a moment: AWWWW is right.
Now to December 28, 2018. We had a small, intimate ceremony with immediate family in Rhode Island (where I’m from) to make it official. It was perfect.
We wanted to get married before we started our year of travel. And you can’t actually get married in the Maldives unless your Maldivian, which neither of us are (minor oversight).
January 20, 2018 we wrote our own vows and got married on a beautiful beach of South Male Atoll.
The ceremony was special for so many reasons. We were able to have a traditional Maldivian ceremony where an accompanying Boduberu Troop & flower girls greet us at our room. The bride (me) steps outside first, and the groom (Andy) steps out second. We were both given tropically decorated flower parasols that were placed around our necks. Next, we were escorted down the long, winding boardwalk with our musicians beating away at their drums all the way to the archway they built for us on the beach.
These drums must have a special hollow core that allows for the sound to permeate across the entirety of the island because it drew about 34 half-naked international beach goers to our ceremony.
So much for romantic and secluded.
The way I’m describing this may have you thinking it was disastrous, but it wasn’t.
It was imperfectly perfect.
And even though we were both somewhat mortified, we came to the Maldives for one reason, and it was to express to one another, through our own vows, how much we mean to each other.
Now, enough of the lovey dovey stuff. Let’s talk about what these dreamy islands have to offer.
First things first, Maldives = luxury = e x p e n s i v e.
If this place is somewhere you want to travel to, which you all should, make sure you know this going into it. We decided to splurge and go for the Sunset Jacuzzi Water Villa where we had not 1 but 2 bathtubs overlooking the crystal blue ocean and our own personal dock to jump into the water whenever we pleased.
Because we got married here I kind of felt like royalty from day 1. Every person that worked here knew who we were from the moment we stepped off the 45 minute speed ferry from the airport. All week they referred to us as ‘306’ (AKA our bungalow number) but then the staff we got to know closely, like Ricky & Jenah, called us Mr. Andy Best and Mrs. Samantha Meg.
We spent most days being lazy, reading in the sun with the occasional swim out to sand bars that formed and trying to not find ourselves swimming with the baby sharks. They’re harmless but, as Andy kept saying “Where there’s baby sharks, there’s mama sharks”.
The resort we stayed at offers an entire sports package with snorkeling, diving, paddle boarding & that jumpsuit contraption where you have a jet pack on and can walk on water. We decided to just sit back, relax, and sometimes pinch ourselves that we were even here.
The Maldives were an absolute gem of a place to start our year of travel. We came, we saw, we conquered. And checking ‘Marry Andy in the Maldives’ is, by far, my most proud accomplishment to date.