Planning a wedding at the Serena Beach Hotel and Spa
Bookings for weddings should be made as early as possible (the hotel reserves the right to accept wedding reservations to a maximum of two per day). We regret that we cannot accept reservations between December 24th and January 4th, nor can we accept reservations over Easter or on any other public holiday (please consult our wedding planner for specific dates).
It is not necessary for our couples to visit any Kenyan authorities - all the arrangements will be done by the hotel. In order that a legal ceremony be carried out by a Kenyan registrar, however, the following documents must be sent to us (faxed or as email attachments) at least a month before the wedding.
- Copies of birth certificate of the bride and groom
- Copies of passports for bride and groom
- Details of profession of bride, groom and parents from both sides
- Documents of eligibility from their local parish (should one of them be a divorcee a copy of the DECREE ABSOLUTE is required)
In order to comply with official requirements, a copy of a letter requesting his/her presence at the event must be received by the registrar three working days before the wedding ceremony. This must include the signatures of both the bride and groom. We therefore require all couples to arrive in the hotel a minimum of three days before the ceremony.
There are five different locations for the wedding within the grounds of the hotel. Upon arrival, we invite our couples to tour the options with our wedding planner and make their own choice.
The bridal bouquet
We typically offer either a traditional teardrop bouquet or a posy (round), the colours of which can be themed to match the bridal theme. We suggest the following type of flowers: roses, carnations, lilies (seasonal), Enthuriums or Lysianthus.
The hotel has its own beauty salon and hairdressing salon, both of which have considerable experience in presenting bridal ‘looks'. We would suggest that the bride hold consultations with both hairdresser and beautician before the big day. Our exclusive ‘Maisha' Spa will provide the couple with their own private suite and selection of pre-event massages and holistic relaxation therapies.
Our standard wedding package includes a romantic dinner for two at our exclusive Jihazi Grill, which is styled to resemble a Swahili dhow and is located right on the shoreline. It also includes a honeymoon breakfast for two on the beach. We will also be delighted to provide other private dining options to suit our couples.
Music and dancing
Should couples require music or dancing at the event - the choices are as follows:
Our resident guitarist, who will be colourfully attired in traditional coastal costume and will serenade you with gentle melodies.
Giriama dancers: the main ethnic coastal group, the Giriama are famed for their dancing skills. A welcoming and joyous people, their inclusion in the ceremony will provide colour, excitement and celebration as well as superb photo-opportunities.
CDs: we will be delighted to play your supplied CDs of wedding music and will provide the necessary sound system (at additional cost). If required, we can also supply CDs of local traditional music.
The social venue of choice on the Kenyan coast, we offer an unrivalled range of professional banqueting services, as well as a wide range of venues for your reception. Our dedicated stand-alone event centre is presented in the style of an Arabic fortress, built from coral, set in its own gardens and featuring a central Persian garden. It also offers a selection of beautifully presented rooms and a picturesque garden terrace where pre-event cocktails can be served. We can also present a Swahili Banquet in the grounds, complete with palm bowers and typically colourful Swahili presentation; as well as many other options. Please consult with our wedding planner to select the perfect reception for you.
Family and friends
We will be delighted to offer preferential accommodation rates for family and friends. We understand, however, that some of your guests may be resident locally, or staying in other hotels. Should this be the case, we will be delighted to welcome your wedding party, but would appreciate details on numbers before the event (in order that we might make the correct preparations for their reception). You should also advise your guests that they will be required to pay for any services (meals, drinks etc) other than those included in your own wedding arrangements.
On the day
The hotel will arrange for the Registrar to be transferred from Mombasa to the hotel (and back again after the ceremony). We will also arrange for the flowers to be delivered to the bride and groom. The wedding venue will be set up with a decorated palm arch and flowers, there will also be a bridal desk (for the signing of the register) and two bridal chairs for the couple - plus seating for the registrar and other guests. The cake and champagne will be served at the wedding venue (after the ceremony). Witnesses can be provided if required (who will also shower the couple with rose petals after the ceremony). The photographer will be present throughout.
Wedding photography and DVDs
Photographs and negatives are included. The photos will be 4 x 6 inches; presented in an album.
Our DVDs are filmed and edited by professionals. The DVD will run for 30 to 45 minutes and will include footage prior, during and after the ceremony together with images of the grounds, beach and hotel. We can also offer additional footage on the coastline, Mombasa or typical ‘safari' images, which can be edited in as part of the cost.