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Wedding

Firstly, we want to clarify a valid question a couple of people have asked:

“You are planning it so far away, do you really want anyone there?”

Yes!  If you’ve made it to this page, we would love to have you at our wedding.  Having you there would make our special day even more special.  Seriously, we only invited people we think are awesome. We are getting married in the Sahara because this trip is a lifelong dream for us, not just because we are anti-social.

We created this webpage to provide what we hope is helpful information.  We’ll update it as we learn more, so check back every so often.  Updates are posted at the bottom of this page.

Location:

Azougui, Mauritania – the Sahara

November 15th, 2014

Wedding stuff:

  • Please RSVP to Justine at justinesu@yahoo.com.
  • Feel free to bring a friend, special friend, or random stranger – just tell us how many. If you’d like us to try and connect you with other friends who might be coming, let us know.
  • No presents please. But if you feel a burning desire, a couple of alternatives:
    • Passing along a few school supplies (pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners, chalk, white board markers etc.) or fun things (stickers, bouncy balls, inflatable soccer balls, etc.) that we can give as gifts to the teachers and children, would be treasured for a very long time.
    • Or, if you are so inclined, a donation to a charity we support http://www.developafrica.org/ would also be appreciated.  They are trying to raise money for 42 computers for a Sierra Leonian school.  We are funding one, and we plan to stop Sierra Leone by in our travels to see them in action!
    • But really, please don’t feel obliged.  We really just want your happy thoughts for us!

Getting there:

  • There are flights into Nouakchott from Paris, Casablanca and perhaps some other airports.  From there it’s about a 8 hour ride in a bush taxi (sealed road) to Azougui.  We will get you from Nouakchott to Azougui.  Our wedding planner, Alouine, has said he will help arrange this transport, or you can wing it on your own.  If more than one of you is awesome enough to turn up, we’ll let you know in case you want to hook up – you might make some new best friends!
  • There used to be flights from Paris to Atar, which is 6 miles from Azougui, but are suspended during the off season. It’s rumored they will be starting up again in October, so could be worth checking.
  • Mauritania borders Morocco/Western Sahara and Senegal – which could be a fun detour for you. Of course, a stop over in Paris is never a bad idea…

Visas:  You will require a valid passport and a visa for entry into Mauritania. We recommend that you arrange the visa in advance through a Mauritanian Embassy.  The easiest and safest way to do it is through a visa travel agency as there is a bit of documentation required. We are checking out a San Francisco company travelvisapro.com. Stay tuned on this.  You’ll want to start a couple of months in advance as it requires your passport to be sent off.

Things to do:

  • Camel rides
  • 4×4 adventures
  • Look at big rocks (and lots of little ones, aka “sand”)

Now, prepare for the caveats:

  • This is an adventure! This is not a spa vacation (however, if a spa exists in Mauritania, you can be sure I will find it and let you know).
  • You may be the only person(s) there. We have planned very carefully and will do everything in our power to be there in plenty of time, but there is a minute possibility that even we won’t be there as we’ll be driving overland, down from Ireland.  But rest assured, regardless of whether we are or not, we have been told by our wedding planner that it will be the “feast of the year!”
  • No doubt your trip will be mentally and physically exhausting.  Expect the unexpected. Bring patience. Be prepared for both chaos and infuriating slowness.
  • The wedding will be simple.  We won’t be arriving on a horse and carriage (maybe a camel), there won’t be violins (but we will have a band) or fancy appetizers, dinner may be stew. But you will get to experience a (slightly modified) real Mauritanian wedding and meet the lovely people of the village Azougui. You may get to see Rick slaughter a lamb as part of the wedding ritual, and see me do a funny dance.
  • English isn’t widely spoken.  If you know someone that speaks French feel free to bring them.
  • It’s Africa. Get shots (yellow fever documentation required)! Try to stick to bottled water, although the water from desert wells is supposed to be reasonably safe. Don’t count on electricity or hot water.
  • It’s a Muslim country – dress modestly.  No speedos guys (actually, that goes for wherever we get married). Nouakchott does have nice beaches though.
  • Being a Muslim country, it is also somewhat “dry” – not talking about the humidity level folks. There are likely some bars in hotels in Nouakchott, but don’t expect to find much alcohol (if any) in Azougui.
  • We have absolutely no idea if things are going to go to plan.  We may get there and find the village has blown away in a sandstorm.  But no matter what, even if we end up eating instant noodles and suffering from diarrhea, we plan to have a good time, and we hope you do too.

Please contact us by email if you have any questions, suggestions or requests!

Updates

6.1.14 We’ve arranged for transport for guests from Nouakchott to Azougui; and food and accommodation in Azougui, so really, it’s easy!

6.21.14 I checked, there are no spas in Mauritania 🙁

6.22.14 Needed for visa: Passport, 4 passport style photos 2 x 2, copy of yellow fever vaccination, copy of round trip ticket/itinerary, proof of hotel reservation (we can get you a letter via our wedding planner), proof of financial ability (3 months bank statements, can cover up bank account number). We are using this service, mention us to get a discount off the fee ($195 total)

8.20.14 We took our visa docs into the visa office. We were a bit early, they are going to send them off mid-September.

9.1.14 Pictures of our luxury accommodation

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