NUP­TIALS IN PAR­ADISE

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

To bor­row from the real es­tate mavens: “Lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion.” It turns out that the no­tion holds true when plan­ning a wed­ding. Suf­fice it to say that not for noth­ing is our chunk of par­adise, with its ex­otic beauty, un­spoiled nat­u­ral her­itage sites and stun­ning scenery, among the world’s lead­ing wed­ding and hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tions.

The Saint Lu­cia Tourist Board is well aware of the is­land’s as­sets, a fact that inspired it to host for the third time the an­nual “Saint Lu­cia Love Elated Wed­ding Sym­po­sium, from Septem­ber 23rd to 27th. The event drew wed­ding plan­ners from around the world, as well as the re­gion.

The aim was to demon­strate how the SLTB and its part­ners pro­vide has­sle-free wed­dings in par­adise. Mr. Louis Lewis, the di­rec­tor of the board, spoke of the ease of ar­rang­ing a mar­riage here, Saint Lu­cia’s per­fect po­si­tion­ing on the global mar­ket, and the over­all po­ten­tial for “ro­mance tourism.”

Not al­to­gether sur­pris­ingly, Mr. Louis proved some­what ret­i­cent on the sub­ject of same-sex wed­dings. The most he would say, and with a smile from here to there, was: “All are welcome,” at any rate, when it comes to hon­ey­moon­ing.

Events com­menced on Pi­geon Is­land with in­tro­duc­tory speeches kept de­lib­er­ately short so that in­vi­tees could then eat, drink, dance to the DYP Band and make merry.

More speeches, pre­sen­ta­tions and net­work­ing took place at the John­son’s Event Cen­tre the next day. Louis Lewis en­joyed yet another op­por­tu­nity to tell the gath­er­ing why Saint Lu­cia is the premier wed­ding and hon­ey­moon des­ti­na­tion. “Re­quire­ments are ex­tremely easy,” he said. “Saint Lu­cia is now one of the eas­i­est places in which to get mar­ried. No res­i­dency; trop­i­cal wed­dings can take place within 24 hours of ar­rival, pro­vid­ing proper doc­u­men­ta­tion like the same day li­cense is in place. Mar­riage li­cense re­quire­ments are su­per easy and cou­ples can be mar­ried within a few hours.”

Satur­day was the ‘big day’ with a mock wed­ding although the hap­pi­ness was gen­uine. The spec­ta­cle took place on The Pearl sail­ing ship with the Pitons as the back­drop. The wed­ding party and en­tourage then sailed north while danc­ing the night away to the melo­di­ous sounds of a lo­cal folk group. Pho­to­graphs by Daniel Mar­cian.

”I feel so happy that I could fly!”

“I’ll be at your side for­ever.”

“My love for you is as high as the Pitons.”

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