Whether its vows with ‘wows’, a ro­man­tic ren­dezvous for two or a love is­land à deux, you’ll find ro­mance in the air

Your Guide to the Caribbean - - Contents -

Soft pow­dery sands, stun­ning sun­sets, lux­ury over-the-wa­ter suites and lush trop­i­cal hide­aways; the Caribbean pro­vides the per­fect stage for an idyl­lic wed­ding cer­e­mony or ro­man­tic hon­ey­moon.

Ex­change your vows on a lux­ury yacht in Saint Lu­cia, or be­side a thun­der­ing wa­ter­fall in St. Kitts, or per­haps a Mayan tem­ple in Belize could be the set­ting? Af­ter­wards, laze in a ham­mock for two, while sip­ping chilled cham­pagne - de­liv­ered by zip-wire, of course.

Bare­foot chic

Stroll hand-in-hand along some of the world’s most iconic white-sand beaches – or per­haps one that’s pretty in pink? You’ll find them at Har­bour Is­land and Eleuthera in The Ba­hamas, Crane Beach, Bar­ba­dos, and Low Bay, Bar­buda – and you won’t need rose-tinted glasses.

Grand Cay­man’s Seven Mile Beach ex­tends as far as the eye can see and there are pris­tine un­spoilt beaches in Ja­maica, An­guilla, Gre­nada, Bar­ba­dos, Cu­raçao and Tobago. Haiti also boasts some lesser-known gems.

What can be more ro­man­tic than a pri­vate love is­land? Palm Is­land and Pe­tit St Vin­cent, both in the beau­ti­ful Gre­nadines, of­fer a unique ro­man­tic es­cape. Palm Is­land is mo­bile phone­free (Wi-fi only in the lobby), so there will be ab­so­lutely no dis­trac­tions.

Big-day back­drops

Ev­ery­one wants their big day to go smoothly. Thank­fully in the Caribbean, there are a plethora of wed­ding plan­ners on hand to en­sure that your big day goes with­out a hitch.

Ho­tels and re­sorts of all cat­e­gories of­fer an abun­dance of wed­ding pack­ages and many in­clude ex­tras such as a free overnight stay, a wed­ding cake or a pho­tog­ra­pher.

Be­fore choos­ing your is­land or coun­try, check the le­gal re­quire­ments for get­ting wed, as some re­quire more pa­per­work than oth­ers. Min­i­mum res­i­dency pe­ri­ods also vary.

An­tigua is one of the many is­lands that does not re­quire a pre-res­i­dency pe­riod be­fore the big day. And spe­cial wed­ding and hon­ey­moon pack­ages are avail­able dur­ing its ‘June is Ro­mance Month’ pro­mo­tion.

In Do­minica, Gre­nada, and sis­ter is­lands Pe­tite Mar­tinique and Car­ri­a­cou, UK cou­ples must stay 24 hours be­fore they can ap­ply for a li­cence to marry. On St. Eus­tatius, it’s at least three weeks’ no­tice be­fore the big day.

Once the is­land has been cho­sen, and the date set, there’s the venue to

de­cide upon, and there’s a stun­ning va­ri­ety of back­drops to choose from. How about a lux­ury yacht? Or an over­the-wa­ter wed­ding chapel with the sea lap­ping all around you (avail­able at San­dals’ South Coast Ja­maica and Grande St Lu­cian, Saint Lu­cia). San­dals’ Aisle to Isle wed­ding pack­ages of­fers a myr­iad of other op­tions too.

His­toric wed­ding venues to choose from on St. Eus­tatius in­clude his­toric Fort Oranje (built in 1636), the Dutch Re­formed Church and The Miriam C. Smith Botan­i­cal Gar­dens.

Cou­ples stay­ing at Cap Mai­son, Saint Lu­cia, can marry on a clifftop, a se­cluded sandy beach, lux­ury yacht or on a roof-top ter­race. They can also have ex­clu­sive use of the re­sort. Wed­ding pack­ages in­clude cel­e­brant and cer­e­mony para­pher­na­lia, and cham­pagne can be de­liv­ered via zip-line for the re­cep­tion af­ter­wards.

The At­lantis Re­sort in The Ba­hamas of­fers 15 cer­e­mony venues and a host of wed­ding-pack­age op­tions and Am­re­sorts have all-in­clu­sive re­sorts in Ja­maica, Cu­raçao and Puerto Rico, of­fer­ing wed­ding and hon­ey­moon pack­ages, as do Su­per­clubs, with re­sorts in Ja­maica and The Ba­hamas.

A tra­di­tional Jewish wed­ding is avail­able at the syn­a­gogue in Cu­raçao; the only syn­a­gogue op­er­at­ing in the Caribbean – how­ever, you’ll have to ap­ply to the city coun­cil a year in ad­vance and prove that you are Jewish.

And for the truly ad­ven­tur­ous cou­ple, how about an un­der­wa­ter wed­ding in the Cay­man Is­lands?

Hon­ey­moon hide­aways

Bou­tique bolt­holes, all-in­clu­sive re­sorts and lux­ury ho­tels pro­vide plenty of choice for all bud­gets.

Chauf­feured Rolls-royce air­port trans­fers are in­cluded for cou­ples stay­ing in the top suites at San­dals’ Royal Bar­ba­dos, which opened in late 2017. The all-suite re­sort also fea­tures mil­lion­aire suites, sky-pool suites and swim-up suites, some with their own pri­vate pool and hot tubs.

The bou­tique Sil­ver­sands Gre­nada, a mem­ber of Lead­ing Ho­tels of the World, be­came the Spice Isle’s lat­est luxe hotspot when it opened on Grand Anse Beach in early 2018. Its 43 suites and nine vil­las of­fer min­i­mal­ist de­sign and ‘un­der­stated lux­ury’, plus there’s a spa of­fer­ing lo­cally-in­spired treat­ments, art­works from the owner’s pri­vate col­lec­tion, and the Caribbean’s long­est pool at 100-me­tres.

Ne­vis has count­less plan­ta­tion house ho­tels that are per­fect for cou­ples want­ing to chill. Or twin a stay on the is­land with time on nearby St. Kitts, where the 126-room Park Hy­att opened on Ba­nana Bay in late 2017.

El­e­gant Ho­tels’ first An­tigua ho­tel, the all-suite and villa Hodges Bay, opens in 2018 in a se­cluded set­ting. •

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