The Caribbean endures as a top pick for destination weddings for dozens of reasons. For starters, you can find an island to suit every mood and pocketbook, your guests are guaranteed a great time, and the beaches are as perfect as you've imagined. Read on to find which island is best for you.
This collection of 700 islands has something for every taste -- enjoy complete privacy by renting your own island, or host hundreds of your favorite people at a megaresort. Nassau and Paradise Island are two of the most visited and activity-packed destinations, while more remote areas such as Harbor Island and the Exumas tend to feel more laid-back. And since the Bahamas are just a 35-minute plane trip from Florida, it's an easy journey for guests.
Sure, there's world-class diving in the Cayman Islands. But that's far from the only thing these isles have going for them. Boasting one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean, the Caymans are some of the best Caribbean islands because they take great restaurants, trendy boutiques and even yoga studios, give them a dose of Caribbean flair, and welcome you to indulge. All the attributes that make Grand Cayman one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean also make it one of the busiest, meaning a number of cruise ships could be docked at any given day. If you want to marry here, be sure to ask about cruise-ship schedules and plan accordingly.
This popular isle boasts a winning combo of barefoot island life and stiletto-heeled, sexy glamour. Situated below the hurricane belt, the island is a true stunner, with an arid interior of cacti and twisted dividivi trees, as well as a coastline of silky-soft sand that seems to glow against the aquamarine water. Ever-present trade winds draw windsurfers and kitesurfers, who race and whirl across — and above — the sea like dancing marionettes.
“Life’s a beach” is a popular expression in Antigua, and it’s easy to see why. With 365 beaches on an island that only spans 14 miles in length, you are almost guaranteed to not be bored with the selection of sand. Whether you want to explore seldom-seen coves or people watch, this meandering coastline produces many more options to choose from than there are days to your vacation. With warm, constant trade winds and a protective harbor, the island is also a hub for snorkelers, divers, and sailors. Antigua even hosts world Sailing Week, which draws yachters from around the world.
St. Thomas & St. John
The US Virgin Islands may be one of the most hassle-free places to have a Caribbean destination wedding. There are lots of direct flights to St. Thomas (and St. John is a short ferry ride away), airfare is usually competitive, the US dollar is the official currency, and you should have great cell phone service. St. Thomas can sometimes feel a bit crowded, since it's a main stop on the itineraries of many cruise lines, and it's quite developed for the Caribbean. But it's nonetheless brimming over with natural beauty. St. John, while a bit harder to reach, is more rugged, unspoiled, and higher-end, with fewer big resorts.
The concept of the all-inclusive resort was founded here, and the sprawling properties in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios live up to the legacy, including all types of water sports, gourmet restaurants, fun nightlife, incredible beaches, and romantic extras like champagne at check-in, private beach dinners -- even free weddings with a minimum nights' stay. But Jamaica isn't just about all-inclusive resorts. Even in MoBay and Ochi you'll find a surprising number of small, serene properties tucked into tiny crescents of beach or perched atop mountains. Negril is the island's hippest enclave, with a string of boutique resorts lining the cliffs on the west coast. Port Antonio is a three-hour drive from the airport, but its quiet beaches, cascading waterfalls and rustic, cushy retreats are locked in a languid time warp that celebrates the abundance of nature from mountain to sea.
Turks & Caicos
Less developed and more upscale than much of the Caribbean, this collection of 40 islands, eight of which are inhabited, has an intimate feel. Many of the islands are surrounded by a natural reef, making the turquoise waters just offshore clean, calm, and full of sea life. The islands are also relatively easy to reach, since you can fly direct from a number of US cities to Providenciales, the main island.
Ready to step into a postcard? Head to St. Lucia, where the towering twin Piton mountains leave just enough room at their base to create a rim of curvy sapphire bays. Villages like Soufriere, Marigot Bay, Rodney Bay and Castries are lined with lively bars and restaurants; on Friday nights, find a "jump up" in one of the smaller enclaves for a fun, casual meal of grilled fish and local beer.Beach weddings are an option, of course, but since many of St. Lucia's resorts have the feel of mountain aeries (rooms at resorts like Ladera and Jade Mountain are designed with just three walls, so you can drink in the incredible views without any boundaries), consider a wedding in the clouds, with the misty mountains in the distance.
St. Lucia's beauty is well appreciated by boat. Whether you choose to take a day cruise with your wedding party or say your vows aboard a rented yacht with the island as your backdrop, the sights along St. Lucia's scalloped coast are breathtaking