Whether you are looking for the perfect spot to exchange or renew your vows or the perfect place to share the romance of your honeymoon, the U.S. Virgin Islands has you covered. They offer beautiful white sand beaches, gorgeous sunsets, intimate inns, beach resorts, private villas, great dining and more. There are four islands to research and consider; St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John and Water Island.
Your wedding in the U.S. Virgin Islands can be outdoors; perhaps beneath a palm tree or beside a trellis decorated in tropical flowers. It can be indoors at a church or in a historic synagogue. You can walk down an aisle of grass to a historic sugar mill ruin, or your aisle can be on the deck of a yacht with the beautiful blue ocean surrounding you and your guests. The choices are largely romantic but can also be adventurous! How about an underwater ceremony next to a coral reef? It’s been done; in fact in 2003 a couple had an underwater wedding at Rainbow Beach on St. Croix with a record 103 guests – waterproof guest book and all. The U.S. Virgin Islands are certainly perfect for a wet wedding; however the most popular weddings in the U.S. Virgin Islands are on land. The preferred location, on the beach!
Whether on land, on a boat or under the sea, the wedding license application process in the U.S. Virgin Islands is pretty simple. Request an application from the Superior Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands at (340) 774-6680 for a wedding on St. Thomas or St. John; and (340) 778-9750 for a wedding on St. Croix. After the Court receives a completed application, there is a required eight-day waiting and processing period, which can be waived depending on circumstances. If either party is divorced, he or she must have a certified copy of the divorce decree or a notarized affidavit stating when the divorce was granted. The marriage can be performed by a judge in the Court or by a member of the clergy.
All the services needed to put together your special wedding day in the U.S. Virgin Islands are available. There are florists to prepare lovely arrangements with your favorite flowers, and perhaps you might have a few island flowers added. Caterers will put together a tasty reception. Musicians and DJ’s can provide Caribbean music like steel pan, reggae and soca or you can provide them with a list of your favorites! Photographers and videographers are available to capture every detail, and to help bring it all together there are experienced wedding planners.
Tips for your Island Wedding
We caught up with Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings on St. John; and Kelly Greer, photographer and asked them for destination wedding tips. Mary focused on the details and said be sure to “discuss with your wedding planner your flowers – colors, style, variety, ribbon color”, also talk about “the site for the ceremony” and the wedding cake “flavor of the cake, filling and icing”. As the wedding date gets closer she reminds that necessary alterations on wedding attire, for both the bride and the groom, should be completed. And once on island she suggests a relaxing salon and spa appointment, and added that brides should remember to pack a button down shirt for the salon appointment. What a great suggestion, wouldn’t want to pull a t-shirt over your head after having your hair and makeup done.
Vacationing in the U.S. Virgin Islands is synonymous with the beach, and with time spent on the beach come tan lines or possibly a sun burn. One of Kelly’s first tips covered just that, she said “wear a bathing suit that matches the neckline of your wedding gown. Pass this tip to the bridesmaids too.” A good pointer since having the photographer touch up all your images to remove the odd tan lines can come at additional artwork fees. For preventing sunburn Kelly says “SPF 30 is a must! The Caribbean sun is very strong and can sneak up on you.” Sunset is a popular time of day for island weddings and Kelly reminds that the sun sets very quickly in the U.S. Virgin Islands and to check what time the sun sets for the month you are planning to get married. She said: “have the ceremony at least an hour, if not 90 minutes before sunset to allow time for formal photography afterward”. And one more tip from Kelly that many might not think of, you must be in proper attire when going to the courthouse for your marriage license, shoulders must be covered.
Both Mary and Kelly noted that once on island you’ve got to let go and relax, don’t try to please everyone or you’ll exhaust yourself. Relax, have fun and enjoy your wedding day!
ST. JOHN OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
Includes 200 full color photos
St. John off the Beaten Track is your guide to the beaches, trails and hidden attractions of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Find quiet beaches, the best snorkeling spots and abandoned sugar estates. Learn about the islands history, geology, culture, people, ecology, plants and animals. National Park trails include detailed maps, information on historic ruins, and description on natural environment along the trails. Off trail adventures are also explored including secluded shorelines, pristine seasonal streams in the mountains (also known on island as guts), fresh water pools, seasonal waterfalls and more.
This is a must have book for every visitor going to St. John, and also for every resident. The information is excellent; you will learn, laugh and be intrigued by the wealth of details shared on the treasures and secrets of exploring St. John.