Caribbean

Weddings with a Beach View

written by | Posted on June 1st, 2010

sandy lane This resort in Barbados has been home to some of the most high-profile weddings in the Caribbean, and it’s not hard to see why its wedding planners have catered to the stars. Its expansive property offers brides and grooms spectacular locations for ceremonies as well as receptions, with both traditional beachfront venues and regal event spaces with balconies that look out across its manicured gardens, pools and waterfalls. After the ceremony, wedding guests can indulge in meals from the same team that’s given Sandy Lane a reputation for fine cuisine—an especially impressive feat on an island renowned for its fine dining options—with wedding menus that combine European classics like foie gras, with Bajan flavors like blue marlin and rum cake. Sandy Lane weddings are in themselves beautiful events, but it’s the facilities for pre-wedding prepping and relaxing that really give the resort an edge. The Sandy Lane Villa—accommodating up to 14 in its five bedrooms—offers guests their own private pool, jacuzzi and service staff like butlers and chefs. The resort’s Green Monkey golf course makes for a perfect groomsmen’s afternoon, while the 47,000-sq.-ft. spa offers brides and their attendants soothing treatments, as well as a hydrotherapy pool, ice cave and crystal laconium. It’s the perfect spot for a girls’ getaway with manicures and pedicures, or even for a pre- or post-wedding couple’s massage to soothe away the stresses of any overbearing in-laws or crazy great aunts. Rack rates start at $1,000 per room per night.

sandals royal caribbean resort & private island On any given day, at any given Sandals resort, you’re likely to find a picturesque wedding taking place. So what makes the Royal Caribbean property in Montego Bay, Jamaica, so special? It’s the exotic feel of its exceptional amenities. Brides, grooms and guests alike can book suites with steps descending right into the swimming pool, or rooms with patios that sit right on the beach. Clients find day beds at every turn—along the beach, around the pool—for the ultimate in waterside relaxation. And when it comes to the wedding itself, few properties in the Caribbean boast as many venues—two gazebos set on piers above the ocean, a long stretch of beach, and, of course, the property’s private island, accessible only by boat. With its own private beach, pier, restaurant, pool, bar and live entertainment, the island is an ideal place for the ceremony, the reception, the after-party—or all three. Complementing Sandals Royal Caribbean’s natural assets is Sandals’ new additions to its wedding packages, designed by Martha Stewart. Similar to the packages designed by event designer Preston Bailey, the new packages include all the basics needed for a ceremony. But it’s the decorative themes that set them apart with six different options that use seashells, local flowers, traditional roses and more to personalize every element of that most special occasion. The basic Martha Stewart wedding package is included with a stay of six nights or more; other packages start at $1,500. Room rates at Sandals Royal Caribbean start at $348 pp per night.

la samanna There’s a breezy sophistication to French St. Martin, stemming from its blend of Caribbean landscapes and European culture. Both ingredients are loaded with romance but combine them in a place like La Samanna—an Orient-Express boutique property boasting one of the most picturesque locations on the island—and wedding couples are guaranteed to fall in love all over again. Ceremony sites here range from a garden courtyard to a pool terrace with panoramic views of the sea, as well as Baie Longue beach for sunset ceremonies. Afterwards, wedding guests can dance the night away in the Caribbean-themed Rendezvous Pavilion or enjoy a more low-key night on the Beach Bar Deck. And that’s just the beginning. From custom menus to floral arrangements, professional photo services and even personalized wedding favors, the resort staff can take clients’ wishes and turn them into reality. And when guests aren’t attending wedding festivities, they’ll find themselves at one of St. Martin’s most exclusive resort properties, with rooms looking out to the ocean and amenities like balconies and marble baths. Baie Royale is the property’s honeymoon suite, perfect for just-married couples with three balconies, and an oversized bathroom with a private plunge pool. Small wedding parties can rent the La Samanna villas, with up to four bedrooms and private infinity pools, as well as babysitting services available for any younger wedding guests who can’t party all night long. Villa rates start at $2,500 per villa per night; regular room rates start at $495 per room per night.