Anguilla’s posh hotels and villas, discreet staffers, candlelit dining, pampering spa treatments, sublime beaches, and safe vibe all add up to tropical bliss for folks in love. No wonder the island is so popular for weddings and honeymoons, anniversaries, commitment ceremonies, renewal of vows, and even occasion-free canoodling.
What kind of wedding (etc.) can be arranged on Anguilla? Almost anything is possible, because customization is an integral part of the service on this island; the only constants are the high quality of the food, the good will of the islanders, and the beauty of the beaches and the sea. To that end, prices noted in the following examples of weddings in various venues are rough approximations.
◆ Although Anacaona is not directly on the beach, it does offer weddings on Meads Bay Beach as well as in the garden and (two) pool areas, and even at other resorts, if that’s what the couple wants. Most weddings at Anacaona are for parties of between two and 30, but with enough lead time, couples may buy out the entire resort, which can accommodate about 75 guests. The average cost for the reception (again, this is approximate) is less than $100 pp.
◆ The average wedding at Cap Juluca is between 20 and 30, and the average cost is $150/pp plus fees for a minister, entertainment, photographer, florals, other decor, etc., for a sum of approximately $60,000. Weddings at water’s edge on Cap Juluca’s iconic beach are especially popular.
◆ Not surprisingly, many couples opt for weddings on CuisinArt’s beach, but quite a few opt for a ceremony on the terrace or the golf course, with its views of fairways and traps, the beach and sea, and St. Maarten/Martin in the distance. The typical wedding party has between 30 and 70 attendees, and a wedding may cost more than $100,000 if three nights’ accommodations for guests are figured in. A private wedding including a 7-night stay might cost about $7,000.
◆ With only 19 rooms, Frangipani is well-suited to buy-outs, in which case the wedding party has the run of the entire resort, with its two pools, beach, complimentary watersports and restaurant. A 50-person wedding reception generally costs $20,000, including music, decor, and a photographer. Frangipani also hosts many intimate weddings with 2-10 people and milestone anniversary return visits, often with children in tow.
◆ Couples often opt for a sunset wedding at the Viceroy’s Ocean Terrace Wood Deck, which is suspended over the water where Meads Bay and Barnes Bay meet. The typical wedding party has 50-90 guests (70-100 room nights), and the average cost is $500 pp, including a welcome reception or rehearsal dinner, wedding cocktail reception and wedding dinner.
◆ Some couples prefer villa weddings and commitment ceremonies because they offer both privacy and—because of the different villa sizes, settings and combinations available—flexibility. Ricketts Luxury, whose managers have been leaders in Anguilla’s hospitality industry for about 30 years, often arranges for celebrities to buy out all three villas at Long Bay Estates. The couples often get married on the beach, but tents are available if even a secluded beach is not private enough. Also popular for high-end weddings: Villa Paradise, whose 3.5-acre estate is large enough for a wedding party of 75, with guests sleeping at nearby resorts.
How to Get Married in Anguilla
There is normally a 48-hour waiting period between obtaining the license (on a weekday) and actually getting married. Both parties must present proof of citizenship of their resident country: a passport or an original birth certificate accompanied by a photo ID such as a driver’s license. Two witnesses are required. If applicable, a divorce or death certiﬁcate must be presented.
The license costs $284, but if one partner resides in Anguilla for at least 15 days prior to the date of marriage, the cost of the license is $40. For further information, contact the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Judicial Department) in The Valley, Anguilla, (264) 497-2377.