Enjoy a sneak peak into our Saint Lucia Destination wedding. If you’re considering getting hitched on our favorite island, read about the pros and cons, logistics of planning, and other top Saint Lucia island must-sees.
Our destination wedding on beautiful Saint Lucia was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. And not just because we got married.
Picture saying I do with the crystal blue waves crashing behind you. 16 of your closest friends and family watching from the sand. Then, packing out karaoke restaurants, taking over beach cabanas, and jumping into pools fully clothes. The wine was plentiful!
Out Saint Lucia destination wedding was more than just a wedding, but a week long, island party!
Every ounce of planning and prepping (which, you’ll see wasn’t actually all that much!) was worth it!
The Path Towards our Destination Wedding in Saint Lucia
Funny story: after we got engaged, hubby and I toured traditional Long Island wedding venues and settled on one that was rustic and a little off the beaten path, just like we like it. But as we settled into more of the planning, we found that we were more interested in the honeymoon than in table arrangements.
The money was adding up and I was having major anxiety about being the center of attention. After many, many nights of crying, I realized that my 300 dollar deposit wasn’t worth my happiness. A big wedding wasn’t the experience we were after. So we cancelled in favor of something more us.
And that’s clearly a vacation.
As a former long-distance military couple, our whole relationship is founded on travel. Together, we’ve been to 26 states (and counting) and over 13 countries/territories. Our wedding was a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring it all together.
Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding
You might be wondering if taking the leap and booking your destination wedding is right for you, though.
Benefits of a Destination Wedding
- It’s an Epic Vacation – The entire trip was a party. We joke that after everyone flew home to give us a few days alone, we were sad. Someone was always down for golf, beach lounging, snorkeling, etc. If you want a family vacation vibe, consider a destination wedding.
- It Can Be Cheaper – Depending where your from, a destination wedding can keep more money in your booze fund…umm, pockets. Long Island weddings cost more than my college degree. Since our resort offered a complementary wedding ceremony with a few night’s stay, I basically paid only for my honeymoon.
- It’s Simple and Relaxing – Foregoing unwanted attention and silly tradition for 10 days on the beach…yes please! If you don’t want 100 people staring at you, travel a few hundred or thousand miles away for your wedding!
The Downside of a Destination Wedding
- Size – The biggest bummer with getting hitched abroad, is that not everyone you want to attend can. Unless you’re planning on footing the bill for all, your guests, some important people may not be coming.
- Guests Pay Their Way – Despite saving the money because, yes, wedding guests typically pay their own resort fees, this could ruffle some feathers.
- Potential Legal Hurdles – It’s not illegal to get married abroad, but do your homework. Is your license in English? It may need to be translated and notarized, otherwise. Is there a residency requirement where you’re planning the ceremony? Research the marriage laws of your home country AND the country you’re marrying in.
Our Beautiful and Beachy Saint Lucia Destination Wedding
We chose Saint Lucia for our destination wedding because we both fell in love with the beautiful, wild landscape when we visited during a cruise. Andrew actually proposed during that trip so it seamed apropos.
The resort provided a beautiful backdrop for our wedding (and unlimited booze!), while the island offered no shortage of fun and adventure. Saint Lucia is the perfect balance of both.
Destination Wedding Accommodations in Saint Lucia
There’s no shortage of all inclusive resorts on Saint Lucia. that offer wedding packages We stayed at Sandals La Toc, which is one of three Sandals resorts on the island.
Sandals provided everything wanted in one wedding-themed getaway. Plenty of gorgeous coastline, romantic restaurants, water sports, golf, hiking, and a private suite with champagne breakfast delivered every day. Complementary access to their other two resorts is included, as well as day excursions for snorkeling.
We opted for a butler villa, simply for the convenience. To be honest, it felt a little awkward having a butler, but ours went out of his way to be accommodating. Hand delivered coolers of beer to our 16 person party while lounging on the beach…totally worth it!
Whether you’re paying for a butler suite or a standard room, though, the all inclusive aspect is just that – all inclusive. Anyone at any time can take advantage of the resort’s bars, restaurants, and amenities.
Our Wedding Ceremony
We said our vows over the crashing waves, with 14 of our closest family and friends watching. It was small and intimate, just as we envisioned.
With a three day+ stay, we were given a complementary wedding. If it’s free, it’s for me.
Most of the planning was done over the phone prior to our flight down. It took a short afternoon the day after we arrived to finalize paperwork, approve the ceremony location, and taste cake! Despite being a planner, landing on the island and having so little to do, except relax, was a blessing!
The basic ceremony included the paperwork, officiant, and bride’s bouquet. We opted to pay for photos, while my former florist sister used wild flowers from the bathrooms to create bouquets for my bridesmaids. I kid you not.
The hour long cocktail reception and wedding cake are included, too.
We hosted a private add-on luncheon in a restaurant overlooking the water, as well. Later that night, we took our party to the waves! We booked a beach cruise as a thank you for all of our guests, and it was such a fun way to keep everyone together, celebrating our marriage!
Marriage Licenses and Paperwork
Saint Lucia does not have a residency requirement, though you must be on the island two full days to apply for a standard marriage license (the resort takes care of this). You can pay to expedite your paperwork for a same day license but I’ve heard these are not always available.
Book everything in your maiden name. Flying back to the US with a ticket in a married name (that’s not technically yours yet) and a passport in another won’t please US customs.
As long as your marriage license is in English, the US federal government considers you legally married. I had no issues at social security or applying for a new passport.
The NY State DMV, however, pushed back because Saint Lucia is not a US territory. In the long run, it was concluded that I, clearly, am legally married. If you’re from NY, you’re probably not surprised that the DMV gave me trouble. Having a new social security card helped. I’d recommend doing the paperwork for the feds first, and your state second.
Saint Lucia: Island Highlights
Saint Lucia is one of our favorite islands and it was a clear choice for our destination wedding. Outside of the resort and wedding ceremony, there’s no shortage of picturesque locations to visit and adventure to be had.
As Saint Lucia’s cruise ship terminal, Castries is a hub for shopping, the central market, and plenty of food stops. Castries’ Derek Walcott Square features a 400 year old samaan tree, Saint Lucia’s main Catholic church, and a spot to rest and people watch.
Marigot Bay (and other coastal towns)
Partly accessibly only by ferry, Marigot Bay is a small, scenic harbor. With plenty of waterside dining, it’s the perfect spot to grab lunch or a drink with a view.
Over the last few years, Saint Lucia’s small fishing villages, like Anse la Rey and Canaries, have become more popular with tourists. Offering picturesque beaches, scenic view points, and evening festivals, many of Saint Lucia’s inlets are well worth a visit.
Hike the Pitons
The world famous pair of mountains, Gros and Petite Piton, is the most photographed spot in the Caribbean. Hiking Gros Piton is one of Saint Lucia’s major tourist attractions. The hike, which is fairly uncomplicated, offers breathtaking views of the island.
Related: Hiking Gros Piton in Saint Lucia
Saint Lucia’s sulfer springs is the world’s only drive in volcano. The Soufrier Volcano last erupted over 200 years ago, leaving behind a collapsed volcanic crater. Featuring hot springs, waterfall, and mud bath, it’s no wonder this is a world class attraction.
Saint Lucia is home to quite a few plantations that plant/process bananas in the traditional way. Visit via a group tour or by touring a private estate, like Fond Doux and Balenbouche.
Final Thoughts on a Destination Wedding in Saint Lucia
From hiking the pitons to sun bathing next to a cooler of Piton beer, the island offered all we could want and more.
Wild terrain, traditional agriculture, and authentic fishing villages make Saint Lucia so much more than a beach destination. Of course the gorgeous coastlines don’t hurt.
The balance of both is what makes Saint Lucia perfect for a destination wedding. Say your vows with the gorgeous Caribbean sea crashing behind you. Then add a few extra days of an island adventure honeymoon and you won’t be sorry.
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Are you considering a destination wedding on Saint Lucia? Have you been to the island before? What would you most like to see. Feel free to ask me anything about our destination wedding or our trips to our favorite island!