#BRIDALBLOGATHON: ST JAMES’ CLUB ANTIGUA
I’m sill pinching myself that I was actually in the Caribbean a few weeks ago! If you missed my post last week, click here to read all about why I was taking part in the Elite Island Resorts Bridal Blogathon with Kuoni.
I touched down in Antigua on Wednesday 5th May, as soon as I stepped off the plane the warm tropical heat hit me and I was instantly craving a cocktail, or two! After collecting my luggage and clearing passport control, I was met by my wonderful driver, Willy, who took one look at my seriously pale English complexion and insisted I wait in the shade while he went and got the taxi. What a gentleman!
During the journey to the resort which was to be my home for the next 4 days, Willy shared some of his knowledge about this beautiful island, from the cricket, to the 365 beaches (one for each day of the year!), clear blue seas, great shopping in the capital St Johns, partying at Shirley Heights on a Sunday, the history of English Harbor and it’s beautiful colonial buildings plus a wide choice of bars and restaurants… I wasn’t going to be bored with all that going on!
I was looking forward to staying at St James Club Antigua, with its lush tropical grounds, breathtaking ocean views, a selection of family and adult only pools, a spa, fitness center, 5 bars and the list goes on, how did I cope?!
No sooner had I arrived at St James Club, I was met by Alina, one of the Elite Island wedding team and the lovely Kelly from Boho Bride. We were off to observe a ceremony that was taken place in the Hibiscus Gazebo, located on the Atlantic side of the resort and has an amazing view of the ocean. Unsurpisingly its one of their couples’ favourite locations!
Whilst witnessing the wedding, Kelly and I had a chat with Alina about why couples choose to get married in Antigua. Well, what better than starting your new life together as a married couple in an elegant, romantic, tropical setting of course! It was clear from our chat that most couples opt for a Caribbean wedding in order to have guaranteed sunny weather, relax in the idyllic scenery and escape the drama that can come from arranging a wedding back home. The Elite wedding team in St James Club are on hand to arrange your dream wedding from the colour of your bouquet, the flavor of your cake, which of their 4 ceremony locations to choose from and assisting with the legal process.
Over the next three days, I had a busy schedule which included visiting a further two Elite Island resorts to meet their wedding teams, observe weddings and a sneaky spa treatment squeezed in here and there.
First up was Galley Bay, an intimate and romantic resort that primarily features rooms overlooking white sand and breathtaking views. Set on a tranquil west side of the coast, it offers forty acres of tropical gardens, a beautiful beach, health spa and an ocean front dining restaurant.
Then I visited The Verandah Resort & Spa, which is an eco-friendly, family-friendly resort. Every over-sized suite is exactly the same and features an expansive balcony from which to take in Antigua’s limitless beauty. The Verandah boasts some stunning panoramic views and beautiful backdrops for your wedding.
Regardless of which of these spectacular resorts you chose to hold your special day, the wedding coordinators here are incredible. Not only do they reassure you that everything will be handled with in the most respectful, caring and special way, but they are on hand to discuss and customise your wedding.
Tempted? Of course you are! While getting married in Antigua is fairly straightforward, there’s a few legal requirements to be aware of…
- To get married in Antigua you need to be present in the country for at least one working day to process the necessary documents.
- Couples will need to visit the Ministry of Justice located on Lower Nevis Street in St John’s with valid passports to complete the application and pay the licence fees. During this appointment they will need to confirm the date and time for the ceremony with a marriage officer.
- Documents required: valid passport, original copy or certified copy of birth certificate, flight tickets or eticket information. If either party has been married previously then they are required to provide the original copy of Decree Absolute or a certified copy. If either party is widowed then a certified or original copy of the previous marriage certificate and death certificate is required. Any documents not in English require a certified translation.
- If you are getting married in Antigua, two witnesses are required.
- If either party has had their name changed by deed poll, legal proof is required which a solicitor or lawyer has certified. This is also the case if a previously married woman has reverted back to her maiden name.
- If either party has been adopted then an original copy of the certificate is required, or a certified copy.
- Caribbean islands do not carry out same sex marriages.
Next week I’ll be sharing my experiences of beautiful Barbados… it’s a tough life. Don’t forget you can follow my trip, and the other bridal blogathon bloggers using the twitter hashtag #bridalblogathon
With special thanks to Mr & Mrs Evans, Mr & Mrs Cooper and Mr & Mrs Bell for allowing us to be a part of their special days and share their beautiful photos!