WEDDINGS

tropical destination wedding ideas

HOW TO PLAN AN ISLAND DESTINATION WEDDING

If you’ve been following my series of posts about my recent trip to Palm Island and have been tempted by the thought of a dream Caribbean wedding, today I’m sharing my top five tips for planning a destination island wedding at Palm Island Resort; 

GET YOUR TIMING RIGHT 

The best time to travel to St Vincent and the Grenadines is May-June and November. Daytime temperatures rarely drop from an average of 30 degrees, but you’ll avoid hurricane season and the hordes of European and US holidaymakers that head to the Caribbean for winter and summer sun during the rest of the year. 

During these months you’ll also find great deals on flights and accommodation; and stay over 13 nights at Palm Island and they’ll even include a complimentary wedding ceremony (with up to 6 guests). Be aware that flights, especially to the smaller islands, may be limited to certain days and routes so you’ll need to be flexible! Palm Island is accessed by boat from Union Island flights running from St Lucia every day except Wednesday, so don’t forget to factor this in to your travel plans. 

ORGANISE THE LOGISTICS AHEAD OF TIME 

The legalities of getting married in the Caribbean vary from island to island, but in St Vincent and the Grenadines all couples must arrive in the country at least 48 hours before applying for their marriage licence on the island of St Vincent. This is a unique opportunity to explore the main island of this archipelago, but does require an overnight stay which needs to be factored in to your trip! The Elite team is on hand to help organise travel and accommodation, and I’d suggest starting your trip here and completing the paperwork before heading to Palm Island so you can fully relax and enjoy the pre-wedding excitement when you arrive. 

You’ll also need to consider the travel plans of your suppliers – from flowers and photographer to the minister or officiant, they’ll all need to be flown over to Union Island and take the boat across the water to Palm Island Resort so you’ll want to factor this in to your timings and probably bring décor, flowers and details in ahead of time to ensure they arrive safely! 

DELAYS ARE (ALMOST) INEVITABLE 

When planning a wedding it’s easy to go all military over the timing and details, but when planning an island wedding you’ll need to learn to let go!  

The night before our return trip a massive storm passed over the island, bringing gale-force winds and torrential rain that not only kept us awake, but also delayed the inter-island flights throughout the region. Watching the plane land on the island, and the rest of the flight, was quite an experience!  Thankfully our travel agent had built in a long layover to negate any delays, so we were able to relax and not worry about missing our connection back to the UK! 

If this had been on the outbound leg, with guests arriving and wedding suppliers booked, I can imagine just how stressful this may seem. But on the plus-side, Palm Island only accept a limited number of wedding bookings a year so the team can be super flexible with the timings to ensure your day goes ahead as planned (even if it means moving the ceremony by a few hours, or from a windy beach location to a more sheltered side of the island) 

 

EMBRACE THE LOCAL STYLE & DÉCOR 

If your Caribbean dream wedding conjures up images of a simple white beach ceremony under shady palm fronds and endless blue skies then Palm Island will certainly not disappoint. For intimate weddings, elopements and vow renewals, simple décor using local conch shells, flowers and foliage is the perfect choice, echoing the fuss-free natural environment. 

For larger celebrations, the local environment provides limitless inspiration – it may be harder to source specific flowers, linens and details, but don’t let that put you off! Anything is possible, say the team! With a little time, determination, and dollars in your budget, they can fly in flowers from the greenhouses of lush Barbados, ship linens from the UK or US and even carve you a wine cooler from the trunk of a palm tree! 

DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT BY THE HEAT 

This part of the world gets HOT, so there’s no point in planning a midday ceremony. You and your guests will be a sweaty mess! While Palm Island offers a gorgeous beach gazebo or bamboo pergola draped with linens to provide some shade, consider an early morning or late afternoon ceremony when it’s cooler (and the light is softer for more romantic, dreamy photography too!)  

For larger wedding parties, I would absolutely recommend hosting your ceremony on the shady veranda of Sea Feather Villa, overlooking the most idyllic stretch of sandy white beach away from the main resort. It’s near the spa, giving you the perfect excuse for some pre-wedding pampering before heading down the aisle to your awaiting guests with that glittering turquoise sea providing the perfect backdrop. 

Suppliers

Louise

After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

You’ll also find me working as an Editorial Stylist, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as contributing as a founding member of bridal inspiration hub Aisle Society, and running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive from our super pretty base in London. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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