Destination St. ThomasWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort
The Caribbean has long been a destination wedding favorite – and for good reason. There are dozens of unique islands to choose from; each with its own perks, character and stunning ocean views. On a recent trek to the U.S. Virgin Islands, I was introduced to the splendor that is St. Thomas. Aside from the obvious (white sandy beaches and crystal clear water), St. Thomas is ideal for your destination wedding getaway thanks to its friendly English-speaking residents and no-passport-required travel.
My host: Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Beach Resort. It’s a tough tongue twister, but you’ll be singing a lovely tune by the time you’re homeward-bound. The resort recently completed a 48 million-dollar renovation which included, aside from a total room overhaul, two new pools and a gorgeous new spa.
I was lucky enough to try the LAZULE Sea Spa’s signature facial. The Phytomer skincare line embraces the islands with entirely marine-based cosmetics. Because sea water’s essential make up matches our own body’s plasma properties so closely, the products are quickly and efficiently absorbed into the skin.
Frenchman’s Reef was one of the first properties on the island to begin hosting destination weddings and it has since emerged as the forerunner. Options include saying “I do” on a 17th century Dutch battlement and overlooking one of the busiest coves in the Caribbean.
It’s the culturally diverse history of St. Thomas which will keep you and your guests captivated. Take 99 steps up to Blackbeard’s Castle which was built in the 1500’s by pirates, or scuba dive around the surrounding waters in search of one of the 300 ancient shipwrecks. The area is such a hotspot for treasure hunters, new laws had to be implemented to preserve the area’s historical artifacts.
A romantic way to explore the cove is via night canoe. The “canoes” are actually aircraft canopies lined with white LED lights. The fish and sea turtles are attracted to the light and I was able to witness a hawksbill sea turtle surface for air only six inches away. The attraction is immensely popular so book through the resort’s Adventure Center in advance if this is something you want to experience with your guests.
The U.S. Virgin Islands are a great option for destination weddings and honeymooners alike. They are just a short plane ride from Miami and have the cultural perk of ancient seafaring history mixed with the modern amenities you and your guests expect.
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