Anguilla & St. Barths Destination WeddingsWords by Carolyn Steere
(noun) A piece of land surrounded by water.
When considering the islands of the Caribbean, the definition is the only thing they have in common. Each possesses its own charm and personality and choosing the picture-perfect fit for your tropical nuptials can make all the difference. We have two favorites to acquaint you with…the islands of Anguilla and St. Barths. Located in the northeastern Caribbean adjacent to St. Martin, these serene, exotic pieces of heaven have beaches for every mood or whim, culinary scenes that will satisfy the most discriminating palate and stunningly beautiful resorts and villas.
Both take a bit more effort to get to than other Caribbean destinations, which may be why they remain quite exclusive. Many guests arrive through Puerto Rico where Tradewind Aviation provides direct one-hour flights to either island or through St. Martin where you can connect to a ferry or charter flight for the short trip to either island. Regardless, upon your arrival you will be pleased that you made the extra effort.
When planning your wedding away, if you envision an intimate, tranquil location where you and your guests can take a deep breath and leave your cares behind, you will be delighted with the slow pace enjoyed by residents and visitors of Anguilla in the British West Indies.
The recently renovated Malliouhana, with its unique boutique charm, is definitely a location to consider. Upon your arrival, as you receive a warm greeting and refreshing drink, your eyes are immediately drawn to the panoramic view of the teal blue waters of the Caribbean through the white arches in the lobby. The décor is interesting and eclectic – but artfully blended together with the soft hues of the Caribbean. Most guest rooms have ocean views with super comfy beds and enormous verandas where you can lounge away the hours or take in the sunset. When you are ready to dip your toes in some cool water, you can either head to the two-tiered infinity pool accented by bright yellow umbrellas or to one of three beaches just steps below the resort.
As a mid-sized property, smaller weddings are easily accommodated and weddings up to 120 are also doable with a resort buy-out. Most couples choose one of the secluded beaches for their ceremony, but there are many settings with dramatic ocean backdrops you can choose from. Only one wedding per day allows staff to focus on making your wedding dreams a reality.
In contrast to Anguilla, from the moment you step onto the nearby ultra-chic island of St. Barths, you sense a high-energy vibe. This French paradise may encompass only eight square miles, but it is home to fabulous beaches, designer boutiques and is the Caribbean destination where you are most likely to bump into a celebrity.
Here, draw your attention to Le Sereno, a small slice of paradise situated on a picturesque lagoon. The renowned French designer Christian Liaigre’s influence is seen in the exquisite minimalist décor of the rooms, suites and villas where the focus is on the natural beauty of the setting. Samy Ghachem, the General Manager, is a visible presence throughout the day and into the evening – ensuring every aspect of your experience is flawless. Gourmet meals blending French cuisine and local Caribbean flavors are served in the beachfront open-air restaurant. So, from your morning croissant to your evening dessert, you will be in for a culinary delight. The calm, shallow waters outside your door make this the perfect place to enjoy snorkeling, kayaking or learn to kitesurf or paddleboard.
Hosting events are a specialty of Le Sereno and the talented staff delight in planning weddings that are the perfect blend of relaxation, fun and luxury. Le Sereno’s 7,000 square-foot, four-bedroom villas with extraordinary ocean views are perfect for intimate weddings. Larger weddings have multiple on-site options for a ceremony and reception with a resort buy-out.
Once discovered, the enchanting islands of Anguilla and St. Barths tend to beckon guests to return for years to come. Take your pick! These two distinct Caribbean jewels offer perfect settings for wedding celebrations, honeymoons, anniversaries or just to make memories that will be treasured for a lifetime.
Photos courtesy of (in order of appearance): Malliouhana (1st-5th) & Le Sereno (6th-8th).
This article first appeared in Destination I Do's Spring/Summer 2016 issue. You can order a copy here.
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