If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you may have seen that I just returned from an incredible stay in the US Virgin Islands! I was thrilled to attend the first annual USVI Bridal Symposium, which featured some of the most talented professionals in the industry. We were all treated to tours of some of the most amazing wedding venues on the islands.
The US Virgin Islands is an incredible place for a destination wedding. Not only is it close (only 3 hours from the mainland) but it’s also incredibly convenient–US citizens don’t even need a passport to visit! We stayed on St. Thomas, and visited St. John, and now I’m dying to go back and see St. Croix. Today I’m going to share some of my favorite venues and destination wedding ideas and next week, some fabulous ideas for your honeymoon in the Islands!
Read on for 10 USVI destination wedding ideas!
My favorite spot on St Thomas? That would have to be the amazing Ritz-Carlton infinity pool. With the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea and a gorgeous view of St John, this is about as close to paradise as I can imagine being. The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas has two stunning ceremony locations (one is right on the golden, sandy beach) and five reception locales, and the poolside Coconut Cove restaurant is available for casual welcome parties.
The US Virgin Islands is a veritable melting pot of cultures and religions, as evidenced by St. Thomas’ beautiful houses of worship. The St. Thomas Synagogue, located in the heart of Charlotte Amelie, is one of the most gorgeous and moving buildings I have set foot upon. The most unique feature of the Synagogue is the sand-covered floor. It is said that throughout history when Jews were forced to convert to Catholicism, they would pray in their basements, and muffle the sounds with sand.
The setting is serene, beautiful, and moving. A gorgeous place to join in marriage!
Frederick Lutheran Church was established in 1666 and is the oldest Lutheran church in the Western hemisphere. This charming church features box pews and Old-South style ceiling fans. Freckerick is a wonderful option for destination weddings for Lutheran couples, as they will marry non-members with a letter showing that you have completed the Church’s premarital counseling.
St. John is a short 15 minute ferry ride from St. Thomas, but somehow feels a world away. We visited the stunning Caneel Bay resort, founded by Laurance Rockefeller and set upon over 170 acres of national park land. I think we all agreed that Caneel Bay is the perfect place to relax and unwind. The luxury rooms feature gorgeous views of the landscape, but are not equipped with either telephones or televisions, giving you a true respite from the outside world! The gorgeous ceremony lawn has a panoramic vista of the Caribbean Sea. And the resort is home to both deer and donkeys!
While we are drooling over the gorgeousness that is St. John, I just had to share this beautiful Cinnamon Bay wedding found on Style Me Pretty. Sunset on the beach couldn’t be more romantic!
Photo: Buffy Dekmar Photography
Where do I start with the dreamy Westin St. John? OK, I’ll start with this. I’m a sucker for a bathtub and the 2 bedroom villa we toured had the biggest bathtub I had ever seen. I think it was the size of my kitchen! The property is so enormous that golf carts are available, and guests can even choose to check in at the St. Thomas airport and take the resort’s private ferry, stepping foot onto the island at the Westin’s main reception and being immediately ushered to their rooms. Talk about service!
Photo: Westin St. John
Located 1200 feet above sea level, the view from The St. Peter Greathouse alone is worth a visit. And at the top of the observation deck is the most lovely gazebo, just perfect for an intimate wedding ceremony!
Have you have ever dreamed of renting a private villa and getting married poolside? With a private chef? And an amazing view over the cliffs of St. John? Look no further than Kismet. The Moroccan-style tiling, sumptuous bedrooms, and beautiful gazebo make Kismet my dream vacation rental (and intimate wedding location)!
One of the largest and most vibrant resorts in the USVI, the Marriott Frenchman’s Reef was fully renovated in 2011, and it shows in the luxurious spa, gorgeous pool area, and spacious rooms. Their grounds are absolutely beautiful, and the resort features absolutely lovely nighttime views from the reception areas. The food was fantastic and the staff so wonderful!
And of course, the real reason everyone should visit the USVI–the amazing beaches, like the unbelievable Trunk Bay, pictured above!
Photo: Flickr / F H Mira
My trip to the USVI Bridal Symposium was graciously sponsored by the USVI Department of Tourism, with accommodations provided by Sugar Bay Resort. For more information on the United States Virgin Islands, visit www.visitusvi.com.