St. Thomas and St. John Weddings and Vow Renewals
Thousands of couples choose St. Thomas and St. John, Virgin Islands as their wedding destination.
Now I don’t know all the reasons why people choose these tiny little rocks in the Caribbean Sea, but I spoke with a wedding expert here on island to get some understanding.
What Makes Getting Married in St. Thomas special?
Amber, a destination wedding planner with BlueSkyCeremony, (she designs the most beautiful weddings and receptions on St. Thomas and St. John, trust me) offers a few reasons for choosing St. Thomas to get married. (Also check out 13 Things You Must Know Before Having a Wedding in St. Thomas).
1 – There is no residency requirement, no waiting period or blood tests, and as a territory of the United States, your marriage will have the same recognition as a marriage in any of the 50 states and territories.
By contrast, the Bahamas require a 24 hour waiting period. Puerto Rico, also a US Territory is easy too, but their licensing requirements are slightly more complicated – Get the License in Puerto Rico.
Many of the islands in the Caribbean have complex and confusing marriage laws. And even after you’re married, there is no guarantee the license is legal in the United States.
So when you show up, you’ll make a quick stop at the courthouse, pick up your license (takes less than 10 minutes) and you’re ready to make it legal!
2 – It is easy to travel to St. Thomas. St. Thomas is served by all major cruise and airlines, and there is no passport required for US Citizens.
So basically you show up with a driver’s license and you’re good to go.
As the writing of this article, Delta, American, Jet Blue, United and Spirit all have regular flights here.
And as far as cruises, well, St. Thomas hosts just about every ship in the Caribbean fleets of the major cruise lines – Royal Caribbean, Princess, Carnival, Norwegian, Holland, Celebrity, Disney, etc.
St. John is a bit more tricky. You can stay on St. John or St. Thomas and have your wedding in St. John. For example, many folks will stay on St. Thomas (because there are more hotels, amenities, etc.) and then get married on St. John. The ferry ride between the islands is only $8 each way and is less than 20 minutes on the boat.
For cruise ship guests, St. John is possible, but you’ll spend a few hours driving from the port to the ferry and then to St. John. So it can be a bit of an adventure but very doable!
3- St. Thomas has some of the most beautiful beaches, historic churches and tropical gardens where you can have the destination wedding of your dreams.
Check out Magens Bay, Lindquist Beach, Brewers Bay, Limetree Beach, Sapphire Beach and those are just some of Amber’s favorites.
For small groups there is a lovely little botanical garden and for large groups there is a botanical garden with a huge wedding venue.
St. Thomas Reformed Church is a Caribbean-style church that allows non-members to get married in the church.
St. Peter and Paul is a Roman Catholic Church that requires you be Catholic. The cathedral is beautiful!
4 – St. Thomas is the #1 Caribbean destination for weddings and offers a wide range of accommodations (and at very reasonable rates) from hotels to luxury villas to timeshares and condos.
On St. Thomas the options are too numerous to list here, but some of the most notable resorts are:
Marriott Frenchman’s Reef
The Ritz Carlton
Sapphire Beach Resort
Emerald Beach Resort
Villas, cottages, condos and bed and breakfasts are all over the place on the island. The best websites for exploring these options are:
On St. John the resort options are limited:
Sirenusa (really a community of condos/villas)
The more popular option tends to be villas. On St. John you can find villas that sleep from 2 to 22 and more.
5 – Your guests will love it!
St. Thomas and St. John are great destinations for a Caribbean vacation. There are a myriad of things to do on both islands. Between the beaches, restaurants and activities, your guests will not only get to share in your special moment, but they will also be able to have a fabulous vacation as well.
6 – Some of the best wedding professionals in the world.
Having performed and planned thousands of weddings each year, the vendors on St. Thomas and St. John are just about the best you can find anywhere.
Videographers, photographers, musicians, florist, bakers, planners, designers, really any help you need with your wedding is here on island.
To start planning your wedding in paradise, you should start by choosing your main contact on island. So a wedding planner or wedding officiant should be your first stop.
Whomever you are working with will walk you step-by-step through the entire process. They can assist with recommendations for wedding venuse, reception venues, the marriage license and choosing accommodations.
If you are planning a simple wedding or even a large event, consider booking a wedding package (http://blueskyceremony.com/
If you are looking for a basic wedding ceremony, then consider hiring a wedding officiant. In this shameless plug, one of the members of VirginIslandSaver performs wedding ceremonies. His site is http://stthomasweddingofficiant.com. A wedding officiant can help arrange the basics for getting married in St. Thomas such as flowers, music and location. Beyond that, it is highly recommended that you hire a wedding planner.
And whether you decide on an enormous blow out wedding or a simple 2-person, on the beach at sunset ceremony, be sure to have the perfect photographs from The MangoWorks.
And after having the ceremony of your dreams, if you decide you love paradise a little too much to leave, start your new life in the islands as a wedding officiant. Get ordained and spend your days performing beautiful ceremonies on the beach with the happiest couples in the world.