Jade Mountain Resort, designed by architect Nick Troubetzkoy, features 29 suites and incredible views. // © 2014 Jade Mountain Resort
Feature image (above): At Anse Chastanet Resort, couples can choose from multiple wedding locations, including one of two beautiful beaches. // © 2014 Rendezvous Resort
Perhaps it’s the enchanting backdrop of twin Pitons and the island’s proximity to the U.S. that qualify Saint Lucia as one of the Caribbean’s most popular wedding and honeymoon destinations. Or, maybe it’s the freedom and flexibility to get married within 24 hours of arrival. It also doesn't hurt that Saint Lucia’s resorts are able to provide U.S. travelers with all the comforts of home.
“Destination wedding couples want the same elements as a hometown wedding, but with the backdrop of a magnificent location,” said Sarah Pease, owner and creative director of The Proposal Planner, during the first-annual Saint Lucia Wedding Symposium.
According to The Knot Wedding Network’s 2012 Destination Weddings Study, most Caribbean destination weddings last three or more days, and 52 percent of couples spend their honeymoons where they wed. Furthermore, the majority of Caribbean wedding services are booked as part of a package, which means there are plenty of opportunities for handsome commissions.
Brides want a wedding that is packaged, but pretty. According to a recent survey conducted by Destination Weddings & Honeymoon, 76 percent of couples consider the availability of an all-inclusive wedding package when choosing a location for their wedding.
On Saint Lucia, many resorts offer comprehensive packages with everything from beauty services for the bride and linens embroidered with the couple’s names to a private sunset sail. Below are some of the best packages available at the island’s top resorts.
Jade Mountain is not only a 29-suite resort with incredible views of the Pitons, it’s also an architectural marvel designed by renowned architect Nick Troubetzkoy. Each suite, or “sanctuary,” features a unique open-air design, 15-foot-tall ceilings, the services of a butler and an oversize Jacuzzi tub that begs to be enjoyed with a split of champagne.
The five-star resort’s wedding team is able to coordinate romantic proposals, vow renewals and weddings. Clients are asked to secure the wedding date as far in advance as possible since only one wedding per day can be celebrated at the resort.
The Total Romance package is one of Jade Mountain’s most popular options for couples. It includes an anniversary certificate of $500 to be used on a return visit; accommodations for five nights; a bottle of French champagne; a one-hour Swedish massage; breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner; an array of free drinks, including house wine; a tour of the Soufriere Volcano, Sulphur Springs and Diamond Mineral Baths; a guided boat and snorkel excursion; scuba diving; a jungle biking adventure in the Anse Mamin Valley; a half day of sailing on the resort’s yacht, Serenity; and more. The package begins at $10,260, based on double occupancy.
Anse Chastanet Resort
Anse Chastanet could best be described as the more lively (and more affordable) sister property to Jade Mountain. The 49-room resort offers a host of activities from tennis and yoga classes to guided hikes. Couples have five distinct restaurants and two bars to choose from as well. It’s important to note that guests staying at Jade Mountain have access to all of the amenities at Anse Chastanet, although the same is not true in reverse.
There is no dedicated wedding chapel on-site; instead, the couple can choose from an assortment of locations for something that best fits their wedding vision. Options include the Anse Chastanet Treehouse; one of two beaches; Anse Mamin, a former chocolate plantation; a nearby waterfall; or the privacy of their guestroom.
From Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, the resort will offer a complimentary wedding package to couples staying in a Hillside Deluxe or Premium room for a minimum of seven nights. The Elope to Paradise wedding package includes the services of a Justice of the Peace; all legal processing and fees; a wedding bouquet; a wedding cake; the use of half-day room for the groom; a choice of wedding locations; a bottle of champagne; dinner table decoration; and more. Rates at Anse Chastanet start at $635 per night, based on double occupancy.
Optional services such as a live wedding broadcast, a private champagne sunset cruise, a live steel drum band performance or a professional firework display (from $3,900) are available a la carte.
A candlelight turndown, a welcome bottle of champagne and sunset yoga classes under a 180-year-old saman tree are just a few ways that Rendezvous Resort sets itself apart from competitors. Located on a former coconut estate, Rendezvous caters to couples at every turn, from meandering river-like pools with beverage service to complimentary gifts for honeymooners (potential gifts may include a couples’ massage, a bottle of sparkling white, a fresh fruit platter and a floral arrangement; travel agents should inform the reservations desk that the couple is honeymooning at the time of booking). The staff is lovely and accommodating as well.
Vow renewal and wedding ceremonies at Rendezvous are complimentary for guests who stay seven nights or longer. The all-inclusive resort’s dedicated wedding planner will work with the couple to select the best location (e.g., tropical gardens, a beach or a cathedral in Castries) and arrange the marriage license, a sparkling wine reception, a champagne breakfast in bed, a couples’ massage, a “Pampered Bride Experience” that includes a mini-facial, a decorated wedding arch and more. The same wedding package is available to guests who are staying less than seven nights for $1,500.
The entire wedding party should be encouraged to enjoy a nightcap at the air-conditioned Champagne Bar, which offers live piano music from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. and is a great place to unwind with fine wine.
The second-annual Saint Lucia Wedding Symposium is slated to take place September 24-28. Western travel agents who are interested in attending can contact their Saint Lucia representative, Lorine Charles-St. Jules (908-686-4164, email@example.com) for more information.