By Randy Yagi
What better way to celebrate one of the most important events in a couple’s life than to exchange their wedding vows on a tropical island. While Hawaii is easily the top domestic choice for a destination wedding, it might not come as a surprise that to know that Mexico and the Caribbean Islands might be a more practical choice, similarly offering a wealth of luxurious hotel wedding venues yet at more affordable rates than from romantic luxury resorts in the Aloha State. What’s more, with the exception of perhaps the West Coast, the costs associated with travel to the Caribbean are typically much lower for most couples living in the U.S. than the Hawaiian Islands. Of the many extraordinary locations to choose from, here are just five of the very best for a Caribbean destination wedding.
COMO Parrot Cay
Parrot Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands TKCA 1ZZ
Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies
Elegantly situated off the coast of what’s possibly the most desired destination in the Caribbean, COMO Parrot Cay is an extraordinary luxury resort set on the private island that bears its name. Accessible via a boat ride from the main island of Providenciales, COMO Parrot Cay resides on more than 1,000 acres and romantic accommodations including suites and beach villas, elevated cuisine, luxury spa retreat and a mile-long, white-powdered beach. A multi-award winner from such distinguished sources as the World Travel Awards and the Best Wedding Hotel in the Caribbean by the Love Travel Awards 2017, this phenomenal island resort offers such attractive wedding packages as Just the Two of Us, including an intimate beach ceremony and wedding coordination services for $2500 and A “Kurnia” Wedding, with inclusions like wedding ceremony officiating, a stunning beach wedding site and wedding coordination services. COMO Parrot Cay is also available for larger weddings and Island Buy-Outs.
Eden Roc At Cap Cana
Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Provincia La Altagracia
Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
Featuring one of the most dramatic settings in the Caribbean, Eden Roc at Cap Cana is the only Relais & Château hotel in the Dominican Republic and the epitome of island paradise. Located along the eastern tip of the Caribbean nation, Eden Roc at Cap Cana offers 34 ultra-luxurious suites and villas, each equipped with a private swimming pool, some of which are Infinity Pools and private spa areas. The prominent anchor property of a broader, 30,000-acre master planned luxury resort and high-end real estate community with spectacular ocean views, Eden Roc at Cap Cana offers both indoor and seaside wedding venues, as well as carefully selected wedding planners and a convenient online Honeymoon Registry. As a Relais & Château property, this truly amazing resort offers one of the finest dining experiences in the Caribbean led by executive chef Gianluca Re Fraschini, in addition to the luxury Solaya Spa, the Beach Club and leisure activities like an eco adventure park, equestrian center and three Jack Nicklaus-designed championship golf courses.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya
Carretera Cancun Tulum Km. 62
Playa del Carmen, Municipo de Solidaridad
Riviera MayaQuintana Roo C.P. 77710, Mexico
It’s no secret that Mexico is one of the most coveted locations for a destination wedding, in particular along the famed Riviera Maya in the Yucatan Peninsula. One truly exceptional spot to exchange wedding vows is the Grand Velas Riviera Maya, recently named Best All-Inclusive Resort in Mexico by Travel+Leisure and Best All-Inclusive Resort Brand by the 2017 Brides Honeymoon Awards. Encompassing more than 200 acres along the white sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya just north of Playa del Carmen, this AAA Five Diamond property is an all-suites resort, with 539 spacious accommodations including the Grand Class section that is exclusive for adults and teens and the Zen Grand Natural View with hot tubs and private terraces. The Grand Velas Riviera Maya offers a host of impressive wedding locations onsite, including a chapel for up to 143 people, right on the beach and larger options like the 19,860 square foot Zen Grand Garden and the 35,521 square foot Grand Velas Convention Center. Among the handful of wedding packages available are the Truly Yours package, which includes bridal hairstyle and makeup and a minister for the ceremony and the signature Maya Connections wedding package, with such features as wedding coordination services and a special bridal suite on the wedding day.
Jade Mountain Resort
Soufriere, St. Lucia, West Indies
Consistently described as one of the world’s most beautiful luxury resorts, Jade Mountain may also be the most unique hotel on the planet. A stunning architectural achievement owned and designed by renowned architect Nick Troubetzkoy, with unparalleled views of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this exclusive resort is situated above the 600-acre beachfront of its sister property, the equally stellar Anse Chastanet, on the island of Saint Lucia. Jade Mountain features resort and private dining and 29 captivating rooms with breathtaking seaside views of the Piton Mountains, including 24 spacious sanctuaries equipped with Infinity Pools and five sky Jacuzzi suites. Several picturesque wedding locations are available on the sprawling 600-acre estate, such as the Celestial Terrace, Anse Chastanet Beach and on the south end of the beach in addition to more exotic offerings like underwater weddings for certified divers and weddings onboard a 65-foot catamaran. A multiple winner as the best resort in the Caribbean, Jade Mountain Resort offers wedding packages ranging from $1095 to $4750, with optional photography and videography services.
Jumby Bay Island
St. John, Antigua
Set up on a 300-acre private island two miles off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay is an inclusive luxury retreat ranked not only among best in the Caribbean but without question the entire world. Consistently awarded five star ratings from the likes of Forbes Travel and AAA Five Diamond, Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort features 40 lavishly appointed guestrooms and suites, in addition to several luxurious villas and estate homes with up to eight bedrooms. Equally acclaimed for its selection of wedding venues and themes, such as Beach Chic and Estate Weddings, Jumby Bay also offers reception services like elaborate wedding cakes and flowers for any size of the occasion, in addition to a full-service wedding planning team led by Angela Proffitt and her team at Vivid Experiences, with offices in Nashville and Los Angeles. Only accessible by boat, this inclusive luxury retreat is located on an island that is said to have been discovered by Christopher Columbus and was the only resort in Antigua and Barbuda to receive a Forbes Five Star Rating this year. Among its other features are superb amenities and services like the award-winning Sense, A Rosewood Spa, creative gourmet dining and two swimming pools, including a 25-meter lap pool and oceanfront Infinity Pool.