The promise of a daydream wedding brings many a bride to the Caribbean. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can find eight or more weddings taking place daily. Many of these are for island visitors who desire a romantic beach wedding, without the cost and stress of a Bridezilla event. On a recent picture postcard perfect morning, my family was privileged to attend one of these island weddings at the Emerald Beach Resort.
The last time I attended a Caribbean wedding, it was an extravagant affair. This was the early 1990s and I was one of nearly twenty bridesmaids, all gussied up in poufy bubblegum pink organza dresses, white gloves, and lacquered updos. The ceremony, which like many West Indian weddings started two hours after the time noted on the invitations, took place at the Catholic church where many of us had attended high school, and was followed with a reception at one of the more luxurious hotels. One of these days, I’ll have to scan the photos so that I can share the magnificence of this event, but suffice it to say that, from carving stations to ice sculptures, not a single detail was overlooked.
Decorative details were not necessary at the beach wedding. While beach weddings can be customized to suit individual taste, our friend chose the basic package offered by the resort which included just a simple bamboo arch on the beach. Against the stunning backdrop of jewel tones ocean and sparkling crystal sand, anything more would have been redundant.
It was also one of the most relaxed and enjoyable weddings that my family has attended. Since the decorations and other details were so simple, there were no delays and the wedding ceremony commenced pretty much on time.
After the ceremony, the kids enjoyed monkeying around while the professional photographer captured the wedding party in variety of poses, in and out of the water. Of course, given the natural beauty of the setting, us non-professionals did pretty well too!
Much of the wedding planning was done spur of the moment, but all the essentials were covered. Leaving the beach, we headed to my other family home, where I usually stay when I’m in St. Thomas. On the new patio, we enjoyed a catered reception that included local favorites of stew chicken, fish, pigeon peas and rice, sweet potato, vegetables, and salad. The portions were generous, and most of us returned for seconds. Still, somehow, we found room for the wedding cake, a delicious white almond layer cake with a passion fruit filling.
Good friends, good food, and a gorgeous backdrop ensured that the promise of a daydream wedding was kept beautifully.