NOW THAT YOU ARE ENGAGED, IT?S TIME TO START LOOKING AT WEDDING VENUES. ONCE YOU?VE FOUND YOUR DREAM LOCATION, EVERYTHING ELSE WILL START FALLING INTO PLACE.
While on your quest, there are several factors to consider so that your day is just as you imagined. It?s important to be mindful of your overall look and feel, the size of your guest list, your role in the planning process, and your budget.
When you start your search, you really want to envision what your wedding day will look like. Do you see yourself walking down the aisle of a gorgeous church? Or will you be on a beach walking barefoot in the warm sand? Whether you want to say ?I do? in front of historic sugar mill ruins or wed on a world-class golf course, you really can?t go wrong in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Everywhere is so beautiful, and the Caribbean culture is simply infectious.
?Not everyone wants to sink their toes into the sand,? says Morgan Meece, food and beverage manager of the Mahogany Run Golf Course on St. Thomas. ?Some couples want something different. The Mahogany Run Golf course offers vast lush grass and views of the neighboring U.S. and British Virgin Islands.?
If you are looking for more historical charm, The Buccaneer might be right for you. Located on St. Croix, this legendary 17th century hotel exudes class and provides world-class service. For your ceremony, you can choose from different beach sites or the enchanting historic sugar mill lawn.
The next thing to consider when searching for a wedding venue is your guest count. Venues can only accommodate so many people, and some less than others. For a party of two, there are several options that focus solely on you as a couple. From photography, to flowers, to a three course dinner, many venues will wait on you hand and foot.
The Palms at Pelican Cove on St. Croix, for instance, is a small hotel that specializes in elopements. A sea captain can officiate your wedding, and the venue can even provide witnesses if need be. The staff will work with you to guarantee you have the finest experience. You can even customize your menu to best suit your tastes.
?It?s important that couples know that this is their day,? says Julie Printy, general manager of The Palms at Pelican Cove. ?We are here to please them and make sure all their wishes are fulfilled. We want to make sure everything is perfect.?
For the beach bound couple, there are miles of coast to choose from. Some areas may be more crowded than others, so keep that in mind when looking. Hotels do offer cloistered beaches that shelter you from other visitors.
?For a couple?s elopement, we suggest Whistle Beach,? says Corinne Farinola, manager of events and spa at The Buccaneer. ?Whistle Beach has exquisite natural beauty that is unsurpassed. The secluded nature of the setting is perfect for a small, intimate ceremony.?
If you want complete privacy, you may want to consider somewhere more isolated like Mahogany Run Golf Course. Situated 200 feet above the rocky inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, the Devil?s Triangle hole is a popular and romantic site for exchanging vows.
?It?s important for a couple eloping to have an initiate experience,? says Morgan. ?The course offers that luxury without the interference of people constantly passing by.? If you have guests flying in from out of town, venues are able to provide more space. The Buccaneer hosts up to 100 guests. The Mahogany Run Golf course can accommodate up to 120 in their banquet room. The Palms at Pelican Cove has hosted parties for more than 100 people.
Something else to consider is how involved you want to be in the planning of your wedding. There are some couples that are heavily involved and wish to be part of every minute decision, but there are others who prefer to remain absolutely stress-free. The islands? venues are very obliging and will do anything you ask within reason.
?When a couple selects The Buccaneer, we give them special access to a Busy Brides events website,? says Corinne. ?There, they can explore our various preferred vendors and find the right fit for them. This tool is extremely helpful for our destination based clients.?
?For our destination couples at The Palms at Pelican Cove, we are able to take care of as much as they like,? says Julie. ?For example, we can arrange transportation, couple?s massages, a floral package, photography, and catering.?
Of course, it?s also essential to be aware of your budget. Your price points for catering, floral d?cor, and other venue costs will guide you in selecting the appropriate package. If you like certain aspects of different bundles, don?t be afraid to tell the venue. More than likely, they will be willing to work with you.
Most importantly, remember there are no stupid questions when planning a wedding. Make sure you ask as many as possible while touring venues so that there are no surprises on your wedding day. Find out how many weddings are done per day. Ask if the venue has any upcoming construction or landscaping projects that may impact your event. And make sure you understand the venue?s procedures when it comes to vendors, d?cor, and other important event logistics like timing. When you make your final decision, get to know your venue staff so that they understand your vision and expectations. Like with any relationship, communication is key. – by Melissa Kenyon