Wedding Locations and Venues in the Caribbean

Caribbean Wedding Locations: beaches, gardens, and churches, oh my!

Weddings in the Caribbean are as varied as the numerous countries themselves.  The type of wedding you dream of having will help you to decide which Caribbean country is the right one for your big day.

While organizing a Caribbean wedding, many couples struggle with finding a wedding location without being able to visit the area prior to booking it.  For this reason, many people select to recruit the guidance of an event coordinator to take care of every necessary element surrounding a wedding. If you decide to handle the preparations yourself, selecting the kind of wedding you would like to have will assist you in reducing your possible choices significantly, rendering the whole process a bit less overwhelming.

Types of Ceremonies

Your Caribbean wedding can be anything you want it to be. Even though the most common style of wedding planned by travelers is a beach front ceremony, this is by no means the only alternative attainable.

Casual vs. Formal

Every couple has varied beliefs in relation to how formal they would like their wedding to be. Though destination weddings are commonly regarded as informal affairs, you can make your wedding more upscale with formal wear and elegant table settings. Similarly, you can dress down a commonly formal event such as a church wedding by seeking very simple decor and permitting your wedding guests to dress in a casual style.

Traditional Wedding

A traditional ceremony generally happens in a place of worship, with family and friends filling the pews as the bride slowly walks down the aisle to her awaiting groom. After the vows are said, the wedding party and their guests traditionally make their way to a dining hall to celebrate the big event. Even in a tropical location like the Caribbean, brides can have all these dreams come true. Your event planner can aid you in finding a cathedral or temple that that suits your religious background.  Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any country in the world, so planning a religious ceremony here offers couples the most options.  It's also possible to choose to have a more traditionally designed ceremony at a gallery, plantation house, or significant historical landmark.

Outdoor Wedding

As previously mentioned, a sandy coastline is the most popular area to have a destination wedding. It's a given that a wedding on the beach is an exquisite affair. The ocean and fine sand in varying colors such as white, beige, black, and pink present such a picturesque backdrop that you may not need additional decorations to create a beautiful wedding atmosphere. They are also quite easy to plan, and very small weddings may not even necessitate permits.  Some of the best beaches in the world can be found in the Cayman Islands, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas.

Beaches aren't the only destinations available if you would truly like to get married in an outdoor environment. Numerous resorts offer villas with views of beaches, mountains, and tropical vegetation. Belize and Grenada are well known as some of the top eco-tourism sites in the Caribbean, so if you are planning an outdoor celebration, these islands should be at the top of your list.  Celebrating your big day in a garden, like the Botanical Gardens in Puerto Rico is another possibility. If you're looking for something especially extraordinary and stunning, consider organizing a wedding underwater, complete with diving gear and magnificent views of coral reefs.  The Cayman Islands offer some of the most striking dive sites in the world, if this is a route you'd like to take.

Regardless of where you choose to host your outdoor ceremony, keep a few tips in mind:

  • Orient the service so the sun is at your guests backs, rather than in their faces.
  • Make sure you have a plan for inclement weather.
  • Serve food that won't spoil, and drinks to keep your guests hydrated if you will be dining outdoors as well.
  • Contact local authorities to determine if you need a permit to host a wedding ceremony at your desired location.
  • Make sure everyone can hear the ceremony.

Marriage at Sea

For couples who dream of getting married at sea, doing so in the Caribbean is a treat. Couples will find that the Caribbean Sea offers some of the most perfectly clear, calm waters, and dazzling views. You might choose to get married aboard a major cruise line that makes a stops at various Caribbean islands, or charter a yacht for a couple of hours. You can even book the vessel for a complete day and hold your reception on the vessel as well.  The British Virgin Islands, St. Martin/St. Maarten, and the Bahamas are all top yachting destinations, making them ideal locations to plan a wedding at sea.

Resorts with Wedding Packages

A trendy choice for couples setting up a destination wedding is buying a wedding and honeymoon package at a large resort. All-Inclusive resorts are commonplace throughout the Caribbean, and these resorts practically all offer wedding packages.  Jamaica, known as the birthplace of the All-inclusive resort, is home to dozens of resorts with wedding packages, and the Bahamas is another top choice for those interested in wedding packages. 

Reserving a wedding package at a Caribbean resort is an easy way to arrange your big day, because essentially everything is taken care of for you. Most packages include the following:

  • Personalized wedding consultant and planner
  • Wedding venue
  • Reception location
  • Officiant
  • Floral bouquet and boutonnière
  • Cake
  • Reception food and beverages
  • Photography
  • Marriage certificate
  • Government fees

Optional add-ins can include:

  • Accommodations for the wedding party
  • Videography
  • Music and entertainment
  • Wedding favors
  • Honeymoon package
  • Planned expeditions and recreation for wedding party and guests

Most wedding packages at resorts in the Caribbean begin at around $1500(USD) and go up from there, based upon add-ons and number of guests.

With so many options available, couples will be able to hone in on their ideal wedding venue in the Caribbean. From beach side nuptials to extravagant celebrations held at historical landmarks, a wedding held in the Caribbean promises to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.


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