Weddings in the USVI

A wedding in the Virgin Islands will start your marriage off right!

Photo credit: © Gina Smith |

Getting Married in the Virgin Islands

Picture this: incredible beach side surroundings, unique cuisine, optimal weather conditions and a built-in honey moon. These are just a few of the many reasons that people choose to enjoy their wedding event in the Virgin Islands. 

If you have always dreamed of getting married on a beach in the Caribbean, but never guessed it would be plausible, think again. A little investigation and large dose of thorough planning can enable you to experience the wedding you have always dreamed of.

Pros and Cons

Organizing your big day can be stressful, specifically when you need to give control over to an event coordinator in a foreign location.  However, for so many, the benefits outweigh the negatives. Still, a Caribbean wedding is not for everyone. The included collection of pros and cons will allow you to determine if planning a wedding in the Virgin Islands is the ideal way to spend your wedding day.


  • Cost. While many individuals don't realize this, a destination wedding could actually save you money - with airfare included. This is due to the fact that destination weddings are inclined to be smaller events at which less people attend, thus costing you less in table settings and food. Numerous lodging facilities also offer wedding and honeymoon package discount rates, thus increasing your savings even more.
  • Weather. The average temperature in the Virgin Islands ranges from between 73 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Rain showers do occur, but they are typically over before they begin.
  • Planning. When you arrange a destination wedding, you usually hire an event planner (or one is allocated to you by your resort when you purchase a wedding package from them). This helps ensure that every detail of your wedding day is wisely contemplated by a specialist.
  • Friends and Family. Choosing a destination wedding means that you can reduce your guest list - you don't need to feel obligated to invite a relative you aren't very close to, or your fiancé's old classmates.


  • Cost. A lot of couples feel burdened with the responsibility to pay for airfare and accommodations for their entire wedding party and guests. If you decide to handle all these expenses, a Caribbean wedding will certainly be pricier in the long run.
  • Weather. The Virgin Islands are located within the infamous hurricane belt, so it is critical to bear in mind that scheduling a wedding during hurricane season (which extends from the beginning of June until the end of November) is a gamble.
  • Planning. Because you are not on location to physically check out and decide on wedding products for the majority of the time leading up to your nuptials, this may make you anxious because you feel everything is out of your control.
  • Legal issues. Laws involving marriage licenses might differ from those you would run into back home. Obtaining a marriage license in the Virgin Islands calls for time, so a hastily planned wedding is probably not doable.
  • Family and friends. Considering career obligations and other factors that may inhibit some people's ability to travel, some of the guests you hope to share your wedding memories with may not be able to attend a Caribbean wedding.

Why Choose the Virgin Islands

Of all the places in the world that you could plan to get married, there is one reason you should choose the Virgin Islands: variety.  With seven unique main islands split up between the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, those planning a wedding have endless hotel, wedding venue, and food options.  The wedding you've envisioned your whole life is possible on the islands, regardless of style, with the added bonus of a tropical paradise as the back drop. 

Don't forget that planning your destination wedding in the Virgin Islands means that when you aren't participating in wedding activities, you can be exploring the islands.  That you'll want to spend time on the beaches is a given (whether sun bathing, swimming, or participating in other water sports), but there are a plethora of other attractions available, both indoors and out.  There are different sites to see no matter which island you visit, such as the Baths on Virgin Gorda, BVI, and the Cruzan Rum Distillery on St. Croix, USVI.  The key to planning a great destination wedding is making sure your guests have plenty to do when they aren't attending your wedding, and the Virgin Islands absolutely provide that.

Local Wedding Customs

An easy, great way to honor the Virgin Islands in your wedding is by offering up regional fare at your reception.  Try fresh caught seafood, with Anegada lobster, whitefish, and whelks serving as popular choices.  Another option that will delight the palates of your guests is locally made soup.  Soups on the islands tend to be sweet, often flavored with fruit.  For the main event, a spiced fruit cake soaked in rum is the traditional cake served at Caribbean weddings.

Types of Ceremonies

Although you can create any type wedding you dream about in the Virgin Islands, there are a few that tend to be the most common.  Traditional weddings, beach side services, garden vows, and a marriage at sea.  The Virgin Islands in particular is a great place to host a wedding aboard a yacht, because the sea surrounding the island are known around the world as some of the best sailing waters in the world.


Despite the fact that a Caribbean wedding often carries a smaller price tag than an elaborate wedding in your hometown, you still need to take a few moments to carefully create a budget. To make this happen, sit down with your future spouse and develop a summary of all the things you imagine you plan on investing money in, in order of significance to you. These items might include the food, venue, photographer, and dress, among many others. After doing a bit of quick investigation, assign an estimated price to each item on your list, then total it up. This will give you a ballpark figure of how much you can anticipate spending. Remember that this projected budget will change as you prepare for your special day, and the organized list of vital items will help you to know immediately what things you can cut back on and which items you simply can't be without.


The process for obtaining a marriage license in the Virgin Islands actually begins eight business days prior to your arrival in the island.  Along with $100(USD), send the following documents to the Territorial Court: marriage license application form, notarized declaration that neither party has been married, divorce certificates, or death certificates, and a letter detailing your arrival and departure dates.

If you find that the thought of saying "I do" to the one you love in an exotic locale to be thrilling, a destination wedding might just be for you.  A little bit of research might just prove to you that getting married in the Virgin Islands is easier than think.  Go from dreaming about a tropical wedding to planning one, and make your big day that much more spectacular. 


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