Honeymooning in Anguilla

Honeymoon

Courtesy of tony_and_fiona via Creative Commons

Sun, sand and serenity draw newlyweds to Anguilla

We’ve had an incredible week at the Frangipani celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and babymoons, but above all else this week has certainly been the week of the honeymooners. With four newly-minted Mr. & Mrs. joining us for their post-wedding getaways, I thought it only fitting to talk about the ever popular honeymoon in the British West Indies.

As a bride-to-be myself, I finally have a bit more insight into the intricacies of wedding planning. Lots of pieces to align and a great deal of planning goes into pulling off a crowd-pleasing reception. I can only imagine that the endless hand-shaking and entertaining leaves couples thrilled to turn off and do nothing after they’ve finally said I do. Anguilla is certainly a place where relaxation comes naturally and its indescribable X Factor adds a certain je ne sais quoi to the island’s appeal.

So, what are the biggest draws for our lovely honeymooners?

Well, the reasons behind most of our guests’ bookings resonate with honeymooners; they’re just magnified, especially for couples that are excited to splurge on their highly anticipated getaway. Take the beaches, the weather, the incredible dining scene and the glitz factor and Anguilla becomes the paragon of honeymoon perfection.

Serenity.

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Unlike neighboring St. Maarten/St. Martin, where casinos and nightlife abound, Anguilla boasts a quieter scene. Casual beach bars and live music give guests their nighttime fix, while daytime is spent lounging in the sand. For most of our honeymooners, pure and unadulterated relaxation fits the bill for a post-wedding indulgence. Add a beachside massage or a cocktail cruise into the mix and we have a serious home run.

Beaches.

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There comes a point where the beaches in Anguilla almost slip my mind because it’s truly a given for anyone researching their getaway. Anguilla’s beaches have consistently been ranked #1 in the world. 33 beaches on a 35 sq. mile island give tourists plenty to explore. For many, a day trip to a lesser known beach (try Savannah Bay, for example) provides an opportunity to enjoy endless white sands without competition from other travelers.

Dining.

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Most of our guests know what they’re getting into when they join us for their vacation; many have even made their dining reservations weeks in advance. There are a select few that join us, though, completely unaware of Anguilla’s renowned culinary scene.  Guests can’t help but comment on Anguilla’s anomalous cuisine: Where else in the Caribbean do you get such incredible fine dining options? Check out TripAdvisor for a complete list of dining options for inspiration.

Glitz.

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Let’s be honest: there’s something fabulously glam about selecting a honeymoon spot that Channing Tatum, Robert Downey, Jr., Liam Neeson and Paul McCartney all love. There’s a underlying secret glitz factor that draws people to the island. You may have your own celeb run-in, to be sure, but you’ll also understand why celebs are consistently drawn to the island’s atmosphere. If St. Barths is where celebs go to be seen, Anguilla is certainly where celebs come to vacation sans paparazzi.

{Read more at The Knot and find out why brides-to-be are loving Anguilla for their honeymoon!}

Did you celebrate your honeymoon in Anguilla? Are you planning an upcoming honeymoon? Tell us all about it!

Frangipani Weddings: Intimate Ceremonies

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Constructing an intimate island wedding

The Frangipani has played host to a variety of destination weddings, from intimate affairs for two to celebrations of 150+. Each couple brings with them a unique conceptualization of their wedding day, with their visions and cultures infused into the guest list, attire, menu and decor. Per the request of a guest of ours who is hosting her own intimate wedding at the Frangipani in April, I thought it befitting to dedicate a post to addressing the small, intimate weddings that the resort hosts year round. (More on the larger weddings in a forthcoming post.)

The venue.

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There are plenty of gorgeous churches on the island if you’re looking for a traditional element, but most small destination weddings have one thing in common: a ceremony in the sand. The white sandy beaches of Meads Bay and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea provide an incredible backdrop for photographs. If you’re hoping for an evening ceremony, you can tie the incredible Anguillan sunsets into your experience.

The dress.

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Most brides-to-be are acutely aware of the gown-buying process. In a traditional ceremony setting, gowns can account for thousands of dollars of wedding expenses. Beach weddings allow brides to jettison the traditional wedding attire and instead opt for comfortable, casual dresses that better fit their environment.

The aisle.

When your guest list consists of you, your partner, and two witnesses, aisle runners and flower girls probably don’t make their way into the picture. Instead of an aisle runner, we’ve constructed ‘aisles’ by using locally grown bougainvillea to create a colorful path for the bride.

The flowers.

One of the greatest parts of getting married in a natural setting is that it takes very little decor to make wedding pictures dazzle. Aside from some flowers to line your aisle, the only flowers you’ll likely need to purchase are a personal bouquet and boutonniere (plus accents pieces for other people involved). Black Orchid Florists is the go-to for gorgeous wedding accents. They also specialize in event set-up and can craft a small outdoor ceremony space if you’re looking for something extra romantic.

The food.

One of Anguilla’s claims to fame its the unsurpassed dining scene when it comes to Caribbean destinations. When you’re not concerned about hosting 150 of your closest friends for dinner and cocktails, you have your choice of any of Anguilla’s top-notch restaurants to celebrate your special day. Here are a few restaurants that make special occasions extraordinary with exceptional food, great service and incomparable settings:

Photography.

Your wedding may eschew tradition on many fronts, but there’s a fair likelihood that you’ll want someone to document your special day, even informally. We’ve had creative on-site staff wield their DSLRs to capture the emotions of couples’ big days, but there are also professional photographers on the island that can put a small package together to fit your needs. Check out Susan Croft at Anguilla Escape and Derrys Richardson for your on-island photography needs.

Make it an experience.

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Your wedding isn’t just a single ceremony on a single day. For many couples, their destination wedding is an experience which starts the moment that they set foot on the island. Make your journey memorable with a few  add-ons:

  • Beachside massages. Decompress on the beach with a relaxing massage. Enjoy a 60 or 90-minute couples massage (Swedish or deep tissue) and let the Caribbean Sea provide the background music.
  • Charter a plane. It sounds like an uber-glam splurge, but it’s not as out of reach as you may imagine. Trans Anguilla Airways offers charters to Nevis, Virgin Gorda, St. Kitts and others for a reasonable fee. The prices on their site are a bit outdated, but rumor has it that rates have stayed mostly the same on charters.

We want to hear from you! Did you get married in Anguilla? Planning a wedding here? What are your tips for making your wedding experience a memorable one?


The legal scoop: You must be on island for at least three days prior to the wedding ceremony. You can tie the knot in Anguilla under a special license that takes just two days to process. The bride and groom must present a few required pieces of identification, most of which you will need to enter the country anyway. The actual ceremony will require at least two on lookers to bear witness to your union. Note: If you’ve been married previously, you must present your official divorce papers.
A marriage license will run you $284 USD, but will drop to $40 if you are on the island for fifteen days prior to the date of the wedding.