This blog will serve as a comprehensive guide to St. Thomas Weddings. I will cover everything from purchasing a ring here to saying your I Dos and then honeymooning. At the end of this blog, you will know all there is to know in order to make an informed decision on having or not having a St. Thomas wedding.
Deciding to have a destination wedding is a tough choice to make. Once you’ve made the decision, there are lots of details to work through. This blog will outline the details for you!
St. Thomas Weddings- Before the Wedding Day
St. Thomas is a duty-free territory, which means no taxes. That said, it’s often better to purchase your jewelry here. There is a jewelry district that is worth checking out while you’re here! They’ve sold millions of diamonds and jewels to couples for St. Thomas weddings as well as weddings throughout the world.
I’ve personally worked with Diamonds International and they have been fantastic. Also available on island is Little Switzerland, Cardow Jewelers, Grand Jewelers and many more options.
If you are looking to purchase a ring and will be in St. Thomas, it’s a great place to start your search! There are options for every budget! It’s also a great excuse to get to the island, you know, aside from the proposal, followed by your St. Thomas wedding!
There have been a few instances when I had the pleasure to be a part of the wedding proposal. Each time has been so incredibly fun to take part! All of the proposals I’ve coordinated have been surprises on the beach, then they go on to have dinner at a nearby restaurant.
This is a really fun way to start out your engagement. It’s also a fun way to sample some of your vendors for the first time if you’ve decided to have a St. Thomas Wedding. These guys got to experience me: the Wedding Coordinator, Crown Images: the Wedding Photographer, and St. Thomas Restaurant Group: the Caterer/Reception Venue.
Choosing a Date
I recently wrote a blog about choosing your wedding date. There’s tons of helpful information in there, but to sum it up, if you have no idea when you want to get married, here are some facts about St. Thomas and certain times of the year.
- Busy Season is from December to June.
- That puts Slow Season from June to December.
- Hurricane Season starts on June 1st and ends November 30th.
- It costs less for flights and accommodations during hurricane/slow season.
- Just because it’s hurricane season doesn’t mean that it will be raining. I’ve experienced more rain outside of rainy season that within it.
There are pros and cons to choosing different times of the year. If April 1st weren’t a special date to us, we would have gone with a slow season date. The rain is usually avoidable if you strategically plan. There are days when it pours all day, but that rarely happens. It could be worth saving your money on accommodations and airfare!
Choosing a Venue
There are several amazing locations on the island to have St. Thomas Weddings. When I chose my venue, I always knew I wanted a beach wedding. I thought of my favorite beach to go to with my fiance and for the reception, I wanted to include the place where Tim and I first met.
Ask yourselves some questions. Just because you’re having a destination St. Thomas wedding doesn’t mean you have to be married on a beach. There are plenty of options here including garden weddings (St. Peter Greathouse, Villa Botanica), lawn weddings (Elysian, Mahogany Run), and church weddings . Ask your wedding coordinator for details and suggestions.
St. Thomas Weddings and Vendors
The wedding market in St. Thomas is saturated with a lot of very talented vendors. There are a few amazing photographers that I love to work with. There are a couple of great venues and caterers. When it comes to officiants, the choices are endless. For bakers, there are a couple of really great ones all over the island. There’s only one florist that I generally work with, but they are incredible! I love East End Flower Shop!
Choosing your wedding vendors is tough, but with some research and contact, you can make the correct decision for you and your guests. There isn’t one vendor who is good for every couple. Each couple has their own needs and wants, so be sure to research your vendors before hiring them.
A nice place to start would be to hire your St. Thomas Wedding Coordinator. They will be able to choose the right vendor to be able to make your wedding day as perfect as possible.
For weddings where all the guests are local, you’ll want to send out your invitations around 6 weeks in advance. Since most St. Thomas Weddings are destination weddings, you’ll want to make sure your guests have plenty of time to purchase tickets and make plans to be away from home for a few days. This is why I always suggest that Save-the-Dates go out as soon as you’re engaged. If it’s a long engagement (1 or more years), I would send them out about a year prior to the wedding. And invitations should go out around the six-month mark.
I wrote a pretty helpful blog about my experience with my own wedding invitations, which includes helpful tips on the timeline and other decisions for your invites with a feature from Ashley at AE-Invitations!
Make sure to share this blog with your wedding guests for etiquette questions and how to be a perfect guest on the wedding day!
Planning your Timeline
Planning a timeline for St. Thomas Weddings is pretty straightforward. Your photographer and wedding planner can help you with this, but here’s a general idea to get you started:
Generally, the ceremony will only last about 15 minutes. The exception to this is if you’re having a Jewish or Indian wedding, which can last up to 2 or more hours! Once you’ve chosen your St. Thomas Wedding ceremony time, you can plan everything around that. If you’re choosing to do a sunset wedding, a popular time is 5:00PM (4:00PM for certain times of the year). On your day-of timeline, you’ll want to plan for the ceremony to last about 30 minutes. If you’re not doing a first-look, you can plan to be finished with your hair and makeup around 30-45 minutes prior to the ceremony, so you’ll have time to get into your dress and adjust hair/fix makeup, etc. If you do want to do a first-look, you’ll need to save time for that. Here’s a blog on how to plan your first look.
Here’s a popular timeline that is general. You can move this around to fit the time you’ve chosen for your ceremony:
2:00- Hair Appointment
3:00- Makeup Appointment
4:00- Hair and Makeup Finished
5:30- Cocktail Hour
St. Thomas Weddings- The Big Day
Preparing for the Wedding Day
Make sure that you’re drinking lots of water the week leading up to your wedding day. You will be standing a lot and water will help with the craziness that your muscles will experience on your wedding day.
We know that you’re in St. Thomas and you’ll want to get in as much beach time as you can, but make sure to wear sunscreen. You do not want to look like a bright red person on your wedding day.
Check the clothes of anyone in the wedding party. Make sure that no one needs to have their wedding attire steamed or ironed. If you cannot find a steamer for a dress, here are a few helpful tips to use:
- Turn on the hot water in the shower, close all windows and vents, and hang your dress in there. Usually, the wrinkles will fall right out.
- We are in St. Thomas! It is humid and hot 98% of the time. If it’s safe from water, sand and dirty air, hang the dress outside on your patio/balcony for a few hours. Again, the wrinkles will fall right out.
- Ask your St. Thomas Wedding planner about a possible dry clean company. Your wedding planner may also have a steamer.
Make sure to keep the stress to a minimum. Here’s a helpful blog with tips and hints on keeping the wedding stress at bay.
The Morning of the Wedding
Speak with your St. Thomas wedding planner the morning of the ceremony, so you can rest easy knowing that they’re preparing your big day. Let them know at that point if there are any problems and make sure that you are both on the same page with the next 12 or so hours.
Don’t forget to drink that water!
Before Putting on your Dress
After all the water you’ve been drinking, you’ll need to go to the ladies room. This is the time to do that. It should be the last thing you do prior to getting your dress on. It’s going to be tough to go to the restroom with your dress and all the upcoming activities!
Now, Walk Down the Aisle
Now is the moment that we’ve all been preparing for. You’ve spent all this time planning your wedding and now you can breathe. The most important thing that any bride or groom will tell you; MAKE SURE TO ENJOY THE DAY. IT WILL PASS LIKE A WHIRLWIND.
Look out for another blog detailing the events of the wedding day! In the meantime, you may be interested to read this FAQ blog about St. Thomas Weddings!