Antigua is a beautiful island with 365 beaches – but it also has a ton of nautical history. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Antigua was home to a huge British naval base and its harbor is still a popular yachting destination for the international jet-set. If you want to host your nuptials at a high-end all-inclusive resort, look no further — many of the worlds swankiest resorts are here. Sign me up!
With a collection of 700 islands, there is something here for everyone. You can enjoy complete privacy by renting your own island or host hundreds of people at one of the mega resorts. Nassau and Paradise Island are two of the most visited and activity-packed destinations, while more remote areas such as Harbor Island and the Exumas tend to feel more laid-back. And since the Bahamas are just a 35-minute plane trip from Florida, it’s an easy journey for guests.
Bermuda is geographically removed from the Caribbean, but it has many of the traits of those other beach islands. If you love the idea of a Caribbean destination wedding but also want something formal and elegant, consider Bermuda. Famous for its tranquil pink-sand beaches and proper British history, the island has no casinos and few fast-food restaurants. This makes it a great place to go if you want to get away. The flight itself isn’t that far from the East Coast, and flights are often cheaper than to Caribbean destinations.
If you’re into nature, then this is your island. Nevis is known as the Queen of the Caribees, and it is home to some of the Caribbean’s best-preserved beaches, rainforests and cafes. Experience the sights and sounds of exotic animals as you explore the rainforest — or climb to the top of Nevis Peak (3,232 feet). Saddle-savvy guests will enjoy an equestrian outing (horseback riding is very popular here) along the pristine beaches, trails, and mountain slopes.
St. Thomas & St. John
The US Virgin Islands may be one of the most hassle-free places to have a Caribbean destination wedding. There are lots of direct flights to St. Thomas (and St. John is a short ferry ride away), airfare is usually competitive, the US dollar is the official currency, and you should have great cell phone service. St. Thomas can sometimes feel a bit crowded, since it’s the main stop on the itineraries of many cruise lines, and it’s quite developed for the Caribbean. But it’s nonetheless brimming over with natural beauty. St. John, while a bit harder to reach, is more rugged, unspoiled, and higher-end, with fewer big resorts.
Turks & Caicos
Last, but certainly not least is Turks & Caicos. It’s less developed but more upscale than much of the Caribbean with a collection of 40 islands. Eight of them are inhabited and have an intimate feel. Many of the islands are surrounded by a natural reef, making the turquoise waters just offshore clean, calm, and full of sea life. The islands are also relatively easy to reach since you can fly direct from a number of US cities to Providenciales, the main island.