Weddings 101: Destination Weddings in St. Lucia
Today I’d like to welcome Thia Harvey from Special Moments Caribbean as our guest blogger!
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.
My name is Thia Harvey, working in the event planning industry for approximately 15 years. Weddings have always been the most exciting to me! It’s one of the most important days’ in a couple’s life and they should be able to focus on and enjoy each other. Being able to make their moments come alive while they are able to enjoy the experience is very satisfying to me. I have worked with weddings for the last 5 years. I’ve worked within a resort setting as well as at an event planning, décor and production company which always entailed only an aspect of weddings, but I knew I wanted to be more involved in the planning of their entire wedding experience. I wanted to offer additional services to enhance these moments for the couple and their guests. Special Moments Caribbean is a newly opened Destination Wedding Planning business located in Saint Lucia. We aim to offer customized experiences for each of our couples. We will work with our clients on providing a full range of services including accommodation suggestions, airport transfers, tours and detailed planning, design, coordination and set up of their wedding events.
2. Can you tell us about St. Lucia, and why a bride might choose to have her destination wedding there?
Saint Lucia is one of the most, if not the most beautiful island in the Caribbean. Known for sun, sand, sea, romance and adventure, Saint Lucia has been awarded the best Honeymoon destination by World Travel Awards eight times! (2002-2004, 2006-2010) Saint Lucia offers many beaches with white sand in the north of the island and both black and white sand beaches in the south of the island. There are many adventure activities to take part in whether they are having an elopement or having guests accompanying them. Some of these activities include zip lining, off-roading, waterfall and rivers tours and many others to choose from. There is a wide selection of restaurants with several types of cuisine. Saint Lucia also offers Duty Free Shopping for guests to the island.
Throughout Saint Lucia there are many romantic getaways for accommodation and setting up of events. A few of these activities and accommodations were featured in the 14th series of ABC’s “The Bachelor.” So why not start the wedding experience from saying “I Do! In Saint Lucia”
3. What is the average cost for a destination wedding in St. Lucia?
All Special Moments Caribbean packages include all legalities, wedding officiant, witnesses, and basic décor set up for the ceremony. We offer an Elope Package for two people which incorporates the entire ceremony with a Champagne toast. This package sells at $2615.00. We also offer two themed packages – Creole Theme for a more Saint Lucian set up starting from $2,375.00 and Sun Sea & Sand Theme for a more Caribbean set up starting from $1,920.00. Special Moments also offers a fully customized package. There are various upgrades and additions available with florals, entertainment and photography. Accommodations are not included in any packages but we work with a few hotels that are able to provide room rates. Special Moments Caribbean will make recommendations on accommodations dependant on the client budget.
4. What services do you provide for couples from the US planning their wedding in St. Lucia?
Special Moments Caribbean works with various vendors throughout the US and Canada who are able to offer other wedding services such as printing (invitations, save the dates, etc), bridal accessories, wedding favors and photography, we offer Special Moments rates with Shannon Confair Photography. We will work with the couple and their wedding party on hotel accommodations, airport transfers or car rentals. We also offer various tours and will design, coordinate and set up the wedding ceremony and reception as well as any other bridal events which our clients may require. We also provide similar services for wedding renewals and anniversaries.
5. Can you give us your top three tips for planning a destination wedding?
Planner! Planner! Planner! Start researching the destination and local planners who are available to help our clients plan this special day. Local planners have a better idea of what the destination and the venue can provide. They will also be able to coordinate with various vendors on your behalf which in itself is one of the most time consuming parts of planning a wedding.
Timing – Ensure that guests are give enough notice so they are able to plan financially as well as applying for time off from work and making travel/ accommodation arrangements. Also ensure that dates do not coincide with major holidays or weekends as friends and family may have plans already as well. SMC suggest sending out Save the Date’s four to six months prior to the wedding event.
Take advantage of being in a foreign country; why not experience the local dishes and set up with ambience reflective of the destination. Having a destination wedding is likely to be a once in a lifetime experience. Enquire about local flowers and any traditions which can be incorporated into the wedding. It may also work out to be cheaper for the couple.