Destination Wedding in Anguilla: An Epic Beach Party
We plan destination weddings all over the world and every place is special. Just like how every couple is special. And today we’re sharing a special destination wedding in Anguilla along with some pro planning tips and info to help you with your wedding.
So, let’s start at the beginning…
When I first started talking to Brooke and Mike about their wedding, they were open to the Caribbean as a whole. While the area in general was special to them, they didn’t have a particular island in mind.
But they did have some criteria they were looking for.
So, my first step was to find the right island for them.
One that was decently easy to get to, but wasn’t too remote or too touristy.
So, no cruise ship islands, but still with some night life. And not too windy.
While every Caribbean island has it’s qualities, Anguilla was the perfect fit. It’s nice because it’s a big enough island with the amenities you want, but not so big that it feels touristy.
It’s nice in-between of “civilization” and that mellow remoteness you want from an island.
Finding the Right Resort in Anguilla
Beyond the island itself, we were also looking for the right resort and the right wedding venue for this destination wedding in Anguilla.
Now Anguilla has a few biggie resort brands like the Four Seasons, Auberge, and Belmond. But that wasn’t vibe Brooke and Mike were going for.
They didn’t want a typical resort wedding, but something more intimate.
Something less… sterile.
I discovered the Frangipani Resort on Meads Bay and it was just the ticket. It’s a cute, small boutique resort right on the beach that we could buyout so we’d have full access.
And while it wasn’t big enough to house everyone, we utilized many of the small neighboring hotels to give everyone a place to stay all near to each other.
What was particularly great about the Frangipani Resort was that it was a resort without a curfew (with a buyout), which isn’t always easy to find. They also had a partnership with the Straw Hat restaurant next door, which served as a perfect reception spot and kept everything in one place.
And the staff were all really friendly and personable, which I personally always love and appreciate.
So with the resort buyout along with all the other properties combined, their group ended up taking over a good chunk of Meads Bay.
All of which meant the beach was almost private to them.
Not technically private, but practically as good as you can get! And that was amazing.
Building the Rest of the Vendor Team
Once we nailed the island and the venue, it really set up the rest of the planning very nicely.
As I’ve said before, the destination location and the wedding venue you choose plays a huge part in the vision and the design of the wedding.
They all really work together. So starting off on the right foot makes a huge difference!
Destination Wedding Planning Pro Tip:
Hiring your wedding planner first is always a good idea! That way they can help you with both the location and the venue.
So, now that we had the biggest decisions made, it was time to build the rest of the vendor team.
Now what you may not know is that islands are like any remote area in that there aren’t a lot of vendor options.
As the population is smaller, there just aren’t many vendors who service weddings and events. They exist, but it’s not like planning a wedding in a major city.
You won’t have list of options to choose from. Sometimes you’ll only have a couple of options or only one option.
This makes it both easier and harder to build your team.
Less choice makes decision making easier. But if you can’t find what you want, then you’re stuck.
While you usually try to keep your team local for budget purposes, it’s not always possible. And many times what you want just doesn’t exist in that area. Or in our case, on the island.
So many times you end up with a mixture of local and destination vendors.
In our case, we ended up bringing in some destination wedding vendors to help create this destination wedding in Anguilla.
One major one was the band. Music was super important to Brooke and Mike and while there were some good local bands, they all played island music.
So we scoured the eastern seaboard looking for the right band. And found them in New York, Mod Society. And they were awesome!
Not only were they awesome at what they do, but the were awesome from the planning side of things as well.
Which I have to say, I always really appreciate.
The other vendor we decided to bring in was the photographer because we just couldn’t find what we wanted on island. Luckily I found a wonderful photographer Savanah Loftus on another island, St. John (Note: Savanah no longer shoots weddings).
And she was awesome as well! Perfect style wise for what we wanted (something less touristy, more modern and candid) and great to work with.
With a collection of local vendors to help us with rentals, lighting, florals, hair and makeup, cake and the other events, we were set.
Destination Wedding Planning Pro Tip:
With every location (not just an island), you have to be careful about any permits or licenses you may need either to have the wedding or to bring a vendor in. Make sure you look into that or just have your destination wedding planner handle it for you!
Designing this Destination Wedding in Anguilla
When I design a wedding, it’s always more than just what it looks like. It’s about the experience as whole.
It’s about creating the feeling, the vibe, the atmosphere that a couple is looking for through out the destination wedding experience.
And that goes beyond the physical things. It’s also incorporating the flow of the wedding day and weekend and all the subtle touches that make their wedding theirs.
Because we’re always going for personal and meaningful.
But specifically personal and meaningful to the couple. In this case, Brooke and Mike.
Now some couples come into planning their wedding with some ideas already. And others just have a vague concept.
Brooke and Mike were a little bit of both.
For example, they knew they wanted the Caribbean as their destination location, but not which island. They knew they wanted tropical vibes at their wedding, but not exactly what that looked like. And they knew they wanted it to be light-hearted, laid back and an amazing party on the beach, but they weren’t sure how to create that
So, we created a vision for their wedding to help create not only the design, but to find the vendors who would help us execute the vision.
We used a mixture of bright colors and neutrals.
There were fun tropical florals and greenery.
A very personal ceremony was officiated by a close friend.
Lots of fun and varied music entertained guests at different points in the weekend.
Casual events throughout the weekend helped to introduce guests to different parts of the island and create opportunities to spend more time together.
Shot escort cards got the party going.
A sand fire pit kept guests warm and a lighted beach dance floor was filled with dancing and sweaty guests enjoying themselves late into the night.
These are just some of the design elements and I could describe it a myriad of ways, but photos can many times speak louder than words.
So as we say on our wedding stories page, this is their wedding story…
This destination wedding in Anguilla for Brooke and Mike was a really fun one. It gave their guests and themselves a real opportunity to spend time together, make new memories and have an epic beach party.
And I had so much fun getting to know Brooke and Mike!
They’re such awesome people. And planning, designing and making their wedding all come to life was a blast. If you’d like to read more of their story, click here.
Many thanks to the team who helped to create this wedding:
Planner & designer: Yours Truly!
Photographer: Savanah Loftus (and all photos by her!)
Band: Mod Society
Rentals and Florals: Black Orchid Florists
Lighting: Titanium AV
Steel Drums: Michael Dumpa Martin
Cake: Sugarlicious Creations
Hair & Makeup: Fanny Richardson
Invites: Paper Tales
Welcome Dinner: Blanchard’s Beach Shack
Rehearsal Dinner: SunShine Shack
Rehearsal Dinner Band: Mystic Vybz