Planning a Wedding on St. John Island
Choosing A Wedding Venue/Location
Once a couple gets engaged, the inevitable question of when and where the wedding will take place arises. This question is not an easy one to answer. Finding the perfect spot for the special occasion is quite the daunting task. Wedding venue options are infinite and a wide variety of questions must be decided before the a couple can select their precise location. Liking a location is just simply not a good enough reason as there is way more to take in to consideration than that. There are a few simple rules to follow when choosing the absolute place of utopian wedding perfection
First, one must have all their ducks in a row.
There is so much excitement and emotions running wild in the beginning that couples tend to hastily choose a location. Before choosing the location you should take a few things into consideration first. How many people will be attending the wedding? An exact head count isn’t necessary but a close rough estimate would be very useful as well as any special accommodations your guest might need. The time of day that the wedding will take place as well as the season are also two very important details to take into consideration.
Why is it important to have an approximate guest count before choosing a venue? It is difficult to have an exact guest count early on in the wedding planning but if you don’t have at least a close estimate of the size wedding you are planning to have you will not be able to properly choose a venue to accommodate everyone. One of the first questions a place will ask is how many guest will be attending the wedding. An exact head count isn’t needed but having a rough estimate of your wedding size, 50, 100, 500 guests, will let you know if a place of interest will be able to accommodate all your guest. Most venues will list their maximum capacity online. saving you time and money from having to visit them in person.
Most couples already have a good idea which season they want the wedding to take place in. Many places are geared toward summer weddings. If your wedding isn’t taking place during the summer, be sure to ask if they host other season events. Also be sure to inquire about the little things in regards to the season of your particular wedding. Does their venue location provide heating or cooling? If it rains, is there a backup location? Is the lighting adequate for guest to see the services if the wedding is taking place at night? Is there disability access? These questions may seem odd but not all venues will provide all amenities and it is better to know before booking to provide the best experience for you and your guests.
Second, visit the location on the same day, time and season (if possible) when your event will take place.
It will give you a better idea of the atmosphere for own event. In most cases you will need to call ahead and schedule the visit. You will be able to see things such as; how the light fills the space, if there are cold drafts, if the heating or cooling works, to name a few. This will help you to decide if this is really the perfect place you want your wedding to take place and worth spending your money on. Bring our wedding planner or coordinator with you. They will be able to give you a different perspective, suggestions and advice.
Third, find out if the venue is all inclusive or not.
There are two different types of wedding venues. An all inclusive or full service wedding venue offers everything such as; table and chair rentals, linens, catering, supplies. A non all inclusive or non full service wedding venue only offers you the space and nothing else. It is your responsibility to provide everything else such as booking vendors, providing tables and chairs, linens for those tables, food and much more. Keep in mind, that most non full service wedding venues will only allow you to hire certain vendors (caters, rental companies, event designers) that they want you to work with. This will give you less options for finding someone more within your budget.
Fourth, know the style and feel of the type of wedding you want.
Do you want to say your vows by the light of the moon, do you want something romantic in a vineyard setting, an urban or gothic setting, a wedding on the beach with the sound of the ocean in the background, something holiday themed? These all sound appealing but not all venues can provide the right atmosphere for style specific weddings. Knowing what style wedding you want will help narrow down the venue locations. If you’re looking for something more modern you wouldn’t want a venue location with country charm. If you want that beach fantasy you wouldn’t want a venue location in a ski resort. It is important to know the style of wedding you wish to have so when looking for venues you can find one that will be able to meet your needs.
Fifth, never be afraid to ask questions or to get multiple opinions.
Don’t hesitate to ask different people at the same venue locations the exact same questions. With different positions at the venue; caterers, managers, coordinators; they will most likely have differing views all of which will give you a better picture of how your wedding may go. Don’t hesitate to ask the same questions repeatedly. This is your special day and you deserve it to go perfectly smooth. Don’t forget to ask questions like: How many weddings are going to be held here on the day of my wedding? Are there going to be any landscape changes done before my wedding? Is there going to be any scheduled construction done before or during my wedding? Is there any chance of my venue location being changed before my wedding? Always remember to ask questions, no matter how strange you may think they are and always get everything in writing.
Recommended Wedding Venues on St. John Island
Now that we’ve discussed the few simple rules for choosing a wedding venue, I would like to recommend a few beautiful wedding venue locations that I think would be just ideal if you are planning on getting married on St. John Island.
Annaberg Plantation Ruins
Annaberg Plantation Ruins was once a Danish sugar mill and plantation back in 1780. It was named after William Gottschalk’s daughter. Annaberg translates to Anna’s Hill. There are many charming settings for a wedding ceremony to be held within this elegant historical plantation with breathtaking views.
The ruins are open to the public and protected by the Virgin Islands National Park. If you are interested in having your wedding here you would want to schedule it in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the heat. Since the plantation is open to the public, it can get very crowded during mid day.
Hawksnest Beach is a beautiful stretch of white sand. It is an unforgettable place for a wedding. It offers restrooms and a place to change clothes for the Bridal couple and their guests. Hawksnest Beach is best for morning weddings because the lighting is absolutely phenomenal for photographs. There are no fees to enter or to use this beach and there is plenty of parking. Ceremonies of St. John offers canopy and chair rentals.
Trunk Bay is the most popular beach and considered one of the top beaches in the world. There is a $4.00 charge per person daily from 7:30am – 4:30pm. Trunk Bay is a picturesque location for weddings any time of the day. It is most noted for sunset weddings.
Cinnamon Bay is the longest stretch of white sandy beach on St. John Island. Private ceremonies can be held on the beach with a tranquil, relaxing and intimate atmosphere. There are no fees for entering or using the beach.
Good to Know
Just one more bit of information: There is a $100.00 fee for the application and a $100.00 fee for the license payable via money order. You can easily find the application online. Simply type into your search engine “Weddings on St. John Island” or any variation and you will easily find the info you need to get started. Fill it out and mail it in. It is very simple to apply for and get married on St. John Island.
Many of the Spas and Salons on St. John Island offer makeup, hair, facials, pedicures, and massages.