You want an “all-inclusive wedding” in St. Thomas?
But first, let’s discuss what “all-inclusive” means.
(Also check out my “non-all-inclusive-wedding-packages-for-St-Thomas-that-are-awesome“.)
All-Inclusive means different things to different people.
But for many wedding couples it means making 1 payment for 1 package to 1 person for 1 $$$ amount. And that package includes:
-Airplane Tickets -Hotel Stay -Unlimited Food -Bottomless Drinks -Wedding Ceremony -Photos
-Perfect fitting wedding dress
Now this imaginary package sounds great in theory, but in reality if you try to book a package like the above you’ll pay a ton of money and get scant options to choose from.
Kinda like the exact opposite of the Golden Corral.
Here’s what I mean.
I love Golden Corral (I also love Shoney’s) as much as the next person. The beauty of Golden Corral is the convenience – you get lots of choices at a reasonable price. Those amazing food stations with every conceivable food known to man. And the countless desserts, sometimes a soft-serve machine. Seriously, how do they make money?
But sadly with an all-inclusive resort you get limited choices for a wedding and you end up paying a lot more for those limited choices even though they try to sell you on the “convenience”.
I mean really, would you still like the Golden Corral as much if it was $75 per person?
Basically, an all-inclusive resort wedding is the moral equivalent of an overpriced, all-you-can-eat buffet with only 3-items – soggy cucumber salad, greenish-yellow asparagus spears, and overcooked lasagna…oh and you pay 3 times as much than if you went the local Olive Garden for their never-ending pasta bowl (another personal favorite).
So while an all-inclusive package is convenient in that you only pay once, that convenience comes at a huge cost.
I hear you talking to the screen right now,
“Ok Island Mike, does that mean I shouldn’t consider an all-inclusive wedding?
Is there a way to have convenience and choices and affordable and beautiful and carefree and awesome and easy and epic?”
Feast your hungry eyes on this:
What it Includes:
1. Officiant 2. Professional Photography (90 Minutes of Photography – approximately 200 images) 3. Bouquet and Boutonniere & 3 Floral Centerpieces 4. Arch with Fabric 5. Roundtrip transportation to and from the wedding and reception for the entire group 6. Beach Admission Fee to Any Beach 7. Bamboo Chairs for Guests
2. Professional Photography (90 Minutes of Photography – approximately 200 images)
3. Bouquet and Boutonniere & 3 Floral Centerpieces
4. Arch with Fabric
5. Roundtrip transportation to and from the wedding and reception for the entire group
6. Beach Admission Fee to Any Beach
7. Bamboo Chairs for Guests
8. Dining Tables
10. Bar including water, juices, soda, beer and booze
11. On-Site Coordinator/Hostess
12. 8″ Cake and Setup (table, cake stand, cutlery)
13. Speaker with Island Music or Your Play List
14. Beach BBQ or Taco Party!
What it doesn’t include:
Before I get into the details of the package, I’d like to share a little unsolicited Virgin Islands Travel Advice:
You can find a hotel/air package easy enough on any travel site like Travelocity, Expedia, or Orbitz.
But if you are like my wife, you want to save every penny you can. So instead, book your hotel and flight separately. You very often find better deals. Also, you have a lot more flexibility, i.e. if hotel prices go down or you find a better deal at another hotel later you can switch without penalty. But with a package you’re stuck with what you’ve booked no matter what deals you may later learn about.
So how would your day actually look if you were to go with my world-famous, all-you-can-eat, all-the-fun-you-can-handle, all-inclusive wedding package?
For purposes of this example, I’m going to pretend you are coming on a cruise ship. (*If you’re staying at a resort or villa, everything is basically the same.)
10:00 am – You, your fiancee and guests will be met right at the cruise ship dock (or resort or villa) at the appointed time on your wedding day.
10:10 am – The group will board an island safari taxi. Separate transportation is provided for the bride/groom if you are going to the courthouse for the marriage license.
10:20 am – The bride and groom will make a quick stop at the courthouse to obtain/procure/get the marriage license. An attendant will escort you in and out of the courthouse.
10:45 am – The group arrives at the beach. Waiting on the beach when the guests arrive:
-The Bar is Open!
11:00 am – Photography and wedding ceremony begins on the beach just feet from the water.
11:15 am – After the ceremony finishes, photography continues with couple’s portraits, family and group pictures.
11:45 am – Cake and champagne toast. Food arrives
12:00 pm – Food is served.
12:30 pm – Photography concludes
1:15 pm – Last Call for the Bar
Depending on your desires, the taxis will be ready on the beach at the predetermined time to take everyone back to the ship. So you can leave the beach and head back to the ship. Or you can make a beach day of it to enjoy our sun, sand and sea. The taxi will be ready when you tell them.
Most of the items in the package are self-explanatory, but a little more details are warranted for the food and drink.
1. Tables with linens are setup under the shade of trees on the water’s edge. In the event of inclement weather the reception will be held under a pavilion. Centerpieces add a touch of color and elegance to this otherwise casual affair.
They deliver the food right to the beach and set it up. The food is served buffet style.
3. The Beach BBQ menu consists of your choice of 3 meats, 2 sides and rolls.
Meats -Pulled pork -Sausage -Chicken wings -Brisket
-Macaroni and cheese
4. If you go with the Taco Party, the menu consists of: (COMING SOON)
5. The bar is self-service. But it will be stocked, replenished and cleaned by the hostess. Drinks will include:
Liquor -Vodka -Whiskey/Bourbon Soda -Coke -Diet Coke -Sprite -Ginger Ale
-Coors Light or Bud Light
The bar is open as soon as you reach the beach and lasts for 2 hours. Long enough to keep everyone hydrated and happy for the ceremony and reception! If you want to keep it open for longer, the cost is $250 for each additional hour for groups of 20 or less.
The Cake is an 8″ cake (for 15 people) and will serve the whole group. A larger group means a larger cake!
The hostess will cut the cake and have it ready after lunch is served. You get your choice of flavors. You can upgrade the cake to a 2-tier cake or with special decor if you like. The flavors are here:
Beautiful and elegant bamboo chairs are set up under the shade at the tables.
The all-inclusive beach wedding offers all the island essentials for a ceremony.
For Flowers, you choose the bouquet you like. It’s a standard size bouquet so if you want a cascading bouquet or a monstrously huge one, it may be a bit more. And we can get almost every type of flower down here…but there are a few rare ones that might not be on the menu. It also includes a boutonniere.
An officiant skilled in the ways of the great orators and communicators of old will perform the ceremony.
A Blue Tooth speaker is ready to connect with whatever playlist you like! If you don’t have a playlist we’ll play a mix of island and contemporary music.
A professional photographer will capture all the befores and afters of your wedding day. 90 minutes of photography is plenty for catching candid shots, group shots, highlights and more…
…but you don’t want to spend your entire day taking photos. This is a beach wedding. It’s time to party!
When you arrive your ceremony location you’ll be greeted by your hostess/on-site coordinator. She will assist with:
-greeting all your guests as they arrive,
-organizing music playlists,
-getting the bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girl, ring bearer, etc. in place and order
-ensuring guests are seated
-last minute wardrobe issues
-keeping everyone on schedule
-rounding up folks for pictures
and 2,146 other things.
Everything you would want for your beach wedding is included in the all-inclusive package…well, almost everything.
If you wanted to add videography or a live musician, they are available and I can line them up.
Videography starts at $550/hour and a live steel pan player is $295. I’ll get you current rates if you’d like a classical guitarist or violinist.
So there you go. My beach wedding and BBQ or taco party reception is like the equivalent of a Golden Corral, if Golden Corral were located on a beach in the Caribbean and if you could get married there.
And if you haven’t already seen my article on St. Thomas weddings, check it out:
Or, if you are set on a St. John wedding: