Ready to spend some money on your destination wedding?
Hopefully when you read this, you already have a general budget in mind for your wedding here in the Virgin Islands.
If this is the first time you stumbled upon my musings about St. Thomas and St. John weddings, let me share with you 1 piece of important information that I tend to talk about a lot…
St. Thomas and St. John have some of the best wedding vendors in the world.
And generally speaking, they are reasonably priced compared to many stateside wedding vendors.
(For more important information about getting married in St. Thomas check out 13 Things You Must Know About Having a St. Thomas Wedding.)
How do I know? Well, I’ve performed hundreds of weddings throughout the US and Caribbean. And nowhere have I met and worked with so many excellent and consistently amazing wedding professionals.
Planning a wedding from thousands of miles away is no easy feat.
So how do you decide where to begin when finding and hiring vendors for your wedding? The easiest place to begin is to hire me. I’ll line up the very best vendors for you, coordinate timing and get everyone paid.
But if you are just here for the information and want to plan your day without Island Mike…
…I’ve put together all the vendors that work in the wedding industry here in St. Thomas and St. John.
But first a word of caution:
Remember the old joke, “What do you call the guy that finished last in his class at medical school?”
The lesson being that just having a title don’t a good doctor make.
Sort of the same goes here. I’ve listed everyone that is available for hire on St. Thomas and St. John. But I don’t make any representations that everyone on here finished top of their class…or finished any class for that matter.
So take a little time to check out reviews, websites, etc., to find the best fit for you.
Or, just let me handle it and sleep better at night.
St. Thomas and St. John Wedding Photographers
If you decide to hire a photographer for your destination wedding, the 2 most important considerations are:
The best way to choose a photographer is by looking at their work. Every beach photographer in St. Thomas has their own style and personality.
- The Mango Works (St. Thomas and St. John)
- Sage Hammond (St. Thomas and St. John)
- Lindsay Vann (St. John)
- Savanah Loftus (St. John)
- Kelli Peevey (St. Thomas)
- Alexandra Marie (St. Thomas and St. John)
- Dow Studio (St. Thomas)
As you look through the galleries and portfolios of each photographer you will begin to get a sense of the skill and habits of the photographer.
Also remember, all of these photographers will most likely be happy to take any shots you request (i.e. trashing the dress, jumping off rocks, climbing trees etc.)
Wedding Planners in St. Thomas and St. John
If I had to guess, one of the first thing my couples research are wedding planners when planning a destination wedding in St. Thomas.
I think the idea is that you need someone to plan your wedding – someone with boots on the ground here in the islands.
That may or may not be true. For 96% of all couples, no wedding planner is needed since I am able to walk you through ever aspect of your wedding day.
Some of the resorts on St. Thomas have an event staff that is somewhat fluid and changes often. So I’ve only listed independent wedding planners. Resorts charge a lot for use of their event staff.
I recommend NOT booking your wedding through a resort. It’s expensive and you get less options and less individualized care.
(All the beaches on St. Thomas and St. John are public so if you are staying at a resort you can have your wedding at the resort beach without paying for the resort’s insane wedding packages.)
Every planner listed below is a full-service wedding and event planner and should be able to help you with your destination wedding and/or reception.
(Again, most couples will find that I offer the same options and service as a wedding planner but without the added cost.)
Chefs & Caterers
Whether you want a beach reception with good ol’ barbecue or a traditional sit-down, plated dinner in a villa, the caters listed below can tackle groups of any size and tastes.
I have tasted the creations of all of these chefs and can attest that they all will blow your minds with their culinary skills. Probably the second best part of my job (after officiating the wedding) is getting a plate of food from the caterers!
- Passion Fruit Chefs – true professionals with a team of chefs and wait staff.
- Shelley Berry – a long-time island chef and a master of island-inspired cuisine.
- Smoking Rooster – these guys are kings of the barbecue.
- St. Thomas Restaurant Group – They manage Sunset Grille and Caribbean Fish Market but also host wedding receptions.
- St. John Catering
Your wedding cake (or rum balls) is one of the center pieces of your wedding. A wedding without cake is like Bonnie without Clyde, Siegfried without Roy, Batman without Robin…
A cake provides a focal point and gathering spot for family and friends after your wedding ceremony. The photos of the cake cutting (and the occasional cake in the face) are some of the most beautiful and memorable of your wedding day.
St. Thomas boasts top-notch bakers with cake options for any design or inspiration.
- Island Sweet Stuff – creating edible artwork for your wedding.
- Caribbean Rum Balls – specializes in an island favorite – rum balls! (They’ve been closed since the hurricanes but hope to reopen in late 2019.
- Shelly Berry – Shelley not only does catering, she also makes a delicious cake!
- Queen of Tarts – for St. John cakes
- Rise and Shine – St. John cakes and other goodies
When choosing a bouquet, I often get the question: does the florist have a website where I can choose from her bouquets?
Guess what, my florists can make just about any bouquet in the known world – it the flower occurs in nature, they can probably get it.
So what my couples do is scour Google to find the bouquet they like. Then they send me the inspiration photo(s). I send them to the florist. The florist works her magic. You get your perfect bouquet as you walk down the aisle.
If you are undecided or stressed about the whole process, I always recommend going with “florist’s choice”. The florist will make you a bright, vibrant and tropical bouquet with island flowers.
St. Thomas and St. John Videographers
On occasion a couple will bring down a videographer from the states to film a couple’s destination wedding. I often wonder why go through the expense when we have talented videographers here in St. Thomas.
St. Thomas weddings are made to be shared and relived. That is why I typically recommend spending the money to have a videographer ‘document’ your wedding day.
- The Mango Works
- Creating Memories VI
- Tropic Media
- Dow Studio (see photographers category for link)
Wedding Officiants & Ministers
So here we are.
Time to pick your officiant.
You’ll probably want someone charming.
Well, it just so happens I know of a guy that is all those things. 🙂
Ok, so I may not be the perfect fit for every couple. I like to think I can make anyone’s wedding day unforgettable, but the reality is that I am not the “right” minister for every couple.
Reach out to several ministers. Check out their galleries. Maybe find a video or two. While I hope you choose me, I would much rather you find the officiant that makes you happy.
Another option is to have a family member officiate after getting ordained.
You can have them get ordained online with Wanderlust Bay Ministries and perform the wedding legally here in the Virgin Islands.
This category is a little tricky.
Some of the vendors don’t have websites or publicly accessible contact information available. These island folks don’t have time for computers.
Here is where your trusted wedding planner or officiant comes in. They know which musicians are suited for your wedding.
Admittedly, we are a little light on variety in this department.
If you want a violinist – you have one option.
Guitarist? 2-3 options.
If you want steel pan, know that the local musicians aren’t big on social media and websites. They don’t put out playlists or learn songs. But they are my favorite addition to any wedding. The sound of steel pan lifts any event to new levels of island awesomeness.
If you’d like steel pan, I know a few guys. I’ll take care of lining one of them up.
Violinist or Classical guitar – Chris Robbert.
Contemporary guitar and vocals – check out the husband-wife duo (you can book either of them or both of them) Lauren and Bo.
Hair & Makeup Stylists
The below hair and makeup artists specialize in weddings.
For St. Thomas I recommend Julie – you can call her at 340-643-4542. She’ll come right to your room.
For St. John I recommend Saphia – you can call her at 340-514-5372. She’ll also come right to your room.
If you prefer a full-service, salon experience, check out:
- Sugar and Spice
- Saphia (St. John)
- Mermaids Chair
- Cruz Salon (St. John)
- Jewels Beauty Box (St. Thomas)
Sometimes I feel like these guys and gals are a dying breed. An iPhone, a play list and shuffle are what many couple now rely on. Call me old school but I still like having someone at the controls to keep the dancing and party going.
I’ve also got some guys that are off the grid in terms of a web presence.
Places to Get Married in St. Thomas
I call “uncle” in this category. Too many to list.
Churches, villas, gardens, beach houses, resorts, etc. So to make it easy on myself and yet still provide you with as much information as possible, check out a site that was willing to do what I am not!
- Blue Venues – basically they work with all the best wedding venues on St. Thomas. So if you are looking for places to get married, this should be your first stop.
- Another great place to start is this little article I wrote – Stunning Places to Get Married in St. Thomas
Places to Get Married in St. John
All I can do at this point is send you to my St. John Weddings Guide.
Anyhow, St. Thomas and St. John’s weddings shouldn’t be any more stressful than a wedding at your neighborhood Moose Lodge. What I hear time and time again from couples is that the most stressful part of the process is finding trusted wedding vendors from thousands of miles away.
The professionals on this list eat, breath, sleep and obsess about St. Thomas and St. John weddings. There are no part-timers here.
Again, the easiest and most affordable way to do this is let me line everything up while you enjoy the ride.
But if you want to handle every aspect of your wedding by your lonesome, I hope this vendor list is helpful in familiarizing yourself with wedding professionals here in the Virgin Islands and makes your destination wedding planning just a little easier.