There can surely be nowhere more romantic to tie than knot than right here in the Cayman Islands.
With a wonderful tropic climate, beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets and first-class catering services, island weddings are set to make any couple’s dream day come true.
With only 100 square miles, it is surprising how many venues there are for ceremonies and receptions, from barefoot in the sand to a high-end hotel.
There are more than 200 choices when it comes to churches, of all sizes and denominations. Alternative locations include the lawns of the restored 18th century great house at Pedro St. James, and the lush grounds of the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
Seven Mile Beach, Smith Barcadere, Rum Point and Kaibo are popular beach ceremony choices, or private villas can be rented. The Sister Islands also provide a scenic getaway.
Adventurous couple could say “I do” aboard a boat, or beneath the waves while scuba diving, proving that Cayman really does have a venue to suit a wide variety of wedding styles.
Wedding preparation isn’t all cake-tastings and dress-fitting; paperwork must also be undertaken to ensure the union is legal, noting that the prerequisites differ slightly for residents and visitors.
Residents must provide their civil registrar/marriage officer with a completed notice of marriage, passports and proof of marital and immigration status.
Banns, intimating intention to marry, must also be published prior to the wedding, whether you are Caymanian, have permanent residency or hold a work permit. The banns information includes name, occupation, age, marital status, address, length of time in Cayman and father’s name.
Post-ceremony, the couple, two witnesses and the officiant will sign the marriage register.
Visitors are required to obtain a special marriage license upon arrival and a letter from the authorized marriage officer. Further details, including a list of marriage officers, can be obtained from Cayman Islands General Registry at www.ciregistry.ky.
If you’re considering a beach wedding, there are many options for bridal party attire.
Breathable, lightweight, and soft-flowing fabrics like silk, chiffon and tulle are advised, and whatever length and style you choose, it’s about keeping your bridal party cool, comfortable, and feeling elegant.
For a touch of glamor and versatility consider separates like sequined tops and tulle or chiffon bottoms.
As for colors, rich vibrant hues such as magenta or turquoise give a pop against a neutral beach background; while soft, muted colors like rose gold, blush pink, and dusty blue will add a touch of romance.
While low-heeled wedges or sandals complete the look, flip-flops are a great way to start the day, along with the hot trend of wearing coordinated robes while getting ready.
Whether its rings or bridal party gratitude gifts, our little island is big news when it comes to purchasing jewelry.
A vast range of duty-free jewelry is available from the likes of Island Companies and Kirk Freeport, Diamonds International, Effy’s and Rocky’s Diamond Gallery plus a host of other shops.
There are dazzling diamonds and gemstones of every variety, cut and hue, with re-sizing services available to ensure the perfect fit.
Matching bracelets, necklaces and earrings complete the glittering array of quality jewelry, with significant savings on prices you would expect to pay in the U.S.
Décor for the big day
Many weddings in the Cayman Islands capitalize on the Caribbean flora and fauna, adding a splash of sparkling elegance to complete the theme.
Décor can be organized by your wedding planner or arranged directly with companies including Celebrations, AI rentals or Massive. They can provide everything form marquees, tables and chairs to carpets, linens and chandeliers.
Florists such as Celebrations, Every Bloomin’ Thing and Trisha’s Roses are well-practiced at creating beautiful floral décor, whatever your preferred style.
When it comes to wedding entertainment there are usually two distinct parts to the equation: music for the ceremony and for the reception.
For the ceremony, solo artists can range from a steel pan to a violinist, harpist, bagpiper or guitarist, or couples may book a string quartet or even a brass quintet.
For the reception, top choices to get the party going are a “party band” or DJ who will get people dancing. One World is arguably considered to be the biggest DJ booking company on the island.
If live music is a must, look to bands of at least four pieces or more with a wide variety of songs at their fingertips and an infectious energy when performing.
The Food of Love
If your venue is a hotel or restaurant, catering services will likely be included in your package. If your reception is elsewhere, you can turn to a catering company such as Mise en Place, Market Street Group or Food for Thought, or restaurants such as Grand Old House, Alfresco and Champion House.
While most restaurants will have go-to options, some may tailor according to the wedding couples’ tastes.
Caribbean food lovers could provide a buffet with mac’ n cheese, curry goat and rice and peas, or make it fine dining with pepper pot soup served in bone china, and oxtail in individual cocottes accompanied by truffle mac’ n cheese, plantain-wrapped callaloo and finished with black, rum or cassava cake.
Later in the evening serve mini patties, doubles or rotis to keep the energy levels up.
Capture the love
There’s nothing quite like reminiscing over a stack of photographs, a custom-made photo book or a picture printed on canvas.
The Cayman Islands has a long list of experienced photographers and each brings a certain style or expertise. Some couples may prefer candid shots, while others favor more formal portraits.
Companies catering for weddings include Picture This, Rebecca Davidson Photography, Cathy Church or Deep Blue Images, and solo outfits such as Daria Keenan, David or Melissa Wolfe and Jenna Leigh.
Before making a commitment look at potential photographer’s samples and ask questions about their style, cost and what is included in their packages, and what sort of schedule they suggest for the day.
Honeymoon at home
Many newlyweds jet off to foreign lands for their honeymoon, but you can easily have a wonderful romantic time right here in the Cayman Islands.
It could still feel like a trip away if you head to the Sister Islands, where you can truly escape from everyday life, with pristine empty beaches and not a traffic jam in sight.
If you choose to stay on bustling “Grand,” then staycation at a Seven Mile Beach hotel, taking advantage of resident rates or slow-season deals. Alternatively, head further afield; book into a hotel in East End, rent a condo at Rum Point or hide away at a bed and breakfast in West Bay.
There is a number of local villa rental agencies, and Airbnb also offers dozens of honeymoon options island-wide, from condos to entire villas.
When it comes to activities, do as the tourists do and take full advantage of the island paradise. Spend your days on Jet Skis, sip rum punch at the hotel’s swim-up bar, or visit one of the many spas for a relaxing couple’s massage.
Some couples may relish organizing every aspect of their big day. However, if you’d rather someone else do the running around for you there are several wedding planning businesses in the Cayman Islands.
Celebrations, Five Star Events, Save the Date and Simply Weddings are a few examples of experienced wedding planners who can create seamless experiences.
Companies such as these assist with venue selection, décor, booking entertainment and catering, as well as making sure things run smoothly on the day.