St.John Virgin Islands - Online Travel Guide





St. John Weddings Venues

Choose St. John of the United States Virgin Islands for your destination wedding ceremony and thrill in the natural beauty of this unique location. With over 2/3 designated as a United States National Park, this is the spot for sweeping views, unspoiled beaches, and tropical flora and fauna, all creating a wedding backdrop to surpass your wildest dreams. At 20 square miles, St. John destination weddings contain a wide range of choices for your wedding day ceremony. Choose anything from the stately ruins of an old sugar mill to the sweeping stretches of white sand on St. John’s renowned beaches, a huge luxury resort or an intimate villa in St. John. With simple license and wedding application requirements, planning a wedding here creates a simply unforgettable experience.

Luxury resorts:

Three popular, high-end luxury resorts reside in the island of St. John – the Westin St. John Resort and Villas, Caneel Bay, and Gallows Point. All significant presences on the island, these hotels are tops in luxury, size, and indulgence. Convenience is a significant part of wedding planning at one of these locations – all include planners and a variety of other services to minimize your own stress levels.

Westin St. John Resort and Villas

The Westin Resort on St. John sits right next to its own private beach, Great Cruz Bay, with 321 guest rooms and 146 one to three bedroom villas for larger groups (ample room for your entire wedding party, but book as early as possible!) A gym, spa, golf course, and water sports are all available to guests, offering relaxation and fun throughout your trip.

Wedding facilities include a ballroom that fits 200 for dinner and dancing, several conference rooms, and outside areas such as a bar and grill (up to 400), a gazebo (up to 120), and a beachside tented area (up to 400.) With the aid of a wedding specialist, couples easily arrange the wedding of their dreams – the wide variety of facilities ensures that every bride’s vision, from dancing under the stars to an elaborate ballroom party, is realized! A wedding specialist sees you through the details, and the hotel offers special rates for groups of family and friends.

When the honeymoon rolls around, the Westin creates the ideal atmosphere for sitting back and letting the stress fall away. Taxis run several times a day to the town of Cruz Bay and many of the popular beaches. A note for snorkeling enthusiasts: the Westin beach, Great Cruz Bay, is not ideal for visibility – the area contains lots of seaweed, and less interesting wildlife. However, don’t be discouraged – beaches such as Trunk Bay and Hawksnest Bay rest only a short ride away (the benefits to staying on a small island!)

To book a room visit: Westin St. John Resort and Villas

Contact:
P.O. Box 8310
St. John, Virgin Islands 00831
United States

Phone: (340) 693-8000
Fax: (340) 779-4985

Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort

The Caneel Bay Resort, and upscale hotel with a definite island feeling, wraps its guests in laidback luxury and elegance for an unforgettable wedding experience. A green hotel, the guest rooms of Caneel Bay contain no TVs, telephones, or clock radios, asking you to let your other, hectic life slip away and truly embrace the island philosophy. The resort also offers 7 different beaches to suit different tastes; Caneel Beach, Little Caneel Beach, Scott Beach, Paradise Beach, Honeymoon Beach, Turtle Bay Beach, and Hawk's Nest Beach (two reserved for adults only!) With no other forms of distraction, guests make their own entertainment through the beautiful surroundings – the hotel offers unlimited use of kayaks, snorkel gear, tennis courts, windsurfing, the large hotel pool, and of course the beaches for unwinding.

For your wedding, Caneel Bay offers a Wedding Coordinator to help with organization, as well as wedding services including florists, wedding cakes, music, photography, and video. You are required to book a 3-night stay at Caneel Bay to hold your ceremony there, with group rates and blocks available for your wedding party. Potential facilities include Caneel Bay Beach, the dramatic sugar mill ruins, hotel restaurants, and an estate house – from natural outdoor beauty to elegant surroundings, your dream wedding venue waits at Caneel Bay. A room rental runs from a minimum of 8 people (the Wine Room) to a maximum of 200 (Caneel Bay Beach or Caneel Beach Terrace.) Packages range from the simple “Casual Elegance” package (officiant and fee, bouquet and boutonniere, a 6” cake, a bottle of champagne and fruit on your wedding night, and the site and coordination fee) to the more elaborate upon request.

While perhaps pricier than other resorts on the island, Caneel Bay offers excellent food, breathtaking views, and an approach to vacation that is entirely Caribbean. Experience your wedding in a place far removed from the outside world, surrounded by luxury and incomparable island beauty.

To book a room visit: Caneel Bay, A Rosewood Resort

Contact:

P.O. Box 720
St. John, USVI 00831-0720

Telephone: 340-776-6111
Fax: 340-693-8280
E-mail: Caneel@RoseWoodHotels.com

Beach:

Couples searching for the perfect wedding site find the beaches of St. John idyllic in every way – the soft white sand, the stunning shades of blue stretching across the bays, and the cooling, lush foliage all create the island paradise you only ever dreamed about. Literally dozens of beaches are available for your wedding ceremony, ranging from the easily accessible public areas such as Trunk Bay and Cinnamon Bay to virtually untouched spots only reachable by boat or hiking, such as Denis Bay and Leinster Bay. Resting under the protection of the National Park, these are some of the most unspoiled, immaculate locations in the world. Consider hiring a wedding planner, who will be familiar with the crowds, times, and permit requirements of the locations. A $25 wedding permit is required for any wedding in the National Park, available here: St. John National Park Permits

For more information on beach weddings or the different beaches in general, visit the Cruz Bay Visitor Center, open year-round from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, or the Virgin Island National Park Service.

Cruz Bay Visitor Center
Website: Cruz Bay Visitor Center
Phone: 340-776-6201 x 238

Virgin Islands National Park Service
Website: Virgin Islands National Park Services
Phone: 340-776-6201 ext. 238
Fax: 340-693-8811
Email: viis@nps.gov
Address: 1300 Cruz Bay Creek
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

The descriptions below include just a few of the most popular beach wedding locations on St. John, their facilities, and pros and cons for your destination beach wedding.

Trunk Bay

Arguably the most popular beach on St. John, Trunk Bay offers stunningly beautiful views, with sweeping stretches of white sand that go right to the calmly lapping waters of the ocean’s edge. This beach is commonly sought out for sunset weddings – the lighting, the timing, and the picture opportunities make it a choice for couples from around the world. Trunk Bay is also one of the few St. John beaches to offer amenities including lifeguards, a snack bar, showers, bathrooms, changing areas, a picnic pavilion, and grills, perfect for a post-wedding celebration and the convenience of your guests.

Beware, however, that this stunning beauty may come at a price – Trunk Bay sometimes draws large crowds due to its popularity, and it may prove difficult if you want an intimate, private affair. The facilities open at 8 AM and close at 4 PM, after which most of the crowds dissipate – if you want privacy, shoot for before or after these times. By doing this, you’ll also avoid the $4 admission fee (Trunk Bay is the only beach that collects this.)

A $50 permit is required for any wedding on Trunk Bay, as well as a cost recovery fee of $100 for groups of 10-50 people, and $150 for groups of 50 or more (this is later reimbursed.)

Hawksnest Bay

Quieter and smaller than Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Bay offers convenient parking and access from the road. It also offers amenities to its guests including picnic pavilions, grills, tables, changing rooms, and pit bathrooms (note however, there is no running water at Hawksnest.) While the crowds tend to build up here as well, early morning and evening ceremonies can avoid the worst of the rush.

For couples seeking a little more privacy, Little Hawksnest Bay lies just to the left of the main beach, equally as beautiful but with less space than Hawknest Bay. This less-known area typically draws fewer crowds.

Hawksnest Bay requires a $25 permit for any wedding, and limits parties to a maximum of 50. You must pay a cost recovery fee of $100, which is later reimbursed. For evening ceremonies, avoid starting the festivities too late – the beach has a noise curfew after 10 PM.

Cinnamon Bay

Cinnamon Bay ranks as the longest beach in St. John, with roughly a mile of soft white sand stretching across the coast. With nearby shady areas and facilities, as well as spaces for staying overnight, it lends itself perfectly to weddings and celebrations. The area is predominately devoted to the nearby Cinnamon Bay campground, with tents and cottages available for rental. Facilities, including bathrooms, showers, a restaurant, changing rooms, grills, and picnic tables are available for visitors. Both the campground and store close at 9 PM for non-campers, with quiet hours enforced from 10 PM to 7 AM.

On the off chance that Cinnamon Bay becomes too crowded for your tastes, head left to find Little Cinnamon Bay, a smaller, more isolated stretch of sand with a bit more privacy for couples.

Maho Bay

Easily accessible right from the side of the road, Maho Bay Beach offers a pavilion for rental from the hours of 10 AM to 9 PM, able to accommodate up to 60 people. The fee for the pavilion is $300, including use of the nearby bathrooms, and the two nearby “eco-resorts” Estate Concordia Preserve and the Maho Bay Camp offer services such as catering, equipment, and wedding planners with your rental, as well as overnight accommodations with group rates. The beach itself is a lush shoreline that leads down to white sand, ending in an extremely shallow, beautiful blue bay.

Caneel Bay and Honeymoon Bay

Connected with the Caneel Bay Resort, these beaches are open to all visitors. Both are beautiful, wide white sand beaches perfect for weddings. The easily accessible Caneel Bay sits directly in front of the resort with a nearby restaurant and restrooms, while reaching Honeymoon Bay requires a hike and therefore draws fewer visitors. While non-guests have free use of the restaurants and bathrooms, beach chairs, umbrellas, and other beach equipment are for guests of the resort only.

Great Cruz Bay

The beachfront property of the Westin St. John Resort offers water sports rentals, bathrooms, restaurant access, and a nearby bar to non-guests. All other beach equipment such as umbrellas, chairs, etc, belongs exclusively to the guests of the Westin. Check into the Westin Hotel for help planning a beautiful beachside ceremony in front of this wide bay!

Salomon Bay, Denis Bay, Jumbie Bay

Those seeking a private, intimate ceremony with fewer people around may want to seek out one of these beaches. All of them require hiking to get to, and offer absolutely no facilities or amenities such as bathrooms, telephones, showers, or snack bars. This cuts down significantly on the amount of people who travel there, with most families sticking to the larger, more accessible beaches such as Trunk and Cinnamon Bay. Any discomfort, however, is more than compensated by the peaceful atmosphere and breathtaking views.

Other beaches of St. John:

Brown Bay
Chocolate Hole
Ditleff Point
Europa Bay
Francis Bay
Frank Bay
Gibney Beach
Great Lameshur Bay
Grottpan Bay
Hansen Bay
Hart Bay
Haulover North
Haulover South
Kiddel Bay
Klein Bay
Lameshur Bay
Leinster Bay
Monte Bay
Oppenheimer Beach
Pocket Beach
Reef Bay
Salt Pond Bay

Villa:

Villas scattered across the small island of St. John provide the perfect location for a small, intimate wedding in paradise. St. John villas range from simple facilities to castle-like homes with pools, hot tubs, majestic master suites, maid service, and panoramic views. You decide how understated or elegant you want your surroundings to be, but nothing compares to the breathtaking sights of a house overlooking the St. John shoreline. Because St. John is a relatively small island, other beaches, restaurants, and the small town of Cruz Bay sit only a short drive away, regardless of your location.

Ensure that your rental agreement permits weddings before booking your private villa, and then enjoy the sense of intimacy that public beaches and large hotels lack. It’s a wedding experience you’re certain to remember for the rest of your life, alongside only the closest of family and friends.

Churches

For ceremonies in a St. John church, first communicate closely with your religious leader from home about your wedding plans, and to find out what your religion’s rules permit in terms of location. Either you or a wedding planner can contact the minister of the St. John Church, although an island wedding planner may have prior knowledge and experience dealing with your chosen church. Be sure to begin planning for a religious ceremony early, as they require more fees and details.

Bethany Moravian Church - (340) 776-6291
Christian Science Society of St. John - (340) 776-6273
Cruz Bay Baptist Church - (340) 776-6315
Emmaus Moravian Church - (340) 776-6713
Nazareth Lutheran Church - (340) 776-6731
Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Mission - (340) 776-6339
St. John Missionary Baptist Church - (340) 693-8884
St. Ursula’s Anglican Church- (340) 693-8580
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship - (340) 776-6922
United Methodist Church - (340) 693-8830

Other Locations

Annaberg Ruins

Once one of the largest sugar plantations on St. John, the ruins of Annaberg still stand today to create a romantic, dramatic location for destination wedding ceremonies. Large sections of the stone building and windmill rise from the ground, perfect for pictures and an intimate ceremony. Sugar cane and slavery were once a significant part of the St. John economy, and the ruins stand as a testament to a long-ago time in history.
The National Park Service owns and maintains the ruins, which remain open to the public. Tours and activities are available through the Park Service for those interested in the plantation’s history. Like the beaches, a $25 wedding permit is required to complete a ceremony here, and wedding planners across the island can help with the planning technicalities.











    
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