Whilst celebrating our silver wedding in St Lucia we saw several weddings taking place at the Sandals Halcyon Beach Resort – the most intimate of all the Sandals resorts, being the smallest and friendliest.. Thought it might be an idea to share our views of weddings here in case it appeals to you as a venue for a destination wedding.
Its certainly a beautiful setting with the sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea in front of you. and the colourful gardens around. Two gazebos are available for weddings, carefully prepared with tables, linens, flowers and cake etc.. They are fairly small so only suitable for small groups and bear in mind that the officiant, photographer and videographer are also present! Hence more suited to small wedding parties. The ones we saw were mainly just the bride and groom and their witnesses (can be provided by Sandals).
There can be several weddings a day – our last day there were 4 – 11am, noon, 3pm and 4pm The ceremony takes about 10-15 minutes, cake is cut and a champagne toast made by the couple for the photographers. A small canape buffet was then often served in the gazebo to the wedding part – larger groups were set up on a lawned area. The happy couples often had a dance in the garden afterward. It was It was funny to see newly weds in their just married T-Shirts the next day too.
Weddings also took place on the beach, with sunbathers and swimmers around it seemed a bit surreal! Either way you are probably going to use the services of a Sandals photographer. It would be too expensive to fly out a photographer and accommodate them, besides which a work permit is required here if not a local. They all seemed good at posing couples and taking the pictures efficiently. We had a few chats with Gavin the main photographer – he used the same camera as us and we exchanged a few ideas about settings, positions and albums. As a side note we had Gavin do a photo shoot for us on our anniversary and it made a change for us to be on the other side of the camera and be posed. Gave us a new perspective on that!. 15 min Complimentary photo shoots were available – prints were obviously extra, packages for 10 prints on a CD and 7 x 5 print for $99 were available. Single prints $20 but the more you have the better value it was. Albums can also be purchased and pictures can even be viewed on-line when back home in case you change your mind about which ones to choose.
We saw couples of all ages getting married here, it was lovely to see them. Sandals being a couples only resort its not possible to have family children present so these weddings suit those who want to enjoy a wedding in beautiful surroundings. either by themselves or just a few family present. Its hot and humid out here so Brides cool dresses and shoes that are beach friendly are the order of the day! Several brides wore pretty flip flops – esp if they wanted pics on the beach afterward.
Sandals were great at organising the bridal preparations. All the couples we spoke to had a great day and got special treatment at their eveing dinner.