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10 Things to Consider when Planning a Wedding in Barbados

Posted On Wednesday, May 11, 2016 By

Barbados has two weather seasons - wet and dry.

Wet season runs from June until October (as we say in Barbados - "June too soon, October all over!") and tropical rainstorms sometimes occur during this time.

The Barbados tourism industry also has two seasons - high and low.

High season runs from December until April, and if you choose to marry during high season, you'll want to reserve hotel blocks and venues immediately and send out save-the-dates 10 to 12 months in advance so guests can book their flights and accommodations before prices skyrocket. If you choose the shoulder season (right after high season), you may be able to save yourself and your guests some money and still enjoy great weather. While the off-season will mean fewer crowds, the weather can be iffy, and you may find that many stores, venues and vendors close up shop.

Leave travel arrangements to a pro

Travel agents can negotiate group rates and help you manage cancelled flights or room bookings.

Invest in a local planner

You can find a local wedding planner who fits your budget; whether it’s someone who plans everything down to the last detail for you or if it’s someone who just manages everything on the day of the wedding. Planning and executing a wedding in a different country can be very challenging if you do not have the local expertise and ‘on the ground’ help to bring it all together.

Table setting by Events by Giselle

Arranging your marriage license

It is very easy to get married in Barbados as there is no required waiting period or minimum length of stay. Applications for a marriage license must be made by both parties in person at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs. Applications for a license can be made in person and require certain documents, which you can find on the Government of Barbados website.

Remember: You're on Island Time

Don't keep a constant eye on the clock. Remember that many tropical islands run on "island time" -- things happen when they happen -- so don't mistake a vendor's laid-back attitude for incompetence. Avoid the temptation to micromanage from afar. Schedule regular check-ins and then trust your vendors to work their magic.

Take a Trip

We suggest taking at least one planning trip before you tie the knot, to scout and secure your key venues -- ceremony and reception spaces, hotels for guests, a rehearsal dinner venue -- and local suppliers such as caterers, florists and photographers.

Consider a private villa over a hotel

Finding the perfect venue for your big day is really important, so why not consider booking a villa? There are so many villas to choose from in Barbados; from historical and rustic to ultra-modern and luxury. Not only can you find a villa that suits your taste and budget, but you can also stay in the villa with friends and family or extend your stay as part of your honeymoon. You can find a list of great wedding villas here.

Private Villa - La Maison Michelle

Explore more than just sun, sea and sand.

As with every group, there will be some guests who may not want to spend every day on the beach in Barbados. Why not consider some heritage or eco tours as part of your wedding itinerary? We have a list of historical places to visit in Barbados, such as St.Nicholas Abbey. Including a few excursions that are specific to Barbados, such as rum tasting, will surely be a highlight for your guests.

Remember the heat!

Make sure your meal (and guests) can take the ‘heat.’In warm conditions, buttercream frosting can tend to melt, making the cake more likely to slide apart, and frozen drinks can become unpalatable quickly. If you're planning an outdoor affair, be sure the menu you choose won't wilt in hot weather. In the Caribbean, we use a lot of spices, so be sure to taste test the dishes that will be served to make sure that they are not too spicy for your guests.

Local delights

Try to source locally; from food and flowers, to decor. You'll have the best menu if you choose recipes the chef has mastered, ideally made with locally sourced ingredients. We encourage you to use florals that are native to the region; Barbados has incredible flowers, and that will help keep your costs down. Local wedding favors, such as pepper jelly and pepper sauce, allow you to take a little piece of Barbados