10 Fatal Mistakes When Preparing a Caribbean Island Wedding

1. Not understanding the local geography. When a website says the villa is located near or has access to a beach, that does not mean it is walkable.

2. Not having a local representative that knows the islands customs, nuances and laws. I.e. which beaches have fire ants, which villas allow large parties, is there enough parking at my event site or should I hire taxis for my guests, etc.

3. Thinking the same conveniences enjoyed stateside exist on a tiny island: i.e. 24 hour convenience stores, fast food, wholesale clubs and department stores, parking, door to door mail, garbage or food delivery and pick up etc. People like islands for their tranquility… this also means they are remote and do not have every accommodation available.

4. Bringing your own photographer not educated on our unusual lighting challenges. You’ll waste money on photos that are average when you’re in a top location for some of the best wedding photos you’ve seen.

5. Having your ceremony at sunset. While romantic, unfortunately this produces disappointing picture quality and eliminates all the beautiful Caribbean water shots. Depending on the beach, mosquitoes and no-see-ums can also become a problem.

6. Shipping your wedding dress. Don’t do it. Shipping can take WAY longer than you think. Do NOT believe the post office when they say only a few days or a week. And do not think the packaged box will be treated with care.

7. Believing the post office or other delivery service when they say it will be there the next day, week, month. This is something that is easily assured to get you, an unknowing visitor, satisfied enough to get off the phone. Talk to your planner and learn the best way to insure your items get here before your wedding.

8. Not taking into account that our climate may change the way your personal care products work. i.e. make up, hair spray, etc. Hair gets frizzy or goes flat; hair products get sticky or go hard; deodorant can be useless after 5 minutes… ask about this stuff or read up on the internet before you go and assume it will all be as effective in the hot climate.

9. Hiring a stateside wedding planner. They may know weddings. They will not know Caribbean weddings or island-specific details that will make your experience a smooth one.

10. Getting a facial the day before your wedding. Please do not even think of this. I’ve seen too many brides foolishly indulge in a facial during a luxurious spa day before a wedding, part of her relaxation and enjoyment with friends. Then, RED ALERT! Her face breaks out in a rash, red blotches or starts itching the next morning–the day of her wedding day–due to some ingredient she didn’t realize was included in the exclusive salon products.