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Caribbean Destination Weddings – Wed Like a Celebrity in the Caribbean

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt did it in Provence a Correns, France, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West in Florence, Italy. The Caribbean, too, is a popular pick for destination weddings – and many celebrities have made the Caribbean their destination wedding choice.

Here’s a look at a few Caribbean locales and the celebrities who chose them for their destination weddings:

Bahamas

Of the 700 islands of the Bahamas, Eleuthera is marked by pink sand beaches, secluded coves and a New England style of architecture that’s reminiscent of the British loyalists who left America during the Revolutionary War-era 1700s and made the Bahamas home. This Caribbean island is the fourth most populated island in the Bahamas, and a private, gated Caribbean island is nestled on just the other side of a guarded bridge

This Caribbean island is known as Windermere Island, and Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon chose it for their destination wedding. Windemere spans a mere five miles, but an expansive pink sand beach stretches the length of it. Residential vacation rentals offer the only indoor option for ceremonies, receptions and honeymoons. Couples who wed at a Bahamian residence follow the path of Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, who took their vows at a friend’s house in this region of the Caribbean.

Note: This area of the Caribbean is so destination wedding friendly that the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism at 1600 hours on January 16, 2015 is throwing wedding bashes for 16 American couples on 16 islands. The couples participated in a social media promotion based on their stories of romance and reasons for wanting to get married in The Bahamas. They were selected based on interviews and on votes received on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. The couples receive complimentary round trip airfare, hotel accommodations and meals for four nights, a wedding ceremony with cake, flowers and reception for as many as four guests, plus wedding rings, a bridal gown, tuxedo and the services of a personal wedding coordinator.

Video on Eleuthera Bahamas

Barbados

The coral island of Barbados boasts fine white sand beaches, fringe coral reefs, caves, rolling hills and underground lakes. For those who enjoy activity, the south and west coasts of this Caribbean island is home to its capital, Bridgetown, and most of its large resorts and hotels. Barbados’s west coast offers shopping, dining, night life and history and culture, including a sugar museum. Prefer some quiet solitude? Opt for a small inn on the Caribbean island’s more tranquil north or east coasts. Churches are situated throughout the island.

Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren wed at the Palladian-style Sandy Lane hotel, which overlooks the Caribbean Sea on the west coast. Sandy Lane is one of Barbados’s most luxurious lodging facilities. Guests in the hotel’s 112 rooms and suites and lone private villa can enjoy gourmet dining, a spa, sports facilities and, perhaps not surprisingly, golf. Sandy Lane offers professional wedding planning services, and it’s apparently popular also among pro tennis players. Venus Williams in late October, early November, 2014 is hosting tennis clinics at the property.

Turks & Caicos

This British Crown colony in its commercial fishing and live-aboard dive boat operations retains the culture of native Lucayan indians who planted and fished the area before Christopher Columbus’s discovery. Of 40 Caribbean islands that comprise the Turks & Caicos, only eight are inhabited.

parrot-cay-villa-caribbean

Actor Bruce Willis is among those inhabitants – at least some of the time. Willis owns a home on the exclusive, secluded privately owned island of Parrot Cay, where he said “I do” to Emma Hemming. Some time later, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck tied the knot at Parrot Cay, which is also home to a luxury boutique hotel and one of the Turks & Caicos most exclusive resorts. (Another is situated on Pine Cay, a privately owned island two islands to the southwest).

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands – 60 of them in all – are popular among sailors probably best recognized for Tortola, the main island, and Virgin Gorda, a short boat ride away and home to The Baths, where giant granite boulders render sheltered sea pools and wet, white sand beaches.

But Nick Lachey and Vanessa Minnillo chose Necker Island for their destination wedding. This 74-acre Caribbean island to Virgin Gorda’s north is owned by Sir Richard Branson and is inhabited by more than 200 flamingos. Its Balinese houses and cottages combined accommodate a maximum 28 guests who can enjoy hillside spa treatments and swimming pools with floating sushi and shooter bars. “Bransonesque” adventure activities on Necker Island include windsurfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, sea kayaking and helicopter excursions.

St. Barts

Few Caribbean islands have the celebrity chic reputation of St. Barts. This 8-square-mile volcanic rock is lined with beaches and dotted by exclusive resorts, gourmet restaurants and designer boutiques. In Gustavia, St. Barts’s duty-free port town and capital, shops and cafes sit along a waterfront frequented by yachtsmen, including Brooke Burke and David Charvet, who wed on a yacht off of St. Barts.

The Swedish architecture of Gustavia’s colonial-style clapboard houses and buildings such as an Anglican church and Wall House library and museum evoke the island’s Scandinavian heritage. Saint-Jean, the island’s centrally located town, provides for its second largest shopping area and, like hillside areas, is home to upscale lodging facilities.

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About Author: Michelle Sheldone

Michelle Sheldone is an award-winning writer and the author of "Historic Walking Guides: Florida Keys." She launched her career at Family Circle magazine, where she worked as an entertainment editor. She has since contributed to newspapers, magazines and travel guides and handled marketing for government, education, travel, hospitality, fashion and conservation interests.