Plan an Antigua Wedding You'll Love Remembering Forever

It's appropriate this beachy paradise is set in the heart of the Carribean.
Antigua destination wedding.
Photo: Keith Cephus Photography
Location: Blue Waters Resort and Spa in Saint John, Antigua
Ellen O'Brien - The Knot Contributor.
Ellen O'Brien
Ellen O'Brien - The Knot Contributor.
Ellen O'Brien
The Knot Contributor
  • Ellen is a contributor for The Knot, where she covers everything from honeymoons to wedding showers.
  • Formerly a fellow at Washingtonian magazine, Ellen has experience covering local weddings in the DC area.
  • Ellen also contributes to wedding venue round-ups at The Knot, helping compile the best wedding venues in cities across the country.
Updated Mar 25, 2024
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If a picturesque soiree in the heart of the Caribbean is what you envision for your nuptials, an Antique wedding is worthy of consideration. One of two islands in the country of Antigua and Barbuda, this island is full of gorgeous beaches, stunning venues and swaying palm trees. It's no wonder it's known as one of the best Caribbean islands for a destination wedding.

Yet, even the best destination wedding locations involve some important considerations, including booking vendors and venues from afar and ensuring your union is legal. For couples with their hearts set on a destination wedding in Antigua, it's worth any extra steps (some of which can be eased with expert Antigua destination wedding planners at stunning resorts).

Here, we cover everything you need to know about planning an Antigua destination wedding. From fantastic wedding packages to the best spots for a beach wedding, this is your guide to the best Antigua wedding. You'll never want to leave this country after saying "I do" (and we don't blame you).

Antigua Wedding Planning Tips in this Article:

Why Couples and Guests Love Antigua Weddings

JoAnn Gregoli, a destination wedding planner with expertise in the Caribbean, says Antigua is relatively flat compared to other Caribbean islands. As a result, Antigua has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean, making it a desirable spot for a beach wedding ceremony. "They're really known for their beaches," she says.

With soft white sand and blue waters, any beach on the island makes a gorgeous wedding venue—minimal decorations required. This country is known for its lush vegetation, making it the perfect spot for nature lovers. You'll feel as though you're on your own private island in this slice of Caribbean paradise.

Pro tip: Invite a destination wedding travel expert to join your vendor team. Browse travel agents near you on The Knot Marketplace for Antigua wedding expertise, group hotel blocks, flight arrangements and more.

The Best Places to Get Married in Antigua

Antigua Wedding, view of English Harbour
Photo: Marc Guitard/Getty Images,English Harbour

Even though the country is a relatively small island, there are tons of fantastic Antigua wedding destinations to choose from. From smaller boutiques to larger venues with extensive wedding packages throughout the island, we're confident you'll be able to find exactly what you're looking for.

Western Antigua

The Western part of this Caribbean island is full of gorgeous harbors, bays and coves. Head to Pearns Point for a stunning overlook over Pearns Bay. In close proximity to Pearns Point is Hermitage Bay, one of the most breathtaking luxury resorts on the island. Gregoli says she loves this resort because it's eco-friendly and a beautiful property. Another wedding venus on this side of the island is Sugar Ridge Resort Antigua, a hillside spot with beautiful views of the sandy beaches.

Northern Antigua

Head to the Northern part of the island for a bustling downtown. The capital city of Antigua and Barbuda, St. John's, is located on this part of the island and is home to historic spots, busy ports and authentic restaurants. One of the most popular wedding venues on this section of the island is the Sandals Grande Antigua, an adults-only resort close to the airport. Another great wedding day spot on this part of the island is Blue Waters Resort and Spa, a four-star hotel with tons of beautiful gardens. On its own private island, which couples will reach with an extra leg of transportation, is arguably one of the best properties on the island, Jumby Bay Resort.

Southern Antigua

Gregoli pinpoints the southern portion of this Caribbean island for its fantastic beaches. She especially loves the Carlisle Bay Antigua, a five-star hotel with close proximity to Cactus Hill, a hiking area, and Carlisle Bay Beach, a secluded sandy beach spot. Other venue options on this part of the island include the St. James's Club & Villas, Antigua, an all-inclusive resort, and the Antigua Yacht Club Marina & Resort, located in close proximity to English Harbour.

Pro tip: As you consider Antigua wedding locations, don't forget about your newlywed vacation. Plan an amazing Antigua honeymoon, too, with our complete guide.

The Top Antigua Wedding Venues

Grande Antigua Resort & Spa hotel

If the tide (and your heart) is taking you to a destination wedding in Antigua, you'll want to find a venue and spot for guests to stay. Resorts give you the best of both worlds and then some. Generally set right on the beach, these resorts offer waterfront views from many rooms and a chance to say, "I do," overlooking (or right on) sugary white sands. Antigua wedding packages often include expert planning, which can be clutch when trying to connect with local vendors from afar.

Hermitage Bay

Tucked away on a tropical hillside with beach views to write home about, Hermitage Bay offers five-star tropical luxury at every turn. Spacious suites located within cottages are perfect for getting ready. Bonus: Some open on the beach, so you can breathe in the cool breezes, something that'll put you in a tranquil state of mind ahead of your Big Day. The intimate spot is enveloped by tropical gardens, making it a perfect fit for smaller parties (including ones of two). Dedicated planners can help couples choose flowers and arrange a romantic candlelit dinner. A package includes a marriage officer, cake and a champagne breakfast the day after.

Sandals Grande Antigua

Considered one of the most romantic resorts on the planet, Sandals Grande Antigua's location along the gorgeous Dickenson Bay, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, makes it an easy pick for a jet-setting affair. A seasoned Antigua wedding planning team will help you secure everything from legal documents and rooms for guests to decor and food with your version of island flair. Not actually getting to see a venue before the Big Day can be a deal-breaker for some couples. So, Sandals Grande Antigua allows to-be-weds to "test drive" their wedding with a reduced rate for a three-night stay (Extra vacation in Antigua, anyone?).

Jumby Bay Resort

Found on a private island, an Antigua destination wedding at Jumby Bay Resort will feel truly exclusive and intimate. Exhibit A: Guests arrive via private yacht after landing in Antigua — it's mere minutes from the airport. Once there, guests and to-be-weds will have access to the heavenly 300-acre grounds with gardens, palm trees and unspoiled white-sand beaches. For added privacy, couples can reserve the whole resort for their wedding. Couples can hold their ceremony by the sea and choose from various reception venues — a yacht, underneath the starry sky, on the sugary sands or in a refined Estate House. Services like planning and cake are additional.

Carlisle Bay Antigua

This gorgeous but intimate resort with 87 rooms, Carlisle Bay Antigua's bespoke wedding menu offers pairs a chance to turn their nuptials into an affair that's authentically them. Wedding breakfast for two? Done. Ninety-guest beach dinner party? Also, done. Wedding planners and packages also streamline the process (and leave room for customization). Guests will enjoy water sports, tennis, spa treatments and boat excursions when they're not watching you get married.

Pro tip: Once you've decided on your Antigua wedding venue, send out destination wedding save-the-dates with important info so your guest can book the time off and start thinking about travel plans.

Destination Wedding in Antigua, St. John's, Antigua
Photo: Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Before jetting down to say "I do" on the white sand beaches of this blissful island, you'll want to take into account all of the legal requirements around getting married in Antigua. Thankfully for you, we've already done all of the work, including researching how to get a marriage license in Antigua. Still, working with a planner who is up to speed on the process can help ease nerves and ensure everything goes smoothly. Read on to learn more about how to legally marry in Antigua.

If you want to save some money on your big day, you can opt to have your legal ceremony in the US before jetting over to Antigua for a more symbolic ceremony. Gregoli says this option is quite common for couples looking to avoid the headache of planning a civil ceremony in a foreign country.

In order to tie the knot at this island in the West Indies, you'll need valid passports and a completed application form signed at Antigua's Ministry of Legal Affairs. You'll also need your proof of status, which establishes whether you are single, divorced or widowed. If you are single, you and your partner will need to sign a declaration saying such within Antigua. If you or your partner are/is divorced, you'll need to provide the Original Decree Absolute (a British term for a court-issued divorce certificate). Additionally, if you or your partner are/is widowed, you'll need to provide a copy of the marriage certificate for that marriage and the death certificate of the deceased.

Looking to say "I do" in a timely manner? You're in luck. In Antigua, there is no residency requirement prior to your wedding ceremony for a special license. To obtain the special license, you'll first need to pay the necessary fees and sit for a brief interview with the Marriage Coordinator at the Ministry of Legal Affairs. You'll be able to say "I do" in less than 24 hours. Note that your wedding ceremony must occur between the hours of 6 am to 6 pm local time.

There are a few fees associated with a wedding in Antigua. Prior to being issued your special license, you'll need to pay the license fee ($150) and registration fee ($40). They'll also need to obtain a certified copy of your marriage certificate ($10) and pay for a marriage officer to oversee your wedding ($250).

Antigua Wedding Planning Tips

Beach wedding venue

Stressed about planning a wedding in Antigua? From booking your wedding coordinator to finding the perfect wedding location, we have all of the information you need to know.

How to Get There

With multiple cities offering direct flights to Antigua, traveling there is relatively easy. Some of these cities include: New York, Miami and Newark. Once you arrive on the island, you can opt to take the bus, hail taxis or rent a car to travel around the island. If you or your guests decide to rent a car, you'll need to pay a fee of 50 East Caribbean dollars (roughly 19 American dollars) for an Antiguan driving permit.

Antigua Weather

Gregoli says the best season for good weather in Antigua is typically between December and April. If you choose to wed during the off-season, you'll want to be mindful of potential rain storms and hurricanes. While hurricanes don't tend to directly hit the island, you'll want to be mindful of heavy rains during this part of the year (July to November).

Choosing Your Antigua Wedding Venue and Vendors

When selecting a wedding venue in Antigua, Gregoli says it's important to ask about their specific policies. No two venues will have the same policies, and different restrictions and time limits may apply. You'll want to consider the size of your wedding, the time frame, the preferred ceremony location and the overall vibes when selecting your venue. Having a wedding planner or wedding specialist can also be helpful in determining the venue and vendors that fit your specific needs best. Head to The Knot's Marketplace for a complete list of planners and vendors that specialize in destination weddings.

Antigua Wedding Cost and Budgeting Tips

It's tough to say the precise destination wedding cost in Antigua. However, Antigua uses the East Caribbean dollar, which is roughly equivalent to 37¢ U.S dollars. You'll want to take into account the costs associated with obtaining your special license to wed in Antigua, as these costs can catch some couples by surprise. The cost of your wedding in Antigua greatly varies based on the wedding venue and the wedding package you select. However, many venues offer discounted packages during shoulder seasons and lower rates for all-inclusive packages.

Pro tip: Set up a free destination wedding website on The Knot with all the event details including your Antigua wedding itinerary, things to do, guest travel information, RSVPs and more.

BethAnn Mayer contributed to this article.

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