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How To Plan A Destination Wedding In Grenada

  |  By Kate Yorga
How To Plan A Destination Wedding In Grenada

Grenada is know for its abundant natural rainforest, pristine white sand beaches and genuine local hospitality. Whether you want to chill on one of more than 50 beaches, snorkel through the turquoise waters or hike in the extinct volcanic rainforests, the unspoiled nature of this Caribbean gem provides exceptional romantic opportunities at every turn.

Foodies have endless options at over 130 restaurants, from down-home island fare to international Caribbean-flavoured haute cuisine. Long known as the Island of Spice, Grenada is the world's second largest exporter of nutmeg. A multitude of adventures await for couples with culinary tastes, including cooking classes, spice market excursions as well as microbrewery and cocoa plantation tours.

Whether you want to say “I do” with your toes in the sand, in one of the capital city of St. George’s churches dating back to the 1800s, or amidst tropical rainforest vegetation, here are some tips for hosting a celebration in this gorgeous island location.

The best time to go: Generally avoid September through November, the peak rainy period and hurricane season throughout the Caribbean. For the best weather, the high season months from January through April, when it’s driest, are magnificent: days average 30C but are tempered by the cooling northeast trade winds creating consistently ideal temperatures. May and June are also great options, with good weather and sometimes more affordable rates. August is Carnival in Grenada, with a fun, party vibe, but it might mean booking challenges and higher rates.

The flight: From Toronto, Caribbean Airlines offers twice weekly nonstop flights to Grenada’s Maurice Bishop International Airport. As well, Air Canada offers seasonal nonstop flights; or year-round West Jet, American Airlines and Air Canada offer flights with a connection in the United States or Caribbean before reaching Grenada’s bountiful shores. Travellers from other parts of Canada will have to connect through Toronto or elsewhere in the U.S.A.

The legal paperwork: Grenada’s law requires couples be “residents” on the island for at least three days (including weekends and holidays) before applying for a marriage licence. Organizing the licence might take at least a day or two; so plan on getting married on the fourth or fifth day of your stay. You’ll need to bring valid passports, birth certificates, sworn affidavits that neither party has been previously married or a Decree Absolute for each divorced party, deceased’s death certificate if widowed, or legal proof if a party’s name was changed. No blood or medical tests are required.

The venue: Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort and Spa is the choice for your dream destination wedding—our favourite spot to tie the knot is on the pier over the ocean, but the resort has other fairytale sites including the beach, the gazebo over the Goldfish Grotto and the Neem Garden. Sandals' destination wedding planner takes all the guesswork out of planning your day from afar. You can simply choose one of their six pre-designed wedding themes or personalize every detail. Once you set up your profile and your choices, the pre-travel wedding planners not only review your “vision board” to help you plot all your wedding details in advance, they also assist in acquiring the wedding licence by special dispensation for 48 hours after your arrival. Once at the resort, the on-site team meets you and your mister to confirm every element or make any last-minute adjustments you require—so the two of you can relax to enjoy the resort’s nine gourmet restaurants, two freshwater swimming pools, quiet beachfront, a variety of water sports (including all diving for certified scuba enthusiasts). Unwind with massages when you first arrive at LaSource’s Red Lane Spa; and remember to book hair, makeup and mani/pedi appointments so you look fabulous for your day.

The budget: Wedding packages at Sandals LaSource range from the simple "Beautiful Beginnings" package, which is currently free with your stay, with prices increasing depending on the type of wedding you're planning. Using Sandals' online destintation wedding planner you'll be able to instantly tally the cost of your day as you select each custom detail.

The local customs: Nothing transports you to island time faster than local calypso music especially when played using those melodic steel drums—imagine your guests dancing barefoot in the sand to the rhythmic beats. Forego traditional roses or peonies for your floral arrangements because stunning exotics like ginger and orchids can be locally-sourced. Rum is plentiful thanks to a local distillery and bartenders can create sophisticated cocktails color-coordinated to your theme—have one topped with fresh grated nutmeg for true island flavour. There’s a local taste for beer drinkers too, since the island now has its own microbrewery. If tying the knot at Sandals LaSource, choose a unity sand blending ritual as part of your ceremony—the bride and groom each receive a different color of sand that they pour simultaneously into a glass vessel. The mixing swirls of sand signify the intertwining of two lives that are no longer separate.

This article was originally published on Apr 22, 2014

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