BOLANS VILLAGE, Antigua -- Beverly King revived the groom, who had fainted while reciting his wedding vows, with a glass of red wine.

The ceremony continued. The couple was pronounced husband and wife, and the champagne celebration began.

As wedding coordinator for 13 years at Jolly Beach Resort in Antigua, King has had plenty of practice making sure that weddings exceed a couple's expectations.

"I stopped counting when I hit 1,000 weddings, but I know I did more than 200 last year," King said.

The 462-room, all-inclusive resort is spread over 40 acres, and King has "learned how to run fast" because she often coordinates two weddings a day during the busy "marriage months" of April, May and June.

Two gazebos often are used as wedding sites -- one is on a hill above the main pool, and the other is at the beach.

King, an Antiguan by birth, has worked at Jolly Beach for 23 years and started coordinating weddings in 1989 when she moved from the restaurant to the guest services desk.

"Part of that job involved arranging weddings for our guests. I fell in love with the magic and never looked back," she said.

As coordinator, King handles all the arrangements -- from the marriage license to the photographer, videographer, steel band, flowers, cake and champagne and any other requests, such as the bride who wanted a choir at the ceremony.

"I hated to tell her there wasn't enough advance notice, so I put my magic cap on and found her a choir," she said.

Another bride wanted a palm tree in the gazebo. "Her dream was to be married in the Caribbean with a palm tree in the background," King said. She solved that with a potted palm tree behind the gazebo.

Often, King does not meet the couple until right before the wedding, and they frequently come with an entourage.

"I recently had a bride and groom who brought 80 friends and family from Boston. We handled everything by phone, and the celebrations came off without a hitch," King said.

Antiguan regulations stipulate that couples arrive one working day prior to the ceremony to process necessary documents.

King acknowledged that many Caribbean resorts offer wedding services.

"Although we have competition, it's the personal service that makes Jolly Beach weddings superior," King said. "Clients know they can contact me anytime they need assistance and assurance."

The resort's standard $595 wedding package -- waived if the wedding party books five rooms for seven nights -- includes the license, bouquet, cake, champagne, an e-mail announcement to 10 friends, massage oils, wine and dinner for two and a $50 voucher per couple for a catamaran cruise.

Daily rates start at $140 per person, double, through Dec. 20 and cover room, meals, house brand beverages, Kidz Club activities, taxes and service.

Jolly Beach completed a $15 million upgrade three years ago. Facilities include a beach, five restaurants, five bars, two pools, water sports, a fitness center and tennis courts. The new Grand Princess Casino complex is next door.

For details, visit or call (866) 905-6559. King can be reached at (268) 462-0061 or via the Web site's wedding information request form.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].


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