Island Hotels Beckon Couples With Weddings and Honeymoons

Reed Travel Features

ST. JOHN'S -- Old buildings, new packages, borrowed tradition, clear blue waters.

The island of Antigua follows the time-honored wedding tradition with its resorts featuring packages catering to couples getting married or newlyweds.

These island hotels offer a range of services for newlyweds -- some arrange the weddings themselves, and others offer honeymoon plans.

A listing follows:

* Admiral's Inn, in Nelson's Dockyard at English Harbour, created a honeymoon package valid May 6 to Dec. 14.

The package includes accommodations in a superior room decorated with fresh flowers. A six-night package is priced from $670 per couple and covers chilled champagne, transportation to local beaches, a boat trip around the harbor and use of snorkel gear.

To book, call (800) 223-5695.

* Couples reserving accommodations at Club Antigua for honeymoons will receive a bottle of sparkling wine, a fruit plate, a small gift and a candlelit dinner for two.

Wedding arrangements also can be arranged at the resort for $400 per couple.

Included in the arrangements are all legal documents and fees, two bottles of champagne, a one-tier wedding cake, punch for the reception and a bridal bouquet and groom's boutonniere.

The wedding package must be booked through the hotel directly at (268) 462-0061.

For reservations, call (800) 742-4276.

* The Falmouth Harbour Beach Apartments, located near Nelson's Dockyard, features a Honeymoon Package valid throughout the year.

The plan includes accommodations in a room with a fully equipped kitchen, a bottle of rum, fresh flowers and free use of boats and snorkel gear.

Rates are $670 per couple May 6 to Dec. 14 and $955 Dec. 15 to May 5.

To book, call (800) 223-5695.

* The wedding packages at Galley Bay, Pineapple Beach Club and the Royal Antiguan Beach and Tennis Club include the services of a wedding coordinator, a marriage license, the ceremony site decorated with tropical flowers, a bridal bouquet and groom's boutonniere, a West Indian wedding cake, a bottle of champagne and all government, registrar and ceremony charges.

The price is $600 per couple.

For couples staying at the resorts 13 nights or longer (in an oceanview or bayview Royal-Inclusive room at the Royal Antiguan Beach resort), the package is complimentary.

Call (800) 345-0271.

* For $700 per couple, the Hawksbill Beach Resort offers a wedding package covering registrar's fees, a marriage license, a civil ceremony in a decorated location and a wedding reception from the hotel staff, including a toast for the bride and groom and a wedding cake.

The resort also offers honeymoon packages for three or seven nights beginning at $678 per couple through Dec. 20. Winter rates (Dec. 21 to April 15) start at $975 per couple.

The honeymoon package offers superior accommodations; champagne, flowers and a fruit basket in the room; full American breakfasts daily; a welcome drink, and one waterskiing lesson. For reservations, call (800) 223-6510.

* Jumby Bay Island's wedding program, Marriages in Paradise, will guide couples through all of the appropriate legal processes and arrange for a wedding on its grounds, catering to the couple's every whim.

Legal fees are the responsibility of the couple and a full range of wedding reception services are available.

Pricing per couple for the inclusive Honeymoon Hideaway Packages ranges from $2,600 to $4,800 for a four-night plan, while seven-night plans are available starting at $4,450 to $8,400. Prices do not include government tax or service charge. Call (800) 421-9016.

* Guests reserving the wedding package at Rex Halcyon Cove receive the services of a wedding coordinator; a bottle of sparkling wine and a selection of fruit in the room upon arrival; one jug of fruit juice; hors d'oeuvres; a wedding cake; breakfast or a la carte dinner; a bridal bouquet and groom's boutonniere; a decorated location for the wedding; souvenir T-shirts, and registrar and legal fees. The price starts at $385 and is subject to change.

To book, call (800) 255-5859.

* Yepton Beach Resort features a honeymoon package including seven nights' accommodations; champagne and flowers upon arrival; daily American breakfast, featuring one breakfast in bed; four dinners; a day cruise with a buffet lunch and open bar, and snorkeling.

The package price starts at $1,500 per couple, through Dec. 15. Call (800) 361-4621.

Marriages in Antigua require valid passports, an original divorce decree if previously married or original marriage and death certificates if widowed.

The procedure involves visiting the Ministry of Legal Affairs for an application and to pay the legal fees, about $200, and confirmation of a date and time for the wedding ceremony with the marriage officer and the wedding itself. Two witnesses are required, and all can be accomplished within 24 hours.

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