Antigua and Barbuda… and married
What is the secret to being the country with the highest marriage rate in the world? Discover the powers of seduction of this ‘love nest’ in the middle of the Caribbean.
For many years, Antigua and Barbuda was the winter refuge of Lady Di. The Princess of Wales fell in love with its white sandy beaches and its tropical climate. The islands also fell in love with her, and on 1st July 2011, the date on which she would have turned 50, one of the beaches in the south of Barbuda was renamed after Lady Di. “It became a sanctuary for the Princess and she seemed to find solace in the beauty of the island” said Mrs. Beazer-Williams, Chairwoman of the Barbuda Tourist Board. The romance between the islands and Diana, Princess of Wales, shouldn’t come as a surprise: this country in the Lesser Antilles has all the necessary ingredients to attract love to its shores. It won the World Travel Award’s prize for the most romantic destination in the Caribbean in 2015 and statistics show that it is the country with the highest marriage rate in the world.
Shirley Heights has the best views of the English Harbour.
Getting married in Antigua and Barbuda does not require couples to be residents of the country and is a relatively simple procedure, which is why many couples choose to get married on its idyllic beaches. Most luxury resorts usually organise ceremonies on the beach itself. And there are many to choose from, because the small islands that make up the country have a total of 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. They all share fine, smooth sand and turquoise waters. Choose Rendezvous Bay if you want a very private wedding. To reach this remote beach you have to walk for 90 minutes through a tropical forest. The path is not signposted and it’s easy to get lost. If you prefer not to be late on the happiest day of your life, you can visit it another time, accompanied by a guide. The scenery is idyllic and provides a uniquely intimate setting.
Getting married in Antigua and Barbuda does not require couples to be residents of the country which is why many couples choose to get married on its idyllic beaches.
The beach is not the only romantic setting offered by what are called the ‘twin islands’. For nature lovers, there is the option of tying the knot at the Wadadli Animal Nature Park, a nature reserve where indigenous plants and exotic animals play the part of wedding witnesses. No less original is the place chosen by Richard and Dara. This Canadian couple exchanged rings at Shirley Heights, the most famous observation point in Antigua. It is part of a former military complex in the southernmost point of the island and boasts the best views around, with the English Harbour in the background. At sunset, if you look carefully, you can see the coveted but elusive visual effect known as the ‘green flash’, which forms for just a few seconds on the horizon when the sun sets and merges with the sea. However, you don’t have to get married or have a partner to enjoy Shirley Heights. Every Sunday, The Lookout restaurant, which is located on the highest point of the complex, holds a party with a barbecue and Caribbean music. Who knows, perhaps you might meet your soulmate there.
Both islands are perfect for all types of aquatic activities, such as sailing or windsurfing.
The star of ‘Taxi Driver’ is a regular visitor to these Caribbean islands.
Photo: Denis Makarenko / Shutterstock.com