3 Reasons Saint Martin is the Ideal Wedding and Honeymoon Destination
Saint Martin / Sint Maarten sits at the precipice of two unique worlds. Its fusion of Dutch and French culture blend seamlessly but distinctly at its border, halving the island into two cohesively beautiful and exciting yet one-of-a-kind cultural experiences. Crowned by gorgeous beaches and sprawling green hills, Saint Martin / Sint Maarten is the Caribbean's only dual nation island, half of which is presided over by France and the other half belonging to the Kingdom of the Netherlands. French and Dutch culture mingle over a scenic backdrop, and the people that live, work, and play on the island are some of the friendliest in the world. It is a truly one-of-a-kind destination and as a non-traditional bride, I knew it would be my place.
When planning my own “I Do”, I knew I had to make it a destination wedding. At this point traveling was becoming an important part of our lives, and I wanted to share that joy with my loved ones on my wedding day. I’m also a fan of bucking traditions, especially the usual wedding traditions. Having a week to bring our closest friends and family together seemed more personal and more like us. We needed to find a destination that worked for everyone– something that would satisfy my urge to explore while also providing the kind of restorative relaxation that would appeal to my husband, friends, and family– and, to be honest, I wanted to chill the heck out, too. Weddings can be stressful! My only requirement was beautiful blue water and sand between my toes so we spent a year island-hopping to find the perfect destination. It was a tough job, but we finally decided on St. Martin.
In the interest of bucking tradition and making the most of our once-in-a-lifetime event, we kept things more casual in the overall planning. We actually extended the actual “wedding” into 3 nights. Most of our friends and family hadn’t met yet so we started the events with a welcome dinner and party, then the ceremony the next night followed by pictures and dancing, and the following night we held our dinner reception where we cut the cake.
Islands make incredible venues for your destination wedding, whether you’re looking to traverse a new and exciting place, or do more poolside napping than wandering. With their own individual vibrant cultures, islands provide an environment where it’s almost impossible not to feel relaxed, even on your hectic wedding day, while also presenting opportunities to immerse yourself in a unique culture and explore both tucked-away features and well-known tourist delights.
When it comes to the “why” of a destination wedding in general, the focus lies on the amount of time you get to spend with your friends and family. It’s not just one night, but a week of everyone coming together and having this shared experience. Travel really brings everyone together and forms bonds with the people you are with.
Finding a place that’s special to you, and worth the investment in a vacation for your loved ones, is crucial– but the icing on the cake is it actually costs you less than a traditional wedding at home! Saint Martin was the perfect blend of leisure and excitement for myself, my husband, and the people we love most.
For the same reasons, it makes a pretty ideal honeymoon destination for most people, too. It’s no surprise that islands and tropical places make up a good portion of the most popular honeymoon spots in the world, and for us, Saint Martin was such a special hidden gem tucked away in the French Caribbean, we actually chose to go back and do it all over again for our 5th anniversary, spending time on both the Dutch side and the French side (the french side has our heart).
Interested in making this one-of-a-kind island your venue? Learn our top reasons for recommending Saint Martin / Sint Maarten below!
1. Saint Martin is incredibly unique
It’s important for a honeymoon to be the trip of a lifetime. It might be the biggest, or longest, trip you’ve ever planned– so many of us get fewer chances to travel than we’d like, and most couples want to make their honeymoon a big trip to remember, having spent vacation days, rainy day funds, and hours of planning to get there.
For destination brides and grooms, choosing the place to tie the knot is a super hard decision. They spend quite a long time looking for a place that speaks to their soul, one that will be memorable for those loved ones that make the trek to spend the day with them.
Saint Martin is a one-of-a-kind place that you, your spouse, and your guests will never forget. Comprising two halves, North and South, Saint Martin offers a unique blend of French (North Side) and Dutch (South Side) culture. Known as “The Friendly Island,” Saint Martin’s population ranges 120 different nationalities, providing new and exciting opportunities to experience different cultures at every turn.
Despite what most people think, Saint Martin is not a Virgin Island, but rather part of the French Caribbean. The North side truly highlights French culture in a way that you won’t find anywhere else, but the mainland, and in the case of Sint Maarten, you can also experience Dutch hospitality, nightlife, and a range of multicultural experiences on the South Side of the island. You’ll practically experience two vacations in one, with experiences ranging from dining at exquisite restaurants to duty-free shopping hauls, walking the plank at The Rusty Parrot pirate, parasailing over Pinel Island, the steepest zipline in the world, and so much more. You can try your luck at the many coastal casinos of Saint Martin, splash it up at the stunning La Radeu Blue water park, or simply relax and rejuvenate on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. No matter what you’re into, you’ll find it in Saint Martin– and probably nowhere else in the world will feel the same.
2. It bridges the gap between “vacationer” and “traveler”
My husband Alex, the other half and bonafide trophy husband here at Chelax, is what I lovingly refer to as a vacationer, not a traveler. AKA, he’d rather park it at the swim up bar, than go on a sunrise hike. You'll find him relaxing on the beach instead of strapping into scuba gear, generally just appreciating more R&R than the high-intensity exploration I personally enjoy.
Since it was Alex’s wedding, too, I figured I’d be nice and compromise on a destination that let him veg out just as much as it satisfied my wanderlust. And we achieved that compromise beautifully on Saint Martin.
We’ve already covered some of the many amazing experiences you can have on Saint Martin. All of them are packed along a backdrop of insanely stunning nature, with rolling white sand and coastal skies, sparkling ocean water and lush greenery. The gorgeous views and the gentle, warm-to-hot weather during the dry season – December through April – make relaxation and exploration both achievable. The island’s small size means that you can experience both of these things in just a short amount of time.
As an extremely tourist-friendly place, Saint Martin offers both relaxing and romantic experiences like spa dates, live music nights, catamaran tours, and even horseback riding, allowing you to create an itinerary that excites and unwinds in equal measure. Trophy husband approved, for sure!
3. It’s safe and easy to navigate
As you plan the trip of your dreams, you may wonder– how on earth can we get all of this done, and how accessible will it be to our less well traveled friends and family? Especially when hosting older relatives, or those with less of a travel bug, it’s natural to be concerned for their safety and the quality of their experience.
Even if you are a super traveler, handling all of your wedding tasks, and accomplishing everything you want to do– pictures in specific scenic locations, dinner at a restaurant across the island from your venue, a family activity the day after the ceremony– may seem daunting.
Saint Martin makes all of this possible with foolproof roadways. Cabs are available, as are car rentals, and you’ll have no trouble finding your way from A to B, to C, to D, and so on… all in a pretty reasonable amount of time, and for an affordable price!
The roads are well-maintained and easy to navigate and the options for transportation are simple and plentiful. Compared to the complex metros, multiple connecting flights, and complex roads you may find as you make your way around the globe, Saint Martin is as easy to navigate as your local grocery store.
Getting around the island is a piece of cake for just about anyone joining you for your big day.
Choosing Saint Martin For Your Wedding + Honeymoon
My wedding was truly one of the most memorable and exciting, rejuvenating, unforgettable trips of my life. Running into the waves on clean, beautiful beaches, mellowing out at the resort and spa, nibbling on fabulous French food by the ocean, and meeting the wonderfully friendly and kind people living on the island were just a few of many highlights. Alex and I look back so fondly on our trip, and so do the loved ones who joined us.
If you’re looking to visit Saint Martin for your wedding, honeymoon, or just to get away, Chelax Adventures can help you book the trip of your dreams. We have the best recommendations from both sides of the island, and the skills to put together the best itinerary and accommodations for your most special day.
To learn more about this destination or for help finding your dream wedding and honeymoon spot, please reach out! We’re happy to help make your travel dreams come true.
Get in touch here: https://www.chelaxadventures.com/contact