Spring is finally here after a long winter, and we are all itching to squish our toes on a warm sand beach. And with destination weddings fully up and running after a turbulent few years of travel logistics ridden with restrictions, we have our eyes set on the Caribbean—specifically the island of Anguilla. Over The Moon is no stranger to elegant Anguilla-based weddings and honeymoons, and we cannot wait to see even more this year.
For East Coast–based couples, we can assure you, it’s easier than you think to get to this tropical paradise, and all your guests will thank you for the scheduled mini-vacation. We’ve heard whispers that true direct flights from New York City to Anguilla will soon be here, but until then, a short four-hour, picturesque flight to St. Maarten—which has the famous beachside runway—is only followed by a 25-minute ferry ride over crystal blue waters.
When to Go
The best time to visit Anguilla is between December and August. The dry season is from winter to May; however, the ideal time for your budget may be during the summer. Avoid August through November, as hurricane season is not to be messed with, especially when planning a wedding.
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Where to Stay
For a destination wedding that feels intimate and that can house all of your guests, we highly recommend Zemi Beach House, a LXR hotel by Hilton. Paris Hilton and Carter Reum honeymooned here in 2021 and not only shared the property’s ceremony-ready venues but also its luxurious amenities, like the Thai spa, hammam (the only one on the island), and tranquil adult-only pool.
A great indicator that we pay close attention to that separates the good hotels from the great ones is what beauty brands are awaiting guests in their rooms. You’ll be delighted by the fully stocked Malin+Goetz soap, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner. It’s all in the details, really, and Zemi Beach House doesn’t disappoint.
With 76 accommodations that range from cozy 600-square-foot premium rooms to spacious multi-bedroom penthouse suites and beachfront villas, it’s big enough to feel expansive and tranquil yet intimate enough to hire out completely and feel exclusive all at the same time. Aside from the tried-and-true beach ceremony, just imagine walking down the aisle in front of a 306-year-old authentic Thai house surrounded by tropical flora and fauna.
Cocktail hour and the reception can be set up poolside, on the beach, by the spa, or at the 20 Knots restaurant. And how does a candlelit beach rehearsal dinner with the moonlight hitting the hanging chandeliers and the waves crashing behind you sound? (Good, right? We thought so.)
The service at Zemi Beach House is top-notch. Everyone couldn’t have been friendlier, ensuring that you, your fiancé, your parents, your future in-laws, and all your loved ones will be impressed, pampered, and relaxed.
The groom, groomsmen, and fathers will fall head over loafers for the Rhum Room, which houses a selection of more than 90 rums from around the world—of course, including local favorites. It’s a great spot for luxurious tastings with resident aficionado, Princess Anthony or a posh nightcap.
And the bride and her bridal party can center themselves in preparation for the big day at the spa with various traditional Thai treatments. Paris touts that she had an amazing massage and facial here—that’s hot! We cannot emphasize how blown away we were by this wellness center—it is truly as if you’ve been transported to Asia (without the major jet lag). After pampering with the ladies, treat your guests to sushi from Bohio. Fresh sashimi hits differently when you’re surrounded by the bluest waters you’ve ever seen.
What to Do
When you’re not sunbathing, splashing in the pool, or diving into the ocean waves by Zemi Beach House, charter a boat to take you and your guests out to see the island from the water’s point of view. We love Calypso Charters and Striker Rum & Reel—the latter is especially popular with a crowd who’s fond of fishing. Cruise to Little Bay, where the Jumping Rock lives. For thrill seekers, climb up 20 feet to the top and get a boost of adrenaline on the way down. Take this writer’s word: The rocky but adventurous trip up, assisted by a rope, is the worst part. And you won’t regret facing your fears. If you need a boost of confidence, sip some of that infamous local rum punch before you take the leap of faith.
For a truly unique experience, ask your captain to take you to Sandy Island. A beach bar and restaurant is the only establishment on this 820-foot-long strip of white sand, surrounded by the bluest water. It’s available for private hire and would be a once-in-a-lifetime beach party venue that your guests will talk about for the rest of their lives.
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Want an experience akin to Nikki Beach? Consider Savi Beach club. Its luxe design, live music, delicious food, and waterfront views make it the ultimate place to host a reception, after-party, or Sunday hair of the dog–type situation. Think “dancing on couches, swinging your napkin” vibes. What a send off that would be!