(Catering in above photos: Mise En Place. Wedding photography by David Wolfe.)
Your wedding should be more than a celebration; it should be a reflection of your personalities, your joys, and your excitement for the road ahead. From the rehearsal dinner to the reception, you want every detail to be perfect, and we at Grand Cayman Villas couldn’t be happier to help. If you’re unsure about anything, please feel free to call us! We take pride in only recommending knowledgeable, reliable professionals, from party planners to florists.
Destination weddings are an exciting way to start your new lives together, and whether you’re looking for a simple oceanfront ceremony with your toes in the sand, a lavish, formal affair indoors, or anything in-between, we’re sure to have a villa that will be perfect for you. The white sand beaches and stunning architecture of Sun Salutations, or the breathtaking clifftop views of Cayman Castle, add a unique touch to your special day. Many guests have chosen to have their ceremonies or receptions in one of our villas, ensuring not only luxury but an intimacy that can’t be found in a more public venue. We can also help you find additional (nearby) accommodations for your guests as well, in price ranges to fit any budget.
Renting a private villa may sound lavish–but when you take into account that there won’t be any facility fees, strangers, tourists taking pictures of your ceremony, and the incredible increase in flexibility for your plans, it’s more than practical. Hotels and restaurants, after all, don’t stop doing business because you’re having an event; many 7 Mile Beach weddings wind up taking place in full-view of anyone who wants to watch.
Renting a villa means you can have your dream wedding on your own private beach, with only your guests in attendance. What’s more, it offers an incredible amount of flexibility. If clouds begin to gather on the big day, you can just call the caterer, the florist, and your guests and simply move the ceremony to the next day. If any of the thousands of tiny details that go into every wedding hit a snag, you have the time to work it out, so your big day will be everything you wanted it to be.
For photography, the light conditions seem to favor late afternoon/evening ceremonies and receptions. Many of our villas are large enough to host both events. Hiring a professional photographer to commemorate your special day is always recommended; and once you’ve booked your accommodations, your photographer is an important next step.
We recommend David Wolfe ( www.davidwolfephotography.com ). He does much of the professional print work on the island, does many of our upper-end villa layouts and has impressed every single couple we have referred to him!
The tough part isn’t deciding on your photographer; it is getting on their schedule–so make that reservation quickly. Grand Cayman weddings are very popular, and when you are the best photographer on the island, you stay busy. When booking your photographer, figure on about US$2,000 +/- for four hours of their (on-site) services and a few hours of off-site (editing) as well. Each photographer offers different services.
With a sunset wedding, the light is perfect. That also makes for a charming evening reception by the villa pool (with the underwater lights on).
We also recommend that with a standard Saturday to Saturday rental week, you try to have your wedding early in the week, when all the stores are open and you have had a couple days to allow for all in the party to get to the island (in case of delays). The weekends are also so busy for the caterers/restaurants that you’re absolutely going get better service on a weekday.
If the wedding is on Tuesday evening, then you still have Thursday and Friday to relax and enjoy the island (Wednesday is recovery day!).
Dancing, drinking, greeting your guests–it works up an appetite! If you choose to have your reception in a private villa, you can have the event entirely catered by local restaurants Tukka (345-947-2700; Manager Ron), or the Lighthouse (345-947-2047; Manager Giuseppe).
For a truly spectacular wedding caterer, we recommend Mise En Place. Even a brief exploration of the menus on their website (www.miseenplace.com.ky or 345-943-CHEF(2433)) will leave your mouth watering. With a variety of menus and options available, they offer you the chance to go all out or to keep it simple. There’s even a menu designed specifically around local cuisine!
While some of us revel in the D.I.Y approach (handmade invitations! arranging your own flowers!), others would rather have it all taken care of. Especially in a foreign country, when you’re already coordinating flights, reservations, and invitations–it’s just easier to put yourself in the hands of professionals.
With that in mind, we recommend Celebrations Ltd. JoAnne and her staff work wonders with any theme she’s given, from lighting to props to the cake; a quick gander at her website will prove that she consistently produces amazing results. (www.celebrationsltd.com)
In addition, we highly recommend smaller coordinators:
Octopus Events is also reliable, trustworthy, and talented. Meg even did Sean Collins’ (owner of caterer Mise En Place) wedding.
MUSICIANS & DJs
DJ Craig: Most dependable and professional DJ in Cayman whom I’ve cc’d on this message: email@example.com
Kate Allenger (Violinist): http://www.caymanviolin.com/
For an on-island florist (for Northside, Rum Point and East End), we recommend a local (East End) fellow who owns East End Gardens & Gifts named Patrick Panton (345-916-4230) & who has a landscaping business, flower arranger and does garden design. He also has helped out in a last-minute crunch to use local villa flowers Mandeville, hibiscus and bougainvillea to make up quick bouquets for wedding parties. In Town (7 Mile Beach and also larger events)…Every Bloomin’ Thing at 345-945-1701 is a quality proper florist.
The requirements for a marriage in Grand Cayman aren’t stringent, but be sure to check the list twice! There’s no need for a dream wedding to turn into a frustrating mess–just follow these steps, and be sure to check the official Cayman website for further information (www.caymanislands.ky).
You will need:
1. a non-residents marriage license
2. a letter from the authorized Marriage Officer who is to officiate.
Applications for non-resident marriage licenses ($250 U.S.) and a list of licensed Marriage Officers can be obtained from the Passport and Corporate Services Office. On Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, this is provided by the District Commissioner’s Office.
Passport and Corporate Services Office
Sussex House, 128 Elgin Avenue
George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-9000
3. Proof of citizenship and age – Passport OR an original/certified copy of birth certificate with photo identification (18 is the minimum legal age without parental consent)
4. Proof of marital status (legal divorce decree or death certificate, if applicable)
5. Cayman Islands Immigration Department card, or Cayman Islands international embarkation/disembarkation card for cruise ship passengers.
6. Two witnesses at the ceremony.
For a Marriage Officer, look at the recommendations on the CI Gov’t site at www.caymanislands.ky . We have some recommendations as well below:
- Joy Basdeo firstname.lastname@example.org (345) 926-9933
- Rev. Joe Crawford email@example.com (345) 916-7513
- Odette Campbell (for Pastor Desmond Whittaker) firstname.lastname@example.org (345) 916-4800
- Rev Godfrey Meghoo email@example.com (345) 916-7162
Island Casuals Wholesale (945-0924) can help with “tropical wedding attire”; otherwise, contact one of the coordinators above for formalwear. Many men bring down coordinating Tommy Bahama or Island wear they have purchased in the states. The shops in the seaside shopping mall next to “Grand Cayman Beach Suites” can help in purchasing these items. The gift shops at the Westin, Ritz and in Caymana Bay can also help with outfits.
For the arrival of the bride or the departure of the happy couple, limousines are guaranteed to make a splash; they tend to be impractical, though, unless you’re having the reception at a restaurant somewhere in town. We recommend Elite Limousine Services (949-5963).
For the truly classic exit (7 Mile Beach Only), a horse-drawn carriage provides a touch of whimsy and a beautiful photo opportunity- Contact Cayman Carriage Company at 345-926-7669 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ye Olde English Bakery (945-2420)
MOBILE MASSAGE/PEDICURE/MANICURE SERVICES
Spa-To-Go (949-1525 or 916-5285) can come to your villa and provide nail and beauty services as well as having licensed massage therapists. For just mobile massage, we have Healing Hands (946-7388) and Under the Palms (947-8724).