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St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

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St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

I need your help! I just got engaged, and we would like to get married in th U.S. Virgin Islands!! We are so excited! Please help:

1) Our budget is $5000 for everything (airfare from NYC too)

2) We will stay as long as we can afford :)

3) We may have anywhere from 2-15 people ( we do not intend to do too much "hosting" of events for those that may come...so the budget is for the two of us)

4) We would love to do any adventures while there!

5) We look forward to just relaxing on the beach too

6) We may be using bigday.com (any comments on this?)

7) We are open to going anytime of the year...but would prefer to go sooner than later!

8) Villa rental or Hotel?

Thank you in advance for your help!!!

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St. Croix
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1. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

I live in St. Croix- and have visited both STT and STJ - and of course I'd recommend STX!!! It is so much less crowded than STT - and there's so much more to do here than in STJ (and it's much less expensive here than STJ!!!). It is a gorgeous place - and very diverse. There are a number of perfect spots for a small wedding - and a good wedding planner here to boot. I would not recommend coming in Aug. or Sept. It's hot here - and of course that's hurricane season! Nov. is still "low season" here - so you can get better rates - but it is gorgeous. If I can be of any help - feel free to contact me! Kim@email.vi

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St. Croix
St. Croix
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2. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

Zeke...didn't I see this same post on the Puerto Rico forum??

I have been to all three of the US Virgins, as well as the British Virgins, and numerous other islands in the Caribbean (Nassau, Grand Bahama, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Puerto Rico. I've also been to Bermuda, the Galapagos in the Pacific, and the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.) I travel and write and I love the islands. I will try to give you the pros/cons.

My favorite island (including all the above) is St. John in the US Virgins. It is naturally gorgeous. Most of the island is national park and the terrain is mountainous with white sand beaches and the prettiest aquamarine water you will see anywhere. The views are dynamite from one point after another traveling round the island. The beaches are pristine and many are all but deserted a great deal of the time, the water is crystal clear, and there's no place more romantic. You get to St. John by ferry from St. Thomas, which is a delightful 15-minute trip that makes you feel as if you are a million miles away! The town of Cruz Bay has some excellent restaurants and several fun shops. St. John, however, is the most expensive of the Virgins. Caneel Bay Resort and the Westin are the two biggies with big prices, but there are other more reasonable places to stay. Check out Estate Lindholm online. It gets excellent reviews from guests and is about a third the price of Caneel. There are also a few condos and villas to rent.

St. Thomas has the most options: great beaches, lots of water sports, very good shopping, and good places to stay within all price ranges. The Ritz is the topnotch place on the island, but Secret Harbor -- again, at less than half the price -- is a pretty, though older, resort right on a lovely beach. From Secret Harbor it is easy to take the ferry (5 minutes away) for a day trip to St. John, so you can essentially get two islands in one. St. Thomas has some wonderful restaurants (Herve in the town of Charlotte Amalie and Agave on the other side of the island). There is also the Marriott Frenchmen's Reef that is only a short hop (via water taxi) into town.

And Magen's Bay is a beach not to be missed...heartshaped and gorgeous.

St. Croix is the cheapest of the Virgins and also the largest. Whereas, you rarely lose sight of the sea when you are driving on St. Thomas or St. John, you can go for miles on St. Croix over flat land and rolling hills out of view of the water. There is also an enormous oil refinery on St. Croix. Shopping in the town of Christiansted is interesting and will keep you busy for a few hours, but it is very limited in comparison to St. T. There are some very good restaurants on St. Croix -- Bacchus and Kendrick's and Rum Runners in town; Duggan's Reef outside of town. A fun half day trip is a sail to Buck Island. The Buccaneer is the most expensive place to stay; Carambola Beach may be the prettiest; two good B&B's with reasonable prices are Carringtons Inn and the Villa Greenleaf. You will need to rent a car as taxis can be very expensive.

You may also want to look into renting a villa. Villas are available -- and there are some gorgeous places -- on all three of the Virgins. Again, St. John is the prettiest, St. Thomas has the most options, and St. Croix is the cheapest.

Now, if you are also considering Puerto Rico, please note that PR is much more developed -- San Juan is a good sized city and the beaches there are urban beaches (think Miami beach). There are some lovely resorts outside of San Juan -- The El Conquistador, Westin Rio Mar, Embassey Suites in Dorado are also nice. BUT the water in Puerto Rico is NOT the Caribbean blue that you see in glossy magazines. It is darker, greener, not calm and not clear in most places. It looks more like the Atlantic. The Virgins, however, (ALL THREE) have incredible water and picture-postcard views. I love Old San Juan for shopping and sight seeing and the wonderful restaurants, but I would choose any one of the three Virgins over PR for a wedding/honeymoon.

Any questions? Post here and I'll try to help. I've been going to these islands for more than 20 years and am familiar with most of the hotels, restaurants, shopping, and tours.

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3. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

I also like the BVI (for sailing)& St John. However, I like St Croix the best for land based vacations. It has more to offer. As for the Oil refinery; It is located in the middle south section of the island very close to the airport & some other commercial areas. We were there for 2 weeks this last trip & never had any reason to be in this area other than flying in & out. STX being a larger island than STT or St John allows it to accomodate the refinery. As you will soon forget about it as you enjoy the rest of the island. I think people may get the impression this thing is huge & looms over the island.

JW

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St. John
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St. Croix
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boston
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4. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

My daughter and I recommend that you take a look at The Buccaneer on St. Croix for an intimate wedding. They have a very romantic, intimate spot for weddings--an old sugar mill that is high on a hill overlooking the ocean. It would be perfect for the size group you are talking about. When we stayed there in February, we saw several weddings including one on their Mermaid Beach. While that was nice, we didn't like that other guests in bathing suits could "attend" your wedding. The sugar mill is more private. We also knew that they did a wedding for just the couple one night on their private balcony and that sounded nice.

I don't know about the budget issue as airfare can be very high to STX even in the off season. But you can go to thebuccaneer.com and they give you prices.

Congratulations!

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St. Croix
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5. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

My husband and I were married on St. John 2 years ago. I know the USVI's well and St. John is hands down the best of the 3 islands. It is 3/4 national park which means no commercial chains like Mc Donalds and Pizza Hut!! Only beautiful sand and beach.

We rented a villa and did so last year for vacation too. Much better than a hotel and cheaper too. Had the reception catered at the villa with a reggae band-ceremony on the beach. But id you have a tight budget why not just have a BBQ at your villa??

We had about 40 people and it was the perfect place for a small wedding. Going during the off season is also less expensive because it is hurricane season-we had our wedding in May. Off season is from May-October. Hope that helps and congratulations!!

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St. John
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6. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

great advice! this is actualy what we have decided to do (rent villa and have ceremony and party there) since the time of the post! we will be on stx, but any other advice you have would be great!!

thanks!

Wellington
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7. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

Be careful in the STX cities of Christiansted and especially in Fredricksted at night! Check out Chenay Bay in STX. Not fancy but nice beach and laid back.

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8. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

You just cant beat the beauty of St. John. Contact Mary at www.islandstyleweddings.com and consult with her about your needs and budget. She was so helpful for my wedding. She does weddings for couples all the way up to large groups with whatever budget. Hands down St. John is where you and your guests will want to be and remember for a long long time to come.

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St. John
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9. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

luckysnp had some good advice...be careful in town (on STX) at night. The last time I was on the island and went into town for dinner the taxi driver always got out of the car and walked us to the restaurant -- even though there were three of us -- and came back for us (to the door!) later. There were times in STX that I did not feel entirely safe and was glad to have the escort.

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10. Re: St. Croix, St. Thomas or St. John for small wedding???

thanks for all the comments...we have decided stx...where all isn't safe?

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