What’s it like to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua? Jo’s Experience.

Jo and her new husband Jon are walking on the beach as Jo raises the bouquet into the air

Our very own Jo ran away to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua. We caught up with her when she drifted back down from cloud 9 to find out what it was like.

The view of Sandals Grand Antigua from the sixth floor.

Have you always dreamed of sand between your toes while tying the knot with your loved one?

Fantasised about a destination wedding but didn’t know where to start with planning?

Well, Jo’s been through it. Now she’s back to tell you everything you need to know about getting married at Sandals Grande Antigua.

Over to Jo!

How do we start planning our wedding at Sandals Antigua?

Once you’ve booked your Sandals Grande Antigua stay, you can request a free wedding package to be added to your booking. 

Between Blue Bay Travel and your personal wedding planners at Sandals, you’ll be able to arrange the perfect ceremony for you and your guests (if you take any!)

The personal planners will get a good idea of the type of ceremony you want, as you choose your wedding cake, signature cocktails, ceremony location, and all the finer details.

Jo and Jon getting married at Sandals Antigua.
Dickenson Bay Beach, Antigua.

How will we get our wedding attire to Antigua?

A few weeks before we flew to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua, we received a HUGE, unexpected parcel.

We tore it open and it turned out to be a gift from Sandals. A light blue (something blue & something new), suit bag.

It was big enough for both my dress and my husband’s suit, shoes, and accessories. We could include it in our hand luggage with British Airways, too! It was a lovely touch.

Jo and Jon getting married at Sandals Antigua.
Jo and Jon after signing their marriage certificate.
Sandals Grande Antigua.

Will I have to do my own hair and makeup if I want to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua?

The short answer is: It’s up to you.

You can if you want to. But if you don’t and would like to treat yourself to a pre-wedding pampering, book to have your hair and makeup done as this includes a trial.

Also included in my package was a La Bella Donna eyeshadow pallet, lipstick, and mascara. Plus, I got to keep them all which was a bonus! 

I decided I was going to do my own makeup. However, Michelle from the Red Lane™ Spa made sure my hair was out of my face as I’d asked. She even incorporated the hairpiece I’d bought with me. 

Jo in her wedding dress, waiting to get married at Sandals Antigua.
Jo waiting to walk down the aisle.
Sandals Grande Antigua.

Top Tip

Make sure you’re clear on what you want for hair and makeup. Find some references of what you want and make sure you’re working with your stylist to create the look you want.

What are the wedding team like in resort?

Honestly? Great!

When we decided to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua, one of the things I was hesitant about was how much help and information we’d get in-resort.

But the team were brilliant. We had a meeting initially to discuss the ceremony, as well as the chance to add on any final details.

We chose to add a bamboo frame at the altar with some drapes. In this initial meeting, we half-signed all the documents we needed for our marriage license too.

It was all starting to feel very real!

Jo and Jon getting married at Sandals Antigua.

Which location did you choose to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua?

We couldn’t fly all that way and not get married on one of the most beautiful beaches in Antigua, could we?

But if you don’t like sand (my husband doesn’t but marriage is about compromise, right?). Or you don’t want to be stood without any shade. Then a veranda location might be better suited.

All equally beautiful in my opinion. You can’t go wrong wherever you choose. 

Jo and Jon getting married at Sandals Antigua.
Jo and her new husband, Jon, tied the knot on Dickenson Bay beach, Antigua.

Top Tip

If you choose the beach or somewhere unshaded, make sure you wear enough sun cream. It was around 30 degrees with an 80% humidity rating, so it was hot!

Did someone help you get into your dress, and could you get it steamed?

Yes, and yes!

I had my dress steamed the morning of our wedding. It cost $50US which was well worth it and it came back perfect!

My husband decided to wear just trousers and a shirt, rather than a full 3-piece suit. Our butler managed to iron the suit as part of their service. However, I think this was a special favour and not something guaranteed to happen all the time.

Additionally, to help me get ready, someone from the wedding team came to my room and helped ‘do me up’. She was very professional, and I felt very comfortable with her. She looked after me and even held my dress up while we walked down to the wedding venue, too!

Jo and Jon sharing a joke as they get married at Sandals Antigua.
Something was clearly very funny.

You got married in September, isn’t that hurricane season in the Caribbean?

If you’re wondering, yes, it did rain. In fact, it threw it down.

But when we decided to get married at Sandals Grande Antigua in September, we knew we’d run the risk of stormy weather due to the time of year. 

Our wedding was at 2pm, but it was raining and showing no signs of stopping. Apparently, rain on your wedding day is good luck, plus there’s nothing more exciting than a tropical storm.

We just went with the flow until we could head down to the beach.

Our room was on the Mediterranean side and our wedding was on the Caribbean side (about a 10-minute walk). So the weddings team organised a taxi from one side to the other, and we waited in the Caribbean lobby until the rain stopped.

After waiting around 45 minutes for the rain to stop, the weddings team swept the paths, so my dress didn’t get wet, and walked us down to the beach.

A tropical storm in Antigua.

So, when the rain eventually subsided, what was it like getting married on one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean?

It was perfect. We didn’t have any guests, so the day really was just about the two of us. Our photos, turned out beautifully – if I do say so myself!

We didn’t feel as though we were being watched by other guests at the resort or people on the beach. Weddings happen at Sandals all the time so it’s very normal. Even if it was just for the two of us, lots of guests were congratulating us and there was a real sense of celebration.

Jo and Jon cutting the cake after getting married at Sandals Antigua.
Jo and Jon cutting the most incredible carrot cake on planet earth.

After the ceremony, we signed our documents, and this is when we could have had our first dance. (We decided to save that for another time).

Heading over to the gardens, we cut the cake. Carrot cake and vanilla frosting was our choice and it was genuinely the best carrot cake I’ve ever eaten. There hasn’t been a day since, that I haven’t thought about it.

Sipping our signature cocktails and enjoying a bite to eat, followed by having the rest of our pictures taken. 

How was the photographer experience?

The photographer was really fun and made us feel at ease. Our photos turned out really lovely, and we couldn’t have been happier with them.

One of our main goals for the photos was that we wanted to be captured in a candid and natural way.

We had lots of different types of photos taken in lots of different locations so when it came to choosing which ones to keep, we managed to get a good selection.

It’s also worth mentioning that they will touch up your photos, too. I mentioned earlier how hot it was and we were definitely looking a little (a lot) shiny. The photos had all been touched up before we went to view them. 

Jo and Jon eating their carrot cake at Sandals Antigua.
Eating said carrot cake.

Top Tip

Have an idea in your head about the kinds of photos you want. We found the photographer was keen to get us posing for photos in a way that didn’t suit us. However, as soon as we said we wanted candid shots, he did just that.

What did you do to relax and enjoy your honeymoon? 

During the rest of our trip, we just had an amazing honeymoon. We tried all the best excursions in Antigua. Including having the chance to go swimming with stingrays. 

Plus, on one of the nights, we decided to go all out and enjoy a romantic sunset meal on the beach. The food was incredible and, as you can imagine, the views were just dreamy. 

All in all, we had an amazing experience getting married in Antigua. I’d recommend it to anyone. If you’re thinking of tying the knot under the Caribbean sun, then this place is perfect. 

Celebrating after getting married at Sandals Antigua with a sunset meal on the beach.
Enjoying a romantic, sunset dinner on Dickenson Bay, Antigua.

Destination weddings for the win

You may have missed it in between all the dreamy beach shots and snaps of Jo and her husband looking stunning. But she said at the start, this was a free wedding package.

But Sandals Grande Antigua isn’t the only high-end spot where you can get hitched for nada. 

Click the button below and we’ll tell you about 11 more Caribbean resorts offering free destination weddings. 

Learn more

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