Addie & Alex’s Intimate St. Barth Destination Wedding Weekend
Addie and Alex decided to make their wedding a genuine reflection of themselves with an intimate destination wedding in Saint Barthélemy (St. Barts for English speakers, Saint Barth if you’re French). The two traveled with their family to the French island in the Caribbean (it’s part of the leeward islands in the French West Indies). Their multi-day celebration at the famous Le Carl Gustaf Hotel was nothing short of extraordinary.
To begin, Addie and Alex treated their family to a welcome dinner at Tamarin, a favorite restaurant nearby. After reconnecting, they all turned in for some rest before the big day. Then, the next morning, they began getting ready on the hotel’s veranda overlooking the yacht-filled Gustavia Harbor with its signature red roofs.
After photographing the bride and groom details, we made portraits on the grand stairwell entrance, framed with lush, tropical foliage, followed by family portraits and ketubah signing. A rabbi from New York City officiated the orthodox Jewish wedding under a chuppah overlooking Gustavia Harbor. It doesn’t get more photogenic than that!
After the ceremony, Addie and Alex went to Shell Beach for golden-hour portraits, perfectly timed as the sun set over the ocean. And finally, the head chef at le Carl Gustaf catered their intimate reception dinner, which took place on the balcony with arguably the best Caribbean views.
Considering your own St. Barts destination wedding? We have a few activities in mind that will make your celebration all the more memorable.
About Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf Saint-Barth
Le Carl Gustaf Saint-Barth is one of the crown jewels of the Caribbean, overlooking the turquoise bay that frames charming Gustavia. (In fact, this five-star historic hotel is believed to have been the favorite of Jackie Kennedy, and it’s still known for fun celebrity spotting!) The hotel offers premier amenities and luxury experiences for guests. Plus, it’s perfectly situated on this stunning island in the Caribbean, where guests can enjoy all the Caribbean has to offer. Pristine beaches and warm crystal-clear waters make Saint Barth an exotic escape from reality.
Furthermore, the hotel takes all the planning off your hands with full-service, customizable wedding packages. From welcome dinners to post-wedding brunch, they’ve got it all covered.
In addition, just around the corner from the hotel, a nearby shopping strip includes the same international luxury brands you would find on Fifth Avenue in NYC. However, this experience is unique as you stroll the quaint historic French streets in the tropics—it’s like going back in time with modern amenities.
Why Saint Barth is a Popular Wedding Destination
Saint Barth, also known as St. Barts, has long been a sought-after wedding destination for couples worldwide. This small island in the French West Indies possesses a unique blend of natural beauty, luxury, and exclusivity, making it the perfect setting for a romantic celebration. The island’s reputation for hosting lavish weddings attracts celebrities, socialites, and couples seeking an unforgettable experience.
Moreover, Saint Barth is a popular wedding destination primarily for its breathtaking beaches. The island boasts over twenty pristine, white-sand beaches that provide the perfect backdrop for a beachfront ceremony or a romantic photoshoot. Imagine exchanging vows as the waves gently crash against the shore, with the sun setting in the distance. It’s a dream come true. Additionally, the island as a whole is committed to exceptional service so every guest feels pampered and cared for.
Exploring Saint Barth: Activities for Every Wedding Guest
If you’re attending a wedding here, expect a truly unforgettable experience on an island where three rich cultures come together: Nordic, French, and Caribbean (can you imagine the cuisine?). With its sandy beaches, thriving nightlife, and rich culture, this Caribbean gem offers diverse activities for every wedding guest.
For the outdoor enthusiast, Saint Barth provides ample opportunities to explore its natural beauty. Take a plunge into the crystal-clear waters for snorkeling or scuba diving adventures, or learn to surf and sail on the island’s famous beaches. Or, if you prefer to stay on land, hike through lush, tropical trails, or simply unwind with a beachside yoga session.
For the bon vivant, indulge in the island’s culinary delights. From world-class restaurants serving French and Creole cuisine to intimate beachside cafés, Saint Barth is a foodie’s paradise. Don’t forget to sample the local delicacies like accras (codfish fritters) and stuffed crab.
After dark, Saint Barth comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. Dance the night away at trendy beach clubs or sip cocktails at upscale lounges. The island offers something for every taste, ensuring a memorable night for all wedding guests. Le Ti St. Barth and Nikki Beach Restaurant & Club offer unique St. Barts experiences.
*Note: Many places are closed in the off-season. The vacation season runs from November 1 – August 31.
Exploring the Beaches of Saint Barth
Exploring the beaches of Saint Barth is a must for every wedding guest. From secluded coves to festive sandy shores, the island offers diverse beach experiences.
One of the most famous beaches on the island is St. Jean Beach. This vibrant beach is known for its turquoise waters, powdery white sand, and trendy beach clubs. Spend the day lounging under an umbrella, sipping cocktails, and indulging in delicious cuisine. St. Jean Beach is also a popular spot for water sports enthusiasts, with opportunities for snorkeling, paddle boarding, and jet skiing.
For a more secluded and tranquil beach experience, head to Colombier Beach. This hidden gem is only accessible by boat or a scenic hike, which adds to its allure. Once you arrive, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views, calm waters, and a peaceful atmosphere. Pack a picnic and spend the day soaking up the sun or snorkeling among colorful coral reefs.
If you’re looking for a beach with a lively atmosphere, Shell Beach is the place to be. Just a short walk from Gustavia, the island’s capital, this beach is named after the abundance of seashells dazzling its shores. It’s an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying a refreshing drink at one of the beachside bars and the beloved Shellona restaurant.
Things to Do in St. Barth for Adventure Enthusiasts
For adventure enthusiasts, Saint Barth offers an array of adrenaline-pumping activities. The island’s crystal-clear waters provide a mesmerizing playground for snorkeling and scuba diving. Dive beneath the surface and discover a vibrant world teeming with colorful coral reefs, tropical fish, and even sea turtles. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a beginner, dive centers on the island cater to all skill levels.
If you prefer to stay above the water, try your hand at surfing or sailing. The island’s famous beaches, such as Grand Cul de Sac and Lorient, offer excellent conditions for both sports. Take a surfing lesson from a local instructor, or rent a sailboat and explore the coastline at your own pace. The warm trade winds and stunning scenery make sailing in Saint Barth an unforgettable experience.
For those who prefer to stay on land, the island offers plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring its tropical landscape. Lace up your hiking boots and journey through the island’s nature reserves and trails. From the rugged terrain of Colombier Hill to the picturesque paths of Morne de Vitet, there’s a hike for every fitness level. Plus, you’ll encounter breathtaking panoramic vistas along the way.
Cultural & Historical Attractions in Saint Barth
Beyond its natural beauty, Saint Barth is rich in culture and history. Take a break from the beach and explore the island’s charming villages and historical sites.
Start your cultural journey in Gustavia, the island’s capital. This picturesque town is known for its vibrant harbor, designer boutiques, and gourmet restaurants. Explore the quaint streets lined with colorful buildings and discover hidden gems like art galleries and local craft shops. Don’t forget to visit the Wall House Museum, which showcases the island’s history and maritime heritage.
Another must-visit cultural attraction is the Inter-Ocean Museum in Anse de Colombier. Housed in a former sugar mill, this museum offers a glimpse into the island’s past through its collection of artifacts, photographs, and historical documents. Learn about the island’s colonization, its connection to the slave trade, and the development of its unique cultural identity.
Saint Barth Wedding Vendors