St. John Destination Weddings at Caneel Bay Resort

St. John, USVI

Finally back and settled in after an incredible week on the island of St. John in the US Virgin Islands. (Our 7th trip back to this amazing destination!). I had a chance to sit down and chat with Vera Powell-Payne, the Wedding Coordinator at Caneel Bay  and discuss the destination wedding options available at the resort.

water view ceremony lawn caneel bay destination wedding

Caneel Bay can accomodate weddings with guests from 2 to 200+. If you are looking for a perfectly picturesque destination wedding ceremony spot then check out Turtle Bay Point. The Point is a beautiful lawn space with spectacular water views. The resort hosts quite a few reception options including the Turtle Bay Estate, the Sugar Mill Ruins as well as areas that can be tented for larger weddings.

turtle bay estate wedding reception caneel bay

Caneel Bay destination wedding St John

If you are considering a wedding at Caneel Bay, here are a few recommendations:

  • Guests can stay on-site at Caneel Bay or off-site at the Westin St. John, Gallows Point Resort, Grande Bay Resort, Estate Lindholm as well as various smaller inns and villas that can be rented nearby. They can rent a Jeep for the weekend or easily catch a safari cab to and from Caneel Bay.
  • You and your guests will likely fly in St. Thomas  and take a short ferry ride to St. John. There are ferry transfers provided by Caneel Bay as well a public ferry option and private St John water taxi transfers available The total travel time from the St. Thomas airport including the ferry ride to St. John is about an hour total.
  • The heart of St. John is Cruz Bay… a downtown-ish area filled with incredible restaurants, fun bars, boutique shopping, boat rentals and excursion companies and more. ( read: loads for your guests to do on and off site!)
  • Why choose to host your destination wedding in St. John? It’s relaxed and rustic yet luxurious and exclusive. You will find the cost of a wedding on St. John to be higher than most places on St. Thomas but you are paying for the intimacy of the island and high-end level of the resort.
  • Caneel Bay will only host ONE wedding per day. It doesn’t matter if it is just you and Mr. Right or you and 300 of your closest friends. Every bride gets HER day!
  • Vera = amazing. What a wonderful and warm woman! She will be a great resource for your wedding at Caneel Bay!
  • If you are considering hosting something off-site from your host hotel… consider ZoZo’s or other restaurants in Cruz Bay or a private villa (Caneel Bay can do off-site catering or recommend a local caterer for you)

Here is what a dream destination wedding weekend looks like at Caneel Bay…

Thursday… most guests are arriving… island themed gift bags greet them upon arrival. (If you need some island-y St. John guest gift bag ideas check out our previous post that includes guest and bridal party gift ideas such as Petroglyph bracelets from Bamboo Studios, beers from St. John Brewers, a printed recipe of the Virgin Islands staple cocktail… the Painkiller and more.) 

Perhaps in the evening you host a welcome cocktail hour with island music, passed seafood appetizers and Painkiller cocktails (the aforementioned Virgin Island signature drink!)

Friday: Hit the beach with your guests or visit Drift Away Spa for a manicure and pedicure with your bridesmaids. Host a Beach BarBQ or a sit down dinner at the Sugar Mill Restaurant with cocktails in the historic sugar mill ruins prior.

water view wedding ceremony reception destination wedding islands

caneel bay wedding reception photo sugar mill ruins st john

Saturday: It’s the big day! Visit Caneel Bay’s on-site salon for a dreamy (but beach/wind friendly!). Be sure to order lunch for you and your bridal party. Getting dolled up is a ton of work and you don’t want to walk down the aisle on an empty stomach. Meet your groom at Turtle Bay Point to say “I do”… wander the resort for photos…there are so many picturesque spots…. the white sand beaches, the sugar mill ruins, the views of the water, the donkeys (yes, I said DONKEYS) etc.

caneel bay destination wedding st john wedding hotels

Sunday: Say Bon Voyage to your wonderful family and friends at a brunch atop the main area of the hotel at the Sunset Terrace.

Photographs via Rosewood Resorts


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