Couples who want to marry on the Caribbean island of Barbados must take a long flight from the U.S. Even from Miami, the trip to Barbados takes three hours and 40 minutes. The natural beauty of Barbados rewards those who make the journey with a picturesque setting for weddings. The population speaks English, which appeals to American travelers. In addition, no waiting period is required before wedding ceremonies in Barbados, so couples can get married the day they arrive, if they wish.
Churches and synagogues in the country date to the 1600s, although hurricanes have damaged some. St. John Parish Church (no website; Parris Hill, St. John; 246-430-7506), built in 1846, is notable for its Gothic architecture and view of the eastern coastline. The Bridgetown Jewish Synagogue (no website; Bridgetown, St. Michael; 246-436-6869), is the oldest Jewish temple in the Western Hemisphere. A small museum is adjacent. St. Mary's Church (no website, Broad Street, Bridgetown, St. Michael; 246-426-3746) is one of the oldest on the island. The brick building, which survived a major hurricane in 1831, features a sanctuary with a light blue, barrel-vaulted sanctuary.
Plenty of hotels along the popular southern coast of Barbados appeal to couples tying the knot, including the Accra Beach Hotel (accrabeachhotel.com), which has hosted more than 200 weddings. Elsewhere, hotels such as the Crystal Cove (crystalcovehotelbarbados.com) and Sandy Lane Resort (sandylane.com) feature gardens filled with frangipani and bougainvillea. At Sandy Lane, on the west coast, couples have married at the country club and in a private five-bedroom villa. Perhaps the most famous hotel in Barbados is the Crane (thecrane.com), in the southeast portion of the island. The Crane's historical hotel was built in 1887, with villas added later. A popular wedding site at the cliffside hotel is by one of the pools, in front of a stone balustrade with a sweeping view of the beach and ocean.
Many of the sugar plantations in Barbados, some with picturesque windmills, have ceased operation. A few remain as tourist attractions. The 300-year-old house of Sunbury Plantation (barbadosgreathouse.com) is made of limestone quarried locally. The plantation hosts weddings and receptions in several locations on the property, including its bell house, courtyard and in the landscaped gardens. Fisher Pond Great House (barbadosbrides.com) excels as a restaurant serving West Indian cuisine, in addition to its acclaim as a wedding venue. The 500-acre property features several romantic wedding spots, such as a fern terrace and sunken garden.
One of the most popular beaches for weddings is Bottom Bay Beach, according to the Barbados Tourism Authority.The secluded beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island, which has stronger waves. For tropical beauty in garden form, Orchid World (orchidworldbarbados.com) in central Barbados delights the eye with more than 40,000 orchids. The property features waterfalls and streams, orchid houses and a gazebo for weddings with a view of the valley below and nearby sugarcane fields. Flower Forest (www.barbados.org/flowfrst.htm), a former sugar plantation, is filled with flowers, medicinal plants, birds and monkeys. The 50-acre property has a gazebo for wedding ceremonies and views of the mountainous east.
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