Call this French Caribbean island what you want—St. Barths, St. Barts, or even the formal St. Barthélemy—but never call it ordinary. St. Barths packs more glamour and beauty into its compact 9.5 square miles than islands many times its size, making it an ideal choice in the Caribbean to stage a stylish destination wedding.

A popular commune for celebrities and other high-end travelers, St. Barths is famous for its sophisticated island style: the streets of the small capital city of Gustavia are lined with exclusive duty-free boutique shops, fine restaurants and historic buildings reflecting the island’s unique Swedish/French heritage. And it’s safe to say that when it comes time to party, the nightlife at Le Ti St Barth, Nikki Beach, Bagatelle, and the Saint Barth Yacht Club will morethan satisfy whether you’re planning a welcome-night soiree or a post-nuptial bash.

Isle de France, St. Barth

Skilled wedding planners, designers and chefs are at your disposal—there are few places in the world, never mind the Caribbean, that can bring more talent to your wedding table than St. Barths. European floral designer Djordje Varda came to St. Barths on vacation and never left, choosing instead to focus on weddings and events in his adopted island home. “My flowers come alive for the event because I design them to match not only the personality of the bride but also the ambiance of St. Barths itself,” he says.For an intimate affair, the island has a remarkable collection of luxury villas to choose from, like the two-level Micela villa directly on Flamands Beach and the stunning, six-bedroom Oasis de Salines with its two pavilions, pair of pools, three kitchens, wine bar, and a private path to Saline Beach—in short, everything you need to stage a custom destination wedding surrounded only by your closest family and friends.

There are no cookie-cutter hotels on St. Barths; instead, you’ll find small boutique properties like Le Guanahani, a seaside resort with Marigot Bay on one side and the Grand Cul de Sac lagoon on the other. The resort’s Coconut Grove is a popular spot for exchanging vows, while the poolside Indigo restaurant will wow your guests with its inventive seafood dishes and tropical vibe.

For a classic beach wedding with St. Barths flair, consider the five-star Hotel Christopher or the Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle deFrance, where even underwater nuptials can be arranged. Your sand-in-the-toes wedding at the dramatic Eden Rock can be capped by a private party in the hotel’s legendary Villa Rockstar, a 16,000-square-foot playhouse just steps from the shoreline. 

This being a French island, of course you will also find a variety of lovely churches to choose from if you desire a more ecclesiastical service.

Completely ringed by reefs, St. Barths is known for its lovely beaches and calm waters, and like countless magazine models you can use the island’s “anses” as the backdrop for stunning photos on your wedding day. 

“St. Barths is much more than a playground for the well-heeled and well-known,” says Peg Walsh, president of St. Barth Proper thisties, which represents many of the island’s top villas and resorts. “It is a wonderfully romantic island where they speak the language of love, fiery Caribbean sunsets, warm starry nights and beautiful pristine beaches with sand as white as, well, a wedding gown. Weddings are followed by honeymoons, and with a St. Barths destination wedding, it’s a deliciously easy transition.”

> Written By Bob Curley