Situated on the small island of Canouan – a Caribbean Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines – Mandarin Oriental, Canouan is in a league of its own when it comes to exclusive destination weddings. Among its many activities and amenities to enjoy during a destination wedding weekend, couples would be remiss if they didn’t experience the signature Canouan cake dance for their special day. Not only does the cake dance make for great guest entertainment; it’s also a way to celebrate and embrace the local culture.

The Canouan cake dance symbolizes the hierarchy in the household which, traditionally, refers to the man. There are four performers in total – two flag dancers and two cake dancers, one for each the bride and groom. The flag dancers perform first, followed by the cake dancers.

The groom’s representative dancer is “to remain dominant,” which is portrayed by their flag and cake being held higher than the bride’s dancers. At times, the bride’s representatives may challenge the groom’s dancers by holding their cake and flag above that of their opponents’. If the cake falls during the Canouan cake dance, then it’s a sign of bad luck and means the couple’s union will not last.

Just like the concept of a first look, the bride is not supposed to see her wedding cake until it is danced to her and presented during the official cake dance. Although guests would thoroughly enjoy this tradition, it’s also an option for couples who choose to elope for a more intimate Canouan celebration. Mandarin Oriental, Canouan offers destination wedding experiences for two that include a non-denominational civil ceremony, bridal bouquet and boutonniere, a two-tiered wedding cake, photographer, private dinner for two under the stars, and more.

For the wedding ceremony, Mandarin Oriental, Canouan features an historic church that was brought over from England, stone by stone, in the 1800s. After being used as a ballast for ships, it became the Saint Michael and all Angels Anglican Church, and is now non-denominational.

Canouan is a tropical paradise filled with history and tradition; and the Canouan cake dance is but one wedding experience couples will be able to enjoy during their time on the island.