Beach-minded brides flock to the USVI, and it's no wonder why. It's about as easy to fall in love with these sun-splashed American beauties as it is to marry there. Since the islands are a U.S. territory, there is no foreign currency to navigate, no passports or visas required. Beyond the unifying triumvirate of sea, sand and sun, the individual islands are uniquely enchanting. Whether it's lush St. John, glitzy St. Thomas or free-spirited St. Croix, the real fun is deciding which one is the right place for your I do's.
Flight attendant Brenda Bower Lovend has special reasons for loving her career. For starters, she met her husband, Jay, when he was a passenger on one of her flights. "It really happened," she giggles. Once the couple decided to have a destination wedding, the free travel that comes with Brenda's job really came in handy. "I spent the months leading up to the wedding scouting islands," she says. "It was great to be able to see things in person."
After visiting a half-dozen destinations, Brenda found her dream locale on St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. "It's still so laid-back, not commercial or too crowded," she says of her wedding spot. "It has an undiscovered feel, but you have lots of choices for bands, hotels and restaurants."
Paperwork to get married here is simple: Just send in your documentation so that it arrives eight days prior to the ceremony, then pick up your license at the Superior Court before the ceremony. "Brides choose the U.S. Virgin Islands because they're stress-free," says Cheryl Toner, owner of Wedding, Set, Go! on St. Thomas. And there's no question about legitimacy either. "A U.S. Virgin Islands wedding is as legal as a marriage in your home state in the continental U.S.," she says. "This is risk-free."