St. Martin/St. Maarten wedding photographer
St. Martin and St. Maarten are actually two different halves of the same island, which was subdivided more than three centuries ago. St. Martin is the French half and Sint Maarten is the Dutch half. Believe it or not, you can’t really tell when you pass back and forth across the border between the Netherlands and France.
St. Martin weddings are characterized by a heavy French influence and elegance. You’ll find French cafes and bistros and bakeries, delicious French and Caribbean food, and lots of high-end fashion and luxury. Combine that with some of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean, and St. Martin becomes a fantastic option for a destination wedding. In fact, many people say that the best restaurants in the Caribbean are in the St. Martin towns of Grand Case and Marigot.
St. Martin wedding photographer Dreamtime Images, based in Colorado and Europe, is available year round to photograph your destination celebration on the beaches of this beautiful island. We take a photojournalistic approach have won dozens of awards from the Wedding Photojournalist Association, ISPWP and Fearless.
It’s probably easiest to fly into the Dutch side of the island, into Princess Juliana Airport (airport code SXM), which is among the busiest in all of the Caribbean.
Wedding photography on St. Martin awesome, but the marriage requirements are not. You’re supposed to be on the French side for a month before getting married, but most people either get married at home in the States, or they head over to the Dutch side for their civil ceremony (and then come back to the French side for the main ceremony).
Marriage Requirements on St. Maarten — which are definitely easier — are as follows: first, if you’re younger than 21, you’ll need parental permission. You’ll also need to contact the Lt Governor of the island in order to get permission to marry, and be warned: this process can take up to two months. It’s easy, but time consuming. After you get the go-ahead, you’ll need to be on the island for two working days before the ceremony. Fees run around $300, which includes the civil ceremony.
The Dutch half is one of the most popular and heavily touristed areas in the Caribbean, though the visitors often come from difference countries compared to, say, Jamaica or the Bahamas (where the tourists are overwhelmingly American). It’s essentially got the culture of a EuroCaribbean isalnd, but it’s close to home and you can pay with US Dollars.
If you’re wondering when to get married, fret not: the weather is generally good year-round. It’s a little drier from December to April, once hurricane season is over. Yet even in the wet season, life is pleasant.
St. Martin Wedding Venues
The best places to get married on St. Martin include the Hotel L’Esplanade, the Club Orient, the Royal Palm Beach Resort, Le Petit Hotel, the Towers at Mullet Bay, the Grand Case Beach Club, the La Samanna, the Westin Dawn Beach Resort, and the Wyndham Sapphire Beach Club. Also seriuosly consider La Samanna on Baie Longue, Orient Bay, the Esmeralda, Beacon Hill Towers, and the Royal Turtle Inn.
Over on the Dutch side, check out Grand Case Beach Club, the La Samanna, the Royal Palm Beach Resort, the Westin Dawn Beach Resort, Wyndham Sapphire Beach Club, the Hotel L’Esplanade, Le Petit Hotel, Club Orient, and the Towers at Mullet Bay.
What to do on St. Martin
There are many fantastic options to keep yourselves and our wedding guests entertained if you choose to have a wedding on St. Martin. There’s a very hoppin night life on the island, with ample bars, clubs and casinos. If you want to go hiking, you can head up Pic du Paradis, the highest point on the island, or you can visit a great butterfly farm.
Wedding photography on St. Maarten is fun because it’s so diverse. There are just a lot of activities you can do with your family and friends while they’re on the island, from gambling at some fantastic casinos to lounging on gorgeous beaches. St. Maarten is more on the tourist path than other islands (like Nevis, for example) so it caters to a wider selection of people. It’s easier, if that makes sense — and ease could be a good or a bad thing, depending on the feel you’d like for your wedding.
Last, since we’re talking about the Caribbean, if you’re considering a St. Maarten wedding, a photographer who is a diver might be something to consider for underwater documentary coverage. We bring underwater camera housings to our island wedding jobs!
Dreamtime Verdict: St. Martin
Great food, beautiful hotels, great night-life, gorgeous beaches, and an easy approach will characterize your experience getting married on St. Martin. The island is probably best suited for folks looking for luxurious fine dining, great food, but also lots of tourist infrastructure. There’s pretty much something for everyone here. It’s maybe not the best place if you’re trying to get off the beaten path, yet you can come pretty close and still have a wedding in a place that’s ultra convenient. St. Martin is wedding photographer paradise.
St. Maarten is best for people who are torn between a destination wedding in Europe, a tropical beach destination wedding, and a wedding at home. It’s a great combination of everything – it’s got the cultural feel of Europe, the natural beauty of the Caribbean, and the ease that comes with its proximity to the States. It may not be the best choice if you’re looking for completely unspoiled nature and ultra super luxury, but on the other hand, there is a lot to do there and the nightlife is hoppin!