According to TripSavvy, one in four couples in the UK and the US choose to get married abroad, with beaches being the single most desired location and good weather the other key driver. TripSavvy is one of the top-10 travel information sites in the world as determined by comScore.
With this in mind, Barbados is a natural choice for newlyweds-to-be. In fact, over the past year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Barbados reported an approximately 12 per cent increase in visitor weddings.
As romance tourism booms, couples are looking beyond the expected. Gone are the days when large resorts are the only destinations of choice for those escaping to paradise to say “I do.” The desire for authentic, unique destination experiences and more intimate settings make Airbnb an increasingly popular resource. The range of homes available gives couples the freedom to prioritise a personal and stress-free wedding experience. Everything from small weddings with just a few friends to large family soirees is possible with the vast array of listings available in Barbados through Airbnb.
Often a host’s desire to share the beauty of Barbados and their home is the motivation for joining Airbnb. These same attributes make the listings ideal locations for destination wedding bound travelers looking for the added amenities a home provides such as a kitchen, large dining area, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, and private outdoor areas.
Malissa Blackman, owner of Weddings by Malisssa, confirmed Barbados remains a top choice for destination weddings.
“Couples who visit Barbados often prefer to rent a villa as both a venue for the wedding and a place where their families can stay,” she shared.
For many, it is an economical option that offers a more personal experience. The 14-year veteran also spoke of the importance of nostalgia, sharing that this was one of the reasons persons of Barbadian heritage return to the island to get married.
“A bride or groom may choose to wed here so they can show their spouse and overseas guests their home, meet their family, and introduce them to their Barbadian heritage.”
Kevin Graham, an Airbnb host since 2016 and the owner of Orion’s View, first fell in love with the picturesque villa located in St Phillip as a personal vacation home in Barbados. However, he was unable to use it nearly enough, so he decided to share his home with others. Orion’s View is perched high upon a cliff providing sweeping views of the East Coast.
“Our guests rave about the peacefulness of the area, the hospitality of the neighborhood and the spaciousness of our five-bedroom villa,” shared Graham. “They feel they are visiting the authentic Caribbean, rather than only staying at a resort.”
On the opposite side of the island in exclusive Sugar Hill St. James, lies Monkey Hill, an impressive eight-bedroom villa. Ideal for large groups, the two-acres of tropical gardens and breathtaking ocean views create a picture-perfect wedding backdrop.
Owner Natalie Heilling, an Airbnb host since 2017, noted, “Guests love the location, layout, and size of our villa, which is perfect for weddings, birthday celebrations, and reunions. Monkey Hill’s design is ideal for entertaining with its outdoor dining area, bar, and BBQ overlooking the large infinity edge swimming pool. In short, it is an ideal space to create cherished memories.”