ST. MAARTEN BEING POSITIONED IN WEDDING DESTINATION MARKET
PHILIPSBURG - The possibility of getting married in St. Maarten, and establishing St. Maarten in the ever-growing wedding destination market, is being pushed by the island's marketing representation in the US.
The wedding market value in 2009 was an estimated US $56.8 billion in the US, with relevant parties willing to pay more than the average leisure traveller.
Other factors that drive the market include no seasonal limitations; more than two million people get married in the U.S. alone each year; they are highly brand receptive; their choices are quality driven as for them it is not an ordinary trip, it is the trip of a lifetime; they have more disposable income; and their purchases are spread over different categories; insurance, credit cards, luggage, living, etc.
Couples wishing to be married in St. Maarten can engage the services of on-island wedding planners who can assist with making the necessary arrangements for a ceremony and caterers who can plan the perfect reception for the couple. Several hotels in St. Maarten offer complete wedding packages with all of the special ingredients for the big day.
To be married in St. Maarten, couples must submit requests at least 14 days prior to the scheduled ceremony to conducted by the Registrar and must arrive on-island one week prior to the wedding date. Marriages are performed Monday through Saturday. Visitors can obtain information on all necessary documents from the St. Maarten Tourist Office.
St. Maarten offers couples traditional honeymoon vacation options highlighted by romance packages from resorts across the island or non-conventional get-aways that couples create themselves based on their interests.
ABOUT ST. MAARTEN
St. Maarten-Saint Martin is the smallest landmass in the world to be shared by two different nations. Christopher Columbus sighted the island on November 11, 1493, and named it after St. Martin, Bishop of Tours. Initially disregarded as unpromising, the island changed hands among the Dutch, the French, and the Spanish.
The French and Dutch finally split the island in 1648—the French got the largest part and called it Saint Martin; the Dutch made their half – St. Maarten- part of the Netherlands Antilles, which is a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Though they live on an island that is Dutch and French, all inhabitants speak predominantly English. There is no physical border between the two sides; just monuments and signs at each crossing.
The island is considered an almost perfect holiday environment; beaches are pristine and spectacular, shopping and dining rank among the best in the Caribbean.
St. Maarten has the endearing adage of being “The Friendly Island.” Annually some 1.5 million cruise ship passengers visit the island. Princess Juliana International Airport handled over 1.7 million passengers in 2008.
The island’s inhabitants come from no less than 103 different countries; many first-time visitors find themselves becoming return visitors or permanent residents. This tendency is contributing to a new emerging identity of the island. St. Maarten is a duty-free territory.
The island's official currency is the Antillean guilder, but the American dollar is extensively used. The exchange rate between the two currencies is fixed.
One American dollar can be converted in 1.78 Antillean guilders. By its affiliation with the Netherlands Antilles, St. Maarten is part of a Parliamentary Democracy. The Lieutenant Governor is the Chairperson of the Executive Council and represents the Queen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Executive power is vested in the Executive Council consisting of five commissioners. Following a referendum on June 23, 2000, in which the majority of the electorate voted for a change in St. Maarten’s constitutional status, the Dutch side is on its way to become a country within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as such terminating its ties with the Netherlands Antilles.
To get to St. Maarten for your ultimate wedding experience, visit our sponsor:
In the Wedding sector on St. Maarten there are a number of service providers available to fulfil your wedding planning needs. Click on the following links to review our Wedding Planners: