Weddings – Tobago holiday accommodation
A surprising number of our clients are married in Tobago and we receive regular enquires from people wanting Tobago holiday accommodation at Castara Retreats as an exotic location for their wedding. We thought it would be helpful to give you a picture of what is involved in getting married at Castara Retreats.
As a result of these enquiries, Porridge and Jeanell, our local managers, decided to offer a simple and affordable wedding service for our guests. Please note that this service is only available to guests staying at Castara Retreats for a minimum of seven nights and our maximum number for weddings is 30. We are happy to provide this information on the understanding that you accept that we have no responsibility for Porridge's service.
As you can see from our website, Castara Retreats is a stunningly beautiful Tobago eco resort with views of the ocean, beach, rainforest and village. We are not typical of hotels in Tobago. There are few places with such charm and simplicity and it is a perfect place if you are looking for a romantic setting for getting married in Tobago. Our guests have been married in each and all of our accommodations and also, in our magnificent new pagoda which was completed in December 2010 and is beautifully set in our tropical gardens overlooking the ocean. It is a very spacious 18ft by 24ft with comfortable seating, atmospheric lighting and is the perfect venue for a romantic, intimate wedding ceremony. It is also ideal for a reception with space for up to 30 guests. Kenny and Patricia, our local partners, who run our restaurant and bar will be happy to talk with you about what you would like for your reception. They can provide an outstanding buffet lunch or dinner for your guests along with appropriate drinks. Speak with Jean about this option for your wedding.
Porridge and Jeanell make all the arrangements for you and ensure that everything runs smoothly and you have a happy day. Over the last couple of years, Porridge has arranged 15 or 20 weddings, mainly small intimate affairs, but with a few special touches to make it memorable. Depending on what you want, he can arrange most things as long as the theme is simple.
One thing to bear in mind is that the people in Tobago are quite religious so a Minister will definitely be part of your wedding and will add his or her own sincere, passionate approach to the marriage. Many guests say the ceremony has been moving and significant as a result.
If you have a few friends from back home who are coming to join you then your friends usually enjoy staying near you in one of our beautiful and unique accommodations, and this can make for a really good week for everyone to hang out and enjoy a Caribbean holiday together with a very different atmosphere from more typical weddings in Caribbean hotels.
The first step in the planning process is a phone call or email to Lorna, in the UK, who handles our bookings.
- Planning: Porridge and Jeanell will meet with you when you arrive and clarify the arrangements - the day/time, place, Minister, flowers, food and drink. They will also explain the legal requirements to you (see below).
- Organising the Legalities: Porridge will drive you to Scarborough in his air-conditioned vehicle to register to be married, which costs 350TTD, (about £35) and do his best to ease that process (queues can be long in Tobago). You must attend in person. He will also arrange for you to meet the Minister to talk through what you would like. The minister usually calls to see you just before the ceremony to discuss the style of service that you seek. The Minister charges 2,500TTD (about £240). We have a licensed bar. Porridge will discuss what you would like from the cold drinks, beer and wine available. He will take you to a florist where you can choose and pay for your flowers.
- The Wedding Day: Porridge will be with you on the day to ensure that everything runs smoothly and will make sure the paperwork is completed and that witnesses are available and the Minister is paid.
- The Marriage Certificate: He will also follow through on your marriage certificate. This can take 6-8 weeks to arrive at your home address. If you are staying with us for an extended honeymoon (three weeks or more), it may arrive before you leave. Or not, Tobago being Tobago!
Fees For Weddings
Below are five examples to give you an idea of the cost based on numbers and typical requirements. Prices are fixed in Trinidad and Tobago dollars and do not include drinks. Prices in your own currency will fluctuate according to exchange rates. Ask Jean for a full breakdown of costs – she has a chart for each example:
|Couple only, no reception||$7,500 TTD|
|6 people with reception||$10,500 TTD|
|12 people with reception||$13,500 TTD|
|20 people with reception||$16,000 TTD|
|30 people (maximum) with reception||$19,500 TTD|
The bottom line is it all costs a great deal less than in Britain or America with a lot less hassle and more fun. Castara Retreats can accommodate 17 people plus a few extras if all our accommodation is available. We can also help guests find alternative accommodation in the village if our accommodation is full. If you want to book all our accommodation you will need to get in touch with us as early as possible particularly for dates in the high season (November – April).
To get married in Tobago you need to:
- Have your passport for the tax office visit.
- Your birth certificate.
- Your divorce papers (if appropriate)
- Be resident in Tobago for three days before the ceremony. Please note this does not include your arrival day or the day you get married. The registry office is closed on weekends and holidays.
Do visit www.myTobago.info and www.SimplyTobago.com for more information on weddings and what you need to do as the information we offer here is the best that we have, but we cannot be responsible for its accuracy and suggest that you do your own research if you want to be absolutely confident that all will be well.