Island Weddings and Culture

Island Weddings and Culture

By Annamaria Heyliger-Hector, MEd, CWS

Getting married on St. Croix can be a magical experience for any couple. For the most part, the traditions are similar to those on the mainland. Each island has varying traditions based on their history and a blend that comes from African and European cultures. We are unique that seven flags have flown over the island and it gives certain unique flavors.

The island is made up of immigrants from the Mainland, Puerto Rico, the Arab World, India, Asia and many other islands. The growth in tourism has brought many people to our shores and along with them their varying cultures which we embrace and incorporate into our island style.

When planning a wedding the mainland and island traditions can be incorporated such as the local food, cake, dance and dress. Some of the foods include potato stuffing, seasoned rice, goat, roast pork, seafood; just to name a few. The wedding cake is the traditional Black Fruit Cake and Vienna cake. There is lots of rum to complement all of the celebrations. The attire can be casual, traditional to very formal and include the madras with elaborate headpieces.

St. Croix supports all genres of music but the official music is the Quelbe and the dance is the Quadrille. The St. Croix Heritage Dancers and We Deh Yah are a few of the popular dance groups. There are many scratch, string and traditional bands that accompany the folk and Quadrille dancers.  Some of these famous bands are Stanley and the Sleepless Knights, Blinky and the Roadmasters and Bully and the Kafooners.

A wedding can be traditional in a church or outdoor ceremony with lots of color and island flair. They can last a few hours or days with lots of dancing, eating, toasting and family reunions.  The St. Croix traditions is made up of a little bit of this and little bit of that; a truly authentic wedding with a cultural experience.

Annamaria Heyliger-Hector is a Certified Event Planner and Etiquette Consultant.

Photo Left: On St. Croix our brides arrive in style! When Marsha Frederick married Andy Lewis Sr. she arrived to the Church in style – by Helicopter.  Talk about making an entrance. Denise Bennerson Photographer

Photo Right: Eliza James-McBean Clock Tower Park, Frederiksted. Denise Bennerson, Photographer

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