“Greer’s parents started coming to the villas around the mid-80’s and she started coming here as a toddler, we think of them as Shoal Bay Villas family so we were thrilled when she decided to hold her wedding here and happy that it was everything she hoped it would be.” — Kathy Haskins, Shoal Bay Villas
My parents, Van and Laurie, have been visiting Anguilla since 1984. I started coming to the island when I was 5 years old. Since then we have stayed in the same double room at Shoal Bay Villas every year. My husband, Graham, has been coming with us on our trip to Anguilla since we started dating 9 years ago. When Graham and I got engaged we agreed there couldn’t be a more magical place to have our wedding than on the small island of Anguilla. With a total of 55 guests, we filled Shoal Bay Villas, and it couldn’t have been more perfect to have all our favourite people in one place!
On the evening everyone arrived, Graham cooked fresh fish from Island Harbour on the resort’s grills and we all hung out by the pool and on the beach. The next night, Preston Hughes Transportation took us all to Dad’s Bar and Grill in Sandy Ground for an incredible ribs and fish buffet, and we ended the evening at Elvis’ Beach Bar where the famous Mamma Wanna was waiting for us and fun was had by all!
On our wedding day, Graham was able to schedule a massage onsite at Shoal Bay Villas with Jepun Bali Massage and I went next door to Manoa to get ready so that Graham and I didn’t see each other.
Later, the guests proceeded down to the point of Shoal Bay East – which I like to call ‘The Edge of the World.’ Dumpa played “Under The Sea” from the Little Mermaid on the Steel Pan as we walked down the aisle. There is an old Kentucky tradition (where I am from) to bury a bottle on the site of the ceremony in hopes of good weather. Graham and I buried a bottle of old Pyrat Pistol Rum that we collected on the island 6 years ago and had been saving for a special day.
After the ceremony, we joined our friends and family for cocktail hour under the portico at Shoal Bay Villas. One of our favourite moments was sitting on the porch of our room, as we do every day and every evening, chatting with our closest friends and family before we were sent off with sparklers to lead the walk along the beach to Madeariman for the reception.
We enjoyed a delicious dinner of fresh crayfish, peas and rice, vegetables and johnny cakes followed by Geraud’s incredible chocolate, lemon, and coconut wedding cake. Boss and the Horsepower band played, and the staff – who are like family to us now after going to the restaurant for 10 years, joined in the fun, and we ended the evening with lots of dancing. Our beautiful wedding photography was by Susan Croft.
We cannot thank the island enough for welcoming our wedding and taking such good care of us. True hospitality at its finest, and everything was fun, causal and absolutely more than we could have ever asked for.
“Anguilla is the most beautiful island with the nicest people in the world, which has brought us back for 35 years.”
— Van and Laurie Thompson