Host your wedding at one of these five westward-facing beach resorts in the Caribbean, U.S. and Mexico – and ensure that a stellar sunset will accentuate your big day.
South Seas Island Resort, Captiva, Florida
Savoring the sunset is almost a religion on Captiva Island, tucked just north of Sanibel on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Every evening, guests gather on Sunset Beach to watch the sun dip under the horizon, wishing upon a shell as they toss it into the sea. Sunset is also a prime time for a luau rehearsal dinner on the sand, or a breezy ceremony at Sunset Pointe, where dolphins sometimes make cameos in the waves behind the wedding canopy. For the reception, the resort’s Sunset Pavilion tent looks over the water from floor-to-ceiling windows. Before and after the main event, keep loved ones busy with kayaking, jet-skiing and parasailing courtesy of Sunny Island Adventures, located onsite.
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
Every Friday, this sexy luxury resort greets the sunset theatrically: with a Champagne sabering ritual, where the cork is released from a bottle of bubbly with a literal sword. The drama continues with toes-in-the-sand vows, followed by a beach barbecue of fresh-caught fish at the Mita Mary Boat Bistro, as the rosy sky reflects in the nearby infinity pool. After the sun makes its grand exit, keep things lit with a fireworks display, a fire pit with s’mores and dancing under the stars. Tip: time your event between December and April for the best chance of spotting migrating humpback whales in the shimmering Bay of Banderas.
Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Cayman Islands
At this beach house-themed hotel, happy hour and sunset are practically synonymous. The resort sets out special lounge furniture on Seven Mile Beach for the sun’s nightly show; curl up with your nearest and dearest to watch while toasting with boozy Cayman lemonades. For more sundown admiration, gather your gang for a sunset cruise on a Red Sail Sports catamaran. Back at the resort, weddings are also intimate, barefoot-chic affairs – especially when you recruit events specialist Celebrations LTD to elevate the decor with bamboo chairs, flower walls, market lighting and more. After dark, attention stays on the skies with stargazing and a send-off of glowing wish lanterns.
Ocean Club Resort, Turks and Caicos
At Ocean Club, sunset comes with a side of live music three nights a week, and on Mondays, the resort’s weekly buffet on Grace Bay Beach overflows with conch fritters and rum punch as the sun makes its mesmerizing descent. For the wedding day, keep it simple with the hotel’s set package that covers all the planning basics, or upgrade with add-ons like a live calypso band and a custom boardwalk for the ceremony aisle. After newlywed portraits set to a backdrop of pastel-painted skies, receptions kick off in the twinkle light-strung courtyard of Opus Restaurant. Or host your soiree right on the sand, illuminated with tiki torches and a blazing bonfire.
Terranea Resort, Rancho Palos Verdes, California
Leave it to California to commemorate the sunset with the ringing of crystal singing bowls – a meditative practice that boosts healing and relaxation via sound and vibration. That Zen sensation extends to the hotel’s expansive indoor/outdoor spa, as well as to nuptials under the flower-swathed trellis of Catalina Point, a bluff perched over the Pacific. After the vows, celebrate on the oceanfront lawn as the sun sinks behind Catalina Island in the distance. Further enhance the SoCal vibe with a sustainable, farm-to-table menu paired with Napa wines, plus group activities like a coastal hike, tide-pooling and seaside yoga. Namaste.
Written by Erika Huenke