Meet Your Experienced Antigua Destination Wedding Coordinators
An Interview with Beverly King – Jolly Beach Resort & Spa Wedding Coordinator and Isha Phillip – Assistant Coordinator
If you choose to get married at Antigua’s all-inclusive Jolly Beach Resort & Spa, set on a full mile of the most dazzling white sand beach in the Caribbean, you’ll certainly get to know the very personable and resourceful Beverly King. She makes weddings happen, and makes sure that they turn out even better than you’d hoped. She’s had plenty of practice; says she “stopped counting” when she hit a thousand weddings. Isha has been working along side Beverly and have been excited about making dreams come true.
Here, Beverly King and Isha talk about their job:
Q: What are “the most asked for” by couples or their family and friends for weddings?
(Beverly King): Is the ceremony legal in their country
Q: How have you seen weddings change over the years? (This can be a lot of things, more/less people, second marriages and families, more/less traditional, color palates, flowers, favors, dresses/tuxes etc.
(Beverly King): Oh yes the trend is changing it is more of e.g. trashing the dress. Couples are younger they are dressing more to suite the hot climate and traveling with family and friends. We are also seeing a lot of second marriages.
Q: Who are the Jolly Beach bride and groom?
(Beverly King): The ideal Jolly beach bride and groom is the couple who appreciate what we have to offer and sit back let me work my magic and enjoy the time of their lives
Q: Tell us a bit about the new wedding packages and what makes them so special.
(Beverly King): Our wedding packages are special because we cater them towards the couples who just want a hassle free but elegant wedding and the couples who whish to get married at the Jolly Beach Resort and Spa with a branded designer
Q: What is the most popular spot for a wedding at Jolly Beach?
(Beverly King): The Beach and Pool/ Garden gazebo
Q: Is it really that easy to get a license and get married in Antigua? If I have my wedding at Jolly Beach what exactly do I have to do and when, and how long will it take?
(Isha Phillip): Yes it is extremely easy. We have a no residency policy e.g. you can go to the Legal Office at 9am and be married by 4:30pm the same day. On arrival to the resort you have an appointment to meet with the Wedding Co-coordinator where all final plans are made for your special occasion and the legal forms are filled out for the Registrar and Legal Office.
Q: Is my wedding license good when I get back home to the US, UK, Trinidad etc?
(Beverly King): Yes once the country is a part of the Commonwealth and Caricom your marriage is legal, if not, the couple will have to obtain an Apostille (at an additional charge), this is done in Antigua before departure. I personally take care of this for the couples
Q: Are there any Antiguan traditions that you incorporate into ceremonies?
(Beverly King): We do not have an Antiguan tradition, but couple will ask to have their traditions included e.g. sand ceremony, rose ceremony, ceremony of the hands and the famous African tradition jumping the broom ceremony.
Q: How about music. Do most people want steel-pan music for a Caribbean feel or do they have their own favorites?
(Beverly King): Music is one of personal choice. I am finding though that couples are wishing to have the steel band for cocktail to give the Island feel and then they will have their own music for the ceremony and reception. We all have that first song you dance together to which can bring back memories of watching the sun set, stargazing or the first time you met each other at the club or even a wedding of your friend or family.
Q: How about for the grooms and gentlemen, are they involved in the planning? Do you see any requests and trends developing there?
(Beverly King): Yes it is and it is the best part of my job as the grooms rely on my expertise a lot where as the bride know what she wants from the day she can walk and talk…LOL
Q: Describe the basic steps you take when putting together a wedding at Jolly Beach.
(Isha Phillip): The couple has an interview on arrival to fill out the legal documents and put a final touch to what they have requested from the optional extras. They are then taken to St. Johns to sign this document, then it’s a relax stage until the day comes for the wedding. The flowers are taken to the bride’s room 45 minutes before the ceremony; the groom buttonhole is taking to the area where they are being married. The groom should be at this area 10 minutes before the appointed time. The marriage officer arrives and the bride is then brought to this area for the ceremony.
Q: What was your most difficult request from a bride and groom? How did you fulfill this request? What was the most fun request?
(Beverly King): My most difficult request from a couple is to have a bag pipe from Scotland play as the bride enters. This was done by having the music pre recorded as we do not have this available in Antigua. The couple was quite appreciative as they could not get the music in Scotland but I was able to download it to CD for the wedding as a surprise
Q: What do you like most about your job? What are you most proud of at Jolly Beach?
(Beverly King): I love most meeting new people from all over the world. I am proud to be a part of the Jolly Beach Family, as it gives me the opportunity to travel and represent my Resort in the International, local and regional market. Jolly Beach is a house hold name
(Isha Phillip): I love meeting people of all the different nationalities. I am most proud of our hospitable Management and Staff and that I am a part of this team.
Q: What keeps you up at night? What is your biggest headache? What do you think keeps your couples up at night?
(Isha Phillip): Well let us see – is it going to rain? Is the marriage officer going to be on time? Is the florist going to present the bouquet as I requested? Is the Bride going to like the bouquet? The main reason we have sleepless couples is if the climate changes from sunny to cloudy.
Q: What is the most bizarre thing that has happened at a Jolly Beach wedding?
(Beverly King): The bride had to wait three hours to be married, because her brides maid was late by an hour and the marriage officer had to leave property to go to another resort to perform a ceremony, so we had to wait, this is why I always double check at least an hour before a wedding that every one and every thing is in place
(Isha Phillip): Wow, had a very young couple came out to get married and on the day of the wedding as her fiancé was getting her ready, the zipper got broken. So here I was with no one to fix it then right away it clicked, I was a good sewing student in high school so I got the needle and thread and I sewed the dress on her. LOL
Q: What company initiatives/product offerings have you been personally responsible for?
(Beverly King): Creation of the wedding packages and the web site( wedding page)
Q: What do you consider your biggest successes at Jolly Beach? Why?
(Beverly King): y biggest success at the Jolly Beach Resort & Spa is the maintenance of a 99 % guest satisfaction score each month, because I am consistent with my coordination of the weddings and I love my job. It is a passion for me!
Q: What do you expect to be the next major trend in weddings?
(Isha Phillip): Deep Sea weddings. Couples are already going in their wedding outfits to dive and take pictures
Q: Jolly Beach is a great place to work because ______________.
(Beverly King): Yes it is it gives me the opportunity to be an independent person and I am learning new things every day, we are a family so each department depends on the other
(Isha Phillip): We are a team and that’s what it takes to have a successful business.
Q: Who are your main competitors? What makes a Jolly Beach wedding superior?
(Beverly King): Our main competitors are Sandals branded resorts. Jolly Beach however is superior because we offer value for money. We are also a family resort and we excel in the level of service that we offer our guests.
Q: Please tell us anything else you’d like us to know about you or your job.
(Beverly King): I am passionate about weddings, one of my couples referred to me as the miracle worker of weddings and I love that title. I am a Mom of three with a grand son and a born again Christian. I enjoy traveling to represent the Resort at wedding shows overseas and locally and I enjoy reading a good book, watching CSI and any other Investigative mystery and Discovery Health and Nature programs on Television. I have been coordinating weddings for the past 20 yrs and love every minute of it!
(Isha Phillip): I love weddings with a passion, just having the opportunity to arrange a special occasion like this takes my breath away!