unexpected finds in turks & caicos...

The Caribbean is always a popular pick for couples considering a destination wedding. But with so many islands to choose from... deciding on the right one can be tough. I recently had the pleasure of visiting Turks & Caicos and came across some very unexpected (and pleasant) finds...

First of all... I had no idea that this island group is made up of 40 islands and cays of which only eight are inhabited (by humans!) These islands are also only about a 90 minute flight from Miami and 3.5 hours from New York- making this a very accessible & affordable destination to get to.

Providenciales (Provo to locals) is the most well known and developed of the islands- offering a wide range of resorts, restaurants and attractions. It has also earned "Best Beach" designation by Conde Nast Magazine. The north shore of the island is where you will find some of the most amazing beaches, as well as a long coral reef teeming with aquatic life. This main stretch is home to the majority of the major resorts, romantic villas and condos. My personal favorites include: the private villas at Amanyara, the chic Gansevoort and the all-suite Grace Bay Club.

Another popular attractions is the island of Little Water Cay, also known as Iguana Island, where some 2,000 critically endangered Rock Iguanas- the biggest population of this species in the world- are the island's only residents.

For marine enthusiasts, 200 miles of continuous coral reef- open for diving and snorkeling- beckon while the shallow waters of Gibbs Cay invite you to get up close and personal with some of the friendliest sting rays I've ever encountered!

Restaurants abound on the popular island of Provo where the natural beauty makes al fresco dining a popular choice with many restaurants dishing up stunning vistas to go with delectable dishes.

Formal options can be found in the Grace Bay area, but for a more "ocean-to-plate" experience- I wouldn't miss Da Conch Shack in downtown Provo. The best part about this barefoot dining experience is that you literally watch your dinner being fished out of the ocean. You can get fresh conch prepared every way imaginable from fritters to stir fried to curried. Make sure to end your meal with rum cake topped with rum-raisin ice cream. Yum!

On a non beach day, I would highly recommend a visit to the Caicos Conch Farm to get an overview of how conches are raised from eggs and then transferred to ocean holding pens. You can even pick up and handle these creatures at each stage of development.

And when nightfall approaches, the island comes alive with romantic sunset or moonlit boat cruises. Throughout the Turks and Caicos, soft sunsets bathing the scenic island invite romantic beach strolls, assuring memories that will last a lifetime. 

Make sure to check out my video below for tips on how to plan your destination wedding or honeymoon, with some of the best places to stay and the best times to go.