As a Destination Wedding paradise, Sint Maarten's unique dual nation status lends itself well to couples wanting to offer their guests a little European and a lot of Caribbean. Sint Maarten offers the perfect background, and the choices are abundant. Be it a cozy beach wedding or a sophisticated wedding at a villa, in a garden, on a cruise, mega yacht or at one of our many resorts. Let Sint Maarten Marry-Me help you plan that pefect wedding in paradise.
Michael and Katerina Wolmarans’s Wedding Story
By Puja Chugani
Many of us have dreamed of finding true love on a cruise ship and in 2010 this dream came true for Michael and Katerina who shared the story of their whirlwind courtship with us so that we could tell you all about their unforgettable wedding.
Michael and Katerina both worked on the same cruise ship, but it took a twist of fate for them to finally meet. Katerina was the assistant casino manager and one of her dealers celebrated a birthday in January and Michael was invited to the party, which is when he and Katerina met. They then worked together on a project a week later, which allowed them to get to know each other even better and they both knew pretty quickly that this relationship was something special.
Michael proposed to Katerina on Valentine’s day with a special surprise. He went into Katerina’s room and decorated it with flowers, red hearts, balloons, streamers and champagne. Katerina had a clue that Michael was up to something when she noticed small heart and love cut outs all over the corridor leading to her room. When she entered, she saw the same cut outs sprinkled all over the bed, with two champagne glasses placed carefully in the middle. Michael proposed that night, but he had another surprise planned for Katerina the next day.
After they both finished work, they went to the back deck of the ship, where a bouqutet of roses and champagne were waiting for them. Michael arranged for one of the cruise musicians to serenade them by saxophone, and while Katerina was taking this all in, Michael went down on his knee and gaver her a scroll with a ring tied at the bottom. Once they removed the ring from the scroll, which was a bit of a struggle given Michael's knot tying ability, Michael proposed again. Of course Katerina said yest, what girl could resist after a proposal like that?
The couple love the Caribbean. It is where they met, got engaged and ultimately settled down. St Maarten holds a special meaning for the couple, as they had many long romantic walks on the beach here and the cruise ship visits to St Maarten were timed very conveniently for them.
Michael and Katerina both wanted a beach wedding so they turned to St Maarten Marry Me for thelp with planning their special day and the team did not disappoint. Marry Me helped with finding the perfect location and coordinating the details. They even helped with making sure the couple's documents were in order and made calls to Michael's family in South Africa. The couple tied the know on April 4 2010, Easter Sunday. Since weddings are not normally performed on Easter Sunday, St Maarten Marry Me went above and beyond to make this happen for them.
Michael and Katerina put a lot of personal touches into planning their wedding. They designed their own invitiations that were made out of foam boards and looked like flip flops, which went perfectly with their beach theme. Michael also came up with a unique way for Katerina to make her entrance during the ceremony. She sailed in on a dinghy, as Michael and the guests watched her approach from the beach. Michael explained, "The whole idea behind this was that we met at sear, on a ship, so I wanted to represent the way Katerina was brought into my Life."
Their wedding ceremony was perfect with enough heart, love and humor for everyone. Katerina explained that the minister read vows that were so apt that is was almost as if the couple wrote them themselves. She also laughed as she said, “the minister asked me if I am sure I want to do this right before I signed, but she never asked Michael, who didn’t miss why she only asked me. It was a very memorable day filled with love and magic.” The entire day was so special, with everything planned in great detail making it unforgettable not only for the couple but also for their guests.
Since the wedding was very spontaneous and the couple’s family lives in far flung locations – Katerina is from Bulgaria and Michael is from South Africa – there was not enough time for their family and friends from home to arrange their visas and flights. However their wedding guests consisted of 28 of their closest friends and colleagues from the cruise ship.
The newlyweds highly recommend a wedding in St Maarten. They both say, “go ahead, you will never be sorry. It is an amazing place to choose for a wedding, with such a wide variety of beaches and resorts.” Add to this a wedding planning agency that can help turn your dreams into reality and your day can be even more special than you ever imagined.
Although Michael and Katerina had to board the ship again after their wedding ceremony and continue on their way, after they left the ship, they went for their honeymoon in Nassau, Bahamas and then eventually settled down in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands. They plan to return to St Maarten to celebrate their anniversary, indulge in a nice hotel and explore the island even more.
We look forward to welcoming you back soon, Mr & Mrs Wolmarans. Congratulations!
We thank DESTINATION MAGAZINE for the permission to republish this article.
Photos by Alexandre Julien - www.alex-photos.com
Documents You Need to Bring
- Birth Certificate - Long version original Birth Certificate.
- Declaration of Marital Status - Single couples must present a letter from the Vital Statistics Office which states that they have never been married before.
- If divorced - an Original divorce certificate or a final judgment decree.
- If widowed - a death certificate.
- Passport copy* - Colored copies are preferable
- Witnesses - 6 are required if the marriage is performed outside of the Marriage hall.
If Marriage is performed at the Marriage Hall, only two witnesses must be provided. They need to provide:
- Passport copy*
- Female witnesses must provide a copy of their birth certificate.
- Witnesses must be 18 years and older.
- A legal ceremony is conducted under the Laws of the Netherlands Antilles and the vows cannot be changed or adjusted by the couple.
- All documents must be originals and must be submitted at the least 14 days prior to the actual wedding date.
- All US documents require an "Apostille Stamp" from the Secretary of State.
- All Canadian documents require an "Authentication Stamp" from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a "Legalization Stamp" from the Dutch Consulate.
*Passport copies do not require an "Apostille Stamp"
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