Archive for the ‘Weddings’ Category

A Note to share with our St. Barth Properties Friends

Friday, June 19th, 2015

An intimate wedding takes place in St. Barth and you know the bride!

I am sure that most of you know that we have two fantastic concierges to assist you with, among other things, your dinner reservations, on-island activities, in-villa massages, birthday and anniversary parties, as well as weddings in St. Barth. Julia Hurd assists you before you travel and Magda Votava continues that great service once you are on the island.

This time it was Magda‘s turn to arrange her own wedding! She is a pro by now, so she knew exactly what she needed to do. She wanted a very small, intimate wedding and it went flawlessly.

The beautiful bride is our fabulous St. Barth Properties Sotheby's International Realty on-island office Concierge, Magda Votava photo : François Vochelle

The beautiful bride is our fabulous St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty on-island office Concierge, Magda Votava
photo : François Vochelle

If you read one of my previous blogs about getting married in St. Barth, you know that all marriages in St. Barth, just like in France, must take place at the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall) in this case, the Hôtel de la Collectivité d’Outremer as it is known in St. Barth.

Official wedding ceremonies in St. Barth always take place at the Hôtel de la Collectivité

Official wedding ceremonies in St. Barth always take place at the Hôtel de la Collectivité

So, on June 08, 2015 Magdalena Votava married Frédéric Borne, the Captain of a private yacht located in Gustavia Harbor. Magda’s beautiful daughter Valérie Votava and Fred’s handsome son, Ryan Borne were at their side.

Time for the Ring photo François Vochelle

Time for the Ring
photo François Vochelle

Valérie Votava, Magdalena Borne, Frédéric Borne, Ryan Borne photo credit : François Vochelle

Valérie Votava, Magdalena Borne, Frédéric Borne, Ryan Borne
photo credit : François Vochelle

I asked Magda if she would share their love story by answering some questions.

When, where and how did you and Fred meet?
“We met 6 years ago in France. Fred spent a couple of months there when he worked on a private boat in Cannes. We had a common friend on Facebook and that’s how we got to know each other. He came to see me when I was in Paris and that’s how it started. We never wanted to separate from that moment.”

What were your jobs at the time?
“I was a commercial assistant at Myllykoski (a huge paper manufacturer at that time in Europe). Fred worked as a yacht captain in Cannes.

When did you decide to come to SBH and why?
I made up my mind when Fred came to help me after an elbow surgery. It wasn’t easy for me to take care of the house and of Valérie who was little at that time (5 years old) and he came and did everything ☺. He was already in SBH, but flew to Paris to take care of me. When he asked me if I wanted to follow him, I didn’t hesitate a second.”

St. Barth is Synonymous with Love photo : François Vochelle

St. Barth is Synonymous with Love
photo : François Vochelle

Why did you choose to work at St. Barth Properties Sotheby’s International Realty?
“I found an ad in the Journal of St. Barth. SBP was looking for someone to replace a staff member for a couple of months. It corresponded with my profile and my knowledge, so I sent my CV. A week later, I was at SBP2 ☺. When Nadine came back, YOU decided you wanted to keep me ☺.”

Can you tell me a little bit about Ryan and Valérie?
“Ryan is 16 and he goes to school in Aix-en-Provence now (He was in SBH until September 2014, but, as you know, children in St. Barth can’t complete their studies here after ninth grade) so once Ryan finished, he decided to continue his studies in France. He wants to be a pilot in the army, just like his grandfather (Fred’s dad was a very famous fighter pilot). Recently, he passed an aeronautics exam and he scored 100%!!! Only 3 out of more than 600 candidates received the Committee’s Congratulations and he was one of them. We are very proud of him.

Valérie is 10 now and she will start secondary school in September. She’s very excited about this. She would like to be in the linguistic class and learn English and Spanish. She is already bilingual as she speaks Polish very well. She loves music, attends dance classes, and started piano lessons. She still doesn’t know what she wants to do in the future, but I keep telling her that she has a lot of time to make the final decision ☺.”

Mother and Daughter photo : François Vochelle

Mother and Daughter
photo : François Vochelle

Is there anything else you would like to include?
“Oh, I don’t know. If you want to write that Fred left France when he was 4 and then spent 20 years in Africa, as his dad was a fighter pilot there and then they all moved to St. Barth (23 years ago). He started to work as a captain almost 30 years ago (He was only 17).

I graduated for the University in my hometown, Lodz in Poland where I studied English and I obtained a Master’s Degree. I moved to France when I was 25 and obtained a Postgraduate Degree at Sorbonne University in Paris.

We both love traveling and photos (some of them, even Fred’s were used in our Live Your Dream catalogues).”

Congratulations to Magda and Fred Borne. May you live happily ever after!

Presenting: Madame et Monsieur Frédéric Borne photo : François Vochelle

Presenting: Madame et Monsieur Frédéric Borne
photo : François Vochelle

Eddy, Nils Dufau, Vice-President of the Hôtel de la Collectivité who performed the wedding ceremony, Magda, Fred, Ryan, Joel, Valérie and Sandrine photo : François Vochelle

Eddy, Nils Dufau, Vice-President of the Collectivité d’Outremer who performed the wedding ceremony, Magda, Fred, Ryan, Joel, Valérie and Sandrine
photo : François Vochelle

Getting Married in St. Barth – Live Your Dream®

Friday, May 30th, 2014

St. Barth has relaxed its regulations a bit for couples dreaming of getting married in St Barth

Your Dream of getting married in St. Barth can come true

Your Dream of getting married in St. Barth can come true

St. Barth is the romantic capital or the world (albeit that I might be a bit prejudiced). We know a lot of couples who want to get married in this paradise. Who can blame them? Some couples want a Destination Wedding with 200 guests while others want to have a more intimate gathering. It used to be quite an ordeal with strict residency requirements before a bride and groom could even attempt to plan any type of legal wedding in St. Barth. Quit your job for 6 months and come here while you wait it out? Sounds wonderful but not very practical. Now with the relaxed regulations and a healthy dose of marriage equality, brides and grooms, brides and brides and grooms and grooms (have I missed anyone?) have a wealth of new options.

In the past we had to advise couples wanting to be married here that they needed to get legally married elsewhere and then they could “fake it” by having a wedding ceremony in front of their guests at a hotel, a private villa or at a church and those attending wouldn’t know any better. Most couples had a legal ceremony at home and kept it a secret. Many still do. BUT if you are looking for the real thing, a wedding in St. Barth, it can be done! It is not easy but it is simpler than before. Perseverance is the key. The best part? You do not have to wing it alone. Our Concierge in our St. Barth office, Magda Votava will assist you throughout the entire process and will become your Wedding Concierge.

We will also arrange accommodations for you as well as for your guests and enlist our service partners to assist with all the frills that go with the wedding too. Flowers? A vintage Fiat Spider for the bride and groom? Rehearsal dinner? No problem. Other activities? Our pleasure. Julia Hurd our Concierge in our US office will coordinate everything with Magda so as to ensure that your St. Barth wedding will be wonderful.

Wedding

We organized a glorious, intimate family wedding for some quite famous Brits recently. I got to know the bride (Mary) so well during the planning of the event that she asked my husband and me to stand up for them as witnesses.

Steve and I were honored to be witnesses at the official ceremony.

Steve and I were honored to be witnesses at the official ceremony

We started the process by selecting a villa where most of her guests could stay. Mary fell in love with Villa Sky so she planned the date of the wedding around its availability. (Returning guests have the first right to rebook their villa for the following year, so we had to wait for that period to expire before we could reserve it.)

Once the booking was made, we secured other villas and hotel rooms for the guests and the process began. Magda went to the Hôtel de la Collectivité (City Hall) and asked them to reserve the date of the marriage on their calendar and we asked the church to do the same. Magda gathered all of the documentation (See below) that would be necessary for the marriage to take place here in St. Barth. Mary did her part and sent everything to Magda when it was a little less than 6 months before the wedding. My husband and I had to give copies of our passports because we were to be the witnesses.

The official legal ceremony must take place at the Hôtel de la Collectivité. It is only open on weekdays so weekend weddings are not the custom in France. The date and time were set for a Thursday at 10:00 am. The church wedding took place at 4:00 pm that afternoon which worked out perfectly because Mary had time to get her hair styled in between events.

Nils Dufau the VP of St. Barth performed the ceremony and presented them with their marriage certificate

Nils Dufau the VP of St. Barth performed the ceremony and presented them with their marriage certificate

That afternoon Roy and Mary were married (again) at the Anglican Church in Gustavia.

That afternoon Roy and Mary were married (again) at the Anglican Church in Gustavia

The wedding went perfectly as did the private dinner on the beach at the Hotel St. Barth Isle de France afterwards. I arranged for the newlyweds to spend their honeymoon night in an intimate pool suite at the Hôtel Le Toiny which they loved.

No matter the size you want your St. Barth Destination Wedding to be, we‘ll coordinate all of the arrangements

No matter the size you want your St. Barth Destination Wedding to be, we‘ll coordinate all of the arrangements

Would you like to get married in St. Barth? We are here to help you make that dream come true! When you call us, we will ask if you have a specific date in mind. It is best to wait until we discuss your needs and budget and give us a “ballpark” of dates that would work. Do you want a winter wedding so that your guests can escape the cold? A spring, summer or fall wedding would work too (and Value Season pricing would be in effect). We can then research options.

Your wedding guests will be thrilled to be in St. Barth!

Your wedding guests will be thrilled to be in St. Barth!

Once you set your date and have chosen your villa or hotel as well as the venue for the ceremony, we will get you booked and can secure some better rates in the hotels if your guests book multiple rooms. Then all you need to do is send a “Save the Date” invitation to your potential guests with my contact information or the contact information of one of our St. Barth Specialists with whom you are working and we will assist them with their accommodation, car rental and inter-island flights.

The bride chose to stay at Villa Sky – What a view!

The bride chose to stay at Villa Sky – What a view!

What to do:

As soon as you have set the date:

Magda will send a letter dated and signed by you and addressed to the civil registry on St. Barth requesting the wedding date you have chosen.

Six months (or less) but at least 30 days before the wedding:

  1. Official copies of the birth certificate (with the raised seal) for each person (issued and dated no more than six months before the wedding). Certificates issued by foreign authorities must be translated. (We can have them officially translated locally for you at reasonable rates.)
  2. Official copies of your passports. (If a visa is required for you to travel to St. Barth, the visa (or the request for a visa needs to accompany it).
  3. Last names, first names of your parents with date of birth, where they were born as well as their addresses and professions.
  4. Last names, first names, date of birth, where born, as well as their addresses, professions as well as copies of the passports of the two witnesses.

Roy and Mary enjoy a wedding day kiss before the reception at the Hôtel St. Barth Isle de France.

Roy and Mary enjoy a wedding day kiss before the reception at the Hôtel St. Barth Isle de France


SPECIFIC FORMALITIES:

An officially accepted translator/interpreter of your choice needs to be there to ensure that the marriage ceremony is translated into your language so that you understand what is being said; this person’s name will be mentioned in the marriage documents. (We will do this for you.)

The bride and groom couldn't resist putting their toes in the sand on Flamands Beach

The bride and groom couldn’t resist putting their toes in the sand on Flamands Beach

OTHER REGULATIONS FOR MARRIAGE THAT MUST MEET THE RULES OF THE CIVIL CODE

Legal age to be married: 18

Freedom of consent

You must both be present at the marriage ceremony.

Marriage between direct relatives (brother and sister, uncle and niece, aunt and nephew, etc.) is prohibited.

Prohibition of polygamy. Civil authorities must provide a document stating that neither person is married if your home state or country requires it. (Proof of divorce is necessary if married before.) Otherwise just present an official document stating that neither person is presently married.

Celebration of the marriage will be performed by a public official. (We will arrange that, too.)

After the ceremony you can go outside for photos harbor side. If you want to serve Champagne, we'll take care of that, too.

After the ceremony you can go outside for photos harbor side. If you want to serve Champagne, we’ll take care of that, too.

Don’t get discouraged! St Barth Properties will assist you throughout the entire process. After you get this paperwork over with, you will be so happy that you took the time to do it. A Wedding in St. Barth is so worth the little extra effort it takes to make it happen. As Dean Martin sang, “Memories are made of this.”

LIVE YOUR DREAM

LIVE YOUR DREAM®