Villa Norbu Wedding | USVI Wedding Photographer | Villa Wedding St Thomas
If Caribbean wedding venues are your dream, you’ll love this intimate wedding celebration at Villa Norbu, a gorgeous villa wedding venue on St. Thomas, USVI
Photos by U.S. Virgin Islands wedding photographer Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Caribbean Weddings at Villa Norbu, USVI
Heather first reached out to me about photographing her wedding because of this article I’d written on the Top St. Thomas Wedding Venues & Beaches. She told me recently that her entire wedding was planned at Villa Norbu because of my post, so of course I was quite flattered!
And let’s face it: If you knew there was a tropical wedding venue as beautiful as Villa Norbu–and that you could have an intimate celebration at a private villa in the middle of the Caribbean–wouldn’t you? So that’s exactly what Heather and Terry did for their destination wedding.
I’ve lived in the Caribbean, right on St. Thomas, photographing elopements and weddings full-time. And out of all the tropical wedding venues out there I get to photograph at, Villa Norbu is one of my top 3 favorites. Why?
-Views for days
-Attention to detail
-Hidden gems throughout the property
-Delicious food from on-site chefs
I swear I don’t get any kickback from the owners! I just really love this magical property. Villa Norbu is owned by husband-wife duo Alain and Soolan started creating this tropical wedding villa over 20 years ago, and have been adding on, planting, and designing ever since. Alain was the videographer for Heather & Terry’s wedding as well, and is always there for corporate and wedding events. After all, it’s their home, too!
Where IS St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands?
If you’re not familiar with the Caribbean, not to worry. It can be quite confusing, as there are countries, U.S. territories, commonwealths, and non-U.S. territories all mashed up between South America and North America. In fact, most of the Caribbean is not owned by the Americas!
It can be very confusing, as there are main islands, republics, territories, unnamed islands, split island countries, and entire island nations all mixed up in this part of the world.
St. Thomas is one of 3 main islands comprising the U.S. Virgin Islands: St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. There are other islands, mostly uninhabited, that make the USVI so interesting. It’s rare you get to see different shapes of islands dotting the horizon, especially when those little islands may belong to another country (and thus need a passport for!).
No Passport Needed in the U.S. Virgin Islands
Though the British Virgin Islands are closer to St. John and St. Thomas than St. Croix, a passport is needed for them since you’re essentially on the property of the United Kingdom.
However, to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas, where Heather and Terry (and guests) came for their Villa Norbu wedding, no passport is needed!
You only need your ID to come in and out, though you will go through customs (so don’t take any fresh produce or meat products) when departing.
So for all U.S. citizens who want to have a destination wedding but don’t want to force getting a passport for travel, the USVI is the perfect choice. This is especially true in winter, when you can board a plane in snowy NYC or Boston in January, and 3.5 hours later arrive directly in sunny St. Thomas, with the palm trees blowing and the blue Caribbean sparkling. It’s really that easy.
The bride and her friends got ready in a separate private villa up the hill called Seascape Villa (shown at the bottom of this article), a gorgeous private villa on St. Thomas that overlooks the ocean (and is just a few minutes away from Villa Norbu).
Seascape Villa has multiple rooms, a giant kitchen/living room atrium, 2 floors of bedrooms and en suites, and a beautiful pool with views and balconies for days.
Decorating this tropical wedding villa
The decorations or many U.S. Virgin Islands weddings feature seashells and starfish, but Terry and Heather wanted colorful florals and big monstera leaves. They found their tropical inspiration and had it beautifully created by East End Flower Shop, who has done the florals for nearly all of my dozens of couples on St. Thomas and St. John.
From hanging florals to gorgeous family-style table settings and a vibrant bouquet, the details were top-notch. Plus, the couple shipped in a hundred fresh-baked cookies from their favorite bakery!
All wedding guests wore blue or green to match with the tropical sea vibe, and were there to join from Florida, New York, California, Ohio, and more. And you better believe these New Yorkers were happy to escape the snow for a week in paradise!
Terry & Heather’s Villa Norbu wedding ceremony
The ceremony took place in Villa Norbu’s weding cove, which sits right on the edge of the ocean, with views of Hans Lollik Island, Thatch Cay, and the British Virgin Islands.
Guests waited with drinks in hand and a guitar player strumming as the bride and groom walked in together–a 2023 wedding trend I’ve been seeing a lot of!
Their friend officiated, and I must admit she hammed it up for the couple (and even did a shot before pronouncing them!). Following the ceremony, we did family photos, and what did I NOT notice? A WHALE that breached just behind and to the side of them! I’d never seen Alain, the videographer, so excited in my life. I got to see it spouting air, but never actually saw the animal. Wanh Wanh.
Partying it up at this tropical villa
You know the term, “lit”? Of course you do, even if you don’t want to admit it. Well, even if only the kids use terms like that, even I have to say that this party was lit. After a cocktail hour on the side deck and time to explore the beautiful villa grounds, the tasty dinner–including a full surf-and-turf spread for the married couple–arrived.
Cake, berries, and cookies came after, all while the booze flowed. The dancing got pretty nuts, which means I got some darn fun photos! Sparklers were handed out at the end of the night, and us vendors worked a wee bit longer and ate some leftovers while catching up. It was a grand ol’ time, and definitely an incredible day for their destination wedding with family and friends~
Heather & Terry’s Tropical Destination Wedding at Villa Norbu, St. Thomas, USVI
Photographer: Kathryn Cooper Weddings
Venue: Villa Norbu
Flowers: East End Flower Shop
Hair & Makeup: Sugar and Spice Artistry
Dress: Colby John Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Suit: Holland & Sherry