Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is the most popular day each year for wedding proposals.
One survey in 2019  even predicted that over 100,000 couples were likely to get engaged on February 14 that year. The figure is backed up by jewellers across the UK reporting that 25% of all engagement rings are sold in the weeks running up to the annual day devoted to lovers.
Last year, Barbados, like every other global holiday destination that relies heavily on tourism for its income, took a huge hit.
Now, the tourist board there is gearing up to raise its profile as a wedding destination when people can travel safely again.
The Visit Barbados website, which is run by the island’s tourism board, states: “Stunning tropical landscapes and beautiful beaches, action packed activities and attractions, vibrant festivals and the best food in the Caribbean, glamorous Barbados has got it all.”
Sounds idyllic! So, what does a Barbados wedding look like for couples wanting to swap a gamble with the UK’s weather for guaranteed warmth and sunshine? The latest episode of ‘Life In Barbados: A Year on a Paradise Island’ podcast explores just that.
Malissa Blackman, MD of Weddings by Malissa, said: “We have one of the best infrastructures in the Caribbean. Over the years, we’ve turned beaches into cocktail lounges, and patios. We’ve served canapes on the beach, and in beautiful, air-conditioned hotels.
“We are protected from the hurricane belt unlike other islands, and our people are incredibly friendly. We have a small population, so it never feels crowded here, and a thriving wedding industry, which means it’s easy to plan a wedding in Barbados. We have wonderful venues, florists, bands, our local cuisine is fabulous, and there are also plenty of hotels to choose from.
“You don’t have to choose a hot, sandy beach to get married on, if that’s not for you.”
Cedric Lynch, from Visit Barbados, said: “In Barbados, you can choose a traditional wedding in a church, or if you want more excitement, you could get married on a catamaran, the Atlantis submarine, or 200ft below the Earth’s surface in the Hyacinth caves, or even on a pirate ship.
“We’ve had people travel to their weddings on jet skis, and luxury yachts. We can plan pretty much anything. Our main aim is for couples to have a day they will always remember.”
So, what standard of service from local florists, bands, and restaurants can couples expect?
Aniya, of Life Photography by Aniya, said: “The customer service here is amazing. Local businesses are really on top of their game and want every wedding here to be awesome.”
Simon Holt and his wife Jenny, travelled to Barbados to get married. Simon said: “It’s a girl’s dream to have a paradise wedding and Barbados ticked all the boxes. Getting married in the UK meant a lot of disruption at home.”
And why would people come to Barbados to get married?
Kirk Brown, musician, MC and DJ said: “Barbados is one of the most beautiful destination. It is safe, with its ultra-marine waters, the music, the diversity, the way we interact with people, we've got it all”.
Yvonne Campbell, travel agent and podcast host, said: “With so many weddings having to be cancelled over the last year, people have started to re-think their options. I have had a fair few enquires from people who are now considering changing to a destination wedding and combining it with a honeymoon. The podcast described how Barbados is the perfect destination for this.”
Tune in to ‘Life In Barbados: A Year on a Paradise Island’ to find out more.
For more information about getting married in Barbados or the podcast, contact Yvonne Campbell at Travel Counsellors, on 02890 080008.
 Survey of 2,000 people conducted on behalf of jewellers Steven Stone.