The lure of the Caribbean to most foreigners is unquestionable. Add in some romance and you have real magic.
Weddings…the island way, are unforgettable; evoking memories of glowing brides, rum-drenched wedding cakes and celebrations that continue into the wee hours of the morning. Indeed, our fun-loving reputation precedes us and it may be one of many reasons hopeful lovers find themselves on the shores of the Caribbean.
Luckily there are a multitude of options for blushing brides to be.
Nestled in pockets of island beauty, there’s a ceremony for every couple; from those who simply want to say “I do” on one of many exotic beaches or restored plantation houses, to the adventure-seekers who wish to get married in a submarine in Barbados. Finally, if it’s idyllic isolation you’re after, try Baganara Island in Guyana.
Though the weather is amazing year round, the best time of the year to tie the knot would be during dry season (February to June) and of course not during hurricane season! Dry season is most predictable and safe for an outdoor wedding that could potentially be ruined by heavy rainfall during the rainy season.
But how easy is it to tie the knot in the Caribbean?
Some islands like Barbados, Cayman Islands* and the Dominican Republic offer the prospect of instantaneous nuptials, with no required residency or waiting period. Others like Antigua & Barbuda and Jamaica only require a minimum, twenty-four hour residency for foreigners. Check the laws of the country you wish to marry in before booking your wedding so you’re aware of what’s legal. To be on the safe side, you may even choose to do the legal bit back home before flying out to your island of choice.
Even the cost is manageable – obtaining a marriage license for non-residents of the Caribbean can range widely, from; USD $2 in Guyana, USD$12 in Grenada, USD $51 in Trinidad & Tobago and USD$294+ in Dominica.
Apart from endless venue options, there’s also a multitude of choices when it comes to the reception. Basic packages at resorts usually include legal paperwork, photography, a bridal bouquet and boutonniere for the groom, a wedding cake and a ceremony officiant. This can range from USD$1500 – $3500 upwards. You can opt for “ceremony only” packages or splurge on add-ons such as a mini-reception, cocktails or dinner. Additionally, it would be wise to select a resort that boasts an in-house wedding planner/co-ordinator since they tend to alleviate the headaches many couples experience while planning a wedding in a foreign country.
Thank you so much for these fabulous tips Simone! Do we have any brides planning a destination wedding? What kinds of tips are you picking up along the way? Or, if you’ve already had your destination wedding, what do you wish you would have thought about? We want to hear from you!