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  • Writer's pictureJessie Ladipo

Top 7 Places for a Legal Destination Wedding


If you are considering a destination wedding, you most likely want your wedding to be legal. Having a legal destination wedding can get complicated. Every destination has its legal marriage requirements, and it can be tough to search out everyone and choose a destination that will give you everything you want for your destination wedding. Well, the good news is here are seven fantastic locations that make it easy to have a legal destination wedding without sacrificing the magic and romance.


The Caribbean islands are the top wedding choice, as engaged couples can enjoy a warm, tropical climate year-round. They can enjoy various outdoor activities, such as beach parties, sunset ceremonies, and water sports, to add an element of excitement and fun to the wedding festivities. They provide the perfect wedding backdrop guaranteeing a memorable experience for couples and their guests.


WHY CONSIDER THE CARIBBEAN?

The Caribbean has many wedding venues to match couples' preferences and budgets. You can host your wedding in any of the luxurious resorts and private villas or choose the adorable beachfront gazebos.


Many All-Inclusive Resort Options

You will find numerous resorts offering all-inclusive wedding packages. They include accommodation, meals, beverages, and wedding management services, and some even offer extra perks like spa treatments or day trips.


Amazing Local Hospitality

Above all, the Caribbean is renowned for its outstanding hospitality, vibrant culture, and friendly community. You can mingle with the locals and immerse yourself in the islands' unique traditions, music, and cuisine, creating a remarkable and genuine wedding experience.


Here Are The Top 7 Caribbean Islands For a More Stress-Free And Easy Legal Destination Wedding


The Islands of Bahamas

The Bahamas is unmatched for its charm, making it an outstanding choice for a destination wedding. With powdery white sand beaches, secret uninhabited islands, and fantastic diving, the islands possess a magic that is difficult for any other destination to match. It is also one of the closest Caribbean islands to the United States, and hence convenient for your family and friends.


Best Time: December to April.


Legal Wedding Requirements:

Residency Period: 48 hours.

The residency period doesn't include the day of arrival, holidays, and weekends. So you must be in the Bahamas for two full business days before you can get legally married. Many couples will fly in on a Tuesday or Wednesday as they enjoy the resort and make final wedding prep with the onsite. And then get married on Friday or Saturday. Many Bahamian Islands do not allow weddings on Sundays.


Applying For a Marriage License


The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in the Bahamas.


Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 310 USD


Documents Needed

  • Original birth certificate and passport.

  • The court issued concluding divorce rulings (if applicable).

  • Legal name changes or legal adoption papers (if relevant).

  • Death certificates with related marriage certificates.

Working with a state-side destination wedding expert is a massive help in getting everything in order so that when you arrive, getting married is smooth and effortless. I always ensure my couples know what they need to submit and when they need to submit it so that their destination wedding will go off without a hitch (or, in this case, with a hitch).

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in the Bahamas: Tiamo Resort, Sandals Emerald Bay, and Ocean Club, a Four Seasons Resort.


Jamaica

Jamaica offers a compelling island retreat in the Caribbean. Beyond its immaculate beaches and rocking palm trees, this country has a deep-rooted history and vibrant residents. Jamaican magic's core is its soul-stirring reggae music, which permeates every corner of the land and creates a highly easygoing atmosphere. I recommend Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios for an exceptional wedding location.


Best Time: December to April.


Legal Wedding Requirements:

Residency Period: 48 hours.

But unlike the Bahamas, your arrival day counts toward your residency requirement, so you can arrive on Friday and get married on Sunday.


Applying For a Marriage License


The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in Jamaica.

Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 95 USD


Documents Needed

  • Validated original birth certificate and passport.

  • Court-issued concluding divorce ruling (if applicable).

  • Legal name changes documents (if relevant).

  • Death certificates with linked marriage certificates (if appropriate).

  • Validated copy of photo ID or driver's license issued by the government.

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in Jamaica: Jamaica Inn, Round Hill Hotel & Villas, and Sandals South Coast.

Turks & Caicos


The Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) offer an exclusive atmosphere distinct from other Caribbean destinations. The place comprises 40 stunning islands, including eight inhabited ones. The TCI epitomizes beauty and grace—features couples look for while planning a destination wedding. Among these islands lies a true gem called the Grace Bay beach, which ranks among the best in the world.


Best Time: December to April.


Legal Wedding Requirements:

Residency Period: 48 hours.

The residency period does not include the day of arrival, weekend, or holidays. So, in this case, you must be in Turks & Caicos for two full business days before the ceremony. If you arrive on a Saturday or Sunday, your first residency day will start on Monday, which means you could get legally married as soon as Wednesday.


Applying For a Marriage License


The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in Turks & Caicos.

Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 400 USD


Documents Needed

  • Original birth certificate

  • A valid passport or driver's license.

  • Court-issued concluding divorce rulings (if applicable).

  • Death certificates with corresponding marriage certificates.

  • Twenty-one years is the legal age to get married.

  • Couples less than 21 years of age must have written consent from both parents.

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in Turks & Caicos: COMO Parrot Cay, Grace Bay Club, and Beaches Turks & Caicos.

St Lucia


Saint Lucia is attaining popularity among those seeking destination weddings and honeymoons in the Caribbean Islands. This captivating place offers a perfect balance of luxury, tranquility, and breathtaking scenery, ideal for couples looking for a stunningly beautiful and romantic wedding.


Best Time: December to April.

Legal Wedding Requirements: Residency Period: 72 hours (must be business day).

Weddings are not allowed on Sundays. You can pay to expedite this and get married in 48 hours (of course, you can show them the money, LOL), with one of those days being a business day.


Applying For a Marriage License


The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in St. Lucia.

Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 270 USD

Marriage License And Administrative Fee with Expedited Services: 341 USD


Documents Needed:

  • Copies of birth certificate and passport.

  • Court-issued concluding divorce rulings (if applicable).

  • Legal name changes documents (if relevant).

  • State-issued death certificates with related marriage certificates.


Best Destination Wedding Resorts in St Lucia: Jade Mountain, Ladera, and Sandals Grande St Lucian.

Antigua

Antigua has 365 beaches so you can visit a different beach every day of the year. It may be challenging to discover all, but you must take advantage of the key ones. Antigua offers a variety of delightful locations for weddings, such as historic forts, natural parks, and upscale resorts. You can visit places of historical importance or choose a luxurious setting to spend time with your loved one. Numerous options are available to make your wedding memorable on this island.


Best Time: December to April


Legal Marriage Requirements:

Residency Period: 48 hours, must include one business day, including the day of arrival—no wedding on Sundays and holidays.

Applying For a Marriage License

The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in Antigua.


Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 288 USD


Documents Needed:

  • Original birth certificate and passport.

  • Court-issued concluding divorce ruling (if applicable).

  • State-issued death certificates with related marriage certificates.

  • Legal name changes documents (if appropriate).

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in Antigua: Jumby Bay, Hermitage Bay, and Sandals Grande Antigua.


Aruba


Aruba is one of the most sought-after wedding spots in the Caribbean. It has stunning coastlines, intriguing heritage and customs, and delectable food. The beaches are breathtaking, and the weather is enjoyable. Couples can engage in various activities, making it ideal for those who enjoy adventure.

Best Time: Mid-December to April

Legal Marriage Requirements: Residency Period: None.

Civil Ceremonies occur in the City Hall Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, with Saturdays available for an extra fee.


Applying For a Marriage License


The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in Aruba.

Marriage License And Administrative Fees: USD 284


Documents Needed:

  • State-certified copies of birth certificates for bride and groom

  • Valid passport for Bride and Groom.

  • Witness (18 years up) with a valid passport.

  • Certificate of no impediment for bride and groom

  • Declaration of Intent Form

  • Single Status Form

  • Final Divorce Decree or Death Certificate with Apostille, if applicable

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in Aruba: Ritz Carlton, Hyatt Regency, and Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

Barbados

Barbados is a joyful and energetic island representing the typical Caribbean charm. It offers natural beauty, upbeat music, rich cultural experiences, and a romantic atmosphere. You can enjoy your time on a boat, in a church, within a historic plantation house, amidst a stunning garden, overlooking dramatic sea cliffs, or with your feet in the sand. Those seeking a romantic adventure will leave the island with a lasting impression.


Best Time: December to April


Legal Marriage Requirements

Residency Period: 48 hours.

The residency period does not include weekends or holidays.


Applying For a Marriage License

The following fee and documents will be required to apply for your marriage license in Barbados.

Marriage License And Administrative Fee: 325 USD


Documents Needed

  • Original state-issued birth certificate and passport

  • Court-issued concluding divorce ruling (if applicable)

  • Legal name changes documents (if needed)

  • Death certificates with related marriage certificates

Best Destination Wedding Resorts in Barbados: Sandy Lane, Sandals Royal Barbados, and Cobblers Cove.


*Please note: fees are subject to change*

Choosing the perfect destination wedding spot that will give you a straightforward legal ceremony and finding that sweet spot where you and your guests can celebrate together without being too complicated and stressful can be tricky. I hope this list is helping you get a better idea of where your "sweet spot" may be. If you want to narrow your search and "nail quickly" the perfect location, you can schedule a 30-Minute Free Consultation with me, and we can work on finding the best destination wedding location together.

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