Marriage Laws for Caribbean Destination Weddings

Includes Mexican Caribbean Marriage Requirements

Sandals st lucian chapel
••• Overwater wedding chapel at Sandals St. Lucian. Susan Breslow Sardone.

If you are planning a destination wedding in the Caribbean, it's essential to know what you will have to do in order to be legally wed. Marriage laws, requirements and costs vary from country to country in the islands.

Below you can get an idea of what it takes to acquire a marriage license in many popular destinations. Know that prices and requirements can and do change. That's why there are links to island sources for the latest info.

Can You Get Married on the Spur of the Moment?

Magnificent sunsets and romantic nights might inspire you to tie the knot without much forethought. And it may be possible. On some islands, a brief waiting time or multi-day residency is required. Almost all require legal proof of who you are and that you are single if you'd been married before. So if you think you might want to make it legal, carry your paperwork with you.

If you believe that it will take too much time or be too complicated to marry away but still want to celebrate vows overseas, consider having a symbolic wedding. In that instance, you can get married at home, then go through the ceremony in your destination knowing you're already legally wed.

Anguilla

  • Proof of citizenship from the country where you reside is required such as valid passport or birth certificate and photo driver’s license is required
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate if applicable
  • All documents must be in English, if not, they must be translated and notarized
  • Couples can marry under the authority of a special marriage license
  • Application can be obtained from the Judicial Department and takes 48 hours to process
  • Two witnesses are required for the ceremony
  • Special requirements apply for Catholic marriages. Couples seeking a Catholic marriage must give three to six months advance notice, participate in a pre-cana course and submit baptismal certificate, confirmation papers and freedom to marry papers
  • If one of the partners has resided in Anguilla for at least 15 days before the date of marriage, the cost of the license is US $40. If the couple’s stay is shorter, the cost is US $244, which includes a stamp duty
  • Anguilla Wedding License Info

Antigua & Barbuda 

  • No waiting period
  • Valid legal identification (i.e. passport or driver’s license/state issued identification + birth certificate) required
  • Proof of divorce (deed poll or name certificate where necessary) or death certificate (original or certified copies)
  • If you are staying at a resort, consult with the manager to help you make arrangements to secure your marriage license
  • US $240 (includes marriage license, marriage officer fees & registration fee
  • Two witnesses must be present at the ceremony
  • Written authorization needed for parties under 18
  • Antigua Wedding info

Bahamas 

  • Waiting period: 1 day
  • Declarations certifying both parties are unmarried U.S. citizens sworn before a U.S. Consul at the American Embassy in Nassau or a Bahamas notary public (cost US $30 each)
  • Proof of arrival in the Bahamas
  • Passport or birth certificate and photo ID
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Parental consent for parties under age 18
  • Both parties must apply in person
  • If you are staying at a resort, consult with the manager or wedding coordinator to help you make arrangements to secure your marriage license
  • US $100 for the marriage license application and US $25 for the marriage certificate
  • Two witnesses must be present
  • Special requirements apply for Catholic marriages. Couples seeking a Catholic marriage must give three to six months advance notice, participate in a pre-cana course and submit baptismal certificate, confirmation papers and affidavits that they are free to marry each other
  • Bahamas Marriage License Info

Belize

  • Couples must reside in Belize three days. On the fourth day they can apply for the marriage license
  • ID requires a valid passport with date of entry stamp and original birth certificate with raised seal, signed by a notary public, which includes father’s name
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate if applicable
  • Parental consent for parties under 18
  • The marriage license must be signed by the Justice of the Peace and can be picked up one to two days after it has been approved
  • If you are staying at a resort, consult with the manager or wedding coordinator to help you make arrangements to secure your marriage license
  • US $250 for the license plus a $5 administrative fee.
  • Two witnesses present at the ceremony
  • Belize Tourist Board

Bonaire 

  • Couples must submit all necessary paperwork 4-6 weeks in advance of the wedding date. Once on-island, it takes a minimum of 4-7 business days for all paperwork to be processed
  • Couples must write, at least two months in advance, to the Governor of Bonaire requesting a temporary residence permit for one person in the couple from immigration. The couple must also ask permission to marry
  • US $150
  • ID required: two passport photos of the bride and groom and any witnesses; copies of first page of passports; original birth certificates; date of arrival in Bonaire and intended length of stay; and proof of eligibility to marry (i.e. divorce papers, death certificates, proof of single status, such as a letter from a parent or pastor)
  • Bonaire Destination Wedding Info

British Virgin Islands 

  • Apply for license at the Attorney General’s office in Tortola on the same day of arrival
  • Waiting period: 3 days
  • Passport and date of arrival in the British Virgin Islands required
  • Proof of marital status
  • In a local church, the wedding banns must be published on three consecutive Sundays or Saturdays prior to the ceremony, in that church
  • If you are staying at a resort, consult with the manager or wedding coordinator to help you make arrangements to secure your marriage license
  • US $110 (BVI postage stamps) for a Special License for those resident in the BVI for 3 days; US $50 (BVI postage stamps) for an Ordinary License for those resident in the BVI for 15 days or more
  • Two witnesses to sign application form for license and to witness the ceremony
  • BVI Marriage Laws
     

Cayman Islands 

  • Couples, including those arriving by cruise ship, can marry the same day they arrive in the Cayman Islands provided they have a non-resident’s marriage license granted by the Governor and two witnesses present at the ceremony
  • When the Governor is satisfied with application, a special license will be issued and provided to the officiant
  • Passport or an original birth certificate with photo ID needed 
  • Proof of citizenship and age (18 minimum without parental consent)
  • Cayman Islands Immigration Department pink entry slips or Cayman Islands international embarkation/disembarkation card for cruise passengers
  • Other than the special license, marriage can take place on the authority of a certificate issued by a civil registrar
  • Fee: non-residents must obtain a marriage license from the Deputy Chief Secretary’s Office at a cost of US $200
  • Getting Married in the Cayman Islands

Curacao 

  • Waiting period: 3 days residency, written notification at least two months prior to wedding date. The legal 10 day period between notification of your wedding and performing it is effective two weeks after all the documents have arrived at the Register Office
  • Applicants must be living outside the Netherlands Antilles
  • More than one wedding date must be provided when the written notification is sent
  • Passport and birth certificate needed
  • Proof both parties are eligible for marriage
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Fee: US $18 (approximate) for the marriage certificate; US $197 – US $424 (approximate) for the wedding package
  • Curacao Marriage License Info

Dominica 

  • Statutory declaration on marital status obtained in Dominica in a lawyer’s presence
  • Waiting period: 2 days before intended wedding date
  • Provide birth certificate and proof of citizenship
  • In the case of a divorced couple, a certified copy of the decree absolute (divorce decree) must be presented
  • A widow or widower must present the death certificate of a deceased spouse
  • The completed application form, obtainable from the Ministry of Community Development, Government Headquarters, must be presented to the registrar at the time of the marriage ceremony
  • Fee: US $110 for a marriage license; US $184 legal fees for the statutory declaration on marital status (inclusive of affidavit)
  • Marriages performed within the registrar’s office is an additional US $11; Outside the registrar’s office is an additional US $48 plus transportation; and a church wedding is an additional US $40-$60
  • Two witnesses present at the ceremony
  • Dominica Details

Dominican Republic

  • ID needed includes affidavit stating the marriage status
  • Original copies and photocopies of birth certificates, adoption certificates (if applicable) and name deeds (if applicable)
  • Original and photo copies of the decree absolute of the court if divorced. Bride has to be divorced for a minimum of 10 months
  • Original and photocopies of death certificates
  • Valid passports for the couple and for any foreign witnesses
  • Two witnesses (not family members) need to be present (with valid photo identification)
  • Parties must be at least 18 years-of-age
  • First, middle and last names must show up identically in all of the following documents: passport, affidavit declaration and birth certificate. If not the Civil Judge might refuse the wedding
  • Documents must be translated into Spanish by the Dominican Consulate or Embassy in the couple’s home country
  • Marriage Info from the US Consulate

Grenada 

  • Couples must be a resident of the island for a minimum of three days (including weekends and public holidays) before applying for a license
  • All documents must be in English. If the originals are in another language, they must be translated into English and certified
  • Show valid passports and original birth certificates of both parties
  • Sworn affidavit or letter from a clergyman, lawyer or registry if one or both parties are single, attesting to the fact that they have not been previously married
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Affidavit of parental consent if under 21 years of age
  • Deed poll if either party had a name change
  • Fee: US $12
  • Info from Vendor

Haiti

Jamaica

Montserrat

  • Waiting period: 3 working days
  • Passports and birth certificates of both parties
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Non-marriage certificate
  • Citizens under 18 years of age need parent or guardian's consent
  • Montserrat Marriage Requirements

Nevis & St. Kitts

  •  Waiting period: 2 working days
  • Canadian and American citizens: birth certificate with photo ID or citizenship card
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • If Minister to perform ceremony, letter from home priest stating couple is unmarried
  • Documents not in English must be translated and notarized
  • If under 18 years of age, notarized letter indicating parental consent required
  • Fee US $20 if resident for 15 days or more
  • US $80 if resident for two days
  • Nevis Marriage Requirements

Puerto Rico

  • Blood tests from a federally certified laboratory (in the U.S. or Puerto Rico) within 10 days of the wedding date
  • Marriage certificate can be acquired in advance from the Puerto Rico Department of Health
  • Doctor will need to sign and certify marriage certificate and blood tests in Puerto Rico
  • Couples can expect to receive their marriage license within ten days of their wedding date
  • Visit the Demographic Registry to obtain the marriage license, and purchase two license stamps
  • Valid photo identification or passports required
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate (if applicable)
  •  

St. Lucia

  • Waiting period: 2 days residency; 2 days for license
  • Change of name documents
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Birth certificate or passport
  • All foreign documents must be translated into English
  • Apply through a local lawyer to the Attorney General for marriage license
  • St. Lucia Marriage Requirements

St. Maarten

  • Waiting period: 10 days to register at Office of Civil Registry; waiting period is 3 days
  • Non residents: special permission must be obtained from the Lt. Governor; a written request must be sent to the office at least two months prior to intended wedding date
  • Passport, birth certificate and airline tickets
  • Names, dates and birthplaces of bride and grooms' .parents must .be on birth certificates. Parents' places of residence must be submitted to the Office of Civil Registry. Documents must be notarized
  • Non-resident witnesses must request a temporary tourist permit
  • Documented parental consent for citizens under age 21
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • All documents must be in Dutch or translated and notarized
  • Divorced women must wait at least 306 days after their divorce is finalized
  • Fee: US $300
  • St. Martin Wedding Info

Trinidad

  • Waiting period: 3 days after arrival with President's License
  • Both parties must be non-residents
  •  Passport and airline tickets
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Deed poll or other proofs of name change where name differs on documents
  • Fee: US $55 payable in postage stamps
  • Marriage Info from the US Embassy

Turks & Caicos

  • Waiting period: 24 hrs. to apply, 2 - 3 days to marry
  • Proof of divorce or death certificate
  • Birth certificate and photo ID
  • Most churches require proof of membership
  • Under 21, parents must give consent
  • Fee: US $250
  • Turks & Caicos Wedding Laws

USVI

  • Waiting period: 8 days (From receipt of notarized.application. Couple need not be on-island)
  • Send a letter requesting a marriage license to the Territorial court of the U.S. Virgin Islands in St. Thomas or St. Croix
  • Proof of divorce
  • Must make appointment to be married by a judge
  • Fee: US $50 or US$200 fee to be married in the court by a judge
  • Payment in money order or cashier's check
  • USVI Marriage Requirements

Mexican Caribbean Marriage Requirements

Cozumel

  • Each individual must present the following 72 hours in advance:
  • Original passport or birth certificate with apostille (annotation) from Secretary of State where the certificate is registered. Birth certificate must be accompanied with a valid government-issued photo ID with matching name.
  • Copy of tourist card.
  • Medical certificate (blood test) issued within 20 days of the wedding date. It is recommended that the blood test be taken in Mexico, where the medical certificate can be obtained in one day. If taken in the United States, verification of the tests will need to be obtained by a Mexican doctor.

    Witnesses

    Four witnesses, above the age of 18 are required.
  • Mexican nationals need a copy of their official I.D.
  • American citizens need a copy of their tourist card and I.D.

    Minimum Stay Requirements

    There are no minimum stay requirements for couples getting married in Cozumel.

    Cost

    Couple is required to pay $350 for a marriage license and judge’s services.​

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