You will probably invite far fewer guests to a wedding in the Caribbean than you would to a local wedding. But a small wedding doesn't have to be understated. Many travel agents and resorts offer Caribbean wedding packages complete with hotel stay, flowers, a band, a dinner, a photographer, and more.
There are so many beautiful islands in the Caribbean that it can be hard to choose. You may want to explore one of the following:
- Antigua: Antigua has more than 360 white sandy beaches. The island's capital, St. John, features candy-colored buildings, historic sites, and a laid-back, festive atmosphere.
- Aruba: This island receives the cooling Trade winds. Famous for its eye-catching tropical flowers and plants, Aruba also offers casinos, discos, and shopping.
- Barbados: This easternmost Caribbean island is dotted with rolling hills and breathtaking cliffs. Sugar plantations surround quaint local villages. Barbados's pink- and white-sand beaches would make a romantic backdrop for your big day.
- Dominican Republic: The Dominican Republic's mountains and palm-lined beaches make it a varied and beautiful location. Playa Dorada is the home of numerous resorts in which you can hold your wedding. Cobblestone streets make town shopping a treat.
- Jamaica: Another highly popular spot, Jamaica is packed with jungles, the Blue Mountains, and breezy beaches. Honeymoon shoppers will want to take advantage of the duty-free markets and charming towns. Many couples opt to tie the knot before one of Jamaica's breathtaking waterfalls.
- St. Croix (U.S. Virgin Islands): Snorkel, dive, or fish off this island paradise. Visit the spot on the North Shore where Christopher Columbus landed in 1493. Seaside restaurants, casinos, and shopping round out your island experience.
- St. John (U.S. Virgin Islands): Far from the ordinary, St. John has no airport or high-rise buildings to detract from its natural charm. This pristine nature spot offers secluded hideaways, quaint churches and romantic dining.
Other tie-the-knot spots in the Caribbean include Dominica, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, St. Marten, St. Thomas, and Tortola. Check online or, ideally, locate other couples who have had Caribbean destination weddings. Ask what they liked or didn't like about their island stay. A wedding coordinator who specializes in destination weddings can also be a big help.
Travel and Marriage Regulations
Now that you've picked your location, you will need to check your island's regulations. A passport is required for travel to most Caribbean destinations. In some cases, a birth certificate (or certified copy) can be used instead.
Making It Official
Most Caribbean locations require no blood test, but check to be sure once you reach your destination. Generally, a birth certificate is required in order to apply for your marriage license. You will also need a divorce decree if you were previously married, or a death certificate if you are a widow or widower.
Depending on which locale you pick, you may need to be deemed a "temporary resident" of the island. This usually requires a stay of several days before you can get married. Your travel agent can tell you how many days in advance of the wedding you will need to arrive. Or check online for the most recent residency requirements.
A Caribbean destination wedding is a honeymoon in itself, but you will probably want to stay a few extra days in order to shop, sightsee, and explore. Whether you enjoy this time alone with your new spouse, or with a few close friends, your island wedding is sure to be a day to remember.