There are many advantages to planning weddings abroad, not least of all the fact that getting married in a stunningly beautiful country is likely to make for the perfect day.
The Caribbean is one of the most popular locations for overseas weddings – read on to find out why and how to organise your own ceremony in the region.
Why get married in the Caribbean?
To some, this might seem like a silly question to ask! But here’s our list of the top reasons why the Caribbean is a great wedding location:
The Caribbean enjoys glorious sunshine nearly all year round – in fact, the recommended period for visiting the region is between October and May, making it an ideal option for a sun-soaked winter wedding.
You know all those tourism photos you see of the Caribbean’s amazingly gorgeous white or golden sand beaches that make you suspect they’ve been heavily Photoshopped? They’re actually like that in real life.
Want your ceremony and/or reception to take place to a harmonious calypso soundtrack? Love the idea of serving up spicy jerk chicken and local sugary delicacies to your guests? The Caribbean is the place to get married. Of course, you don’t have to turn your wedding into a full-on Caribbean fest for the perfect experience, but adding a few little elements of the local culture to your big day will make it truly unique – and memorable!
Variety of destinations
The Caribbean is huge. Just a few of the islands here include Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St Lucia, Bermuda, Puerto Rico… and that really is scratching the surface. As such, you can choose from a variety of places to get married, whether it’s on a beach, in a forest, up a mountain or even under the sea (yes, some couples really do that!).
Getting married in the Caribbean
If you decide to take the plunge and get married in the Caribbean, there are a few things to organise before you go.
Firstly, do you want to plan every element yourself, or book a wedding package where pretty much everything is included? The former is probably the best option if you like to have full control over every part of your wedding, but bear in mind that this can be incredibly stressful, especially when you’re on the other side of the world in the run-up to your big day!
Booking a package at one of the luxury resorts in the Caribbean is a better idea if you’d rather leave the worrying to someone else. You can usually choose from a range of themes and options – including flowers and photography – to ensure your wedding is as personalised as possible. Plus, it can often work out cheaper to do it this way, especially as many resorts like to treat the happy couple with discounts and extras!
Once you’ve settled on whether you’re going to do it yourself or not, you’ll need to look into the legalities of getting married overseas. Each island has its own rules regarding how long you must be in the country for before the ceremony takes place, and this can range from one day to three.
You’ll also need to check both of you have full ten-year passports and any required visas, as well as birth certificates and, where necessary, decree absolutes for divorcees, adoption certificates and/or previous spouses’ death certificates if either of you are widowed.
Look into how to go about getting a marriage licence before you go, and also consider all of the other things you should think about before any holiday – e.g. travel insurance and inoculations.
When everything is in place, you’ll want to send save the dates awhile before the invitations. Why? Traveling to another country requires more notice so your guests can take time off work and save for the trip. When it’s time to send those invitations, there are many options to give your wedding the personal touch – and the Internet is your best partner here. Consider travel themed invitations to get everyone excited for the big day and a fun trip.
As you can see, there is some preparation involved in getting married in the Caribbean, but probably not as much as you first thought! It’s definitely worth considering for a wedding with a difference.