coloured houses in the bahamas

 

Weddings Abroad in the Bahamas

If you've recently become engaged and are having difficulty in deciding where to marry, but do know you'd like a sunshine ceremony, then how about considering getting married on one of the beautiful islands of the Bahamas? With 29 inhabited islands, and 661 cayes and islets, the Bahamas stretch from close to Florida all the way down to the Turks and Caicos islands, and there's definitely an island here to suit your wedding dreams.

New Providence is the home of the capital Nassau, and where the majority of the population live. Cruise ships regularly stop here and the city is filled with luxury goods shops amongst the regular tourist shops. Along the coast from Nassau are a selection of resort hotels all catering to weddings. They regularly host ceremonies on the beaches outside the resorts, or in gazebos on the grounds, overlooking the sparkling ocean. Ask them about having a Junkanoo wedding – a famous type of ceremony here with colourful costumes and lots of music, and well worth considering when deciding on your ceremony.

But New Providence is not the only island which caters to weddings. It is perfect if you'd like to be in a town, but if you'd like to escape to a desert island and marry in seclusion then perhaps choose one of the other islands – the further out from New Providence that you go, the more intimate and private the islands become.

Stunning Harbour Island is just a 15 minute flight from Nassau, or a 3 hour ferry ride, but it's completely different, with a laid back vibe. This island is where the rich and famous come to relax. Small, boutique hotels ensure privacy and seclusion, with many keeping to the colonial style of the older properties on the island. The Landing is one such hotel, with 12 rooms and a fine dining restaurant overlooking the ocean. Or you could try The Rock House, formerly owned by Floridian Wallace Tutt III, who turned it from a private residence into a secluded hotel.

If you choose this small island (only 3 miles long, where golf carts are the standard mode of transport) you could marry on its famous pink sand beach which stretches along the east of the island and is regularly voted as being one of the best beaches in the world. Just imagine, becoming Mr and Mrs in such a beautiful location and then celebrating at a luxury hotel.

Alternatively, a short 30 minute flight from Nassau are the Abacos islands, a small island chain where everyone knows everyone, doors are left unlocked and residents charge everything rather than pay on the spot. Hope Town is one of these islands. It was settled originally by loyalists to the crown escaping from the American Revolution, and many of their descendants still live here. The main town is a collection of pastel coloured wooden houses overlooking the water, and vehicles are banned from entering the town. To get around this pretty island either hire a golf cart or a bicycle and explore the beaches that encircle it – it won't take you long!

If you're looking for more “activity” then you may prefer Grand Bahama, one of the larger islands close to the Florida coast. It has a large tourist centre with plenty of resorts catering for all types of holiday and many cruise ships make a stop here from Florida ensuring that there are plenty of excursions on offer to entertain you while you are here. The large coral reef off the coast is excellent for snorkelling and diving and you can see for a long way in the crystal clear seas. Weddings can take place underwater, on the beach or even on a tall ship cruising the ocean!

With so many islands to explore it's easy to forget the outer islands of the Bahamas. These unspoilt isles are secluded and have few tourists, which make them ideal if you're searching for a quiet location for your ceremony. Here are just a few of them to explore......

The Bimini islands are closest to the USA and have a colourful past, having been home to pirates, rum-runners, ship-wreckers and even Ernest Hemmingway and Martin Luther King. These days visitors are enchanted by their pristine beauty and marine life.

San Salvador island is where Christopher Columbus landed on 12 October 1492 and discovered the new world. Its miles of pristine beaches and clear turquoise seas make it a fantastic location to chill out and relax.

Mayaguana is one of the few islands retaining its original name and is the least visited island in the Bahamas due to its isolated location. Visitors come to snorkel, fish and scuba dive above its pretty coral reefs, alternatively spend your time relaxing on one of its perfect sandy beaches.

The Exumas island chain stretches for 120 miles and boasts hidden coves, sheltered bays and picturesque harbours. It is also home to the first marine park in the Caribbean.

Acklins island is good for fishing and has a lighthouse on the southwest tip which was built in 1867 and used to be used as a lookout by pirates. The islands were settled in the 1800s by American loyalists who set up cotton plantations, but now fishing is a main source of income.

Cat Island has 60 miles of beaches so you'll be spoilt for choice for sunbathing. White powder sands on the west coast or pink sands on the east, the choice is yours! It also has the highest point in the Bahamas, Mount Alvernia.

As you can see, the Bahamas are much more than just one or two islands, and can cater to all kinds of wedding ceremony. From a high energy Junkanoo celebration on New Providence, to exchanging vows underwater, on a boat or even just choosing a quiet beach ceremony on a secluded island, you'll be spoilt for choice here.

By Marry Abroad
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See Bahamas Wedding Planners here.

See Bahamas Marriage Laws here.

Real Life Weddings in Bahamas, Here

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