So, you're dreaming of a beach wedding. You'd like somewhere with beaches, good resorts, English-speaking, not too far away and where they're expert in organising weddings abroad. That'd be the Caribbean then!
The islands of the Caribbean have a chequered history, from Christopher Columbus landing in the Bahamas
and thinking he was in the far East, to European powers colonising the islands and imposing their will, to independence and each island forging their own identity. The Caribbean is a mix of cultures, ethnicities and languages, and makes a terrific choice for your wedding abroad.
Getting married in the Caribbean is different for each island, but, in general, it's easy and you only need to be on the relevant island for a day or two before the wedding. Islands such as Antigua
, St Lucia
, Bahamas, Bermuda
(not technically in the Caribbean), and the Dominican Republic
are all popular wedding destinations, whereas the French islands of St Martin, Guadeloupe and Martinique are less so because of their difficult marriage laws.
If you're looking for coral reefs, soft white sand, tropical forests with bejewelled birds, volcanic peaks, warm deep blue seas, historic buildings set alongside modern resorts and friendly people then these islands are perfect for you. Weddings here can take place in your resort (most offer a wedding package), or you could use a local planner to exchange vows elsewhere on the island.
Obviously beach weddings are a big plus, although check the weather when you want to go as hurricane season could prevent you having the outdoor wedding you'd like. Other good ideas are to marry in a secluded garden, or in a local beauty spot.
Top tips for a Caribbean wedding are to check how many guests will be joining you, as many resorts there will offer a group rate (you might get your room free), or perhaps a “free” wedding ceremony, if you bring a certain amount of guests for a certain period of time. This also applies to flights (but not necessarily to package holidays), so make sure you look around when booking your wedding/honeymoon, as you may be able to save money.
Another option is to get married on one island and then move to another island for your honeymoon (not necessarily with your guests in tow!). This way you get to experience more than one island and have time on your own as a married couple before you fly back home to reality.
Whichever Caribbean island you choose, you're bound to have a sensational wedding, so what's stopping you!
Caribbean Marriage Laws
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