Answers To Your Destination
Q: Can I be legally married on a Caribbean island?
A: Yes, but in order to be legally married you must have the documents required for your marriage such as certified birth certificates, divorce decrees with raised seal (if applicable), certified death certificates with raised seal (if applicable) and single status declarations legalized and translated into the language of the island prior to your arrival. ie: Martinique must be translated into French, Dominican Republic, Spanish, etc.
Most islands require a short period of residence prior to the wedding, which can be anywhere from 1-3 days. All islands differ in their requirements, so once you choose your destination, the documentation and residency period required will be verified for the island you choose. Please click on the tab labeled Legal or Symbolic for detailed instructions.
Q: What documents must be legalized for legal marriage on a Caribbean island?
A: You will need a valid passport and a color copy to leave with the Judge, a state issued birth certificate with raised seal, a notarized Single Status Declaration and if applicable, official divorce decrees with raised seals and signatures, certified death certificates and certified name change documents. Again, each island differs in some small way, but all documents must be legalized and translated, single status declarations must also be notarized. We will verify the requirements needed for the island you choose.
Q: How do I get my documents legalized and translated?
A: We use a service that legalizes and translates all required documents. They can also expedite the forms for last minute weddings. We usually suggest up to 6 months of planning for a legal destination wedding, but if your documents are in order and ready, we can turn them around, legalized and translated within 3 weeks. The closer the wedding date, the more the expedition and translation fees will be.
Q: Can I be married in the U.S. and have a symbolic wedding on a Caribbean Island?
Yes. This is utilized by many couples to avoid the additional expense and stress of having documents legalized and translated. We need your marriage license as proof of your union, then we can perform a symbolic wedding in front of your guests. Many couples prefer not to disclose their US marriage to their guests.
Q: Can I have a real reception on a Caribbean island?
A: Yes. Each resort offers different reception plans and you'll be supplied with a full list of your options. You can have a lavish ballroom reception, a dinner dance on the beach or an intimate dinner party at one of the many restaurants. The choice is yours, but it'll all be for a fraction of what a traditional wedding would cost at home.
Q: How long in advance should I plan my destination wedding?
A: Depending on the amount of guests and your budget, we suggest a minimum of 6 months and ideally 1 full year. This gives guests time to budget for the expense of their trip, make payments & obtain or renew passports. If budget is not a factor and all paperwork is in order we can expedite the paperwork for legal marriages quickly. It's quite expensive, but it can be done and we've done it. As long as we can secure flights & accomodations at the resort of your choice, you and your guests have valid passports and can pay for the accommodations when booked, we can do a full wedding in as little as 3 weeks.
Q: What does a destination wedding cost?
A: The short answer is less than a traditional wedding. Destination wedding guests pay for their own airfare and resort stay. If you have enough guests the bride and groom can travel free & there are many free wedding packages at all inclusive resorts all throughout the Caribbean if budget is a concern.
If you have more upscale taste, the wedding packages offered at all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean can be luxurious and much less expensive than a traditional wedding for the amenities offered. Combine that with an exotic location, fun and memory making with family and friends and a destination wedding adds up to be an unforgettable experience for everyone at a fraction of the price of staying home.
Q: How many people can you have at a destination wedding?
A: Destination weddings are usually smaller than traditional weddings with the guest count ranging anywhere from 4 to 125 guests. The guest count can be heavily effected by location. The farther guests have to travel, the more connections, the longer the flights, the more expensive it is and that usually means less guests.
Guests usually travel for 3 - 4 nights, but some may stay the entire week. The average travel cost for destination wedding guests varies from around $600-$2,500 p/p, all inclusive of air, food, unlimited drinks, tips and taxes. The price variation depends on length of stay and the level of accommodation chosen. All guests don't have to choose the same room level, so that leaves room for varying budgets at the same wedding.
Travel Tip: Per day rates at all inclusive resorts are higher for shorter stays, than for longer. For Example; if you find a 4 night trip for $900, it will most likely only cost you about $1,1000 for the full 7 nights. In our example, the per diem (per day) rate is $225 per night for 4 nights, but only $157 per night for 7 nights.
Moral of the story: It pays to do the whole week if you can.