Are Caribbean weddings legal?

My short answer: Yes, no and maybe.

My long answer: Most of the Sandals Resort weddings (and Beaches Resorts) that we help arrange are legal. The Bahamas, Jamaica, Antigua, Turks, Grenada and St Lucia are all English speaking countries, so legal Caribbean Wedding ceremonies are usually very easy. You just make sure that you are on the island 1 to 4 days before the ceremony and provide some legal documentation (for example, birth certificates and a wedding application) and you are ready to have a full legal ceremony.

Less than half of the Secrets Resort weddings that we arrange are legal ceremonies. The 2 Secrets Resorts in Jamaica (Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St James) are usually legal weddings. These two resorts are also 2 of our top 10 all inclusive Caribbean destination wedding resorts. If you decide on Mexico or Punta Cana, which are both Spanish speaking destinations, the legal ceremonies get a little more complicated. Your legal documents have to be translated and certified (apostilled), which takes more time to arrange and will cost you more money. Most weddings that we arrange in Punta Cana, Cancun and the Riviera Maya are symbolic simply to avoid the extra complications and expense. Mexico also requires you to take blood tests at the destination, while Punta Cana does not. With the symbolic ceremony, you do the legal ceremony at your local courthouse or however you prefer. This makes the destination wedding ceremony planning easy, when all the legalities are taken out of the equation. You can still do a legal ceremony in Mexico and the Dominican Republic.

If you are determined to have your all inclusive wedding be a legal ceremony, we can make it happen. Some islands make you jump through some extra hoops. One good example is Aruba, where you have to wed at City Hall. You can have your symbolic all inclusive wedding on the beach at Riu Palace Aruba or the new adults only all inclusive Riu Palace Antillas. City Hall does the legal part of the wedding, Monday to Friday at 10am or 11am. Some island are really easy. For example, Jamaica only requires you to be on the island for 24 hours and Barbados has no waiting period.