A Woman's Guide To A Wedding In The Bahamas
A Wedding in the Bahamas
Planning a destination wedding in The Bahamas can be extremely stressful. Not only are you planning a vacation for yourself but you are also planning a vacation for all of your guests along with the honeymoon.
Without sufficient planning your wedding could fall apart extremely quickly. With our guide to planning your Bahamian wedding we hope to lessen stress and give you an all in one guide to ensuring your wedding is perfect.
We have provided popular places in The Bahamas to have your wedding as well as wedding planners, photographers, florists, and much more so you won't have to dig through hundreds of websites looking on your own.
Legal Requirements to Have a Wedding in The Bahamas
To successfully get married in The Bahamas you must apply for a marriage license. The Bahamas has a residency period meaning that you must be in The Bahamas for at least 24 hours before you are able to apply for a marriage license. You must show proof that you have been in The Bahamas for this period of time. An entry stamp on your passport or your immigration card are more than enough proof. If you are arriving by cruise ship you must obtain a letter from the ship's purser confirming that you have met this residency period.
Marriage licenses are issued by the office of the Registrar in Nassau. It is open Monday through Friday between 9:30 AM and 4:00 PM. You may call them at any time by dialing 242-323-0594.
When applying you need to produce a valid passport, birth certificate, and photo ID as well as proof that you have been in The Bahamas for over 24 hours. If you are under the age of 18 you will need to have your parents' consent. Consent forms are available at the Registrars office.
If either party has never been married before a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a notary public or authorized person. (visit an attorney at law or notary public to obtain this). If either party has ever been divorced they must provide documentation (final decree) must be provided. If either party has been widowed the death certificate must be provided.
Two witnesses at least 18 years of age or older must sign the marriage license, witnesses are provided if there are none readily available.
You may get married the day after you receive your approved marriage license! If you are getting married on an island other than Nassau you may obtain your marriage license at an administrators office on the island.
12 to 9 Months Before Your Wedding
This is the most important step in planning a destination wedding to The Bahamas. Setting a good foundation as early as possible will make things much less stressful down the road. Planning for a destination wedding begins years in advance and good planning means much less stress.
- Plan The Ceremony and Reception Basics - Plan your wedding whether you want it to be big, small, formal, or informal.
- Create Your Budget - Make sure you set a budget and DO NOT go over it. Take into consideration everything that goes into a wedding and plan your budget around it.
- Choose a Date For The Ceremony - The Bahamas does have a hurricane season (June 1 to November 30) and a peak season when most people travel there (December through April) so keep that in mind when planning your wedding.
- Select a Resort or Venue to Host Your Wedding - There are hundreds of resorts that range from cheap to very expensive. Get photos, do research, and decide on a resort that fits both your budget and liking.
- Put Together the Guest List - Possibly the hardest part of planning is getting the guests together. Decide on a complete guest list and keep in mind that not everyone will be able to fly to The Bahamas for your wedding so make sure you get people to RSVP as soon as possible.
- Select Member of Your Bridal Party - Select a few members of the party and ask them if they will be apart of it.
- Shop For a Dress - Keep in mind that the weather in The Bahamas is hot so shop accordingly.
Popular Wedding Locations In The Bahamas
The Atlantis - An extremely popular and expensive wedding location. If you decide to have your wedding at the Atlantis you must reserve and put a down payment on it as soon as possible. While expensive, a wedding at the Atlantis will be like nothing you will ever experience.
The British Colonial Hilton - Perfect if you are on a budget! This all-inclusive resort is perfect for anyone looking for a great value for little money. The British Colonial Hilton is usually a favorite among people looking for a place to get married in The Bahamas.
Graycliff - This 18th century manor is the perfect place to get married at. The resort is all-inclusive which is perfect for your guests. They have a very good coordinator who will assist you every step of the way.
Dolphin Beach - This secluded beach is a romantic way to get married in The Bahamas. The beach is in front of a beautiful reef and allows you to stay in one of seven exclusive beachfront cottages.
Destination Wedding In The Bahamas
What is the most stressful part of planning a wedding?
6 to 9 Months Before The Wedding
- Choose an Officiant - There are plenty in The Bahamas and they are easy to find.
- Choose a Photographer - The Caribbean is known for having hundreds of professional photographers that range from extremely well known to lesser known. The prices range between the quality of the photographer.
- Send out Invitations - After the guest list is finalized send out invitations. It is important to give your guests as much time as possible to plan since they will be flying to The Bahamas and may need to get passports, time off of work, etc.
- Book Hotel Rooms For Guests - Only do this after every guest RSVP's (which is why it is important to have every guest RSVP as soon as possible).
- Select Your Flower Type - Select a flower to match the theme of your wedding and get in contact with a florist.
- Choose The Menu and Cake - Talk with the resort or people hosting the reception location and see if there is anything you can set up with them. If not there are dozens of bakeries and eateries in Nassau that will be sure to help you.
- Book a DJ or Band - Let them know ahead of time and get prices to ensure that they will fit your budget.
- Select Bridesmaids Dress - Select the dress that your bridesmaids will be wearing, shop with them to make sure everyone is in consent to the same one.
Photographers, Wedding Planners, and Much More
- Nassau Directory | Bahamas Finder
Plan the perfect wedding! Find wedding planners, photographers, florists, and much more with Bahamas Finder.
3 to 6 Months Before The Wedding
- Make Sure To Have Your Passports - Passports take a while to get so do it in advance so you don't stress when you're in the airport and they can't fly you.
- Book Your Flight - Make sure your tickets are purchased and give you enough time to get down there and get your Marriage license.
- Confirm With Each Guest - Contact each guest to confirm that they are in fact going to the wedding.
- Book Wedding Day Transportation - For both your guests and yourself. Contact bus companies and limo companies.
- Make Rehearsal Dinner Arrangements
- Confirm Groom and Bridal Party Attire - Make sure that everyone has their clothes ready for the big day and they are all fitted.
2 Months Before The Wedding
- Choose and Order Favors and Welcome Bags
- Confirm Details - Make sure the florists, DJ's, photographers, and anyone else is prepared for the wedding.
- Book a Hair Stylist and Makeup Stylist - There are plenty of high quality places to do this in The Bahamas.
1 Month Before The Wedding
- Prepare Welcome Bag and Letter - Look for ideas online and purchase them. Also figure out how they will be distributed to your guests at the hotel.
- Make Arrangement To Have Your Dress Delivered - Find a way to get your dress to The Bahamas safely and securely.
- Write Your Vows - Make it meaningful and give yourself time to edit and rewrite it.
- Confirm Hotel Reservations For Guests - Make sure your hotel reservations are all set for your guests and all of your guests have a place to stay while in The Bahamas.
2 Weeks Before The Wedding
- Confirm Your Flight and Hotel Is Booked - Make sure that your flight is still on and the hotel still has your room reserved for that date.
- RECONFIRM WITH ALL VENDORS - Make sure that no one down there has forgotten about your wedding and that everyone is prepared for when you go down there.
- Create Seating Charts - Separate families and make sure everyone will be happy with who they are sitting next to.
- Order Ceremony Programs - Make to give to the guests when they arrive.
1 Week Before The Wedding
- Pack For The Trip - Make sure everything is packed and you haven't forgotten anything for the honeymoon or staying there.
- Deal With Confirmation Issues From Guests - Make sure to talk with your guests and ensure that they are on their way and have somewhere to stay when they are down there.
When You Arrive
- Get A Marriage License - Make sure you get this 24 hours after you have arrived before your wedding or you will not be allowed to get married.
- Confirm Details and Inspect Ceremony and Reception Sites - Make sure everyone is all set for the big day and that no unexpected events are coming up for your vendors.
- Have Your Dress Properly Maintained
- Do Your Rehearsal Wedding - Extremely important that this happens.
On Your Wedding Day
Simply get ready for the wedding by putting on your dress and makeup and enjoy you wedding!