An Insider’s Guide to Getting Married in The Bahamas
The Islands of The Bahamas are every paradise seeker’s dream: an archipelago comprising 700 islands and 2,000 rocks and cays, intricately spread over 100,000 square miles of the clearest waters in the world. Despite the vast number of islands and cays, only 18 of the islands are inhabited by the country’s population of approximately 351,000 (based on the Bahamas’ 2010 Census data). Nestled 50 miles off the coast of Florida, it is easy to understand why the Bahamas benefits from millions of visitors annually; nonstop daily flights are offered from various east coast cities and major travel hubs, with the shortest travel time landing you paradise in 30 minutes to an hour. The Bahamas has the advantage of a year-round tropical climate, typically boasting 60 degree winters. Summer is the warmest and wettest time of the year, with the Hurricane season running from June 1st to November 30th annually. Despite the rainy season, the Bahamas still has one of the most enviable summers in the region.
From Bimini to Inagua, the 18 inhabited Bahamian islands offer an array of experiences, making travel to the destination both memorable and worthwhile. It’s no secret why The Bahamas has long been the destination wedding venue of choice. Collectively, the islands boast a myriad of luxury boutique and large scale resorts, which are perfect alternative venues to the traditional church wedding, but there are also a number of museums, historical monuments and private residences that can be considered as well.
To get started, here are the requirements to make your marriage legal in The Bahamas:
- Be present in the Bahamas to apply for Marriage License. The fee is $120 and includes a certified copy of the marriage certificate. Vow renewals do not require a marriage license.
- Produce a valid passport, birth certificate, and photo ID. Each party must also produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Bahamas.If you arrive via cruise ship, you’ll be required to obtain a letter from the Ship’s Purser/Guest Services confirming that you have met the residency period by being in Bahamian waters for 24 hours.
- Couples may apply a day after their arrival and can be married once they receive their approved license the day after application.
- Provide two witnesses, who are at least 18 years old, to sign your marriage license.
Here are some of the most popular venues, by type, for weddings throughout the Bahamas according to Bridal Passport readers. With 18 inhabited islands to choose from, it does provide a plethora of options to start begin planning your wedding ceremony and reception. Happy Planning!
- Albany – New Providence
- Atlantis Resort – New Providence
- Bahamar Resort – New Providence
- Island House – New Providence
- Lyford Cay Club – New Providence
- Ocean Club Resort – New Providence
- Pelican Bay Hotel – Grand Bahama
- Pink Sands Hotel – Eleuthera
- Resort’s World – Bimini
- Sandal’s Emerald Bay – Exuma
- Valentine’s Resort & Marina – Eleuthera
- The Cloisters – New Providence
- John Watlings Distillery – New Providence
- The Bahamas National Trust – New Providence
- Fort Charlotte – New Providence
- Queen’s Staircase (66 Steps) – New Providence
- The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas – New Providence
- HIllside House – New Providence