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Caribbean Wedding Destination Reviews and Legal Requirements

All the information on this page is taken from the public domain on the internet. I do not accept any responsibility for information found in reviews or any incorrect information on this page. If you plan on marrying abroad, your best bet is to bring all the documentation you can think of and to have all legal stuff notarized.



Don't be confused or intimidated by all the requirements you read here. Your travel agent or wedding consultant should be able to guide you through the process!



* Most countries require:Divorce decree or death certificate if previously married

* residency time (usually 1 - 3 days)

* do not require a blood test.




Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Wedding Information

What is required

Divorce decree or death certificate, Passport for non US citizen & photo ID, certified parental consent if under 21

2 witnesses must be over 21, Health certificate and VDRL test from resident doctor in Puerto Rico

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$25



St. Barthelemy

St. Barthelemy Wedding Information

What is required

residency of one month for one of the people to be married, original birth certificate (or copy with raised seal), single affidavit, blood test and certificate of health from doctor, all documents must be translated into French

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

no fee ?



St. Eustatias/Saba

St. Eustatias/Saba Wedding Information

What is required

Divorce decree, birth certificates, two week waiting period, passport photos & a residence permit

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$75



St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis Wedding Information

What is required

Residency of two days, passports/birth certificate, divorce decree/death certificate, documents must be in English or have notarized translations, must have letter from your Minister at home if you are having a Minister perform the ceremony

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$20



St. Lucia

St. Lucia Wedding Information

What is required

Passport/Birth Certificate, all documents must be in English, divorce decree & death certificate, waiting period is 2 days,

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$200



St. Lucia Wedding Review Index

Sandals - 1

Sandals Grande St. Lucian - 2

Sandals Halcyon Beach - 1

Sandals Halcyon Beach - review by Will and Melissa - Knoxville, TN

June 2004



Our wedding was very nice and went smoothly from the start. We met with the planner on our first day along with six other couples and filled out paperwork. We were instructed on what was required and available from the resort, and each couple met later on that day to go over specifics in detail with the planner. We didn't spend more than an hour or so total with our planner, Maggie. She took care of everything. So, it was no stress on our part at all. We were married at one of the two gazebos overlooking the beach. It was well decorated with both live and fresh cut flowers. The ceremony was just the right length and not drawn out. The cake, food and champagne were both tasty and tastefully presented as well. Everyone did his or her job well. Word to the wise; don't wear anything heavy or bulky, as it is fairly hot and humid. Just exercise a little common sense. We saw one poor South African groom wearing a worsted wool tuxedo to his wedding at 3 O'clock in the afternoon. It suffices to say that he was a bit uncomfortable. Overall, our wedding was wonderful!



We chose Mario's, the Italian restaurant at Halcyon, for our wedding dinner that night. It was a superb 7-course meal with both the preparation and presentation equally superb. We would like to thank Sylvia for being such a gracious hostess and Dane for being such a wonderful waitress.



My wife and I must also offer our special thanks to both Shayne and Kurt of the Halcyon photography staff for doing such an excellent job on our wedding and resort pictures. They are super nice and very easy to get along with. Our wedding pictures are excellent and the digital format is definitely worth the extra money. Thanks to you both!



Sandals Grande St. Lucian - review by Bonnie - Ontario, Canada

December 2004



We are very happy with our wedding at Sandals. They are extremely organized. When we checked-in, there was a letter notified us that the wedding coordinator had setup an appointment for us. We met our wedding coordinator the next day, we picked the location we want to get married, my bouquet, our dinner menu, the wedding cake, etc. There was another appointment couple days later with the lawyer, just to sign some documents. Everything was done within the resort and it all took less than an hour. This was easy and completely stress free. If people don't want an elaborate wedding, that's the way to do it. We didn't pay anything extra except a 12 digital photo package and $100 for having our wedding dinner at the Gazebo instead of the restaurant. The photo packages are expensive, but we figured the wedding was basically free, Sandals cannot give everything for free. The photographers are very professional, we are very happy with our pictures. I was reluctant to pay an extra $100 to dine at the Gazebo but my husband wants it. It turned out to be a very nice experience. Our server was fantastic, very friendly and yet gave us a lot of privacy. We got married at one of the three Gazebos. The one we picked, "Paradise", is the most private but smallest. It was okay for us because we didn't have any guest. Be careful in picking the location. The beach and "Ixora" Gazebo are very visible to the public. We saw couples got married at these locations had "uninvited" guests in swimsuits attending the ceremony. I am very glad that I had picked Sandals to have my wedding, I am very satisfied with it.



Sandals Grande St. Lucian - review by Samantha - UK

October 2003



The real problem was (and still is) the staff who are supposedly 'wedding Organisers' - and the Senior Management of the resort.



Our wedding happened to coincide with the arrival of Tropical Storm Claudette! - unfortunate, but hardly the fault of Sandals... What we DID find unacceptable however is that the wedding 'Organiser' took it upon herself that the wedding would proceed regardless, no alternative indoor venue was prepared - the wedding went ahead in the midst of the storm - untill WE insisted that it moved indoors - at this point, we were offered that the wedding could continue in 'The London Pub' - having travelled half way round the world to get away from London - you can imagine how impressive that offer was! - but we needn't have worried, since, as soon as we got in out of the rain - EVERY member of Sandals staff simply deserted us! - the Wedding 'Organiser', Videographer, Photographer all simply dissapeared. Bride, Groom and guests were simply left standing in a room, in disbelief!



Our wedding was a 'Half wedding' - and quite frankly the management didn't give a damn! - not so much as an apology, until we complained strongly - at which point the general manager made an offer of compensation, which he telephoned our room later to renege upon! - we are STILL awaiting final settlement of our compensation... and we are STILL waiting for our wedding certificate copies.



The resort will not return our calls or the calls and emails from their London office. In short - by all means do holiday there, the resort is ok - but what ever you do DON'T expect a decent wedding there... The General Manager confirmed that he would be taking no action to avoid a similar thing happening to others in the future, his attitude was very much - 'hey , these things happen' - which is all very well - except this is people's WEDDING days that his staff are ruining - all through a simple lack of organisation and planning...



Sandals - review by James and Lori

James and Lori were kind enough to let us post part of their wedding story. They have posted a much more detailed story, including how they met and some great photos at http://mywedsite.tripod.ca. Thanks Lori and James!



The morning of the wedding



Hair and Make-up

I had a 7:00 am appointment to have my Professional hair and makeup done at the salon. I arrived on time and had to wait approximately 15 minutes until two girls showed up and unlocked the door. They were chatting up a storm amongst themselves talking about someone who had died. One would think that with the high prices Sandals charges, that at least the staff would be attentive to their customers. I had to interrupt them to tell them what I wanted them to do with my hair. They would patronize me telling me it would be fine and giving the pictures I brought with nothing more than a polite glance. When they were to begin applying my makeup I showed them the colors I use and how I wanted my makeup applied. Again, I had the same patronizing reaction as they continued to chat about some dead woman. Neither my hair or my make-up came out anything like what I wanted but since I was running short on time it would have to do. I was extremely disappointed and tried to fix what I could when I got back to the room. I have never seen such unprofessional inept people in a salon. It was not what I expected at all.



Where is my Dress?

I am awaiting the pressed wedding dress that was promised to me at 8:00AM sharp. as the time goes by (AND SEVERAL PANICKY PHONE CALLS ARE MADE) 8:10, 8:20, 8:30, 8:40, 8:50 my dress arrives (10 minutes before the wedding time and one minute before my wedding coordinator and the photographers!) (more stress)



I quickly get dressed and let them in. Again explaining how I want the video to start, which pictures are important to me ( I wanted a sequential ring exchange) etc. This is the FIRST opportunity we have to speak to the photographers. I didn't even have time to get ready because of the delay in the dress. Everything was so "in my face and rushed" (more stress)



The Ceremony and Reception.

The snacks were good, as was the champagne. This is one of the better services that they provided. The server was friendly and attentive.



If there was one thing that bothered me most it would be that the photographers were chit chatting to each other instead of taking pictures. Several times I had to gesture to them to take a picture. It’s my wedding, was this really necessary? (more stress)





After the Wedding

It was approximately noon by the time all was said and done (including the photography). We spent the rest of the day lazing around the pool and trying to cool off because at this point the temperature was awfully hot.



Moving to the honeymoon suite room #97

We returned to our room to find a beautiful message spelt own in flowers on our bed. It was such a nice surprise from the the housekeeping staff. It was 3:30 February 14, 2002 (Yes – for our wedding night) when we moved into a Concierge Level Honeymoon suite Room #97 with personal plunge pool. Although we were initially delighted to have more space, it quickly turned to disappointment when we realized our plunge pool was ice-cold and had piles of bugs in it making it virtually unusable and disgusting. In addition, the room and plunge pool are located on a fairly busy road with no privacy whatsoever.



St. Martin

St. Martin Wedding Information

What is required

residency of one month for one of the people to be married, original birth certificate (or copy with raised seal), single affidavit, blood test and certificate of health from doctor, all documents must be translated into French

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

no fee ?



St. Maarten

St. Maarten Wedding Information

What is required

Residency of three days & 10 days to register, passports and airline tickets, three days residence. divorce decree/death certificate, for non-residents you must write Lt. Governor to receive permission to marry, non-resident witnesses must have temporary tourist permit, parental consent for those under 21 all documents must be in Dutch or have a notarized translation, divorced women must wait 306 days after your divorce is final (double standard here!!)

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$300



St. Vincent

St. Vincent Wedding Information

updated: February 18, 2003

What is required

Residency of one day, Passports/Birth certificate, divorce decree/death certificate, Governor General license from the Ministry of Justice

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc)

Approx - depends on what kind of marriage license you are applying for



St. Vincent Wedding Review Index

Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines - 1

Young Island - 1

Young Island - review by Ivona and Bob - Canada

May 2004



(You can read Ivona and Bob's resort review on this site as well)



Background:

Bob first 'popped the question' in June 2003 during our vacation at the Copacabana, Mayan Riviera while dining cenote-side at their very romantic Italian a la carte restaurant. Needless to say, as 'travel down south' junkies, we knew that we would be having the ceremony on a beach somewhere warm. Since we had both been through a 'traditional' church wedding (this is the second marriage for each of us) we did not want to go through that again, and a simple destination wedding was exactly what we wanted.



Once we made the initial decision of when, Bob more or less took over the planning. I mention this only because up until this trip, I do all the travel planning in our family. I was more than happy to delegate this very important job to him though! Straightaway, Bob gravitated towards St.Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) based on past sailing trips to this area, the fact that it is an English speaking country and there would be no legal issues. Our first choice was Palm Island, but for the dates we had chosen, it would have simply been too expensive. I was very disappointed at first, however, when Bob suggested Young Island, and I had a chance to see their website, I was immediately sold on the idea.



Contacting the Resort:

Bob contacted the booking agent mid July to find out how early we had to book if we were looking to go down in April. As it can get quite busy time this time of year, with Easter and the local Bequia regatta, and to be sure we were able to schedule the sailaway option on our terms, we booked shortly after that first contact. Again, this is not the norm with us, as we usually book our trips a month ahead at the most. Even this far in advance, we were not able to get our first room choice (number 10) but number 6 was available and we grabbed it immediately. Communication between the booking agent and the hotel were mostly done using email.



During late August early September, Bob contacted the hotel's wedding coordinator, Dawn John. The date of the ceremony was established, as was the colour scheme (ours was red and white). The subject of the officiant was also considered at this time. We had the option of a civil ceremony, but that required we get married at his or her offices in Kingstown (who the heck travels to an island down south to be married in a courtroom?). As an aside, in St. Vincent there is no option and Catholic and Anglican weddings must take place in a church. We turned that down, and that left us with an ordained minister. Neither of us has a specific religious affiliation, and our religious beliefs are a mixed bag, but we accepted that option hoping that a reasonable compromise was available. A few weeks before our departure, we received a confirmation that everything was arranged as requested and there was nothing else to do but wait for some seat sales and book those flights!



We must admit to some trepidation during the intervening period. Planning something as important and special as this over long distance via e-mail and a couple telephone conversations requires an incredible amount of faith in those at the other end. Our concerns proved to be unjustified as you will see from what follows.



The Young Island Package



Contact Information:

Email address for USA and Canada Reservations: caribisles@aol.com

Phone numbers:

USA and Canada: 1-800-223-1108

UK : 0-800-894-057



The Wedding Package:

The Wedding Package costs $960.00USD. It includes the following:

-Services of wedding coordinator

-All registration fees and wedding license fees, two witnesses

-Bride's bouquet, groom's boutonniere, flower-decorated wedding arch

-Minister's fees

-Wedding cake (your choice of flavours)

-2 bottles of sparkling wine

-hors d'oeuvres

-photographer, two dozen 4" by 6" prints in a small album as well as the negatives

-Candlelit dinner (your choice of location, your room if you wish)

-Champagne breakfast the next day (again, your choice where)



What you will need:

-Passport and birth certificates

-Divorce decree absolute if married before

-Death certificate and first original marriage license if widowed

-Notarized parental consent if under 21

-Legal proof if name has been changed

-Residency requirement is now 24 hours, excluding day of arrival



Extra Options ($$$):

-Steel band ($200.00usd for two hours)

-One hour video ($150.00usd)

-Extra bouquets ($30.00usd)

-Rental of entire island (please inquire)



Decisions Before the Big Day:

Dawn, our coordinator was on holidays when we arrived, but Joselle Mofford, her understudy had our file and took good care of us. We were to be married on a Saturday, and we arrived on the island the Tuesday before. We never felt rushed or pushed to make decisions, I found the whole experience extremely laid back and stress-free. After a few days at the resort, Joselle contacted us to let us know when the minister was coming to see us (yes, he comes to see you!) and when we would be going to town to do all the paper work. As the week progressed, we were also asked to decide on the location of the ceremony. This can be a toughie, since there are lots of great spots (e.g: on the beach, Sunset Point, Blue Parrot lookout, at the cottage gazebo, and many, many more). We picked the beach, of course, but even that took some further thought as there are many suitable spots on the beach. In combination with the location, we had to pick a time of day. We checked out different spots (and one in particular) at different times of day to take into consideration things like the tide, the position of the sun, wind, rain options, lighting, etc. After a relatively short examination of possibilities we made our decision.



Next task was dinner and cake preferences. A day or so before the wedding day, we were given the menu and cake options. You can pick whatever you wish from their menu, and can have it served just about anywhere you desire, including your cottage. Since it would be too windy to eat at our gazebo, and I did not wish to eat indoors (we prefer dining al fresco) we opted for one of the single table dining gazebos close to the beach. As our wedding day was Saturday, and this was buffet night, even though we had the option of a la carte, we chose the buffet. There were no lineups at the buffet, plus they were serving typical West Indian dishes, so we were very happy with our choice. The wait staff asked us several times if we wished to be served, but we declined.



As for the wedding cake, there were no options given as they were prepared to make just about any flavour of cake you could imagine (e.g.: chocolate, banana, fruitcake, etc.). We chose rum cake and it was a very good choice.



We met the minister, a Pastor of a Baptist Church, a couple of days before the ceremony and were very impressed with his warmth and sincerity. He was quite open to working with us and creating a ceremony that would meet our wishes and respect his commitments as a minister. We gave him a copy of our wedding vows, and much to our delight, he was very impressed with them. In fact, he mentioned this fact to us several times, including right after the ceremony.



The day before the ceremony, Joselle took us, via cab, to Kingstown to take care of all the necessary paper work. If you plan on getting married in SVG, I strongly recommend you have a wedding coordinator to help you through this rather bureaucratic process. It didn't take long, we were gone only about 2.5 hours, but there are several visits to different government offices involved, and unless you are familiar with this process, the services of a local coordinator are invaluable.



The Big Day:

Our ceremony was scheduled for 4:00pm, so we had plenty of time to relax. Joselle offered Bob a cottage for him to use to get ready which would allow me to have the bathroom to myself, and of course, for Bob not to see me before the ceremony. The photographer arrived first, followed by the minister and Joselle. Joselle had to make a quick run to collect the two witnesses. I of course, true to form, was running late. We all managed to gather on the beach only a few minutes past the appointed hour. I was very nervous and not at all impressed by the approaching grey clouds. Would we make it before we all got a good soaking! But Mother Nature was on our side, and it started to sprinkle only after the minister gave us the last blessing. Luckily, it lasted for 10 minutes or so, and stayed dry all through dinner and the rest of the evening. During the ceremony, the photographer was very discrete in taking pictures. Afterwards, he went with us to the dining gazebo where we had our champagne and hors d'oeurves followed by our beautiful cake and finished taking pictures. He told us that the pictures would be ready in a couple of days.



I should mention that I am not really a fan of desserts. However seeing the cake decorated with ‘real’ whipped cream and fresh flowers and catching the aroma of rum, I did try some and it was delicious (and still a bit warm!). That done, Bob and I walked around taking more pictures with our own camera, and just relaxed before dinner sipping on the last of the Champagne. We enjoyed the buffet as well as the steel band, a good reason to have the ceremony on a Saturday!



Last words:

At Young Island, their (unpublished) motto seems to be, 'whatever you desire'. I have never stayed at a resort at which the staff were so accommodating and client-centered. Nowhere was this more apparent than when making the wedding plans. I was overwhelmed with their flexibility and attention to our wishes.



Young Island Resort afforded us the opportunity to have the wedding we truly wanted and dreamed about. Having gone through the stress and hard work of planning a traditional wedding many years before, it was amazing how this time it was incredibly stress-free and easy. I cannot sing enough praises for the whole idea of a destination wedding, and Young Island is a perfect spot to create lasting memories.



If you have further questions, you can contact me at: Ivona_Lancaster@hotmail.com



Bequia, St Vincent and the Grenadines - review by Elaine - UK

June 2003



Hi my name is Elaine, my husband (Andrew) and I recently got married in Bequia which is a small island in St Vincent and the Grenadines in the Caribbean with the help of Suzanne Gabriel from A Caribbean Wedding. We found her website on the internet and right from the start she was very helpful. She arranged everything for us even though we only wanted a small private wedding as only Alan and Sylvia our best friends were coming with us to help us celebrate and be our witnesses.



When it was finally time for us to leave England for our trip we were very excited. Suzanne had helped us choose accommodation and she found us a beautiful villa with a pool called the Lime House, it was on a hillside and was wonderfully private - we cant wait to go back next year!



Our first couple of days were spent relaxing by the pool apart from when we went into the village which was situated along the waterfront with lovely cafes to get a cooling drink and a break from shopping! We also met with the Minister who we found a very imposing figure, all 6' 7" of him, but he was very kind and gentle man.



On the third day we went to St. Vincent by ferry and took a tour round the Island which was very different from Bequia, it had black beaches, a very rugged coast line and lots of banana and coconut plantations - very picturesque but we were glad we were staying on Bequia with its white gentle beaches. While we were in St. Vincent Suzanne helped us get our Marriage License which we would never have been able to do ourselves as we had to visit 4 different Government Offices!!



When our Wedding Day finally arrived it was a glorious sunny day (as you would expect in the Caribbean). After a morning relaxing by the pool (again) Janelle came to give us both a massage and I had a manicure also. When my flowers arrived they were so beautiful, Sylvia help me to get ready and we all headed out to the beach where our Wedding Ceremony was to take place. When we got there the steel band started playing "here comes the bride" and I nearly started to cry. Everything went well and I was only a bit nervous about fluffing my lines, as was Andrew. After the ceremony we watched the sun go down while toasting to ourselves on the beach and the photographer "Flash" was his nickname took some more photos of us paddling in the water.



I cant say enough about Suzanne's help or Flashes photos, we had a wonderful time and cant wait to return to Bequia.



Trinidad & Tobago

Trinidad & Tobago Wedding Information

What is required

Residency of three days, passports and airline tickets, three days residence, divorce decree/death certificate

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$50



Turks & Caicos

Turks & Caicos Wedding Information

What is required

Residency of 24 hours, passports, proof of status, Letter stating both parties occupations, marital status, age as of last birthday, present address of residence and fathers full name.

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$50 License fee



US Virgin Islands - reviews posted - 0

US Virgin Islands Wedding Information

What is required

divorce decree, waiting period is 8 days, You are not required to be in the Virgin Islands during this time

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$50, US$200 ceremony performed by judge



Venezuela

Venezuela Wedding Information

What is required

Passport, Passport copy (this usually means first two pages), divorce decree if applicable

Civil Fees (not including resort/hotel cerermony, flowers, photos etc) - April 1, 2002

Approx - US$110

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Questions or comments? Get in touch with me at:

revtommyrogers@yahoo.com