Every year there are thousands of destination weddings in Jamaica. In fact, according to the Jamaica Tourist Board, during 2002 over 10,000 tourists got married in Jamaica! Yes, couples from all over the world come anticipating… and finding… the most romantic place on earth to say “I Do”. If you’re contemplating tying the knot in our breathtakingly beautiful island (and need information about the paperwork involved), continue reading to see the 5 steps you must take before getting married in Jamaica.
[1.] The first thing to do is call the Ministry of National Security & Justice about 4 weeks before arriving in Jamaica. You’ll need to do this in order to arrange for a marriage license. (The cost of a marriage license is 4 thousand Jamaican dollars – that’s currently about US$60 – US$65.) You may contact the Ministry at (876) 906-4923. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. (All times are Eastern Standard Time and Daylight Saving Time is not observed.)
[2.] Next you’ll need to sort out all your documentation for your marriage license. Bring along certified copies of your birth certificate which must include your father’s name. You’ll need proof of divorce if applicable and a certified copy of the deceased spouse’s death certificate if you’re a widow or widower. If you’re under 18 years old you’ll need your parent’s written consent.
[3.] Make arrangements with a certified Marriage Officer to conduct the ceremony. There are non-denominational Marriage Officers who will marry you and your fiance/fiancee at the location of your choice. Fees range from around $50 – $250 USD. You’ll need 2 witnesses but the Marriage Officer can usually provide witnesses for you.
[4.] You’ll need to arrive in Jamaica 24 hours before the time you plan on getting married. It’s the law. Use this time to contact your Marriage Officer and iron out any last minute details.
[5.] On your special day, meet your Marriage Officer and make your wedding in Jamaica legally binding.
There you have it! Follow the 5 steps outlined in the checklist above and you too can be officially married in Jamaica.
Please note that Jamaica does not require a blood test in order to issue your marriage license. Also, some hotels have wedding coordinators who will do everything for you… except marrying your intended spouse! There are packages which include all expenses associated with the ceremony and sometimes the wedding coordinator doubles as the Marriage Officer. Prices of packages will vary so shop around first.