Weddings in the Bahamas
Frequently Asked Questions
Weddings in the Bahamas: Having a wedding in the Bahamas? No matter if its a cruise wedding, Beach wedding or formal wedding, here are answers to 10 commonly asked questions about weddings in the Bahamas including the legal requirements and tips to make your wedding legal anywhere in the world. A must read before a wedding in the Bahamas.
While I have answered the most frequently asked questions about weddings in the Bahamas, you can ask any questions you may have about a wedding in the Bahamas by using my Ask Glenn page and I will get you the answer.
1. What are the requirements for having a wedding in the Bahamas?
- Anyone wishing to have a wedding in the Bahamas must first request a Bahamas marriage license from the Registry. A Bahamas marriage license is valid for three months. After a marriage has taken place, a Marriage Duplicate Register (Form No. 9) is sent to the Registry by the Marriage Officer as quickly as possible. From this document certified copies of marriage certificates are issued.
- The legal age of marriage in the Bahamas is eighteen (18).
- Both parties must be in The Bahamas at the time of the application.
- The Bahamas Law states that the couple must be resident in The Bahamas for 24 hours prior to the date of the application. A Bahamian-issued marriage license is valid for 90 days for those seeking early application. You can to write Marriages, Registrar General’s Office prior to your arrival at: P.O. Box H-532, Nassau, Bahamas, or fax to 242-323-7908.
- If either party is a minor (a person under 18 years of age), an affidavit of parental consent is required. Forms of consent may be obtained from the Registrar General’s office.
- If either party has been divorced, the original final decree or a certified copy (with a raised or colored seal) must be produced. For European residents, the original decree or a certified copy (with a raised or colored seal) must be produced in the native language along with a translated certified or notarized copy in English.
- If either party is widowed, the death certificate of the deceased spouse must be produced.
- If either party is unmarried, for a citizen or resident of the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a U.S. Consul at the American Embassy, Nassau, Bahamas, for a fee of $55, a Bahamian Notary Public or Justice of the Peace (JP). (Please note, the U.S. Embassy is closed on American and Bahamian holidays).
- * If either applicant is Bahamian and aged forty (40) years or older and single, a mandatory search is necessary. A minimum period of two (2) weeks is necessary for the search. A license will be issued after the search is completed. However, this rule does not apply to non Bahamians getting married in the Bahamas.
- If either party is unmarried and is a citizen or resident of a country other than the U.S.A., a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a Notary Public or other person authorized to administer oaths in that country and must accompany the application for the marriage license. The said declaration may also be obtained at a Notary Public or Justice of the Peace (JP) in Nassau.
- The parties must produce either:-
- a valid passport (stamped by The Bahamas Immigration to show date of entry into country) or
- a valid driver’s license (with photo) plus a certified copy of your birth certificate plus a stamped immigration card from Bahamas Immigration (you receive this when you enter The Bahamas).
- A passport is required for persons who are residents of a Commonwealth country.
- The parties must produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Islands Of The Bahamas (i.e., airline ticket, immigration card).
- Persons desirous of being married in a Family Island (any island outside of New Providence or Grand Bahama) can obtain the Marriage License at the Commissioner’s Office on that Island and need not come to New Providence or Grand Bahama. Initial inquiries can be made at this office.
- No blood test is necessary.
- The fee for a marriage license is $100.00.
- The Fee for a Certified Copy of the Marriage Certificate is $20.00
NOTE: Marriage licenses are issued at the Marriage Office of the Registrar General located on 2nd Floor at Shirley House, Fifty (50) Shirley Street in Nassau, which is open to the public Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. (Closed on weekends and Bahamian Public Holidays.)
P. O. Box N- 532
Nassau, The Bahamas
2. What is the process for securing my Bahamas marriage license?
- You have to be on the island for 24 hours before applying for a Bahamas marriage license.
- You then visit the Marriages Department of the Registrar General’s Office on 2nd Floor Shirley House at Fifty (50) Shirley Street to make application for your Bahamas marriage license.
- The standard processing time is two-day and require you to visit the office two times. Your first trip to the registrar’s office is to submit your application with supporting documentation including affidavits. The office will collect your documents and make photocopies of your passport & immigration cards.
- You will then be required to pay the $100.00 application fee for your Bahamas marriage license (the cashier is located on next floor).
- You may also prepay the $20.00 for a certified certified copy marriage certificate.
- You then bring the pink cashier receipt (for the marriage license) to the office personnel who collected your passports.
- You will then ask to return the next day to pick up your marriage license.
- You will need affidavits (it is mandatory for anyone who has never been married) to accompany your Bahamas marriage license application. We can provide these affidavits for you, just complete the Information for Affidavit form and email to email@example.com or fax to 1-242-327-2453
- You can also speed up the processing of your application by using our convenient Priority Bahamas Marriage License Application Service
3. How do I locate the Registrar General’s Office?
4. What if I arrive for my Bahamas wedding via cruise ship?
5. Is it true that you have to get married before sunset in The Bahamas?
- Yes this is true. For your marriage in the Bahamas to be valid, it must take place before sunset. If you would like to find out what time the sun will set on your Bahamas wedding day, check here.
6. Would I be able to use my marriage license from my country?
- No, only a Bahamian marriage license is legally recognized when getting married in the Bahamas. As it is the only document that provides authorization for a wedding in the Bahamas.
7. Will a Bahamian marriage license be legal in my country?
- Yes, the Bahamas marriage license is a legal document issued by the Bahamas government and is legal in any country in the world. You can also get a certified copy of your marriage certificate. Here is an article on Making Your Wedding In The Bahamas Legal.
8. What if I hire a Bahamas Wedding Planner?
- You will find that there is a cadre of professional Bahamas wedding planner including our WPIC certifed Bahamas Wedding Planner that are available to help you plan your wedding in the Bahamas.
- While most wedding planner offer wedding packages inclusive of a wedding minister, I can work with any planner you choose. However, the fee paid by your wedding planner may only apply to me performing your wedding ceremony and may not include us collaboration on planning your ceremony.
- You can contract my services in addition to your Bahamas wedding planner, once you let them know that you have secured our services and that you will be paying us directly.
9. Can my pastor, priest, or rabbi perform my wedding ceremony in the Bahamas?
- No, your pastor, priest or rabbi will not be able to perform your wedding ceremony in the Bahamas. They may assist in the ceremony but a local wedding minister will have to handle the signing of the legal documents and will have to declare you as husband and wife at the ceremony
10. Can I get married on the weekend?
- Yes, you can get married on any day you choose including Saturday and Sunday, provided you have make application and received a marriage license. Application for your marriage license can be made during the working days of Monday thru Friday.
Let us know if there is any other questions you have about having your wedding in the Bahamas and we will help you to make your dream wedding in the Bahamas possible
Glenn S. Ferguson is your Bahamas Wedding Officiant and Bahamas wedding planner at Bahamas Destination Wedding. Just email any question you may have about getting married in the Bahamas to firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: 1-242-327-2453 or 1-501-588-4621 USA. Find us on Google+