Getting married on a tropical island, with white sand, turquoise water and palm trees is the stuff couples dream of…
Dream Wedding Destination
Imagine the scene: the Caribbean sun gently slipping over the horizon, the sea-scented breeze tousling your hair, and pure white sand underfoot.
The scent of gardenia is in the air and those near and dear are gathered as you pledge “I do” to your loved one.
This is the scene on any given day in the Cayman Islands as couples choose to tie the knot in one of the most idyllic places on earth.
The concept of destination weddings has really taken off in the United States, with a recent study conducted by XO Group (creators of TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com) finding that 350,000 destination weddings took place annually.
This represents 24 percent of all U.S. weddings, with the Caribbean, Mexico and Hawaii being the most popular wedding locations outside continental U.S.
Only just over an hour’s flight from Miami, the Cayman Islands is a convenient destination for couples looking for somewhere really special to get married.
Last year there were on average three weddings a day, with 1,022 couples tying the knot in Cayman; 546 of these were visitors and 476 were locals.
Joy Basdeo of Simply Weddings says her company conducts about 250 weddings annually, about two thirds of which are for visitors.
Getting married on a tropical island, with white sand, turquoise water and palm trees is the stuff couples dream of, she says, and gradually more and more couples are realizing that such a wedding is affordable and within their reach.
“Grand Cayman has one of the world’s top beaches for weddings - Seven Mile Beach,” she says. “We have many world-class wedding photographers and this is a big selling point for weddings, since photography is usually a must-have item for a destination wedding.”
In addition, Joy says the Cayman Islands, unlike many of its competitors in the destination wedding business, has no residency requirements before a couple can be married.
“This makes cruise ship weddings easy and popular,” she confirms. “We also have a mature wedding industry with world-class providers offering the most luxurious to the simplest wedding, a robust marriage law which is carefully monitored and an excellent public records system. Our registered marriage certificate, which is issued by the government, is accepted world-wide.”
This means a good deal of work is done by marriage officers or wedding planners behind the scenes before a couple even arrives in the islands.
On-island service providers are very well experienced in producing first-class weddings and locations around the island. These vary to suit all tastes, from simple, intimate weddings on the beach at sunset to glamorous affairs at top resorts catering to hundreds of guests.
Other popular landmarks for weddings include the lawns at historic Pedro St. James and the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.
As well as possessing first-rate photographers and wedding planners, Cayman boasts some of the finest restaurants in the Caribbean, so catering for such occasions is straight forward.
Local caterers can prepare your wedding cake, while professional sommeliers can assist with drinks choices.
Vow renewals are also a growing aspect of the wedding industry.
So, whether you are getting married for first time or renewing your vows after a number of years, the Cayman Islands is the perfect spot to say “I do.”
Bride and groom must both have been in the Cayman Islands for at least one working day prior to the wedding.
The minimum age of legal marriage in the Cayman Islands is 16. However, anyone under 18 must have the consent of parents or guardian.
Both parties must have valid passports or certified copies of birth certificates along with photo identification.
If either party has been married before they must present copies of the death certificate or divorce decree, plus a notarized translation if the document is not in English.
Both parties are required to have a Cayman Islands international embarkation/disembarkation card or ship’s boarding pass.
- All marriages must be attended by a marriage officer and by two other witnesses.
- All couples must purchase a marriage license from the Deputy Chief Secretary’s office in Grand Cayman or the
- District Commissioner’s office in Cayman Brac.
- Marriages must take place between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.