Friday, May 14, 2010

Bahamas Wedding Requirements - What You Should Know About Making Your Wedding In The Bahamas Legal.

You have set your mind on having your dream wedding in the Bahamas and looking forward to welcoming your guest to this island paradise just off the coast of Florida - and thinking about the party after the ceremony.

But hold up. Are you sure that the person you have selected as your wedding officiant can legally marry you in the Bahamas?

When it comes to getting married in the Bahama, you have got to have the right person as your wedding officiant to make it legal.

According to Bahamas wedding requirements,  Ship captains, ordained religious ministers, Justice of the Peace, Notary public or even your own pastor can not legally marry you in the Bahamas.

In the Bahamas weddings can only be performed by persons who have been duly licensed and recognized as Marriage Officers by the Bahamas Government.

With the exception being the Registrar, Magistrates or local family Island Administrators. Who by virtue of the office they hold can act as wedding officiants. 

So the first question you need to ask of the person that you are considering to officiate at your wedding is “Are you a Licensed Marriage Officer?” As this is the one designation of persons licensed and credentialed to legally marry you in the Bahamas based on Bahamas wedding requirements.

And the position of Marriage Officer is that of a public servant and as such is required to professionally perform their duties with integrity, complete efficiency and accuracy.
At the end of the marriage ceremony, your wedding officiant is required to complete and sign four documents:-
  1. Two copies of the Marriage Register, which is given to each of you.
  2. One Marriage Duplicate Register, which he is required to submit to the Registrar General’s office as soon as possible. And
  3. The Marriage Officer’s Register Book for his own record keeping. ( The signature of the bride and groom and two witnesses must also be on these four documents. And the witnesses may also be required to print their names for legibility.)
  4. After the wedding ceremony the a copy of the Marriage Duplicate Register is submitted to the Registrar General's Office for the issuance of a certified Marriage Certificate. This usually take about 2 working days and cost $20.00 per certified copy.
  5.  Once the Certified Marriage Certificate is received then it time for the final step in the process - getting an Apostille! And you get this from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs located East Hill Street. The Apostille take 3 working days and cost $10.00 per copy.
I can hear you asking "what is an Apostille?"  Well an Apostille is a certificate that allows country that are party to the Hague Conference - Apostille Convention (your country of residence) to authenticate the origin of a public document (e.g., a birth, marriage or death certificate, a judgment, an extract of a register or a notarial attestation).

Simply put an Apostille is the Bahamas' way of telling your government and the world that you were married in the Bahamas.

And of cause you know that another Bahamas weddings requirements for your wedding ceremony to happen is that you need to get a marriage license and you can only apply for your marriage license, 24 hours after your arrival in the Bahamas.

Glenn Ferguson is your Bahamas Wedding Planner & Officiant at Weddings Bahamas Style - Helping You To Create Your Memorable Bahamas Wedding. Just call 1-242-327-2453 or email or

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