Paradise Island beach wedding Beachfront wedding on Paradise Island – Image courtesy of affordableweddings.love

How to get married in the Bahamas

With endless stretches of the softest, powder-white sands and the clearest, turquoise waters you can imagine, the Bahamas is the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding!

Favourite spots for a Bahamas wedding are Cable Beach on Nassau, Love Beach on Paradise Island and West End on Grand Bahama Island. Alternatively, if you’re dreaming of a traditional church wedding, you can take your pick from the many religious faiths represented in the Bahamas. 

Bahamas Marriage Requirements

Marriages performed in Bahamas must be performed between sunrise and sunset, are internationally recognised and legally binding.

The legal requirements for getting married in Bahamas are relatively straightforward.

Residency Requirement

24 hours.

Marriage Licence

To apply for your marriage licence, both parties must personally attend the court registry. The license is then valid for 90 days.

Required Documents

Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name. Originals of all documentation are required. If you’re unable to obtain an original Decree Absolute / Death Certificate you may provide a certified true copy. All documents must be in English; if not, they must be translated and notarized.

Documents required for a legal wedding in Bahamas, include…
  • Valid Passport
  • Birth Certificate together with photographic ID, such as a drivers licence
  • Statutory Declaration certifying that both parties are unmarried (or) Certificate of No Legal Impediment (available at your local embassy or consulate)
  • Proof of arrival in the Islands of the Bahamas, such as an airline ticket or immigration card
  • Decree Absolute bearing a seal of the Court of Divorce, if either party is divorced
  • Death Certificate of deceased spouse, if either party is widowed
  • Parental consent if either party is under 18 years of age
  • Two witnesses are required for the ceremony
  • Roman Catholics who wish to be married in a Catholic church in the Bahamas can receive instruction for six weeks from their local parish priest back home prior to their wedding in the Bahamas. Their parish priest can communicate with the Chancery in Nassau.

Apostille of Marriage Certificate

European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Registered Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated).

This does not apply to citizens of United States, Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer as to whether an apostille is required for your country.

Your Wedding Planner or Marriage Officer can assist you in obtaining the Apostille, which is typically available within 30 days of the request.

Fees

USD / BSD$120, includes one certified copy of marriage certificate.

Island Wedding Planners

Many hotels offer comprehensive assistance to couples planning their destination wedding in the Bahamas. For more information contact the Weddings and Honeymoon Unit at the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism – official tourism site of the Bahamas – to learn more about recommended wedding planners and wedding venues.

The Weddings and Honeymoon Unit offer a special range of services to help you organise your own ceremony, or liaise between you and your chosen on-island wedding consultant to plan any type of Bahamas weddings you can imagine. Officers can be contacted at 1-888-NUPTIAL (1-888-687-8425) or directly at Tel: 1-242-397 2772 / 1-242-397 2705, or faxing to 1-242-325-5835. You can also e-mail an officer.

Further information: Contact the Office of the Registrar General, located at 50 Shirley Street, Shirley House, Nassau (Tel: (242) 323-0594/5/6; fax (242) 323-7908). This office is open to the public from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The office is closed on weekends and during U.S. and Bahamian Public Holidays.


Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.


More about the Bahamas…


Latest update: How to get married in the Bahamas: 25 February, 2019


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