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How to get married in Barbados

With a choice of gorgeous white- and pink-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palm trees, Barbados is the perfect spot to say 'I do' – and the ideal destination for that long dreamt of beach wedding!

From historic churches to lush tropical gardens and gorgeous white-sand beaches, Barbados offers a wide range of exotic and traditional options for you to chose from for your wedding venue.

Barbados Marriage Requirements

The legal requirements for getting married in Barbados are relatively straightforward. Marriages performed in Barbados are internationally recognised and legally binding.

Residency Requirement

None.

Marriage Licence

To apply for a marriage licence, both parties must personally attend the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Bridgetown.

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 Barbados, include…
  • Valid Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Return air tickets
  • Statutory Declaration certifying that both parties are unmarried (or) Certificate of No Legal Impediment (available at your local embassy or consulate)
  • 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 (Persons under the age of 16 years of age cannot be legally married in Barbados.)
  • Two witnesses are required for the ceremony
  • For a Roman Catholic ceremony, the relevant documents must be sent by your bishop to the bishop of Bridgetown
  • Letter from the Marriage Officer who has agreed to perform the marriage ceremony.

Arrangements should be made with a Magistrate or Marriage Officer to perform the wedding ceremony, prior to applying for the marriage licence. A letter from either the Magistrate or Marriage Officer must be presented at the time of making the application.

Church Service Requirements

Some faiths required additional documents for a church service.

For an Anglican church service, this includes…

  • Valid Baptism certificates
  • Letter from your local pastor/vicar indicating that premarital counseling has been completed
  • Divorcees must provide a copy of the divorce decree and the pleadings in the divorce.

Some select reverends do not require the premarital counseling, or baptism certificate, however divorce pleadings are mandatory.

For a Roman Catholic church service, documents required include…

  • The Pre-Marital Enquiry must be completed and signed by the bride and groom
  • Baptismal Certificates issued within the past six months indicating that both are free to marry
  • A signed statement of Freedom to Marry by the parish priest of the couple
  • A Certificate of Participation in a program of preparation for marriage
  • In the case of mixed marriage, permission to marry or dispensation from Disparity of Cult issued by the Bishop of your diocese
  • In the event that a previous marriage was contracted by either party, a Death Certificate or Declaration of Nullity is required
  • Testimonial letters from the bishop of your diocese
  • A Record of Confirmation

All of the above documents should be sent to your wedding co-ordinator one month prior to the wedding.

Marriage Certificate

The Marriage Officer will provide you with your signed and witnessed marriage certificate. Another copy is retained by the Marriage Officer and the third is submitted to the Barbados Supreme Court in order to register your wedding in Barbados.

In addition to the certificate issued by the Marriage Officer on the day of your wedding, you will require a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This certified marriage certificate will be posted to you via registered mail within 8-10 weeks after your wedding date. The fee for this service is usually included in your wedding package costs.

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. The Apostil Fee is USD$75.

Licence Fees

Non-resident of Barbados: USD$100 (BDS$200) cash and a USD$12.50 (BDS$25) stamp duty;
Citizen or a resident of Barbados: USD$22.50 (BDS$45) cash and a USD$5.00 (BDS$10) stamp duty.

Civil Service Ceremony Fees

Magistrate fee for ceremonies held in the court – USD$125 (BDS$250);
Magistrate fee for ceremonies held out of the court – USD$175 (BDS$350).

Island Wedding Planners

Many hotels offer comprehensive assistance to couples planning their destination wedding in Barbados.

For more information visit the wedding portal at Barbados Tourism to learn more about top wedding venues, recommended wedding consultants and service providers. Alternatively, visit your nearest Barbados embassy or consulate for more information.

Further information: Contact the Ministry of Home Affairs (Tel: 1-246-535-7260, fax: 1-246-535-7286, e-mail homeaffairs@mha.gov.bb).


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 Barbados…


Latest update: How to get married in Barbados: 18 November, 2018


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