With a choice of gorgeous white-sand beaches fringed by gently swaying palm trees, the British Virgin Islands 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 picture perfect white-sand beaches, the British Virgin Islands offers a wide range of exotic and traditional choices for your wedding venue.
The legal requirements for getting married in the British Virgin Islands are relatively straightforward. Marriages performed in the British Virgin Islands are internationally recognised and legally binding.
To apply for a marriage licence, both parties must personally attend the Civil Registry and Passport Office, situated in the Burhym Building, Wickham’s Cay, Road Town, Tortola.
A marriage licence takes one working day to process. Once the Government has granted a licence, it remains valid for three months from the date it is signed.
You can choose to get married at the Registrar-General’s Office, in a church or at any venue of your choosing. If you require a priest or minister to perform the ceremony, you may need additional documents.
If the Registrar General is officiating the wedding, the staff will prepare the wedding package, which includes the vows and marriage certificate. If another Civil/Marriage Officer performs the wedding ceremony, the Civil/Marriage Officer will be contacted to collect the Marriage Licence for you.
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 the British Virgin Islands, include…
The two witnesses need not to be the same two witnesses who will be present at the day of the wedding ceremony.
If you wish to be married in a church, wedding announcements (banns) must be published on three consecutive Saturdays or Sundays in the church of your choice. You can be married in a church by Special Marriage Licence, but you must make the arrangements with the minister of the church of your choice.
Note: All ministers in the BVI are Marriage Officers and can also perform civil ceremonies outside church.
Some faiths required additional documents for a church service. You may want to check this with your wedding co-ordinator or local minister.
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.
If the couple has been in the Territory for less than 15 days, they will be required to pay the Special Licence fees.
Many hotels offer comprehensive assistance to couples planning their destination wedding in the British Virgin Islands.
For more information visit the wedding portal at BVI Tourism to learn more about top wedding venues, recommended wedding consultants and service providers. Alternatively, visit your nearest British Virgin Islands embassy or consulate for more information.
Further information: Contact the Office of the Registrar-General, P.O. Box 3199, Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands (Tel: (284) 468-3701, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: www.bvi.gov.vg/services/application-marriage).
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.
Latest update: How to get married in British Virgin Islands: 6 May, 2022