Planning a Caribbean Wedding

Hello I am an Englishman (Widower) living with my Fiance in Peru. I have a British Passport and a Peruvian Resident Visa. My fiance is Peruvian and she is single and has a Peru Passport and a ten-year US Visa.

Can you please tell me what paperwork we would need to get married in the Caribbean. we would like a simple wedding for just the two of us and I am not familiar with the Caribbean so would like some suggestions on the best places to go. My fiance has a birth certificate and a certificate to say that she is single. I have a birth certificate for me and one for my late Wife, a Death Certificate and a Cremation Certificate.

I look forward to hearing from you soon. –John

Dear John,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Each country in the Caribbean has its own laws governing weddings so they’re all a little different in regard to paperwork, residency requirements (the number of days you have to be on island before you can be married), etc.

You both have just about all the paperwork you could need to get married on most islands. Your fiance might need her birth certificate translated into English (assuming it’s in Spanish) to get married on a few islands; if you get married at a Spanish-speaking destination such as the Dominican Republic, you might have to have your own paperwork translated. The translations need to be official so you have to allow additional time for that.

Some of the easiest destinations for weddings are Jamaica and the Bahamas. These destinations require a very short residency period. You’ll be able to do most of the paperwork via fax and email with your wedding planner before you arrive. We always suggest wherever you plan to marry, look for a resort with an on-site wedding coordinator. She can help you with all the paperwork duties even for the simplest weddings.

You’ll find free weddings at several resorts. In Jamaica, Couples Resorts, SuperClubs Resorts, Sandals Resorts, and Sunset Resorts offer free weddings (you’ll pay the government marriage fee); the free packages include a variety of things such as the services of an officiant, wedding planner, decorated wedding site, etc. A few years ago we had a vow renewal at a Couples resort and it was lovely. All the resorts have on-site photographers and can arrange any add-ons you like: a cake, champagne, music, etc.

The only islands where it’s very difficult to get married are the French islands: St. Barts, St Martin (just the French side…the Dutch side does many weddings), Martinique and Guadeloupe. Primarily French residents are married on those islands.

The most important step, after choosing your island, is to go ahead and select your resort; you can then begin working with the wedding coordinator. You’ll want to allow several weeks for her to file your paperwork and arrange all the details.

Best wishes! Paris and John

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