Planning a Caribbean Catholic Wedding

My fiancee and I are interested in doing a destination wedding. We’re just looking to get away and have a  nice wedding/vacation. It’s important to us that it’s a Catholic ceremony. Other then that were game for anything. Bahamas and Jamaica would be perfect. We went through pre-cana already and have met with our priest in regards to the Catholic ceremony. Is there anything else we need to do to make this happen? Do you have any suggestions. Thanks for your time.

Destination weddings are pretty easy to arrange on most islands but you will have some extra steps for a Catholic wedding. I’d recommend first deciding on the destination (both the Bahamas and Jamaica are favorites of ours) then contacting a local wedding planner (either an independent planner or the resort’s wedding planner…many of the larger resorts have a full-time wedding planner on staff.)  The decision of which destination and then which resort you’ll stay at is really your biggest decision.

As I understand it, a Catholic wedding generally needs to be performed in a church (rather than on a beach like many island weddings) and you’ll need to work with a local priest. The local wedding planner will be able to put you in touch with a local priest who will then need to get in touch with your home priest. Because of these preparations, you’ll want to allow plenty of extra time before your trip to get the arrangements underway.  Most of the wedding planners will be able to make the arrangement very easily, though; it’s just a matter of allowing enough time.

Also, I know you didn’t mention Mexico but I wanted to let you know that, while many Catholic weddings are performed as destination weddings in Mexico, the law in Mexico requires that couples be married in a civil ceremony. Traditionally people are wed in the civil ceremony (usually something very small at the government offices) then have their church “wedding” which looks like a wedding but is actually more of a vow renewal since the marriage ceremony has already been performed. (Also, by Mexican law the ceremony must be performed in Spanish although most wedding planners will serve as translators.)

All the very best! Paris

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