There are many reasons for getting married abroad. Better weather and combining reception and honeymoon in the same trip may be the key factors, but drastically reducing the number of annoying relatives who would attend the ceremony is definitely the main appeal of this decision.
A very popular decision, by the way: as many as one in four British couples choose to tie the knot abroad, according to a poll carried out by YouGov for Direct Line Home Insurance.
These are impressive numbers involving foreign weddings. Only in the past two years, more than 400,000 brides and grooms have been married whilst on holiday, typically in tropical destinations.
According to the UK survey, Barbados is the third most popular choice for overseas weddings. It’s easy to understand why, since – apart from boasting good weather and amazing locations – there is no required waiting period or minimum length to stay in the country to apply for a wedding licence.
Now, before you go crazy checking out holidays to Barbados and start packing your wedding dress/suit with your flip flops and Hawaiian shirt, be aware of the following:
OK, we’ve said that it’s easy to get married there, but that doesn’t mean that you can turn up just with your Nectar Card. Come on, you will need to carry some important papers with you. According to the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Barbados’ capital Bridgetown, you need:
• Valid passports or birth certificates.
• Return tickets.
• If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute or a certified copy of the Final Judgment.
• If either party was previously married and widowed, a copy of the Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate in respect of the deceased spouse.
• For a Roman Catholic ceremony, the relevant documents must be sent by your bishop to the bishop of Bridgetown.
• Where necessary, all documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.
In case you are brave/confused enough to get married under the candid age of 18 years, good news: you can! Only make sure that you have parental consent in the form of Statutory Declaration stamped and signed by a solicitor or a lawyer.
Now, say that during your teenage years you decided to be called Lady GaGa II, as a homage to the popular singer. No problem. As long as you have legal proof stamped and signed by a solicitor or a lawyer that our name has been changed by Deed Poll, it’s OK with the Barbados people.
In case you are adopted, you must show the adoption certificate.
Well, this will be the least of your worries. Whether you choose a church, a sandy beach or public lavatories for your wedding, there will be a professional helping you with everything. Nearly all the resorts in Barbados cater for weddings and as soon as you contact them they will start getting the logistics ready and dealing with the paperwork for you. That’s all you need to know. Good luck and enjoy your Caribbean wedding!