Weddings in Antigua

Getting married in Antigua means beauty will surround you on your special day

Photo credit: © Paul-andr? Belle-isle |

Having a Wedding in Antigua

The tropical scenery and fantasy atmosphere, incredible year-round climate, plus the built-in honeymoon are only a small number of reasons why people desire to plan the most significant day in their lives - their wedding day - in Antigua.

If you have always dreamed of getting married on a sandy coastline in the Caribbean, but never believed it would be possible, think again. A small amount of exploration and a lot of mindful organization can destination wedding a reality.

Pros and Cons

Planning a wedding can be overwhelming, particularly one in which you must put all your trust in an event coordinator in an overseas nation.  Yet for so many people, the ups outnumber the downs -- like the fact that Antigua and Barbuda are consistently ranked as top wedding and honeymoon detinations in the Caribbean.  For example, in the fall of 2013, the World Travel Awards Caribbean and the Americas gave the dual island nation its prestigious "Leading Honeymoon Destination" award.  Still, a destination wedding might not be for everyone. The following list of pros and cons should help you to decide if planning a wedding in Antigua is the best option for your big day.


  • Cost. While you might not expect it, a destination wedding can actually save you money - including the expenses of airfare. This is due to the fact that destination weddings are inclined to be smaller events that fewer guests attend, therefore costing you less money in table settings and cuisine. Many resorts also feature wedding and honeymoon package discounts, thus maximizing your savings even more.
  • Weather. In Antigua, the average temperature in Antigua ranges from between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Rain storms do occur, but they are generally over before they begin.
  • Planning. To assist with arranging a destination wedding, couples commonly utilize an event planner (or one is designated to you by your resort when you buy a wedding package from them). This helps ensure that every single detail of your wedding day is attentively considered by an expert.
  • Friends and Family. If you decide to host a destination wedding, you can trim down your guest list - you don't have to feel compelled to invite a relative you aren't that close to, or your fiancé's supervisor.


  • Cost. Countless people feel that it is their duty to pay for airfare and hotel stay for their entire wedding party and guests. If this applies to you, a destination wedding will cost more in the end and you will be forced to plan for a larger budget.
  • Weather. Antigua does lie in the infamous hurricane belt, therefore it is absolutely essential to keep in mind that planning a wedding event during hurricane season (which runs from the beginning of June until the end of November) presents a slight risk.
  • Planning. Because you are not on site to personally observe and select wedding products for much of the time leading up to your big day, you may find yourself becoming restless because you feel much is out of your control.
  • Legal issues. Procedures regarding marriage licenses could differ from those you would encounter back home. Obtaining a marriage license in Antigua requires time, so a hastily scheduled wedding is probably not conceivable.
  • Family and friends. Given financial circumstances and various other commitments, some of the guests you hope to share your big day with may not be able to attend a destination wedding.

Why Choose Antigua?

Antigua is a great wedding location because of the sheer volume of options available to couples.  The main island of Antigua is a modern setting filled with natural attractions to rival any other locations claims of paradise.  Meanwhile, Antigua's sister island Barbuda is largely underdeveloped, allowing a newlywed couple to truly get away from it all and really focus on each other as they embark on a new life together.  Ferry services make it easy to have your wedding on the island that best suites your personality, and still spend time exploring the other.  This is an especially good option for couples who have conflicting personalities, allowing each person to get the wedding and honeymoon of their dreams. 

Local Wedding Customs

A great way to infuse local culture into your wedding is by serving up regional fare at your reception.  Consider local favorites such as salted codfish, souse (lime-flavored pork), or roti (pancaked filled with curried meats and potatoes).  Wash it all down with fruit juices, rum, or the locally distilled beer, Wadadli.

Types of Ceremonies

Antigua is known around the world for having a beach for every day of the year.  For couples planning a beach side ceremony, this means that they have plenty of options to choose from.  With such a large number of beaches to review, you may want to stick to the beaches that are known as the best.  These include Half Moon Bay, Dickenson Bay, Darkwood Beach, and Pigeon Beach.


Though a destination wedding is likely to be less expensive than an extravagant wedding in your home town, you still need to take the time to carefully create a budget. To achieve this, sit down with your future spouse and crank out a summary of all the things you believe you will end up spending funds on, in order of necessity to you. Common items include the food, location, professional photographer, and dress, among many others. After doing a bit of quick research, designate an estimated price to each item, and then total everything up. This will provide you with a general idea of how much you can expect spending. Understand that this total will change as you shop for your special day, and the organized list of vital items will assist you to know immediately what things you can cut back on and which items you find to be worthy of keeping.


Antigua is a rare gem with regards to marriage certificate wait time in the Caribbean, because there is none.  You are able to get married in Antigua the same day you arrive if you get to the Ministry of Legal Affairs by closing, 4:30 p.m. Essential documents include certified copies of birth certificates, death certificates, divorce certificates, adoption certificates, and photo identification.

If the notion of getting married in an exotic destination sounds like a dream come true, a beautiful wedding in Antigua might be the ideal solution for you.  Taking the appropriate amount of time to research and plan will ensure that your special days goes off without a hitch.


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