Budgeting for a Wedding in the Bahamas

The key to planning a destination wedding in the Bahamas is finding vendors you trust

The Bahamas is a great wedding location not only because of the country's beauty, but the multitudes of wedding venues and affordability.  After taking the time to research your options and discuss the benefits of an island wedding with your fiance, you've decided that yes, you will host your big day in the beautiful Bahamas. Now the real work begins.

What is the biggest secret to achieving a great Bahamian wedding? The key is to begin your planning process as quickly as possible.  A good system of time management should be developed because it allows you to save time when researching choices, making reservations, and coping with any complications that may arise. Beginning early also gives you time to take advantage of any possible deals that could become available.

Hired Help

Maps

Many couples who are planning a wedding in the Bahamas find that the most significant obstacle is making the arrangements from afar.  Many couples hire a wedding or event planner to do what they do best - make the planning of your wedding as stress free and simple as possible. You can hire someone local, someone in the Bahamas, or choose to buy a resort wedding package.

If you choose to hire a wedding planner, make sure he or she has previous experience planning a destination wedding and has references available. Connections in the area and  knowledge of the local language and customs will help guarantee that your experience is exactly what you want and expect.  Remember, if you want your wedding planner to be on site the day of your wedding, be prepared to to pay for his or her airfare and hotel stay.

Many couples find that choosing an event planner in the Bahamas is a great way to ensure that they have someone on the island to be their eyes and ears. This person will be able to handle every detail of your wedding, and most importantly analyze venues and vendors in person.

Wedding Planners in the Bahamas
Name Location Phone Number
A Design for Destiny Luxury Event and Wedding Planners Nassau 242-356-2343
954-495-8503
Amour Affairs Nassau 242-314-5927
And The Two Became One Grand Bahama 242-351-5310
Annas Wedding Planning Service Nassau 242-427-2559
242-427-1416
Bahamas Dream Weddings Nassau 242-326-1677
242-323-4873
Bahamas Fantasies Nassau 242-424-5688
Bahamas Wedding Planners New Providence 242-341-5927
Calypso Weddings New Providence 242-427-2647
DMC Bahamas Paradise Island 242-394/1600
Floral Arts Nassau 242-325-3581
Island Destination Services Exuma 242-336-4437
La Femme Events Grand Bahama 242-727-0531
954-284-4014
Personal Touch Weddings New Providence 242-434-1204
Professional Bahamas Weddings New Providence 954-636-3110
S'n'L Photography Nassau 242-323-3846
242-434-3335
Weddings Eleuthera Eleuthera 866-974-ELEU
Weddings in the Bahamas Nassau 242-327-3609
877-232-5854
Wildflower Events and Occasions Nassau 242-325-1676
Xtreme Elegance Wedding Planning Nassau 786-220-3133

Wedding packages offered by local  resorts are most common and often the most reliable. Accommodations, venue, officiant, catering, adornments, and more are usually included in one flat rate. Read our guide to the Bahamas Wedding Locations and Venues noted at the bottom of this page for more information on resort weddings.

How to Plan a Bahamas Wedding Yourself

Preparing a Bahamas wedding may seem stressful but many find it a fun challenge and have successfully achieved their dream event. Stay prepared, write lists, and keep notes of every phone call and transaction you make.

Step One: Structure Your Budget

Developing a sensible budget is essential to any successful Bahamas wedding. On average, couples in the United States spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on their big day, while a wedding in the Bahamas can cost you as little as $2,000.  Numerous major resorts and hotels have wedding planning services that can prepare your big event down to the very last detail, and charge a single set fee for the entire package. If you decide to arrange the entire wedding yourself, consider the expenses you may encounter.

Estimated Bahamas Wedding Costs
Item Expected Cost
Marriage License $100(USD)
Minister $150 to $175(USD)
Photography $500 to $3000(USD)
Flowers $300 to $1500(USD)
Decorations $300 to $1500(USD)
Venue $0 to $1000(USD)
Food $25 to $50(USD) per person
Lodging $100+(USD) per night

The chart above merely addresses wedding basics, and estimates are based upon average costs of the individual items. Consider other fundamentals such as the bride's gown, the groom's tuxedo, and the wedding rings. Overall, wedding costs will change drastically depending on which items you decide are the most important.  You need to stay within a reasonable budget that is based upon your financial situation.  List items commonly associated with a wedding from maximum value to lowest value and allocate a price estimate to each item.

Items ranked in order of importance will allow you to see exactly where you may be willing to trim back and where you aren't willing to compromise.

Step Two:  Select a Theme

By this point you will have determined what style of wedding you would love to host, and the type of venue you would like to have it in. These selections will quickly trim down your list of potential vendors. Keep in mind that there are numerous islands that make up the Bahamas, and that you should determine upon which island you would like to get married early on.  Consult our guide to the Bahamas Wedding Locations and Venues noted at the end of this page for for more information about the types of weddings available in the Bahamas.

Step Three: Do Your Research

Every location, vendor, resort, decoration, and method of transportation should be evaluated. Contact companies for price estimates and inform them that you are arranging your nuptials from abroad, and that they should expect many long distance phone calls and e-mail communications.  When you  contract vendors sight unseen, ask for references from those who have previously used their services.

Also give consideration to the time of year in which you wish to get married, and the type of festivals and events that may occur during that time. If you want you and your guest to have a party environment, getting married in the Bahamas during Carnival, for example, may be just the ticket. However, if you would rather have an intimate, discreet event, you should make other arrangements.

Now would also be a good time to learn about wedding traditions and requirements in the Bahamas.  Before you can exchange vows in the Bahamas you will have to obtain a marriage license.  In order to do so in the Bahamas you are required to present the Office of the Registrar General with copies of important documents, such as passports and certificates confirming your marital status.  It is not until the Registrar General grants a couple permission that they may legally be married in the Bahamas.

Assuming you get permission to marry on the islands (it is not hard to accomplish), you may consider incorporating elements of island culture into your wedding.  The national flower of the Bahamas is the yellow elder, which are bright yellow, trumpet shaped flowers.  Incorporating this flower into your bouquet or boutonnière will not only brighten up the wedding party, but pay homage to the islands upon which you are tyeing the knot.  For more ideas, read our guide to Bahamas Wedding Requirements and Traditions.

Step Four: Book Your Vendors

The vendors you select will essentially make or break your wedding event.  When you make your final decisions and book your vendors, explain precisely what you are looking for, and the dates you have chosen. Get all of your price quotes in writing (have them send you a quote through the post office, by e-mail, or by fax).  Keep duplicates of everything including invoices of all items that are included  the price. Some businesses require a deposit. Do not send anyone payments until you have received a paper statement.  Protect yourself from any possible misunderstandings.

Step Five: Take Care of At Home Projects

Many couples wish to bring a bit of personal flair to their Bahamas wedding. If you are creating or purchasing any of your wedding decorations at home, there is no better time than now to start working on this project. This may also be the time to  purchase the wedding dress and/or make arrangements to rent a tuxedo. List everything you plan on taking care of at home, and the estimated  time it will take you to accomplish it.

Step Six: Follow Up

Although you may think your arrangements are finalized, it is still important to talk to your vendors periodically to review their progress, or to discuss any changes that need to be made. Don't worry about calling too often.  They are working for you, and you are paying them to provide these services.

Listed below are a few additional tips that will assist you in planning your Bahamas wedding.

  • Consider the weather. If you are planning a wedding at an outdoor venue, make alternative arrangements in case of stormy conditions.  Typical weather conditions for that time of year should be considered when choosing your wedding attire. If you plan to marry on the beach in the middle of a hot afternoon, plan accordingly.
  • Send wedding supplies ahead of time. If you are bringing any wedding items with you from home, consider shipping them ahead to your resort or venue so that you can avoid airport hassles and restrictions.  Be sure to arrange for insurance on these items in case they are lost or damaged during shipment.

If you follow the steps listed above, you are sure to experience an ideal wedding in the Bahamas. After planning, budgeting, organizing and booking every detail surrounding your big event, you will be prepared to enjoy the most memorable occasion of your life - your wedding day in the Bahamas.

 

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.