Weddings Traditions and Requirements on Bermuda

Before hosting a wedding on Bermuda, you've got some documentation to get in order

Getting married in a foreign country takes a little bit of leg work and a lot of patience.     This is especially true of Bermuda, where you must publish your request to be married on the island in a local paper.

While you are waiting to be receive approval from Bermuda of your pending nuptials, consider integrating some of the island's wedding customs into your own ceremony.  This is a great way to honor Bermudan culture, as well as add a unique element to your big day that your guests may not be expecting.

Local Wedding Customs

There are a few wedding traditions that foreign couples getting married on Bermuda can easily mimic.  All of these customs have to do with bringing luck to the newlyweds, and memorializing the special day.

To bring good luck to their marriage, Bermuda couples might walk through a moon gate holding hands, or top the groom's cake with a gold leaf to represent prosperity and the bride's cake with a silver leaf to represent growth of the couple's love.  One of the two cakes is typically a rum and fruit cake, traditional at weddings on many Caribbean islands, and the two cakes might be intertwined by an ivy wreath.  It is also common for the bride's cake to be topped with a sapling that will be planted by the couple when they retire to their marital home.  This is to memorialize their wedding day. 

Modern Requirements

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Three months before a couple intends to get married on Bermuda, they must send a “Notice of Intent to be Married” to the Bermuda Registrar General Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton HM 12.  These forms are available at the Registrar General's web site (www.registrygeneral.gov.bm), and must be mailed with a cashier's check for $330(USD) made out to Account General, Hamilton, Bermuda.  This fee will include the cost of your wedding certificate, should you be granted one, and may also be paid via bank draft or credit card.  Personal checks will not be accepted.  The following items must accompany the “Notice of Intent to be Married”:

  • Certified copies of Divorce Certificate if one or more parties has been divorced.
  • Certified copies of Death Certificate if one of the parties is a widow or widower.

Upon receiving these documents, the Registrar General's office will publish the “Notice of Intent to be Married” on two different occasions.  This allows anyone reading the notice to come forward with any reason they believe the couple should not be married.  Should no objection be raised within 14 days, the marriage license will be issued, and the couple has 90 days from the issue date to be married.

Approximately one month after the date of your marriage you should receive your marriage certificate in the mail.

Whether you plan a traditional Bermudan ceremony, or decide to go a completely different route, the effort you put into obtaining your marriage license and planning the perfect island getaway will provide you and your betrothed with stories you'll want to share with your grandchildren.

 

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