Weddings in Caribbean

A destination wedding in the Caribbean can be anything you want it to be

Photo credit: © Micha Rosenwirth | Dreamstime.com

Getting Married in the Caribbean
 

If you are seeking an unforgettable wedding experience, you should consider planning your big event in the beautiful Caribbean.  Each country has something different to offer; but from Bermuda to Belize you'll be stunned by the warm weather, picturesque views, and romantic atmosphere a Caribbean wedding supplies.

Have you have always dreamed of having a wedding on a sandy shoreline in the Caribbean, but never guessed it would be possible? Think again. A little investigation and a lot of thorough organization can make your fantasy destination wedding a reality.

Pros and Cons

Arranging your big day can be stressful, especially one in which you have no choice but to place all your confidence in an event manager in a foreign country. Still, many couples find that the negative aspects pale in comparison to the positives. That being said, a Caribbean wedding might not be for everyone. The included list of pros and cons may help you to determine if planning a wedding in Caribbean is the ideal way to spend your wedding day.

Pros

  • Cost. Believe it or not, a Caribbean wedding may actually save you money. This is because destination weddings tend to be smaller events with fewer guests attending, thus costing you less in table arrangements and cuisine. Many resorts also offer wedding and honeymoon package promotions, improving your savings further.
  • Weather. The average temperatures in the Caribbean range from between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, making it an ideal destination for a tropical wedding. Rainfall does happen, but the storms seldom last for a significant amount of time.
  • Planning. Whenever you plan a destination wedding, you typically utilize an event planner. This helps ensure that every single element of your wedding and reception is thoughtfully considered by a specialist.
  • Friends and Family. Choosing a destination wedding means that you can reduce your guest list - you don't have to feel obligated to invite a cousin you aren't that close to, or your fiancé's manager.

Cons

  • Cost. Some people feel burdened with the responsibility to pay for air travel and hotel accommodations  for their entire wedding party and guests. If you decide to pay for all these expenses, a Caribbean wedding will ultimately be more expensive.
  • Weather. It is important to keep in mind that because of Caribbean's location within the hurricane belt, scheduling a wedding celebration during hurricane season (from the beginning of June until the end of November) presents a slight risk.
  • Planning. Because you will not be able to to personally check out and select wedding supplies for the majority of the time leading up to your wedding day, you may find yourself becoming stressed because you feel everything is out of your control.
  • Legal issues. While preparing for your Caribbean wedding, another important concept to take into account is that the legislation concerning marriage licenses could be different than those you would come across back home. Attaining a marriage license in many Caribbean countries takes time, so a promptly scheduled wedding may not be possible.
  • Family and friends. Due to reasons ranging from work to educational obligations, some of the people you hope to share your wedding memories with may not be able to attend a destination wedding.

Local Wedding Customs

Each individual culture around the world has its own traditions surrounding what a wedding ceremony should involve, and more and more modern brides are taking it upon themselves to craft ceremonies appropriate to their tastes rather than what is commonly considered to be traditional. Many brides will discover that mixing different traditions works best for their wedding needs. If you are looking into having your wedding in the Caribbean, you may be intrigued by including a few of the nation's traditions to your big day.

While the traditions of each country do vary, there are a few common wedding themes.  One such tradition that seems to carry through the Caribbean is the use of a spiced fruit cake, though it may be decorated differently or have different frostings depending upon where you are.  Likewise, rum is served at receptions in nearly every country.  In countries with Spanish heritage such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico there is a practice in which a plate of gold coins is blessed by the officiant and passed to the groom, who then offers the money to his new wife.  Depending upon which country you are in, this could be seen as a gift from the groom to the bride, or as a symbol of the sharing of all earthly possessions from that moment forth.

Types of Ceremonies

As you start the process of wedding planning, you can cultivate an event that is perfect for your desires by selecting a venue in which you will feel most comfortable in. If religion and tradition are important to you, arranging a traditional wedding ceremony at a local church or historic landmark might be the best option for you. If you're a dreamer and a romantic at heart, contemplate an outdoor wedding on the beach, in a botanical garden, or near the base of a waterfall. Those who are feeling adventurous, however, may opt for nuptials at sea or at the top of a mountain. Wherever you dream of having your perfect wedding, the Caribbean has a venue to please your tastes.

Budgeting

Despite the fact that a Caribbean wedding is likely less expensive than an elaborate wedding in your home town, you still need to take the time to create an appropriate budget for your big day. To do this, take time to plan with your future spouse and generate a summary of all the things you believe you will spend money on, in order of necessity to you. Some typical ideas include the food, location, photographer, and dress, among many others. After doing a bit of quick investigation, assign an estimated price to each item, then total it up. This will supply you with a rough idea of how much you can expect to spend. Understand that this projected budget will change as you prepare for your special day, and the ordered list of key items will enable you to know immediately what things you can trim back on and which items you find to be most important.

Requirements

You might find that the requirements to obtain a marriage license in the Caribbean vary from the laws of your hometown, and even from country to country within the Caribbean. It is essential that you become aware of what is required before you embark on your journey. Essential documents in most countries include certified copies of birth certificates, death certificates, divorce certificates, adoption certificates, and photo identification.  Some locations also require blood tests and physical exams.

A destination wedding allows you to take your big day to the next level.  Whether you plan a wedding in a historic church or on the beach at dusk, just the fact that you are in the Caribbean will make your event all the more special.  If getting away from it all, gathering all of your family and friends together for a tropical vacation, and the idea of a built-in honeymoon appeals to you, a wedding on a Caribbean island might be perfect for you.

 

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