Getting married on the Caribbean island of Antigua, West Indies
So you are considering getting married in the sunny south? Perhaps a tropical island?
Then we have the Caribbean island for you. Antigua is a fantastic place to exchange vows and has - for many years - been voted the number one wedding destination in the Caribbean. Everything is here for you and your partner to tie the knot.
Antigua is blessed with a great selection of Marriage Officers, planners, photographers, hotels that cater to couples to be wed... As well, there is a wonderful selection of florists, hair stylists, make-up artists, caterers, DJs, family accommodations.. Best of all, you can get married just about anywhere. Many churches of different denominations are available to visitors and Antigua's Marriage Officers are available for non-religious nuptials, which is amazing because Antigua and Barbuda are so beautiful, you could have a very difficult time deciding just exactly WHERE yoy to have the ceremony.
Family wedding on Turner's Beach, Antigua. Photo credit Robby Breadner.
Getting Married in Antigua and Barbuda
More and more people are getting married while on vacation, and it's now easy to do in Antigua and Barbuda. Even cruise ship visitors can now get married. There are three simple steps: Visit the Ministry of Justice located on lower Nevis Street in downtown St. John's with your valid passports, complete the application and pay applicable fees. Confirm a date and time for the ceremony with a Marriage Officer, and ...
What are the fees?
First, there is a registration fee of US$40 that must be paid at the courthouse in the new government buildings on Queen Elizabeth Highway. The application fee for the special marriage license is US$150, and the Marriage Officer's fee is US$50.
How about documents? What do we need?
You both will need valid passports as proof of citizenship. If either of you have been previously married, then bring along the original divorce decree or, in the case of a widow or widower, the original marriage and death certificates.
For a copy of the marriage license application, please click here for the pdf form.
Are there any other legal requirements?
Both parties must be over 15, if under 18, written authorization from your parents or guardians is required. It is important that all documents presented are original or certified original by the issuing departments or offices. Ensure that all documents are in your legal name, and provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name. Your marriage must also be solemnized or celebrated in the presence of two or more witnesses, apart from the Marriage Officer. (Just ask a guest or two to do this for you).
Is the marriage ceremony legal?
Of course, it is both legal and binding. Additionally, consent must be expressed by both parties to accept each other as husband and wife.
Can I be married in a church?
Yes, but it requires the permission from the church authorities where you wish to be married. Have your pastor contact the church to establish the requirements. Some churches ask that the couple attend pre-nuptial consultations. Allow some extra time if planning a church ceremony.
Where can I get a list of churches in Antigua?
Contact the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism for a list of churches on the island.
Can my hotel assist with the arrangements?
Certainly, as most hotels in Antigua and Barbuda offer wedding and honeymoon packages. Check with your travel agent or the Antigua and Barbuda Department of Tourism for more information.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs is open Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 4:30pm and on Fridays from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Flights which arrive into Antigua after 3:00pm will not permit couples to get to the Ministry of Justice in time to apply for the Special Marriage License. In such cases, the couple can arrange for the marriage to take place either the next day after completing the application process, or, on any available day thereafter.