Getting Married in Jamaica

Jamaica flagWelcome to our guide to getting married in Jamaica. Before you go into depth about the specifics for your wedding in Jamaica we have a couple of articles that we suggest you read first.

jamaicaJamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and is the land of white sandy beaches, home to the Blue Mountains and the birth place of Bob Marley.

Historical Kingston and Montego Bay are places we all have heard about and can boast of its multitudes of clubs, restaurants and street markets. 

Rum, coffee, rice-and-peas, cricket and colonial towns, with sleepy retreats and funky beach bars and the chance to play on world class golf courses is just a few of the wonderful and delightful sights, sounds and experiences that lies in wait for you in Jamaica.



Residency Stay

UK residences that wish to marry in Jamaica can do so after only a 24 hours period of arrival on the Island providing a marriage licence has already been granted and all the necessary documentation is available.  No blood tests are required to marry in Jamaica.

Marriage Ceremony

The Law in Jamaica states that marriage ceremonies must be performed before 8.00pm and two witnesses are required to be on hand to sign the marriage certificate.  Weddings are held every day on the island.

Civil Ceremony

Miles of deserted beach areas, beautiful landscapes with exotic and dazzling colours certainly makes an impressive backdrop to a civil ceremony in Jamaica.

Registrars Offices

If you are planning on having a beach wedding in Jamaica the Registrar's Office will have to be contacted for specific rules regarding planning. They will also provide information regarding marriage licenses and marriage certificates.

The Ministry of National Security
Mutual Life Building
2 Oxford Road
Kingston 5
Jamaica

Non-denominational Marriage Officers who officiate will also be able to provide your witnesses if you do not have your own.  Expect to pay anything from $50 to $250.00 depending on your requirements.



Obtaining your Marriage License

bride groom beachYou will need to apply to the Ministry of National Security for your marriage licence.  If you have a wedding coordinator they could do this for you as it can take up to six weeks for the licence to arrive. The cost of the Jamaican marriage licence is approximately US $80. 

All of the following documentation is required.  They must be either originals or notarised copies and in English:

  • Full names of the bride and groom.
  • Full names of the parents from both the bride and the groom.
  • Birth certificates of the bride and groom. (Certificate must include father’s name).
  • Passports of the bride and groom.
  • Occupation of bride and groom.
  • Divorce paper(s) (if applicable).
  • Written consent from parents if under 18.
  • Certified copy of Death Certificate(s) (if applicable).
  • Change of Name Deed (is applicable).
  • Adoption Certificate (if adopted).

For Italian nationals who get married in Jamaica they must notify their embassy and forward a certified copy of their marriage certificate for translation and to be legalised.

French Canadians will need a notarised translated copy of all documents as well photocopies of the original French documents.

US and Canadian citizens are not required to produce a passport but will need a birth certificate or proof of citizenship with a photo ID.

You can apply for your wedding licence at:

The Ministry of National Security and Justice
12 Ocean Blvd
Kingston
Jamaica
Tel: (876) 922-0080 or (876) 906-4909

Office hours are
8.30am-5.00pm Monday-Thursday
8.30am-4.00pm Fridays.

Obtaining your Marriage Certificate

After your ceremony you will be given a copy of the Marriage Register that was signed by the Marriage Officer.  This shows proof the marriage took place but it is NOT a legal document and can not be used to conduct any business or as a form of proof of marriage.

You can apply for the marriage certificate yourself with the express service available; your marriage officer or the hotel wedding planner can tell you how to proceed with this.  Or you may leave it in the hands of the marriage officer/wedding planner to apply on your behalf.  The time can take from 7 working days to one month to be processed. 

If your country’s language is not English, your documents MUST be legalised by your Embassy in Jamaica

Wedding Planner/ Marriage Officer

jamaica bride and groomIt could be very beneficial to hire the services of a wedding planner or marriage officer.  Different prices will apply so shop around and find those with good recommendations.  Most of the hotels in Jamaica offer wedding packages to suit all your needs from a small and intimate wedding to a large lavish reception.

If you decide to go down the route of having a Marriage Officer ensure all COPIES of all documents are sent by courier at least 6 weeks before your wedding.  They in turn will then fill out all the forms that are required to obtain your wedding licence.  They will arrange for your ceremony to take place in a venue of your choosing and if you wish, they can attend to all your weddings needs such as flowers and catering. 

Do not forget to take all ORIGINAL paperwork with you otherwise your wedding will not take place!

Jamaican Wedding Cake

The traditional Jamaican Wedding Cake is dark and rich like a Christmas pudding, made with dried fruits such as prunes, raisins, dates, currants, cherries, etc. Fruits are finely chopped and marinated in wine and rum for weeks making a wonderful blend to form the base of the cake mixture.

Cakes can have one, two or three tiers or how many you want.  Because of the richness of the cake it will keep fresh for long enough to mail it in small boxes to those friends and relatives who were unable to attend your wedding.

Traditionally the cake is completed with a crisp white frosting and fresh flowers placed on and around.

 

IMPORTANT

Whilst every effort to ensure that the above information is correct, it may be subject to change at any time. Please always check with the official authorities before proceeding. If you notice some outdated information please let us know.