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Symbolic vs. Legal Weddings in Jamaica

Updated: Jan 24


romantic beach wedding

If you're dreaming of tying the knot on our beautiful island of Jamaica, you might be wondering how to make it official.


Can you have a legal wedding in Jamaica or can you just have a symbolic ceremony?


Well, don't worry, because we're here to help you figure it out. In this blog post, we'll explain the difference between a legal wedding and a symbolic wedding ceremony, and give you some tips on how to choose the best option for your destination wedding.


Symbolic Wedding In Jamaica


bride and groom holiding hands similing

A symbolic wedding is a ceremony that is not recognized as legal in Jamaica or your home country. It is usually performed by a non-denominational minister or a friend who can officiate your vows.


A symbolic wedding is a good option for couples who are already legally married in their country and want to have a wedding ceremony in Jamaica, or for those who plan to have a legal ceremony at a later date. A symbolic wedding can also be a way to renew your vows with your loved one.


bride and groom Book a consult with your Jamaican Travel Partner text

Legal Wedding In Jamaica


bride signing marriage license

A legal marriage that is recognized as valid in Jamaica and your home country, requires you to obtain a marriage license from the Jamaican Ministry of Justice and have your ceremony performed by a licensed marriage officer.


A legal wedding also involves some fees and paperwork that you need to complete before and after your wedding day. A legal wedding is a good option for couples who want to have their official marriage in Jamaica and enjoy the benefits of being legally married.


So, which one should you choose? Well, that depends on your personal preference, budget and time.


Pros & Cons of a Symbolic Wedding

Pros:

  • You can save money on fees and paperwork.

  • You can have more flexibility on the date, time and location of your ceremony.

  • You can customize your ceremony according to your style and beliefs

  • You can avoid the hassle of dealing with legal formalities.


Cons:

  • You need to be legally married in your country before or after your symbolic ceremony.

  • You need to present your wedding certificate as proof of marriage for a symbolic ceremony.

  • You may not be able to access some benefits or rights as a married couple in Jamaica or your home country.

Pros & Cons of a Legal Wedding

Pros:

  • You can have your official marriage in Jamaica and enjoy the benefits of being legally married.

  • You can have a certificate of marriage issued by the Jamaican government.

  • You can have your marriage recognized in Jamaica and your home country.

Cons:

  • You need to pay fees and complete paperwork for obtaining a marriage license and certificate.

  • You need to have your ceremony performed by a licensed marriage officer.

  • You need to follow some rules and regulations regarding the date, time and location of your ceremony.

If you're interested in legally tying the knot in Jamaica there are a few things you'll need.

  • Notarized copies of the birth certificates of the bride and groom

  • If Divorced, a final Divorce decree is require, stamped and sealed by a notary public.

  • If a widow/widower the death certificate of the former spouse is required; stamped and sealed by a notary public.

  • Photo ID ( Picture Page of Passports or Drivers Licence); stamped and sealed by a notary public.

  • Name Changes or Adoption Papers; stamped and sealed by a notary public.


Ideally you'll want to have your documents notarized three months before wedding date.


You'll also need to be in Jamaica for at least 48 hours before the ceremony.


Once you've decided to have either a legal or symbolic wedding, you can move on to more exciting stuff!


wedding party dancing

For a hassle free wedding experience we recommend exploring wedding packages offered through resorts and hotels, which will free up a ton of planning time and offer a straightforward budgeting option.


Looking for some support with the planning process? We specialize in helping busy couples find the perfect resort or villa for their destination wedding in Jamaica. Use this link to book a complimentary consultation.


We would be honored to help you figure out everything you need for an amazing destination wedding! (Legal or Symbolic).





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