FROM THE LOCATIONS TO THE LEGAL PROCEDURES...
Antigua's a great place to tie the knot. We've won awards, you know, including the 'Romance Capital of the Caribbean'! Not only are we steeped in romance from our dreamy beaches to our blushing sunsets, but our hotels and photographers play their parts too. And with no residency requirements, you can be exchanging your vows on one of our idyllic, palm-fringed beaches in hours...
PROFESSIONAL WEDDING PLANNERS
Whether you're staying in a hotel, villa or apartment, Antigua's professional wedding planners will be delighted to assist you with everything from the legal formalities to the champagne and flowers. Hotel wedding packages are also readily available, special group deals making it easy for family and friends to join you in this (hopefully!) once-in-a-lifetime event.
You can even get married in one of our quaint island churches, provided you allow additional time and fulfil certain formalities. These include getting permission from the individual church authorities and sometimes attending pre-nuptial consultations. Definitely allow some extra time if you're planning a church ceremony.
SPAS & BEAUTY SALONS
Whether you're a bride, a groom or a guest, Antigua's full-service hotel spas and beauty salons will ensure you look your best on your special day. Their long list of treatments includes everything from bridal make-up and hairstyling to seaweed scrubs and detoxing body wraps.
And if you really want to make the most of your Antiguan wedding day, why don't the two of you indulge in a distinctly tropical treat? Maybe your kingsize bed strewn with freshly-picked petals? Champagne and canapés round your infinity-edge pool? A wedding breakfast served on the edge of the Caribbean Sea? Or simply a sunset couples massage guaranteed to get you in a romantic mood?
SPECIALIST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS
Wherever you decide to tie the knot, Antigua's specialist wedding photographers are looking forward to capturing all your special moments. The increasingly popular (and aptly named!) 'Trash the Dress' photo sessions at the end of the day will ensure you get the most out of your beautiful wedding dress. Wedding ceremony locations include everywhere from Antigua's sun-kissed sands and pool decks to our breeze-cooled jetties and lush, tropical gardens.
Obviously, Antigua's also an ideal honeymoon destination. Indeed, thanks to our halcyon climate, idyllic beaches and exclusive hotels, our twin-island nation is likely to provide such a splendid start to married life that you'll want to keep the romantic momentum alive by returning for your anniversary!
THE LEGAL PROCEDURES
The legal procedure starts at the Ministry of Legal Affairs on Queen Elizabeth Highway in St. John's. You must take both passports and a copy of your divorce papers, if relevant. There will be a friendly interview before your licence will be issued. The cost is EC$405 (US$150).
The next step is a visit to the Registrar General's office which is in the old Treasury Building at the top of High Street in St. John's . The fee is EC$100 (US$40) and please note this is only for registering at the Court House. An official marriage certificate costs EC$25 (US$10).
If the wedding is performed outside the Court House there is a Marriage Officer fee of EC$270 (US$100). The location is left solely up to you, although most people choose to get married in their hotel or villa grounds and, of course, on the beach. Your marriage must be solemnised in the presence of two or more witnesses. You can ask fellow hotel guests to do this for you.
THE DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED...
• Valid passports as proof of citizenship.
• Original divorce decree or, in the case of a widow or widower, the original marriage and death certificate.
• If there has been a name change, provide affidavits in cases where you are known by another name.
• Both parties must be over 15. If under 18, written authorisation from parents or guardians is required.
NB: All documents should be original or certified original by the issuing departments.
The Ministry of Legal Affairs is open Monday to Thursday from 8am to 4:30 pm and on Fridays from 8am to 3pm. Tel: 462-0017
The Registrar General's office is open Monday to Thursday from 8:30am to 3pm and on Fridays from 8:30am to 2pm. Tel: 462-3744