When you consider all the world-class beaches, succulent seafood, and superb resorts Jamaica has to offer, it’s no wonder this Caribbean island is one of the world’s most popular places for weddings. If you want to tie the knot on this tropical paradise, then there are a few things you need to know beforehand. Below, we’ll go through all of the Jamaica wedding requirements that are essential to consider.
Mandatory Paperwork for Marriage
In terms of paperwork, here are the Jamaica wedding requirements everyone needs to organize:
- a Form of Declaration;
- a Minister’s Marriage License form;
- Birth Certificates from both people;
- Passports or Driver’s Licenses.
On the Form of Declaration you’ll have to fill in the names, occupations, ages, and residences of yourself and your significant other. Once completed, a Declarant has to sign this form in front of a Jamaican Justice of the Peace. Jamaican officials allow close friends or family members to act as the Declarant. You can pick up a Declaration Form at the Ministry of Justice’s Kingston office or print it off of the Ministry’s website.
You’ll also need to get a Minister’s Marriage License form at the Ministry of Justice’s Customer Service Desk at 61 Constant Spring Road in Kingston. You cannot get this form online and they cannot mail it to you. Once you have this form, you’ll need to pay $4,000.00 Jamaican dollars for a stamp duty payment at Kingston’s Stamp Duty Office on 111 Harbour Street and send the paperwork out. After all the necessary paperwork is handed into the Ministry of Justice, you can expect to get your wedding license within about one day.
By the way, it is not a part of Jamaica’s wedding requirements to send in a blood sample.
Special Documents for Teens, Widowers, and Divorcés
There are additional Jamaica wedding requirements for widowers, people under the age of 18, and divorcés. First off, widowers have to include a copy of their former spouse’s Death Certificate. Divorcés must send in a copy of their Final Divorce Decree. Lastly, anyone under the age of 18 must travel to Jamaica with a parent or legal guardian who must sign a Letter of Consent in front of a Justice of the Peace.
Translate all Documents into English
Another important thing to keep in mind is that your wedding documentation has to be in English. If you aren’t fluent in English, you’ll need a reputable translator to handle all your documentation. Your translator will also have to provide evidence of authenticity and his/her certifications in your application to your country’s embassy in Kingston. It’s also important to get your documentation legalized with your home country’s Jamaican embassy if your first language isn’t English.
Is There a Waiting Period in Jamaica?
As long as you’ve applied for your marriage ahead of time, you only have to wait 24 hours once you arrive in Jamaica to get married. You cannot, however, just come over to Jamaica and get married the next day without submitting a form for a marriage license to the Ministry of Justice. If you walk-in to the Ministry of Justice and have all the official paperwork necessary, officials could get you your Marriage License within three hours.
How to Change a Marriage License to a Certificate?
Once you have a Marriage License, you can legally get married through a Marriage Officer in Jamaica within a three-month time period. Afterwards, however, you must go the Registrar General’s office and get official Marriage Certificate. If you can’t make it to the Registrar General’s office, you could go online to apply for the certificate or call them at (876) 749-0550. It usually takes between seven business days to one month to complete a Marriage Certificate.
Please keep in mind that while anyone can officiate a wedding in Jamaica, only a recognized Marriage Officer can legally marry you and your sweetheart. While most members of Jamaica’s Christian priesthood are Marriage Officers, there are a few exceptions. You can easily find out who is an official Marriage Officer by either contacting your Wedding Planner or the Registrar General’s office.
Special Hotel Policies for Weddings
Since Jamaica is such a popular place for weddings, many hotels have dedicated wedding coordinators to help your ceremony run smoothly. If you have a hotel in mind for your wedding, then you need to check out how many weeks notice your hotel needs before your wedding. By the way, it’s only legal for wedding ceremonies to take place in Jamaica between 6AM and 8PM.
On LGBTQ Marriages
Jamaica does not recognize LGBTQ marriages. Indeed, homosexual intercourse between two men is against Jamaican law. Although it’s not illegal, most locals will not like it if they see public displays of affection between gay couples in public places. Sadly, gay bashings aren’t uncommon in Jamaica. While you might find a few exceptions to this cultural taboo at international resorts, we don’t recommend LGBTQ tourists to travel to Jamaica as their wedding.
The Best Jamaican Marriage Cities for Foreigners
Now that you know all the Jamaica wedding requirements, where are you going to get marriage? While you should put some serious time and research looking into the perfect city for your needs, let’s here are the three most popular cities: Negril, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios. Two of the highest rated hotels for weddings in Jamaica are Negril’s The Cave and Montego Bay’s Round Hill Hotel and Villas. All three of these cities have plenty of resorts with decades of experience hosting weddings for guests from all around the world.
Final Tips Before Your Jamaican Wedding
Hopefully this article on Jamaica wedding requirements has helped you figure out how to make your dream wedding and honeymoon a reality. If you need more exhaustive information on Jamaica’s wedding policies or want to take a look at a sample Form of Declaration, please feel free to check out the Jamaican Ministry of Justice’s official webpage. You can also read the entire Jamaican Wedding Act.