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Getting Married on Antigua and Barbuda

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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 ...

Get married - Congratulations!!

Wedding Antigua

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.

Events Management Antigua specializes in creative development and flawless execution of numerous types of events.


-- New Wedding Package Offers More Than Ever For Same Price --

St. John’s, Antigua; April 2003 -- Whether lovers are tying the knot for the first time or renewing their vows, individual attention, spectacular settings and excellent value all combine to make Jolly Beach Resort the perfect choice for a dream wedding. This all-inclusive resort’s Wedding Package now offers couples more than ever for the same great price, $595.00. There’s more: should family and friends come along, and (apart from the bridal couple) occupy five rooms for seven nights apiece, the wedding package is on the house.

The Jolly Beach Wedding Package covers all the legal requirements, including a short trip into town to have the license issued, the fee for the license, the services of a marriage officer, witnesses if needed, and a Wedding Certificate valid in the U.S., Canada and the U.K among many others. There's a bouquet for the bride and a buttonhole for the groom, a Caribbean wedding cake, a tray of hors d’oeuvres and a bottle of champagne to toast the future. And effective March 2003 there’s a new feature: the hotel will e-mail a wedding photo provided by the happy couple and they’ll also get an announcement to their choice of 10 people and a hometown newspaper, plus two bottles of massage oils, a bottle of wine and an intimate, personally served dinner for two. Just for fun, Jolly Beach has thrown in a $50 voucher per couple for any Wadadli Cats cruise, two Jolly Beach logo mugs and “Just Married” shirts. Special features from still photography or a video, to a steel band, or a horse and carriage for the bride and groom can be arranged at additional cost.

It's not hard to see why Jolly Beach is a popular choice for lovers from several continents. The property sits in 40 acres of gardens, boasting a one-mile stretch of pristine white sand beach, and offering a choice of two romantic gazebos for the perfect ceremony – one high above the huge fantasy pool looking out to sea, the other just steps away from the sand and surf. While these are the most-chosen sites, any desired location on the 40-acre property is easily accommodated. Wedding parties staying at Jolly Beach enjoy a wedding dinner, or a tropical reception at one of the resort’s five restaurants. 

The staff at Jolly Beach adore brides, grooms, ceremonies and all the trimmings, and want to take arrangements in hand so every couple can relax and enjoy their wedding in paradise. A call to wedding coordinator Beverly King at the resort (1-268-462-0061, fax: 1-268-562-2302) or a visit to the “Wedding Information Request Form” on the Jolly Beach website ( is all it takes to signal your interest. 

There is no residency requirement to be married in Antigua, but the resort requires one working day prior to the ceremony to process necessary documents. Here’s what couples need to have: passports and birth certificates; if necessary, originals of a Decree Absolute for parties who are divorced, Death and Marriage Certificates in the case of a widow or widower, or Deed Poll in the case of a name change. A notarized affidavit of consent signed by both parents is required for anyone under the age of 18. 

Best of all, even if you choose to get married at home, Jolly Beach's all-inclusive format delivers all the resort offers for rates that make it the perfect honeymoon getaway. Rates for a Standard Room start at $140 per person April 16, 2003 through December 20, 2003 based on double occupancy and include tax and service. 

For more information about planning a wedding and honeymoon at Jolly Beach call the resort toll free at 866-905-6559, 800-652-2962 for reservations in the US and Canada or visit

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