How to Legally Get Married In The Bahamas
Residency Requirement And Waiting Period
You do not have to be Residents of The Bahamas to get married in The Bahamas. To marry in the Bahamas, the partners are required to be in the Bahamas for at least 24 hours prior to applying for a marriage license.
Intent To Marry
With a marriage license, a bride and groom may marry immediately. However, if they want a Catholic ceremony, the Archdiocese of Nassau requires a Pre-Cana marriage preparation program that may take six months to complete before the ceremony.
The wedding ceremony may be religious or civil as long as the officiant is authorized to perform ceremonies by the government of the Bahamas. While Catholic services must be performed within a church, other religious and civil officiants will perform ceremonies in a variety of inspired locations. Two witnesses are required. According to Statute Law, either before or during the ceremony, each of the partners must state to each other, “I do solemnly declare that I know not of any lawful impediment why I, A.B., may not be joined in matrimony to C.D.” They also must say to the other, “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, A.B., do take (or have now taken) C.D. to be my lawful wife (or husband).”
The Marriage Certificate
The officiant is responsible for handing over a duplicate copy of the marriage certificate to the newlyweds after the wedding. Another copy goes to the Registrar General for filing.
For nonresidents to obtain a license to marry in the Bahamas, they must fill out an application and submit it to the Registrar General’s Department and undergo an interview with a registrar or one of five designated officers. A couple must present immigration cards to prove they have been in the country for 24 hours, picture identification such as a driver’s license with birth certificate or a passport, divorce decrees or death certificates that show the dissolution of previous unions and an affidavit of marital status sworn to in the Bahamas.
Marrying in the Bahamas puts a couple in some good company. Grammy winner Jewel and rodeo star Ty Murray tied the knot there in August 2008, according to People magazine. And in July 2010, Oscar winners Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem wed in an intimate ceremony at the island home of a friend.