Getting there is half the fun. Enjoy the cruise ship experience to and from your Wedding in the Bahamas. Read this post to get the skinny on how to add a Wedding in the Bahamas to your Caribbean cruise vacation and the license loophole that makes it even easier!
Couples who love to cruise can enjoy a tropical island wedding ceremony and reception while visiting one of several Bahamian islands. But there are a few details you need to know first:
- Bahamian law requires every couple who intend to hold their official wedding ceremony on a Bahamian island to apply for a marriage license at a Registrar’s office after they have spent at least 24 hours in the Bahamas (proof of stay is required). Read our July 2021 post about “How to Obtain a Marriage License in the Bahamas.”
- Most popular cruise ship packages (e.g., Norwegian, Princess, Disney) do not offer multi-day stays at one Bahamian location so you’ll need to find a cruise that includes day one at a Bahamian location (e.g., Disney’s private Castaway Island) followed by a second day on one of the main Bahamian islands. As long as you’re in Bahamian waters the first day, it conforms with the 24-hour rule (above). Most cruises arrive in the morning so we can help you get your license upon arrival, host the ceremony during the day, and get you back to the ship in time for departure.
Luckily there is a simple way to get around these obstacles so you can have your cruise and wedding in the Bahamas too.
The Destination Wedding License Loophole
Couples who arrive by cruise ship and wish to host a wedding ceremony in the Bahamas can take advantage of a marriage license loophole: the symbolic ceremony.
What’s a symbolic ceremony? Basically, a couple obtains a marriage license, and has their simple exchange of vows presided over by a legal official like a judge or court clerk in the couple’s country/county of residence. After these legal licensing steps are fulfilled, a symbolic ceremony can take place anywhere. Essentially you are avoiding the license application requirements of a foreign country by fulfilling the requirements ahead of time in your hometown.
Our licensed wedding planner can help you create a magical symbolic wedding ceremony during your cruise ship excursion to the Bahamas. We handle everything from transportation of your guests from and to the cruise ship port to the wedding venue, floral arrangements, officiant, music, photography, wedding cake, and reception.
Cruise in – Get Wed – Cruise out
A cruise is a great way to make your wedding even more memorable. If you design a custom cruise experience, you get even more flexibility to arrive by ship, apply for and obtain the license, and enjoy your dream wedding in the Bahamas. You might want to consider adding a few extra days in the Bahamas to relax with guests during a full dinner reception at a tropical resort, celebrate your wedding night in a large, private suite that doesn’t sway, enjoy the local amenities and points of interest, and then cruise out in style.
Note: Bahamian Registrar offices are only open Monday – Friday so you must select a date when the cruise arrives on a weekday. Don’t worry, when you partner with Weddings in the Bahamas, we make sure every details is handled so you can relax and focus on celebrating your vows of love.
As an experienced wedding planner in the Bahamas, Anne Marie Williams knows how to get it done. You can rely on her to make the whole process easy with several inclusive Cruise Ship Wedding Packages or a custom experience that fits your island wedding vision.
Give us a call, toll free, at 1-877-232-5854 to discuss your cruise ship destination Bahama wedding ceremony today.