Many couples dreaming to create that “happily ever after” moment have come to Montego Bay Jamaica to start their new lives together in this tropical paradise.
Saying “I Do” may be the most important words you’ll utter in your lifetime. And what better place to celebrate this union than in Montego Bay? The warm and sunny year-round Montego Bay climate, the soothing sounds of the ocean and the lush scenes of the island help to create a memorable and profound wedding experience. A large number of couples that get married in Montego Bay return annually, or for milestone anniversaries, to renew their vows and celebrate their life together.
The wedding options in Montego Bay are diverse and plentiful. From the simple to the adventurous, any type of creative celebration can take place here.
Choose either formal attire or casual island-style attire, or go completely casual in your bathing suits and slippers (flip flops)! Arrange a fresh flower decor and symbolically adorn the parents of the bride and groom during the ceremony. Original island music, tropical flowers, ceremony on the beach … whatever your vision may be, Montego Bay Jamaica can accommodate. Montego Bay is a relatively easy location for getting married.
About Montego Bay
According to Wikipedia, Montego Bay is the capital of the parish of St. James and the second largest city in Jamaica by area and the fourth by population (after Kingston, Spanish Town and Portmore). Montego Bay is a tourist destination with duty-free shopping, a cruise line terminal and several beaches. The city is backed by low mountains.
Marriage Officer or Minister
You must choose a person to perform your ceremony who has a minister’s marriage license. This is a License granted by the Minister of Justice giving authority to a Marriage Officer to marry a couple, in Jamaica, in keeping with the Marriage Act. Marriages that take place according to Jamaican law are recognized in the United States as legal marriages. Persons getting married in Jamaica must be in country for 24 hours before the ceremony can be performed. No blood tests are required, according to the US Embassy’s website
A Minister’s (Marriage) License permits the Marriage Officer to perform the marriage ceremony and is valid for three months.
Legal Requirements for getting Married
According to Caribbeanweddings.com, The following requirements apply to getting married in Jamaica:
- Proof of citizenship by providing a certified copy of the birth certificate of each party containing the father’s name.
- Parent’s written consent if a party is under 18 years of age.
- Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce).
- Certified copy of a death certificate for widows or widowers.
- No blood test is required.
- Only a marriage officer licensed in Jamaica can legally marry a couple. An officiant of the couple’s choice may conduct the ceremony, but a local marriage officer must be present to sign the marriage form and make the official marriage pronouncement. Marriage officers can also provide witnesses for the ceremony.
- Italian Nationals must notify their embassy and have a certified copy of their marriage certificate forwarded to their embassy to be legalized and translated.
- French Canadians need a notarized translated copy of all documents and a photocopy of the original French documents.
How to Apply for a Marriage Certificate
In order to secure issuance of a marriage license, the couple should contact a wedding planner or the Registrar General’s Department approximately two weeks before the wedding with the following:
- Both parties’ birth certificates which must include the father’s name or information substantiating same
- Official photo identification such as a passport or driver’s license
- Occupations of bride and groom
- If either party was married before, certified final divorce papers or death certificate of deceased spouse
- The relevant fees
- Once the ceremony is performed, the marriage officer will present the bride with the signed marriage license. With that document, an official marriage certificate can be obtained through the Registrar General’s Department online service at the Registrar General’s Office in Jamaica.
Where to Apply for a Marriage Certificate
The Marriage Certificate is proof that the marriage has taken place and is issued after the marriage by the Registrar General’s Department. It should be applied for by the couple. (Applicants may visit the Registrar General’s Department’s website www.rgd.gov.jm or telephone 876-749-0550 or 876-619-1260 for further information on how to obtain your Marriage Certificate.)
Same-Sex Marriage in Montego Bay
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Montego Bay Jamaica.
Montego Bay – A Truly Romantic Place to Marry
If you’re planning a wedding, consider the amazing beauty of Montego Bay as your wedding destination. Montego Bay Jamaica is an unforgettable wedding and honeymoon destination at the same time. Exchange vows in the sand and be whisked away on an amazing sunset cruise, or stroll along the beach with your partner as you embrace your future.
However you decide to celebrate, whether on the beautiful beaches of Jamaica or in a chapel you are sure to have an amazing and memorable experience here in Jamaica.
Time of The Year, Holidays & Traffic
With a population of over 96,000 traffic & parking can sometimes be a challenge in some areas and you can never fully predict when things can take a turn for the worse.
Plan to get the ball rolling early, check out your wedding site before your scheduled day and make sure you keep to our schedule to avoid late/overtime fees or conflict with other events for which the minister & other performers may be obligated. Keep holidays in mind when choosing your Montego Bay wedding date.
Valentine’s Day can be a popular date for weddings in Montego Bay. New Year’s Eve is another busy wedding day in Montego Bay. It’s also party central for tourists, which means your out-of-town wedding guests may have trouble finding a flight or a hotel room unless you book well in advance. Keep in mind that reception sites may also be booked solid during these holidays. Weekends at popular locations (gardens, lawns, resorts) can cause parking delays, so beware! Plan to get there early or arrange a luxurious limousine and avoid the parking problems & driving in traffic.
It sounds too good to be true, but again, you just can’t go wrong. The island Jamaica, and specifically Montego Bay is distinguished for it’s very consistent weather pattern. Temperatures year-round are in the 70s and 80s during the day. Summer, from May through October, is warmer and drier than the winter, which runs November through April. The bulk of visitors travel to Montego Bay during those winter months, and don’t even realize they are in the so-called “wet” season. This is partially due to the fact it is likely to be only a short shower if any at all.
Montego Bay has beautiful, sunny weather most of the year. However, even though the summer months are popular for weddings, the weather here can be warm and humid and become uncomfortable if you’re dressed in a tuxedo or a long, heavy gown.
The sun can be really challenging to deal with (it wont necessarily melt the bride’s makeup or the icing on the wedding cake), but you will definitely notice it! Montego Bay temperatures rarely top the 90-degree mark. Temperatures are pleasant at evening or night, so you might want to think about a shady site or a late afternoon ceremony during the summer. During Spring & Fall, rain may be more common, but showers are usually brief and centered over the mountains. Most beaches are exposed with no shelter from wind or rain. Some hotels and other locations have gazebos. Some will provide umbrellas if needed. Check the weather for current conditions in Montego Bay.
Since Montego Bay only has a 24 hour waiting period for getting married, vacation weddings are a common occurrence. So, where can you find a wedding dress within 24 hours? Many brides simply purchase a beautiful Jamaican dress or simply come dressed in their bikini top and a wrap! Here are some of our recommended shops (coming soon). If your special day happens to be whatever day you feel like getting married, finding a dress doesn’t have to be a hassle or huge expense. And consider going sleeveless if it’s in the summer.
The most popular time of day for weddings is sunset, so be well advised to book early to secure a minister and site for sunset, which only occurs once per day in Montego Bay :). Ask for recommendations according to your expectations.
If you come to Montego Bay to get married, you don’t have to have a traditional ceremony in a chapel. Why not make it a wild and crazy experience? Our ministers offer custom services that cater to your special needs. You can get married on the beach, overlooking the dolphins at dolphin cove, under a waterfall, on a hilltop overlooking the Ocean, or even a total island vibe ceremony.
Lots of couples come to Montego Bay with a handful of loved ones and are married in a simple, romantic beach or garden ceremony. But virtually every option is available; and you may choose a more traditional setting, and marry in one of the city’s intimate chapels or celebrate in one of the very elegant hotel or resort ballrooms. Some Montego Bay weddings take place in ballrooms. It’s also common for couples to rent a villa, guest house or private home, be married there, and have a catered reception to follow. For more exquisite weddings, some couples charter a yacht for the wedding, marry at an attraction (say the mystic mountains), or even climb into a helicopter for a ceremony next to Dunn’s river falls.
The most important thing is to be certain to place your wedding in the hands of a consultant with experience on the city, and things will go much more smoothly. Attempting to arrange all of the details of your wedding — finding a florist, researching music options, or scouting locations, for example — is simply too difficult from thousands of miles away.
You will also need to choose to what extent you want your wedding to include cultural Jamaican touches. Although almost everyone includes Jamaican patois (Jamaican language) in their wedding ceremonies in Montego Bay, you can add other touches, like Jamaican musicians (or music) and Jamaican foods. Don’t be afraid to ask the crazy questions!
Hair and makeup
If you’re from out of town and you’re in Montego Bay for your wedding, you will probably want to find a hairstylist to help you prepare for the big day. Many hotels have salons or spas right on property that can help you with hair, makeup, manicures, pedicures and more to make your special day even more unforgettable. You may also want to try a local hair dresser (salon) in the City (which may also be more economical). In either case, be sure to book your appointment well in advance and keep those holidays and weekends in mind. Hairdressers (as they are called locally) aka salons can get booked up fast. There are also some services in town that will come directly to your hotel room to fix your hair for your wedding, but you will have to get clearance and find out if this is possible from the Hotel first. This is very important. On windy days, you may find your hair blowing all over the place, so consider style accordingly.
How to Save (Cheap Weddings)
Interested in spending less on your wedding so there’s more for the marriage? Book your wedding during the off-season. Search for local vendors and wedding venues and hotels to find out what time of the year their rates are the lowest.
Most places bank on the idea that weddings are stressful to plan. As a city known for its destination weddings Montego Bay is prepared for regular weddings. Whether you’ve been planning for this moment since you were a teen or you made your decision on your way, there are lots of hands in Montego Bay to make planning your big day a little easier.
From Italians, Swiss or even French, Montego Bay is an international city. So don’t worry if you don’t speak English. We have many Spanish hotels, managers, and staff in Montego Bay who will perform ceremonies in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Japanese and other languages. Check out our wedding destination guide (coming soon) to find locations that offer foreign language ceremonies.
If your wedding is spontaneous, or if you just want to upgrade your jewelry at the last minute, numerous jewelry stores around the city and in hotels offer a wide range of pricing options for rings or other wedding jewelry. The stores are very flexible and accommodating so don’t hesitate to call.
Hotel buffets are a great way to feed a large group without many of the usual hassles like choosing a menu or convincing your new family to at least try the amazing jerked chicken meals. Alternatively, reserve a private room and let your guests experience some of the best buffets in the world.
If your wedding package doesn’t include a cake, or if you want something a little more extravagant or special, sample some of the delectable bakeries in the city. Don’t worry about breaking your wedding budget. Sure these bakeries create wonderful one-of-a-kind treats, but they also have pre-made cakes available on short notice and at a lower price than the custom masterpieces. Hotel chefs and catering staffs can also provide cakes or you can ask your hotel concierge for some suggestions on local bakeries.
For smaller receptions, booking a hotel suite instead of a reception hall can save a lot of money. And you have the added bonus of having the room all night so your guests can sleep, dance or do anything else that makes the after wedding experience so fun and unforgettable.
Consultants / Wedding Planners
Most couples who are planning a destination wedding in Montego Bay hire a wedding planner or a consulting service to help them out. Most of the hotels however will have dedicated staff to assist and address your every need leading up to and on your big day. However there are several excellent services to guide couples through the process, from recommending vendors to completing paperwork, to answering questions. The consultant can find an officiant to perform your service, for example, even if you are from diverse backgrounds and want to be married on the beach. Consultants know all the best “secret” spots for weddings, including public beaches and gardens that tourists have not discovered. You will find that many consultants offer packages that include everything from the reception site to the flowers to the music. For some couples, this is perfect. Others may want more control of the details. Be sure to ask about what is possible.
As said before, if you are planning to be married at a hotel or a resort, you will find that there is usually a wedding expert on staff to help you out. This person will become an invaluable resource for your wedding plans.
Your Wedding Guests. Guest Care
Destination weddings in general, and Montego Bay destination weddings in particular, tend to have fewer guests than those close to home (indeed, this is a benefit for couples determined to have an intimate wedding celebration). It’s simply harder for people to make the trip; and there is way less guilt involved in keeping the guest list short. That said, keep in mind that when you invite people to come to a wedding on an amazing tropical island, they may indeed gladly accept your invitation.
So, what are your obligations to the people who have agreed to travel thousands of miles to your wedding? The bride and groom are not normally responsible for paying for guests’ hotel rooms and/or airfare, although if you have the means to pay for hotel accommodations, it is a wonderful gift to your guests. But you most certainly should help out by suggesting hotels (recommending them because you know them and have visited them — or because you have hired a capable planner/consultant familiar with local resources) in a variety of price ranges. Keep in mind that prices do go down during the off season, with the exception of the holiday season. If you are expecting a relatively large number of guests, you may be able to get discounts on things like rental cars and hotel rooms, and it may also be possible to rent an entire villa or guest house, so be sure to do your homework.
During the days before the wedding, it would be nice to plan events and outings to bring your guests and both sides of the family together. Let guests pick and choose between things like a golf trip, a night on the town, or a trip to an attraction (including Bob Marley’s home, Dunn’s river falls or Dolphin Cove). The shared jokes and adventures put everyone at ease, and your wedding itself will be more fun for everyone.
If you’re married in Montego Bay, where else do you go for your honeymoon? Montego Bay of course! Naturally, most couples stay in the island after their wedding! You just got married in one of the world’s number one honeymoon destinations. You may want to travel the city or go to another part of the island, either to explore something new or simply to escape the maddening crowd of family and friends who have traveled to your wedding. Then again, many couples just stay where they are and enjoy the company of their best-loved pals. Best of all, the couples who have done it here, reminisce on the fact that every anniversary brings a new excuse to consider a trip back to the island.
Montego Bay may be known for weddings, but we think honeymoons are just as important. Our city has some of the most amazing all-inclusive hotels and suites around. Sleep (or don’t sleep) in style with gorgeous views of the city, Jacuzzi tubs and much more. Any hotel concierge can also help set up romantic touches in your room like strawberries, champagne, rose petals or whipped cream.
All the best. Have fun, and more importantly have a fun marriage.