In the Cayman Islands, marriage is regulated by the Marriage Law. This law sets down how a wedding must be carried out, and by whom. Anyone conducting a wedding is the Cayman Islands must be legally authorized to do so, by the Governor.
There are different processes for visitors and residents. A resident is described as someone who has lived in the Cayman Islands for more than 15 days. Residents have a different process to go through, they must have their details published for 7 days, through a process called “posting of the Banns of Marriage”.
Visitors must be married by a “Special Marriage License” issued under the authority of the Governor of the Cayman Islands. The Special Marriage License costs US$250. It is easier all around if you get your wedding celebrant or wedding planner to obtain this on your behalf.
If one party to the wedding is a resident, and the other a visitor, then the wedding is performed under the authority of Banns of Marriage. If you are in any doubt, contact Simply Weddings. We will be happy to answer your questions, whether or not we are your wedding celebrants.
Residents and Visitors MUST provide the same documentation in order to be married, these are
- A valid passport ( or birth certificate and government issued ID such as a drivers license.)
- A final divorce decree if you have been married before
- A spousal death certificate if your former spouse is deceased.
Your wedding celebrant, also called a Civil Registrar or a Marriage Officer can be the best person to assess your documents and to advise if they are in order. Once your documents are in order then your wedding celebrant will agree to perform your ceremony and register your marriage in the public records office called the General Registry. Most wedding celebrants will apply for and receive the Special Marriage License for visiting couples, usually because it is the most convenient way for all concerned.
Residents should have a preliminary meeting with their Civil Registrar or Marriage Officer and provide the required documentation. In addition, they will provide to their Civil Registrar a signed and witnessed Notice of Marriage, from which the Banns of Marriage are prepared. Your Civil Registrar will walk you through these steps at your preliminary meeting.
Many marriage officers in the Cayman Islands are Ministers of religion, and they could have other requirements based on their churches teachings. However, they must all publish Banns of Marriage in some form.
There are three things which must happen in every wedding in the Cayman Islands. In short form, these are called, “The Question”, the “Vows of Intention” and the “Pronouncement.”
After the ceremony, your wedding celebrant, your two witnesses and yourselves will sign three documents. Two copies of the Marriage Register and the Certified Copy of the Marriage Register.
Here are the answers to the three most frequently asked questions about signing.
- The bride always signs her maiden name (and not her married name) on these documents
- Your witnesses must be over the age of 18 years. They can be anyone you choose, including your family.
- FOR RESIDENTS The witnesses to your marriage are not necessarily the same witnesses as those on your Notice of Marriage.
Your wedding celebrant will give you the signed Certified Copy of the Marriage Register after the ceremony. Of the two additional copies, your wedding celebrant will file one, called the Duplicate Copy with the General Registry, the other is filed in the wedding celebrant’s Marriage Book.
However, the documentation for your marriage is not yet complete, and this next paragraph is VERY IMPORTANT.
Once the Duplicate Copy of Marriage Register is filed by your wedding celebrant, a Registered Marriage Certificate can be issued.
Simply Weddings includes the Registered Marriage Certificate in every wedding package sold, ( not including residents, unless special arrangements have been made with our office).
We provide a service for couples who have lost, or otherwise not received their Registered Marriage Certificate. For a fee we will obtain the document, and mail it to you. Please contact us for more information.
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