Bahamas is every bride’s dream thanks to its pristine white sand beaches, clear, turquoise waters, and friendly locals. The popular destination is an excellent spot for a destination wedding, especially for couples who enjoy different water sports activities like kayaking, exploring islands, and sampling cuisines from various parts of the world.
Planning a Bahamas wedding can be daunting if you have no idea on where to start.
Our detailed guide list some of the best Bahamas wedding packages for your destination wedding. We also list some tips on how to get there, the best time to visit, and how to budget for the trip.
About Destination Weddings in Bahamas
Thinking of having a Bahamas wedding? Find out why this country should be top on your list.
Why Get Married in Bahamas
Bahamas ranks among the top ten in-demand countries for travel. The study by Parksleepfly analysed Google search data for flights, vacations, and hotels, and found that The Bahamas came in at number seven as the fastest growing vacation spot.
Here are some more reasons to get married in the Bahamas.
Nothing Beats the Islands and Beaches
The Bahamas has over 600 islands to explore and the ten best beaches in the Caribbean. You can stop by The Berry Islands for a swim, head to Nassau and Paradise island for a mix of native tropical and city features, or stop at the Long Island and view the stunning coral reefs and cliffs.
All these islands have the perfect wedding setting whether you’re looking for an intimate setup or one that you can invite your family and friends to.
Every bride dreams of a memorable experience on their big day and the Bahamas has everything you need to make this a reality. You can choose to get married in a castle on the highest point of the island, add birds or dolphins to your ceremony, or exchange vows near the lost city of Atlantis with the blue sea as your backdrop.
Additionally, you and your guests can explore activities like beach bonfires, dinner cruises, glass bottom boat adventures, snorkeling tours, and biking.
Having a Bahamas wedding is the best way to create a once in a lifetime experience.
Average Cost of a Destination Wedding in Bahamas
The average cost of a destination wedding in the Bahamas is $4,500. However, the costs can go as high as $11,000 for an extravagant wedding or be as low as $2,000 for those looking for a budget wedding package.
Ultimately, the average depends on your budget and taste preferences as the costs differ depending on the resort and the island.
The Best Bahamas Wedding Venues & Bahamas Wedding Packages
Some of the best venues and packages to consider for your Bahamas wedding are:
Sandals Royal Bahamian
Stunning pristine sandy beaches, elegant suites, and a myriad of activities define Sandals Royal Bahamian. Its private off-shore island provides the perfect setup for a secluded and intimate ceremony.
The bespoke resort was once the private club for the Duchess and Duke of Windsor, which means it features a lot of European architecture. Sandals Royal Bahamian is famous for its love Nest Suites with swim up pools, perfect for couples. The all-new island village is great for couples who like privacy, while the renovated suites are only a few steps from the sandy shores, giving you a real island experience.
You can also cure your cravings at one of the ten restaurants, take a dip in one of the seven pools, or participate in non-motorized water sports.
Sandals Royal Bahamian also makes a perfect honeymoon destination, allowing you to enjoy your entire wedding experience in one place.
A wedding package at the Sandals Royal Bahamian include:
- Wedding planner
- Preparation of marriage documents
- Picturesque wedding location
- Pre-recorded music
- One-hour wedding cocktail reception
- Mimosa breakfast in bed on a morning of your choice
- Honeymoon dinner at a specialty restaurant
- Complimentary wedding photo
Riu Palace Paradise Island
Riu Palace Paradise Island is another stunning resort on Paradise Island. The adult-only hotel can only accommodate 45 people, which makes it perfect for couples to celebrate an initiate ceremony with close family and friends.
Additionally, couples can choose to celebrate a civil ceremony or a symbolic ceremony at the hotel. Enjoy an extensive range of cuisine that consists of delicious aperitifs, patisserie, and snacks at the different restaurants, relax at the Renova Spa that has a whirlpool bath, or enjoy some sports like scuba diving, windsurfing, and kayaking.
You and the guests can also explore Nassau’s tourist attractions, landscapes, and beaches.
Riu Palace Paradise Island has a free collection wedding package that includes:
- Bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere
- Recorded music
- Wedding cake and sparkling wine
- Semi-private dinner at a specialty restaurant
- Romantic room decoration on a wedding night
- 10% discount for the couple on all spa treatments
Sandals Emerald Bay
Sandals Emerald Bay should be your go to spot if you’re looking for the perfect blend of romance and luxury. The adult-only resort boasts over 400 acres along white sandy beaches. Couples can choose from the different locations available for their wedding ceremony.
You can choose to get married indoors, by the seaside gazebo, garden, or by the beach overlooking the turquoise water.
In your free time, you can sample some delicious food from one of the seven stunning restaurants, swim at the zero-entry pool with a fire pit, or play some golf at the Greg Norman-designed course. You can also enjoy some relaxing time at the Exuma luxury spa or go out diving and boating.
A standard wedding package includes:
- A wedding ceremony
- Cocktail reception
- Wedding cake
- Complimentary breakfast and morning mimosa
- Turndown service on the first evening of your honeymoon
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas
Cape Santa Maria Beach Resort & Villas is a perfect venue for couples who love secluded locations. It’s only 15 minutes from Stella Maris Airport and features a pristine four-mile long sandy beach, clear turquoise waters, and luxury, designer style villas equipped with full kitchens, entertainment centers, jetted tubs, WiFi, and more.
The Beach resort has the barefoot beach wedding package that includes:
- An on-site coordinator
- Marriage license
You can build upon this basic package with extras like a wedding cake, additional accommodation, rentals, and more.
The Atlantis Bahamas provides a gorgeous setting for a Bahamas wedding. Its luxe accommodations, miles of white-sand beaches, and blue waters make this resort located on Paradise island the best destination wedding venue.
You can get married at one of the 15 ceremony and reception venues whether you’re looking for an intimate ceremony by the beach or a grand celebration at the ballroom with scenic ocean views.
Whether you’re planning a symbolic ceremony to renew your vows or looking to get married legally, the Atlantis Bahamas has wedding packages to fit your needs.
Their renewed love wedding package includes:
- A ceremony site
- An officiant
- Bridal bouquet and groom boutonniere
- One hour of photography services
Bahamas Destination Wedding Legal Requirements
Getting married is exciting, but before you get to Say I Do, you need to get all the legal details sorted. Below are a few legal requirements you need to meet before having a destination wedding in the Bahamas.
Legal Weddings Vs Symbolic Weddings
Choosing whether to have a symbolic or legal wedding ceremony in the Bahamas boils down to your preferences.
You can have a symbolic ceremony in the Bahamas if you’d rather not deal with the technicalities and legalities of a marriage. The ceremony ensures that you don’t have to think about license costs, fill out forms, or get a licensed officiant to sign the marriage certificate.
That allows you to enjoy your special day anywhere and at any time you want.
However, if you don’t mind the legal process, you can go through the required steps to formalize your marriage. The best thing about the Bahamas is that they have a few requirements as all you need is to arrive 24 hours prior to your ceremony to apply for the marriage license.
Required Legal Documents & Cost
You need to get a marriage license if you’re planning a Bahamas wedding. Some of the steps you need to follow are:
Complete the Declaration Form
The first step is obtain the declaration form and have a declarant or someone aware of the impending marriage complete it. That should be done in the presence of a justice of the peace, who is a court officer involved in civil marriages.
A declarant can be a family member, friend, or any representative that you choose.
Get a Marriage License
You also need to get a marriage license before you can get married in the Bahamas legally. Both the bride/groom need to be present at the Registrar’s office when applying for the license.
The license can be issued on the same day or the day after application.
Pay the Necessary Costs
You’ll need to pay $120 for a marriage license in the Bahamas. That also covers a certified copy of your marriage certificate.
Additional costs may be incurred if you hire an officiant.
To save yourself all the trouble, you can opt for an all-inclusive package that covers legal fees and the wedding planner.
Legal Marriage Timeline
You need to be in the Bahamas 24 hours before you can apply for a marriage license. You can collect the license 24 hours after application and proceed with the ceremony.
After exchanging your vows in front of two witnesses, you need to submit the marriage license and declaration forms to the Marriage Registration Section of the Registrar General’s Department together with the required documents.
You’ll need to also have your birth certificate, passport, original final decree or a certified copy of divorce certificate if divorced, and original death certificate or a copy if widowed.
After processing and all your documents are approved, you will receive a marriage license the same or next day. That means you can get married within 48 hours after arriving in the Bahamas.
Bahamas Destination Wedding Planning Tips
Planning your dream wedding in a foregin country can be overwhelming. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Do Your Research Early
It’s essential to identify where you’d like to get married months prior to your wedding. Determine whether you want a vibrant scene in Nassau or prefera private island with fewer crowds. Next, find a resort or a location to host the ceremony and determine how much it will cost you, depending on the guests you plan to invite.
Make plans to be in the Bahamas at least two days before your special day. That will allow you to view the venue, meet a wedding planner if you have one, and discuss the wedding details with the resort.
Remember to apply for a marriage license 24 hours in advance.
Avoid Having Your Wedding During the Holidays
While it may sound like a fun idea having your wedding over Christmas or New Year’s, the experience isn’t worth it. Most resorts don’t allow destination weddings during this season. Furthermore, if you find a resort that allows weddings over peak season, you run the risk of overcrowding, which could mess up your experience.
Instead, plan your wedding early or mid year to avoid the hassle and the extra costs that come with peak season.
How to Get There
The Bahamas has three international airports that act as entry ports. Most flights fly into the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. Once you get to Nassau, you can find means to other islands if you don’t plan on staying in Paradise Island.
Some airlines also fly to Freeport on Grand Bahama.
JetBlue Airways, American Airlines, and Delta have direct flights running weekly to the Bahamas.
On average, flight time from New York to Nassau is 2 hours and 25 minutes. Flight time from Miami is 35 minutes, Atlanta 2 hours, and Philadelphia 2 hours and 45 minutes. You can also fly from Central Florida for 1 hour and 10 minutes and from Charlotte 2 hours and 10 minutes.
The Bahamas experiences a hot season from June to Mid-October, with average daily temperature of 87 degrees Fahrenheit. August is the hottest month of the year, experiencing a high of 90 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
December to March is the cool season. These months experience temperatures of 80 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coldest month, with an average high of 77 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of 67 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can expect a lot of rain in September. May to October are the wettest months. Nonetheless, the islands are still humid and hot despite the frequent rains. Most resorts and hotels on some islands are closed for renovation and may not be the best time to travel for a destination wedding.
October to May is the dry season, with April and May experiencing mild temperatures and sunny days.
The Bahamas can get very expensive if you’re planning a fancy wedding with detailed decor, a wedding planner, and a honeymoon package. Furthermore, you may realize that the island you decide to get married in can affect your budget.
Research on Affordable Venues
Do your homework and find something within your budget. Alternatively, if you’re on a budget and need a place to get away with friends without worrying about the wedding planning process, you can opt for an all-inclusive resort. Most resorts will include a symbolic ceremony, cake, and reception in their standard package.
Account for Unexpected Costs
Don’t forget to include unexpected costs in your budget. While you may want to stick to a budget, it’s prudent to have extra money to cover unforeseen expenses.
Avoid Unnecessary Upgrades
You can also save money by avoiding upgrades at your wedding venue. Some upgrades are unnecessary and only add costs.
Best Time of Year to Get Married in Bahamas
The best time to travel to the Bahamas for a destination wedding is between April and May. These months are warm, and not as hot or humid. It’s the mid season and this translates to lower resort prices and fewer crowds.
One thing to note is that it might rain during these months. However, the rain only lasts 30 minutes to an hour, and the rest of the day is sunny and bright.
October to November is a fantastic time to have a Bahamas wedding if you prefer a discrete and quiet time. The mid peak season is not as hot and you’re likely to find a good deal for your destination wedding.