If you are planning a destination wedding, Bermuda is naturally a top choice. This beautiful and romantic island with its pink sand beaches and stunning blue seas make it very easy for tourists and admirers of the island to arrange their dream wedding and then stay on after for a relaxing and memorable honeymoon.
Bermuda law allows for cruise ship weddings, civil ceremonies in a registry office or religious ceremonies in one of the island’s beautiful churches. It also allows same-sex unions and all marriages in Bermuda are legally valid.
Whatever type of wedding ceremony you choose, a visit to the Registrar is in order to obtain your marriage certificate.
BERMUDA WEDDING TRADITIONS
There are several wedding traditions that are unique to Bermuda. For example, if the bride and groom walk hand-in-hand through one of Bermuda’s iconic moongates on their wedding day it is said to bring them good luck.
Circular, stone moongates can be found all over Bermuda in public parks, hotel grounds and even private gardens. It shouldn’t be hard to incorporate this symbol into your special day. Some of the most noteworthy moongates are in the Bermuda Botanical Gardens, Par-la-Ville Park, Tobacco Bay, Shelly Bay and Somers Gardens as well as at the Fairmont Southampton and Aunt Nea’s Inn.
Moongates make the perfect backdrop for wedding photographs too!
Other Bermuda wedding traditions include using a horse-drawn carriage to transport the newlyweds to the reception through the narrow streets. Another local custom is for newlyweds to plant a tree together as part of the ceremony.
Traditionally, Bermuda wedding receptions have two wedding cakes – a rich brandied fruit cake for the groom topped with gold leaf and a tiered iced fruit cake for the bride, often topped with a cedar tree sapling. The tree is ready for planting as a permanent memorial of your wedding vows!
WEDDING PAPERWORK AND RED TAPE!
Like most countries, Bermuda has certain rules that must be complied with before your marriage can proceed. Be prepared for the fees.
A couple must give a minimum of 14 days’ notice to the Registrar General of their intended marriage. However, the couple does not have to be resident in Bermuda during this period. Once a license to marry is issued, it is valid for three months. The minimum age is 16, and minors must have notarized consent from a parent or guardian.
An application for a marriage license must be accompanied by legal paperwork including birth certificates. Those who have been married previously must also provide final divorce papers or a death certificate of their former spouse. Couples must be able to produce a ticket for onward travel by cruise ship or airline back to their home country after the wedding ceremony to adhere to immigration laws.
Handling all the legal requirements is definitely best done by a Bermudian on your behalf. For example, a wedding must have two witnesses which can be provided by the Registrar if necessary for an extra fee. No blood tests or health certificates are required but notice of your marriage will be published in two local newspapers as a public notice.
If you don’t want the extra hassle of hiring several different people, wedding planners in Bermuda are experienced in all legal matters and are the best people to handle a destination wedding in Bermuda.
There are several established wedding planning companies in Bermuda. Check out our directory to find out more. They are a good place to start your inquiries regarding your wedding in Bermuda.
As well as being familiar with all the legal requirements, professional wedding consultants have developed contacts with ministers and celebrants who can conduct your wedding according to your tastes and preferences.
Bermuda wedding planners are also very good at organizing everything from flowers, photographers and music to transport, wedding cakes and receptions. They know the island like the back of their hands and know how to give you the wedding of your dreams on the island.
WHEN TO PLAN YOUR BERMUDA WEDDING
Bermuda has a sub-tropical climate, thanks to the warm waters of the Gulf Stream just offshore. With an annual high of 76°F (24°C) and an average low of 68°F (20°C), Bermuda is suitable for weddings and honeymoons all year round as it never has frost or snow.
The warmest months are between May and October, which is peak tourist season. If you want to get married at a quieter season, when prices are generally lower for flights and accommodation, it could be worth considering a spring or autumn ceremony. Avoiding the peak season also eliminates the slim possibility of a hurricane disrupting your wedding!
When it comes to rainfall, Bermuda may have light showers at any time of year. The wettest month is October, with six inches of rainfall, while April is the driest month with three inches.
WEDDING VENUES IN BERMUDA
You’ll be spoiled with choices when trying to decide on the perfect Bermuda venue for your wedding. Whether you want a barefoot-in-the-sand ceremony at sunset or a traditional ceremony in a historic church, the island has no shortage of options.
However, some churches restrict who can be married there. Generally, only Bermuda residents qualify for church weddings, particularly in Catholic churches. Make sure you find out as soon as possible if you want a church wedding on the island.
A wedding on one of Bermuda’s pink sand beaches with soft sea breezes wafting over the gathering on the beautiful soft sand is one of several outstanding choices for a memorable wedding.
Alternatively, book your wedding at one of the island’s gorgeous resorts with stunning views, providing a beautiful backdrop to the ceremony. Almost all of the resorts also feature beautiful pool areas where a cocktail reception can be hosted before a full meal in the ballroom.
Historic Fort Hamilton allows weddings within its aged walls. It offers superb sea views, a romantic wooden bridge and a moat filled with lush plantings.
One of the most unusual yet popular settings for a wedding is the Unfinished Church with its soaring stone arches beneath Bermuda’s bright blue sky. You can even get married at sea aboard one of the fantastic yachts available for charter, most of which can accommodate a number of guests plus crew.
Of course, most luxury hotels in Bermuda offer a complete wedding package for a fixed price. This includes accommodation, the ceremony, intimate reception and the services of an event coordinator to make sure everything is absolutely perfect. It’s definitely the easiest way to arrange a Bermuda wedding and is likely to be far less expensive than a traditional wedding back home with a large reception and honeymoon.
Check out some of the wedding packages at the breath-taking resorts featured in our directory.
Whatever you choose for your Bermuda wedding, we know you are going to be happy with your special day on one of the best islands in the world.