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Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Cayman

14 Oct, 2016
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Who Read This

As one of the most romantic places in the world, who wouldn’t want to say “I do!” in the Cayman Islands? Not only does Cayman offer a superb location with stunning views, great weather, wonderful venues and plenty of professionals to help you organise your big day, but getting married in Cayman is also a fairly easy process, leaving you to concentrate on enjoying your big day.

 

The Process of Getting Married in Cayman 

There are two very different processes for getting married in the Cayman Islands, depending on whether you are a resident or a visitor to the Island.

 

Residents must be married by having their Banns of Marriage published by a Civil Registrar or Marriage Officer for nine clear days before the marriage can take place.

 

Visitors can be married on the same day they arrive, by Special Marriage Licence which can be arrange on the day you arrive on-Island. Although you will have selected a Marriage Officer before you arrive. (See below for more information and where to find a list of Marriage Officers). The cost of the licence is CI$200.

 

If one party to the marriage is a resident, and the other party a visitor, then the resident party can apply for the Banns to be published before the visiting party arrives. Banns of Marriage are valid for three months after being published.
 

Please note the minimum age to get married in the Cayman Islands is 16; however, anyone under 18 must have the consent of a parent or guardian. Weddings must take place between the hours of 6am and 8pm, and according to the liquor licensing laws, if you get married on a Sunday (on a liquor-licensed premises), then no live music can be played. Marriages between two men or two women is not legal in the Cayman Islands.

 

Weddings in the Cayman Islands have two parts, as required by the law. You will be asked if there’s any reason you cannot be married and then you will be pronounced man and wife.

 

For more information on marrying in Grand Cayman contact the Deputy Chief Secretary’s office on (345) 949 7900 or for Cayman Brac weddings (345) 948 2222.

Visitors Marrying in Cayman

Couples who are on vacation or are arriving on a cruise ship can marry in Cayman under a special licence. You will need to select a Marriage Officer before you arrive and they will help you arrange a certified copy of a non-residents marriage licence, which is needed to be married in Cayman.

 

You will receive your “full marriage certificate” from the Cayman Islands Registrar of Marriage at the end of the marriage ceremony. Couples from most places in Europe, except the UK, need to get an Apostille. Your Marriage Officer can take care of this for you.  Couples from the USA and Canada don't need an Apostille. (See the Once you are Married section below)

 

Applications for non-resident marriage licences (US$250) and a list of licensed Marriage Officers can be obtained from the Passport and Corporate Services Office. On Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, this is provided by the District Commissioner's Office.

 

Passport and Corporate Services Office

Sussex House, 128 Elgin Avenue

George Town, Grand Cayman, KY1-9000

Phone: (345) 943 7678

Email: passport&corporate@gov.ky

 

Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

District Commissioner's Office

District Administration Building

PO Box 240

Cayman Brac KY2-2101

Phone: (345) 94 82506

Email: BracDC@gov.ky

 

You will also need to provide:

  • Proof of citizenship and age - Passport or an original/certified copy of birth certificate with photo identification (18 is the minimum legal age without parental consent)
  • Proof of marital status (legal divorce decree or death certificate, if applicable)
  • Cayman Islands Immigration Department card or Cayman Islands international embarkation/disembarkation card for cruise ship passengers
  • Two witnesses at the ceremony (Your marriage officer can provide witnesses  if there are just two of you)

For more information on marrying in Grand Cayman contact the Deputy Chief Secretary’s office on (345) 949 7900 or for Cayman Brac weddings (345) 948 2222. There is also a list of Cayman wedding consultants and planners here.

 

Residents Marrying in Cayman
Once you have decided on the date of your wedding, contact either a Civil Registrar or a Marriage Officer. Most of the 90 marriage officers in the Cayman Islands are Ministers of Religion and can be contacted through their churches. Click here for a list of churches in Cayman.

Civil Registrars on Grand Cayman work out of their offices where they can be contacted, and where the Banns of Marriage are published. Deputy Chief Secretary, 3rd Floor, Government Administration Building, George Town, Grand Cayman. Tel: (345) 949 7900.

 

Most residents get married on Saturday, which means you should book early to secure the date with your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer. You will have to have a preliminary interview with your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer and complete a form called a Public Notice. You will need to take your passports and your proof of immigration status (e.g. work permit, residency certificate, etc.) when you attend the interview.

If you have been previously married, you will also need your original divorce decree or spouse’s death certificate. If the decree or certificate is in a language other than English, you will need an English translation certified by a Notary Public.

If you are marrying a Caymanian, your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer is required to ask you certain questions to make sure you are not entering into a marriage of convenience. A marriage of convenience is where the two parties enter into the marriage for the sole purpose of obtaining immigration rights as a spouse of a Caymanian. This is illegal in the Cayman Islands, as in most countries. Your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer will charge a fee for the documentation, preliminary interview, publishing the Banns, conducting the ceremony and filing your marriage with the appropriate government official. The average cost of this service is CI$300.

The Department of Counselling Services (Tel: (345) 949 8789) offers free pre-marital counselling for couples and marriage counselling. All services are free from the Cayman Islands Government and provided by qualified professionals.


Once you are Married
After the wedding ceremony, which can be civil or religious, you and your spouse, along with two adult witnesses (aged 18 or older) and your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer, must sign three copies of the Marriage Register.

One certified copy, called the Bridal Certificate, is yours to keep for your records. Your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer is required by law to keep one copy in his/her Marriage Book. Again, according to the Marriage Law which governs marriages in the Cayman Islands, the third (duplicate) copy must be filed by your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer with the Registrar of Marriages at the General Registry as soon as possible after the wedding. The General Registry is located on the first floor of the Citrus Grove Building, Goring Avenue in George Town.

It is your responsibility to obtain the Registered Marriage Certificate (RMC) of your marriage from the General Registry, unless you have arranged with your Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer to obtain this and forward it to you. The RMC has the words ‘secure copy’ on the reverse. On the front it will have the details of your marriage, a watermark of the Coat of Arms of the Cayman Islands and the raised seal of the Registrar General. This document is your legal Marriage Certificate and should be secured with your other important documents.

Each RMC costs CI$1. Contact the General Registry located in the Cayman Islands Government Building www.ciregistry.gov.ky.

 

European Union citizens (except the United Kingdom and Ireland) may need to have their Registered Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated). This does not apply to United States or Canadian citizens. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer as to whether an apostille is required for your country.
 

 

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