The Ultimate Guide to Destination Weddings in Jamaica
When many people think of the Caribbean, Jamaica is often the first island to come to mind. This tropical region boasts 700 miles of incredible coastlines, world-class all-inclusive resorts, and a laid back vibe that epitomizes paradise. It's no wonder why Jamaica is ranked the number-one destination wedding spot in the Caribbean today.1 It is the island of "One Love," after all.
If you are looking to take the plunge in paradise, Jamaica may also be at the top of your list. Its honey-colored beaches, coupled with its surprising affordability and tropical weather year-round, makes Jamaica one of the most popular places to say "I do" in all of the world. But before you jet-set away with your soon-to-be spouse, there are a few things to know about getting married in Jamaica. Let's dive in.
Why Get Married in Jamaica?
Ease of Travel
Jamaica is a short - and often direct - flight from many major cities in the U.S. Travelers from New York, for example, can expect to arrive in Jamaica in under four hours. And those coming from Miami can expect less than a two-hour flight! This leaves more time for the things that matter - like enjoying your wedding stay.
Year-Round Beach Weather
If sunny skies are what drew you to Jamaica, the tropical climate might just seal the deal. On average, Jamaica temperatures range from the mid-70s to high-80s all year round,2 and historically, the island has been less likely to get hit directly by a hurricane than other Caribbean islands.
From the famous Seven Mile Beach to the tucked-away Treasure Beach, Jamaica is recognized around the world for its stunning shorelines. In fact, it was named the World's Leading Beach Destination (and Wedding Destination!) in 2018.
Jamaica is not only home to world-renowned beaches, but also lush rainforests and the longest mountain range in the Caribbean. For brides and grooms, this means effortlessly beautiful wedding venues, whether you wish to get married above the treetops or by the sea.
If you are a fun-loving couple set on having exciting experiences, Jamaica has a lot to offer. In addition to the usual snorkeling and scuba excursions, you'll have the opportunity to hike the Blue Mountains, climb world-famous waterfalls, zipline across the rainforest, and river-raft down the Rio Grande.
Native Flora & Natural Décor
Part of the beauty of a destination wedding is the beauty of the destination itself. Couples do not need to spend thousands or even hundreds of dollars on décor when they have a beautiful backdrop already in place - the beach, palm trees, jungle, mountains in the background do enough justice. Jamaica is home to more than 200 orchids and 550 different kinds of ferns. One-quarter of the 3,000 plant species in Jamaica are native to the island, giving you one-of-a-kind and free décor for your wedding day.
Jamaica's motto is "Out of Many, One People," which speaks to what the country is all about—its people, and friendly atmosphere which welcomes a diversity of travelers into the island they call home.
Average Cost of a Destination Wedding in Jamaica
When people think of a wedding in Jamaica, they often associate it with a high price tag. And why wouldn't they? Jamaica is filled with luxurious wedding resorts, private, picturesque beaches, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences for both couples and guests. However, according to U.S. News, Jamaica is among the top-three most affordable wedding destinations in the world.
On average, Destination Weddings' couples spend less than $6,500 on a wedding in Jamaica. This includes everything from international travel, to the wedding package and honeymoon stay. In comparison, a close-to-home wedding in the United States costs couples almost $20,000 today.
Here's a breakdown of what couples spent on average, on an international destination wedding in 2022:
|Average Overall Cost
Negril is among the most well-known and well-loved regions of Jamaica. It is home to some of the most famous coastlines in the world, including Seven Mile Beach, which was ranked #10 on CNN's 2019 list of the world's best beaches. Seven Mile Beach is the longest beach in all of Jamaica (though its actual length is debated) and is said to have some of the most dramatic sunsets in the entire Caribbean. There are several wedding resort options in Negril, Jamaica - one of which is The Caves an oceanfront sanctuary that was ranked the #1 most romantic resort in the Caribbean by Travel + Leisure magazine.
Montego Bay is Jamaica's iconic tourist hub, known for its crystal-clear beaches and unforgettable nightlife. If you are looking for an amenity-filled, fast-paced getaway, Montego Bay may be the place you'll say "I do." Within this seaside port, you will find several top-rated, all-inclusive resorts with beachfront access, snorkeling excursions, renowned golf courses, and world-class spas.
While "Ocho Rivers" is Spanish for "eight rivers," this Jamaican paradise is not necessarily known for its rivers. Rather, Ocho Rios is world-recognized for the Dunn's River Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls that pool into the Caribbean Sea. These waterfalls are among Jamaica's most photographed landmarks, and also a fun adventure for couples willing to climb to the top! If you are considering a destination wedding in Ocho Rios, there are a range of wedding venues to choose from, from the waterfalls to the jungle, to the lively Reggae Beach where century-old palm trees can be found.
Couples looking for a romantic retreat away might consider Runaway Bay in Jamaica. More off-the-beaten-path, this region is well-known for its scenic beaches and warm Caribbean waters, where you can relax while sipping a rum punch. While farther away from tourist hubs, Runaway Bay weddings are usually held onsite at one of the region's luxurious all-inclusive resorts.
Jamaica Destination Wedding Inspiration
Thousands of couples have traveled to Jamaica to exchange their vows. Some did so with their toes in the sand, some beside towering waterfalls, and some in the rainforest or surrounded by sugar cane fields. Get inspired by real couples who have planned a destination wedding in Jamaica.
Jamaica's (Legal) Marriage Requirements
Before taking the plunge in paradise, it is important to understand the legal marriage requirements. To keep things simple, many couples will opt for a symbolic wedding ceremony in Jamaica, and legalize their marriage at home, either before or after the trip. However, if you are a U.S. citizen and would like to have a legal ceremony in Jamaica, you will need to meet the following guidelines, as outlined by the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica.
Send the proper documentation to the Registrar General's Department approximately two weeks before the wedding. (You can also send these to your Destination Wedding Specialist, who will take care of the legalities and next steps.)
- Birth certificates for you and your spouse (including father's name)
- Official photo identification
- Occupations of you and your spouse
- Certified divorce papers (if applicable)
- Plan to arrive to Jamaica at least 24 hours before you are scheduled to say "I do"
- Unlike many other countries, Jamaica does not require a blood test prior to getting married.
- Once the ceremony is complete, you will be presented with the signed marriage license. An official marriage certificate can then be obtained.
A Destination Wedding Specialist - a specialized travel agent with foreign wedding expertise - can help you determine what is needed to make your marriage official. This Specialist will be experienced in Jamaica weddings, and will ensure you have all the proper documents prepared before your big day.
Canadian citizens getting married abroad should click here to learn more.
One Love, One Heart
Jamaica is often considered the heart of the Caribbean, and it's easy to see why. With scenic landscapes at every stretch, seaside sunsets to write home about, and welcoming, world-class resorts, Jamaica offers a once-in-a-lifetime getaway that many couples crave for their wedding day.
Not to mention, a destination wedding in Jamaica is the epitome of carefree nuptials. Combine Jamaica's warm, laid-back island vibes with the fact that destination weddings mean less stress for couples overall, and you've got the perfect cocktail for an easy, romantic retreat.
According to our customer data, Jamaica was the second -most popular wedding destination in 2022. If you too would like to speak with a Destination Wedding Specialist about getting married in Jamaica, please do not hesitate to reach out. Visit us online to start planning today.