Photo by Gavin Howarth
Thanks to the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act 2016, couples can now finally have a civil ceremony outside the Registry General’s office
For many years, if a couple wished to have a civil ceremony in Bermuda, it could be officiated only in the Registry General office. Now, however, with the passing of the Marriage Amendment Act 2016, civil ceremonies may be held at a variety of other locations around the island, namely, a selection of public parks and beaches.
Any one of these beautiful, natural venues may offer the perfect solution for those who would prefer to have a non-denominational ceremony, but not lose out on the one-of-a-kind, idyllic setting that Bermuda has offered to brides and grooms for decades.
And better still, the planning of an outdoor civil-service wedding is relatively simple and cost effective. First, submit a Notice of Intended Marriage application form (in person or by post) to the Bermuda government’s Registry General, along with the application fee, which has a value of $368 (and includes the cost of the marriage certificate).
For more information on fees associated with civil marriage ceremonies, to apply for a marriage licence and to download the application form, please visit: http://www.gov.bm/content/apply-marriage-licence or call the Registry General office at 441-297-7709 or 441-297-7707.
Copies of final divorce decrees or death certificates, if applicable, must also be included with the application.
If sending the documents by post, address your application to Registrar General, Government Administration Building, 30 Parliament Street, Hamilton, HM 12, Bermuda.
It will take about 15 days for your wedding licence to be issued, and it will be valid for three months. You or a designated person may pick up this licence at the registrar’s office. Within one month of your wedding, you will receive an official marriage certificate that is recognised and legal world-wide.
Obtain written permission from the owner or occupier of the venue, that is, WEDCO or the Department of Parks.
Finally, notify the registrar of the selected wedding date.
The Registry General staff will confirm the time of the ceremony. In addition, the couple is responsible for arranging the logistics of set-up and any other features of the wedding. The Registry General will only be responsible for providing a table, chair and relevant documents for signature.
In the event of inclement weather that prohibits an outdoor wedding, the alternate venue for the marriage will be the Registry General. In such cases, the marriage ceremony fee will be reduced to $245, which is the fee applicable to marriages conducted within the Registry General office.
You must have two witnesses over 18 years of age present at the ceremony.
For more information on planning the Bermuda wedding of your dreams contact:
Bermuda: Bermuda Tourism Authority, 22 Church Street, Hamilton HM11, Bermuda. Tel: 441-296-9200, http://www.gotobermuda.com
United Kingdom: Global Travel Marketing Ltd., Link House, 140 The Broadway, Tolworth, Surrey KT6 7HJ. Tel: +44 (0) 208 339 6150
North America: 675 Third Avenue, 20th Floor, New York, New York 10017. Tel: 212-818-9800, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bermuda Department of Parks, tel: 441-236-5902, e-mail: email@example.com
WEDCO, Royal Naval Dockyard, Bermuda, tel: 441-239-0518, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Available Locations for an Outdoor Civil Ceremony:
Department of Parks
Admiralty House Park
Blue Hole Hill Park
Chaplin Bay Beach
Church Bay Beach
Devonshire Bay Park
Elbow Beach (the public beach as accessed from Tribe Road 4B in Paget)
Ferry Point Park
Fort St. Catherine Beach
Great Head Park
Gibbs Hill Lighthouse Park
Horseshoe Bay Beach
John Smith’s Bay Beach
Jobson’s Cove Beach
Scaur Hill Fort Park
Shelly Bay Beach
Somerset Long Bay Beach
Spanish Point Park
St. David’s Lighthouse Park
Tobacco Bay Beach
Warwick Long Bay Beach
Victualling Yard, Dockyard