How to Elope in Jamaica

By eloping in Jamaica, you’re essentially getting a vacation, wedding, and honeymoon all in one! So many couples dream of tying the knot in a tropical paradise and, thankfully, it’s usually not too hard to get married in Jamaica as a foreign citizen.

The concept of eloping has sort of transformed in modern times. When we talk about eloping, it usually now means just having a small destination wedding. So the historical “running away” aspect is kind of still there but (hopefully) your parents won’t disown you for it.

Many traveling couples opt to go for resorts as the place to have their wedding. Your elopement can either be legal or symbolic and can be as true to the word or as extravagant as you’d like it to be!

Let’s get into how to elope in Jamaica and learn about a few all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica that have awesome wedding packages.

How to Legally Get Married in Jamaica

Before we can get to the fun part — the weddings — we need to be clear on the actual requirements for getting legally married in Jamaica.

Getting married in Jamaica as a foreign citizen is typically easy enough. That includes American citizens, as marriages carried out in Jamaica, in accordance with Jamaican law, are valid in the U.S. as legal marriages.

What Documents Do You Need to Get Married in Jamaica?

To get married, you’ll need to (either directly or through a wedding planner/marriage officer) provide Jamaica’s Registrar General’s Department with some key documents and information. According to the U.S. Embassy in Jamaica, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Official photo identification, such as your driver’s license or passport
  • Birth certificate which shows the father’s name
  • Divorce papers or death certificate of spouse (where applicable, if either of you was previously married)
  • Occupations of the bride and groom

Around the Anglosphere, these documents are generally all you need to get married in Jamaica. There may, however, be some unique specifications depending on your country. Your wedding planner will fill you in. You can also personally check with your local embassy (or directly contact Jamaica’s Registrar General’s Department) to save yourself any potential headaches.

What Is the Process of Getting Married in Jamaica?

The timing of when you need to start the process differs from wedding planner to wedding planner, with a government minimum of two weeks beforehand, but the process is generally the same:

  1. You’ll need to send copies of the documents to your wedding planner by post or courier.
  2. They’ll arrange the documents and get the forms filled out for you.
  3. The ceremony space will be booked and arranged.
  4. With the original documents in hand, you should get to Jamaica at least 24 hours before the ceremony.
  5. Enjoy what could possibly be the best day of your life!
  6. After the wedding, you’ll receive a signed marriage license which you can use to obtain an official marriage certificate through the Registrar General’s Department

Jamaican Resorts with Wedding Packages

Perhaps the best way to have a seamless wedding in Jamaica is by doing it with a resort. They have in-house wedding planners, they put together the ceremony, and (in the case of legal weddings) they handle all the paperwork. 

There are many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica with wedding packages, all with different offerings. From true elopement packages involving just the two of you to events that can involve over 50 guests, there are so many options! Here are four of the best resorts for eloping in Jamaica.

Sandals Resorts Wedding Packages

Sandals Resorts, an acclaimed chain with 6 (7 as of 2023) locations on the island, offers a wedding package at all of their resorts. There are locations in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril, and Whitehouse (on the south coast).

The wedding packages at Sandals are essentially just one package, starting with a free, baseline itinerary that only attracts a US$95 document fee. You can then upgrade it further. Only requiring a minimum 3-night stay, here’s what that free package includes:

  • Wedding planning team
  • Preparation of marriage documents by a marriage officer
  • Wedding & honeymoon registry and wedding website
  • Pre-recorded music of your choice
  • One complimentary photo
  • Wedding cake
  • Bouquet and boutonniere
  • 1-hour cocktail reception with hors d’oeuvres
  • A discount on services at the resort’s Red Lane Spa
  • White-glove serviced honeymoon dinner
  • Turndown service on your wedding night
  • Mimosa breakfast in bed on any one morning of your visit

That’s a lot for a free wedding! If you’re looking to elope in style, this could very well be the choice for you. Starting with this free package, you can then pay to add more perks. You can also qualify for some complimentary perks by staying longer at the resort or having more guests.

Couples Resorts Wedding Packages

Couples has four resorts split between Ocho Rios and Negril. This all-inclusive chain stands out among most of the top resorts in Jamaica by being Jamaican-owned!

These resorts offer five wedding packages, one of which is stated to be “perfect for eloping”. With the “Runaway Bride Wedding” for $600 ($350 for the wedding package itself and $250 for processing), you can have a wedding for just the two of you that includes:

  • Wedding planner
  • Wedding officiant
  • Wedding/honeymoon registry
  • Wedding cake and sparkling wine
  • Bouquet and boutonniere
  • One wedding photo
  • Sound system for the ceremony
  • Celebratory t-shirts for the bride and groom
  • Private dinner for two on the beach
  • A couples massage
  • Marriage certificate

Couples also offers a kinda free wedding package; there is a $250 processing fee for documents. This package, “One Love”, is good for eloping either with just the two of you or with a small group (up to four guests).

They have lots of info on all their packages, including a private island wedding package! This one kind of falls on the opposite end of the eloping spectrum, where it’s extravagant for sure but still stays true to the private nature of such a wedding choice.

Jewel Paradise Cove Wedding Packages

Jewel Paradise Cove is located in the quiet seaside town of Runaway Bay and makes a perfect secluded spot for eloping with that special someone.

This resort is another one that offers a simple wedding package that stays true to the heart of eloping. Their “Just for the Two of You” package is actually free (no fees since it involves a symbolic ceremony) when staying for at least 7 nights. It includes:

  • Planning assistance from a wedding concierge
  • Online wedding planning tool
  • Symbolic ceremony and certificate
  • Secular officiant
  • Bouquet and boutonniere
  • Wedding cake and sparkling wine
  • Flower petals and complimentary wine in your room
  • Bridal registry and wedding website

Jewel has three more (paid) packages, all accommodating more guests than the last and all offering an increased level of extravagance, including perks like a private reception and professional hair and makeup for the bride.

Excellence Oyster Bay Wedding Packages

Excellence Resorts is a popular chain that has one location in Jamaica: Excellence Oyster Bay in the historic port town of Falmouth, near Montego Bay.

The first wedding package and the one that’s most suitable for a classic elopement is the Excellence Wedding Package. This package is complimentary if you stay 30 nights or more but, otherwise, for $850, it accommodates up to eight guests and includes:

  • Planning help from a wedding coordinator
  • Symbolic ceremony with white decor
  • Sound system for the ceremony
  • Wedding cake & toast with sparkling wine
  • Bouquet & boutonniere 
  • Five wedding photos
  • 15% discount on treatments at their Mille Spa
  • Honeymoon package
  • Preferential suite location
  • Turndown service for wedding night

The other two tiers, the Excellence of Love Wedding Package and Gold Excellence Wedding Package are increasingly fancy and both add a host of other items to the itinerary. If you’re thinking of something more luxurious for your elopement, check out the full outline of what their packages offer.

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