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Photo courtesy of Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority

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Legal requirements for getting married in Antigua & Barbuda
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More and more people are getting married while on vacation, and it's now easy to do so in Antigua and Barbuda. Even cruise ship visitors can now get married. There are three simple steps: Visit the Ministry of Justice in downtown St. John’s with your valid passports, complete the application and pay applicable fees, and confirm a date and time for the ceremony with a Marriage Officer.

The following are the applicable legal requirements and documents required:

  • Both parties must be over 15; if under 18, written authorization is required from the parents or guardians.
  • Both parties need valid passports as proof of citizenship.
  • If either party has been previously married, bring the original divorce decree or, in the case of a widow or widower, the original marriage and death certificates.

It is important that all documents presented are original or certified original by the issuing departments or offices.  Ensure that all documents are in the parties’ legal names, and provide affidavits in cases where one or both of the parties is known by another name.

Marriages must be solemnized or celebrated in the presence of two or more witnesses, apart from the Marriage Officer.  (One or more guests will suffice.)

Marriages can be performed in a church but is requires the permission from the church authorities where you wish to be married.  You should have your pastor contact the church to establish the requirements.  Allow extra time if planning a church ceremony; some churches ask that the couple attend pre-nuptial consultations.

The Ministry of Legal Affairs is open Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 4:30pm and on Fridays from 8:00am to 3:00pm. Flights which arrive into Antigua after 3:00pm will not permit couples to get to the Ministry of Justice in time to apply for the Special Marriage License. In such cases, the couple can arrange for the marriage to take place either the next day after completing the application process, or, on any available day thereafter.

 


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