When most people think of an Aruba destination wedding, they imagine a carefree event that truly encompasses the love and devotion they feel for each other. But as most American Express Travel offices will remind you, it is important to know the legal proceedings of the country in order to make sure your marriage is valid in the United States. With a number of specifications, it is important to work with your travel agent closely to keep up to date on the laws and regulations for an Aruba Wedding. Here are a few tips for the bride and groom who want their Aruba wedding to be out of this world, and still legal in the United States!
Civil Marriage in Aruba:
Not so long ago, Aruba was one of several Caribbean islands that only allowed religious ceremonies to be recognized by the government. But with the recent increase in destination weddings, Aruba changed its long standing laws about civil marriages. Now, civil marriages are now possible and legal in Aruba. However, they must take place at the local Civil Townhouse.
Civil Marriage Legal Requirements:
There are a number of important documents that the bride and groom will need to bring to Aruba to make sure their marriage is seen as legal and valid. First, there must be copies of birth certificates for both the bride and groom. These copies must have state certification. You will, of course, need your Passport picture page or other valid state issued picture I.D. for both the Bride and the Groom. To make the wedding legal, you will need two witnesses eighteen years or older, and they will need their passport picture page or valid state issued picture I.D. If you don’t have a witness, they can be provided locally at about $50 each by a local Aruba wedding planner. You will also need a certificate of no impediment for bride and groom. This is also referred to as a “single status report” and or a “negative statement of marriage”, and can be obtained your local bureau of vital statistics, which is located in the department of health. If the bride or groom has had a previous marriage, a copy of either the divorce decrees or a death certificate, to prove that the previous marriage is no longer valid. The ceremony can take place in the late morning or early afternoon on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays. Saturdays are also available in the late mornings at an additional $150 surcharge. In addition, all documents are to be faxed for review and then submitted via UPS or FedEx at least one month prior to the desired wedding date.
Aruba Wedding Ceremonies:
Once couples are legal married in a civil service, they may also arrange a religious blessing after they have been legally married. This can be done at the local church, although most churches have their own requirements to fill. It might be easier to have a romantic celebration of the marriage beachside. Most luxury Aruba resorts will offer a beach blessing to their guests at a minimal cost. Some properties even have their own wedding coordinators. Keep in mind that a boat captain is not authorized to officiate a wedding according to Dutch laws. This applies for international waters as well as in port. The only exception to this rule is if he has been given authority by the country under whose flag the ship is registered.
Now that you are familiar with the laws and regulations to Aruba weddings, start your planning! The best is yet to come!