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Weddings and Honeymoons in the Bahamas

With easy access from the United States and plenty of secluded beaches to make your own, the Bahamas is a no-brainer destination wedding location. Follow in Mariah Carey's footsteps and start planning your dream ceremony or celebration.

The Big Day

Find a Wedding Planner. Contact the Ministry of Tourism's Weddings and Honeymoon Unit (888/NUPTIAL or 242/356–0435 romance@bahamas.com) for recommended planners or the Bahamas Bridal Association (305/767–4171 info@bahamas-bridal-association.com). If you choose to get married at one of the larger resorts, most have their own planners in-house.

Get Your License. The only government requirement to get married in the Bahamas is that the couple must be in the country at least 24 hours before they apply for a license. Licenses will be processed in two days although exceptions can be made for cruise passengers to get them the same day and cost $120. No blood test is required.

Scout the Perfect Backdrop. The obvious choice for a Bahamas destination wedding is right on the beach, with waves rolling in, guests wiggling their toes in powdery white sand, and the sun setting over the turquoise ocean. Many hotels have gazebos on the beachfront to make ceremonies more private. One of the most beautiful settings for a Bahamas wedding is the Cloisters on Paradise Island. The stone remnants of a 14th-century French monastery and steps leading down to the water's edge create a truly magical location.

What to Wear. Bahamian weddings tend to be formal affairs, but a simple dress with no shoes is a popular choice for out-of-town brides, and most grooms tend to shun the jacket and tie in lieu of white linen shirts and khakis. Classy sundresses for ladies and linen or cotton shirts and pants for men are acceptable wear for guests. If you plan on having a church wedding, respect local culture and dress a bit more conservatively (no bare shoulders).

The Honeymoon

Many resorts offer honeymoon suites and special packages for newlyweds, so be sure to inquire when booking your stay. The following hotels are our top honeymoon picks.

Cape Santa Maria, Long Island. The resort has a special honeymoon package for newlyweds (which includes massages), and a beautiful beachfront gazebo makes the perfect wedding backdrop.

Hope Town Harbour Lodge, the Abacos. Secluded cottage-style rooms overlook the beach at the edge of town. This is where the TV show Scrubs filmed the janitor's wedding episode.

Kamalame Cay, Andros. This 96-acre all-inclusive resort sits on a private cay laced with white-sand beaches and coconut palms. Ask for a beachfront cottage or villa.

One & Only Ocean Club, Paradise Island. This exclusive resort on magnificent Cabbage Beach's quietest stretch also has the romantic Versailles Gardens, including 35 acres of terraced serenity and an imported French cloister.

Pink Sands, Harbour Island. Harbour Island's famed beachfront resort has long been praised by honeymooners for its 25 private cottages scattered over 20 secluded acres, including the renowned Pink Sands Beach.

Updated: 2013-12-16

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