Married in the Bahamas legal in US?

Local Bahamas Wedding Planner

Is marriage in the Bahamas legal in the US? Yes, it is. The Bahamas is a group of more than 700 islands located in the western Atlantic Ocean. Thirty islands and cays are inhabited. Our islands are where couples love to plan destination weddings. Many options are available. The main beauty of these islands is the coral reefs and the shells. The climate is tropical as well. Our islands are in close proximity to South Florida.

Will you be one of those lucky couples who will get married in the Bahamas? Is it getting hard for you to get complete information related to the legal rules and regulations? Do you want to assure that your marriage is legal in the US? Well, you are not alone.

Many couples dream of having a destination wedding in the Bahamas but the legal regulations can get anyone confused. Don’t worry because here we have complete information that will not only resolve your confusion but also allow you to enjoy your wedding.

Married in the Bahamas Legal in US: The main concern

Marriage rules vary by country

As the rules are different many questions arise in the couple`s minds. The majority has one question.  Is getting married in the Bahamas legal in the US? There has been mass confusion and because of this, people have faced many issues in other countries. Couples marrying in the Bahamas must first apply for a license from the Registrar General`s Department.


The rules to get married in the Bahamas from other counties are as follows.

Legal age

The age to get married in the Bahamas legal is 18. But you can also get married under 18 with parental consent. Only the Registrar’s General’s Office can grant permission.

Eligibility for applying

To apply for marriage in the Bahamas, the couple should be here for at least 24 hours before applying for marriage. The license for marriage according to the rule is acquired one day before the wedding. All other documents such as a notarized affidavit and the second piece of ID are also required.

Both individuals must be present at the Registrar General `s Department at the time of applying for your marriage license.

Couples from other countries must provide proof of their presence in the Bahamas for 24 hours.

Married in The Bahamas Legal: Timing

Sunset Nassau wedding
Photo courtesy of Jolana Babacek Photography

You must follow timelines to marry in the Bahamas. You can tie the knot on weekends only if you make an application during the workdays from Monday to Friday. The times for weddings are between sunrise and sunset. Marriages must take place during these times. These times are 5 p.m. in the winter and 8 p.m. in the summer.

Valid for three months after the issue, the license is issued on the same day of application.

Rules for the rare cases

If divorced or widowed, you can get officially married in the Bahamas. All you need are original documents. In case of divorce, you must show the original final divorce certificate with a color seal. Widowed persons must have a death certificate of the deceased spouse. If you are under 18, you must have parental consent.

A single and never before married person must present an official affidavit that assures the marital status of that person. You must present this document with the marriage license application.

Proofs and documents

Couples must present a valid Passport (if they form some other country.) At the time of application for a marriage license couples must give proof of their being in the Bahamas for at least 24 hours. This proof could be a Bahamas Immigration card or the entry stamp in your passport.

Is the marriage certificate legal?

Yes, the marriage certificate issued by the Bahamas Government is a legal document. It is legal worldwide. The presence of both individuals at the time of application is mandatory. But only the Bahamas Government’s marriage license is legal.

How many options

For marriage, you may consult the marriage officer. That person can show you a variety of options available for marriage. You can opt for a traditional, religious or strictly legal union. You can choose for the non-denominational or non-religious wedding ceremony.

If you are marrying on an Out Island, you may get the marriage license at the Administrator`s Office on that island.

What if you don’t follow the rules

If you fail to follow the rules for marriage proposed by the Bahamas Government, then you will not get any official proof for your marriage. This could be a disaster in many cases. The couple can face problems in getting their after-marriage documents. There can be surname issues for women. Failing to get any official documents can result in the loss of all the money you spent for this destination wedding. But, this can all be avoided.

Married in The Bahamas Legal in US: Conclusion

Moreover, when looking for a fun wedding, you must consider the Bahamas a great place for a destination wedding! People think that there are issues with securing a legal marriage in a foreign country. However, if you present the required documents and follow the rules you will not face any issues.

Finally, the next main concern is whether marriage in the Bahamas will be recognized in the US. The answer is yes once you provide your marriage certificate from the Bahamas. If your marriage was legal in the Bahamas then it will be legal in the US. It is legal based on the special seal applied by the Bahamas authority to certify that the document is a true copy. Generally, this is available to the couple within 30 days of the request. The marriage officer or Bahamas wedding planner assists the couple in this case. Contact us today to plan your Bahamas destination wedding!