Perhaps you love the truism that "great things come in small packages"? If so, then for those planning a destination wedding on the 37 square-mile island colony of St. Maarten (and its sister colony St. Martin), you may as well brand it on your wedding album.
While the square footage is pint-sized, St. Maarten's Dutch culture, island beauty, and endless sunsets burst with a demanding presence. This small rock represents nearly 80 nationalities in its entirety, which means that its exotic blend of history and culture will make for a wedding day unparalleled by any other Caribbean destination.
Popular Destination Wedding Spots on St. Maarten
Planning a wedding here may require some heavy research on your part, so it might be easiest to hire a wedding coordinator, like St. Maarten Marry Me, to take some of the guesswork out of planning overseas. From renting a luxurious yacht that is privately chartered for the ceremony (these can also be rented for the entire stay stocked with a private chef and excursion coordinators) to finding an oceanfront hotel that hosts wedding on-site, both are options.
One popular hotel in St. Maarten for destination weddings is Sonesto Maho Beach Resort & Casino. With three different wedding packages accommodating different tiers of any couple's budget, their 10-acre oceanfront location is as breathtaking as their 520 rooms (the largest hotel in St. Maarten). This hotel also offers a "Marry Me for Free" package which offers deep discounts for brides who book 10 rooms for five nights.
Marriage Requirements for a DW in St. Maarten
When checking these items off, keep reminding yourself how beautiful this location is because there is a handful of requirements to tackle. First, since this island country is split in two, couples should always err on the side of getting married on the Dutch side in Sint Maarten because the French side has a one month requirement to wed.
Additionally, you must get written permission from the Lieutenant Governor of the Island Territory of St. Maarten to marry. It can take up to two months to get a reply so send it in plenty of time. Once you receive permission, couples will be issued a temporary tourist permit.
You also need to be on the island for at least two days before the wedding for it to be legal. Marriage registration will also need to take place at least ten days before your wedding via fax. If you are divorced, be sure to obtain an issued divorce decree. And if you are a divorced woman, you must have a 306 day lapse between marriages. You will also need to be sure you have six witnesses if you have a wedding outside of a marriage hall and two if not.
Required Documents and Fees for a Wedding in St. Maarten
- A fully abridged birth certificate
- Valid passports
- Home address and duration of stay on the island
- A declaration of marital status no older than three months
- Both names of parents including the maiden name of the mother including the place and date of her birth
(Keep in mind that all documents must be translated into Dutch and allow one to two weeks for translation).
All of this will set you back $275.55 USD. That includes the civil ceremony, certificates, marriage books, and postage stamps.
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