Called the “heartbeat of the world,” the island paradise that is Jamaica is bursting with natural beauty and intensely rich culture. Above all, the Caribbean heaven is most known for its variety of wedding venues, activities, cuisine, and music, which makes planning a destination wedding in Jamaica tremendously exciting on account of the possibilities. A beachfront wedding and an extended stay at an all-inclusive luxury resort in Montego Bay? You got it. A romantic ceremony amid the immaculate, bright scenery in Ocho Rios? No problem. However you picture your dream destination wedding in Jamaica, the spectacular country has the resources to make it a reality. Here are some planning tips to keep in mind:
Tropical Paradise Awaits on Your Destination Wedding in Jamaica
Getting Married in Jamaica
Considering how jaw-droppingly beautiful the Caribbean Sea is, you’ll no doubt want to consider getting married on the sands of one of Jamaica’s pristine beaches. Or, if you and your loved one are more of the adventurous type, you won’t want to pass up the opportunity to tie the knot at the natural wonder that is Dunn’s River Falls. Whichever you choose, the streamlined process allows for marriages to occur just 24 hours following arrival. Securing a marriage license is a same-day process, and all that may be required for first-time marriages is proof of citizenship and a small processing fee. With all of that taken care of, you can focus on the romantic ceremony itself, which can happily be planned by wedding planners based right in the country. From hiring wedding professionals to securing a venue, your wedding planner can alleviate all your stress by taking care of the arrangements for your memorable day. The country also has a number of robust policies in place to make traveling safe and secure, so be sure to check out Jamaica’s travel authorization checklist for info.
Choosing a Region
Jamaica is comprised of six distinct regions – Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Kingston, Negril. South Coast, and Port Antonio – all of which feature the distinct heartbeat of the country but with local flavors. Those looking to relax on the beach and sip a cocktail under the warm Jamaican sun after tying the knot, and enjoy live music each night, will find plenty to love in Montego Bay. The region includes the historic Rose Hall, which is one of the country’s most popular wedding destinations for its lush gardens, sweeping vistas, and mesmerizing architecture. For an island getaway complete with thrilling activities and an exciting nightlife scene that will keep you and your guests dancing until the wee hours of the morning, the coastal community of Ocho Rios has long been a favorite. Then there’s what has been called “one of the most relaxing destinations on earth”: Negril, which features a seamless blend of beaches, jungles, and luxury accommodations. The adventure never ceases in Port Antonio, which features Reach Falls and a one-of-a-kind rafting experience on the Rio Grande. The area features terrific wedding venues and a community bursting with life thanks to flourishing jungles, exciting nightlife, and lively shops. And for a more low-key experience that is uniquely Jamaican, the South Coast provides direct access to local life through a rural setting that will have you and your guests coming back for a lifetime. Regardless of the region that you choose, the country offers a tremendous variety of wedding ceremony types – Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, etc. – and the Jamaican people will welcome you with open arms as you are taken in by the art and music, natural settings, and exquisite cuisine.
How to Travel to Jamaica
Whether traveling by air or by sea, Jamaica makes getting to your tropical wedding simple for both you and your guests. The island’s three main cruise ports – Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Falmouth – regularly welcome ships from popular cruise lines. Those that travel by air can choose to fly into Kingston via Norman Manley International Airport, Montego Bay via Sangster International Airport, or Ocho Rios by a small plane via Ian Fleming International Airport. Dozens of flights are scheduled daily at the airports, ensuring that booking an international flight is a breeze. It may be a tropical island, but many find that the travel times from popular locations are shorter than expected:
- Miami: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Dallas: 3 hours 30 minutes
- New York City: 3 hours 50 minutes
- Chicago: 4 hours
- Denver: 5 hours
- Los Angeles: 6 hours
When to Get Married
The winter months are peak travel season in Jamaica due to the mild nature of the weather, though temperatures throughout the country remain remarkably steady throughout the year (which is welcome news when it comes to planning wedding attire!). Some of the best travel deals can be found during the summer months, but be sure to check weather projections and keep the sometimes-unpredictable weather during the fall months in mind when making plans. Regardless of the season you choose to travel for your Jamaica honeymoon, you’ll be able to enjoy the region’s picturesque beaches, magnificent waterfalls, and boundless outdoor activities.
Where To Stay
With some of the world’s most lavish all-inclusive and couples-only resorts, booking a place to stay in Jamaica couldn’t be easier. Since many Jamaican resorts have their own dedicated areas for wedding ceremonies, a private event with loved ones in paradise can be as simple as walking out of your luxury accommodations right onto your beachfront wedding. For adults-only resorts that feature the boundless Caribbean as a backdrop, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are particular favorites. There are beautiful resorts, cool boutique hotels, and charming villas throughout the country, however, so booking the romantic getaway of your fantasies can take you to Montego Bay, Port Antonio, or the South Coast with terrific results.