Incredibly clean, safe and populated by some of the friendliest people on the planet, the Cayman Islands are one of the most beautiful and memorable spots in the Caribbean. This trinity of islands truly has it all: miles of beach, endless sunshine, plush hotels, natural beauty and some of the world’s best diving and coral reefs, so what better place to plan a destination wedding? Here’s everything you need to know to plan your dream day in paradise.
The best time to go: Any time between November to April is a great time to be in the Cayman Islands. Reduce the possibility of rain on your special day by heading to the Islands in March or April, the driest months.
The flight: Non-stop flights from Toronto are available. Air Canada offers these flights on Wednesdays and Sundays, and West Jet offers them on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Both airlines fly from Toronto straight to the Grand Cayman, the biggest island. The flight time from Toronto to Grand Cayman averages about four hours. Upon arrival at the Grand Cayman, you can easily travel to Cayman Brac and Little Cayman with Cayman Airways, which has daily flights to and from these islands.
The legal paperwork: You can get married as soon as you arrive, provided you have a non-resident’s marriage license and a letter from the authorized officiant of your wedding. You can get your marriage license, which costs $250, and a list of authorized officiants from the Passport and Corporate Services Office, which is located on Grand Cayman. For visitors to Little Cayman and the Cayman Brac, both items can be obtained from the office of the District Commissioner. You will also need your passport or a birth certificate with photo I.D, proof of marital status, Cayman Islands Immigraton Department card, and two witnesses at your ceremony. Ceremonies must occur between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.
The local customs: Incorporate a sand ceremony, a popular ritual for beach weddings, into your “I dos”. Derived from a tradition where the bride and groom would throw handfuls of sand in the air to represent unity, these days couples combine two colourful shades of sand in a glass vessel to symbolize their coming together. If a beach wedding isn’t for you, embrace local culture by having your ceremony at one of the many independent art galleries popping up on the Islands in recent years. For your reception, consider including traditional foods such as Caymanian beef, a fish fry, or turtle meat. Caymanian music, influenced by jazz, reggae and calypso, could be a unique and local addition to your celebration. After the reception, guests can enjoy entertainment provided by local festivals such as the Cayman Arts Festival or Batabano, an annual street carnival. Give your guests a piece of the Islands to take home with locally made favours such as bottles of rum or jars of hot pepper jam.
The venue: There are many amazing spaces to choose from, it just depends on the style and size of wedding you want. We love the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman because the property will cater to your every wedding need no matter how large or small your celebration is. From an opulent ballroom bash, to an intimate affair on Seven Mile Beach, the Ritz’s wedding and events team make incredible magic happen. Host a beach reception set against the ocean an sunset, or opt for one of the Ritz’s five ballrooms (they can accommodate as few as 22 and as many as 180 guests).