Think hypnotic, blue waters, powder-soft beaches, and awe-inspiring wedding resorts. The Bahamas, a series of tropical wonderlands off the southeast coast of Florida, is a popular choice for destination weddings, featuring numerous all-inclusive resorts and a variety of wedding packages. To help you choose one that suits your preferences and needs for your big day, here’s our guide featuring 5 of the best Bahamas destination wedding venues.
Marriage License Tips: While the legalities of getting married in a foreign country can be confusing, the Bahamas has hosted so many destination weddings it’s made the process simple. You’ll need to be there for at least 24 hours before applying, pay a fee of $120, provide a government-issued ID from your country of residence, show proof of your arrival date in the Bahamas, and declare that you’ve either never been married or submit a final divorce decree, and you should receive your marriage license the day after you apply.
When most people think of the Bahamas, they’re probably envisioning The Cove at Atlantis. Luxury accommodations, fine dining, outdoor areas to lounge and play, and stunning beachfront locations for ceremonies and receptions make this venue the ultimate choice for your dream wedding in the Bahamas.
Six of the wedding packages include a ceremony site, an officiant, premium marriage licensing services, private round-trip transportation, a licensing escort, a marriage application, 2 copies of the marriage license, and notary and apostille fees. Couples also receive a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, $100 or more in resort credit, photography service for the wedding day, a wedding album, and a couple’s Atlantis gift for the happy pair.
Simply Love, the most basic package, is great for an intimate and whimsical gathering for the couple and a few loved ones while Intimate Love offers all the essentials for a romantic wedding, plus a complimentary 3-night stay in a Royal Water View room.
Shared Love is for couples hosting a mid-sized group that want some flexibility in their planning options. It includes a 3-night stay in a Royal Water View room, $350 in resort credit, and champagne and strawberries for the wedding night. Regal Love is the luxury package for couples wanting to elope or have just a few friends and family members present. It includes a rustic beach canopy for the ceremony, daily breakfast for two, a couples’ massage, a 3-night stay in a Royal Water View room, and $350 in resort credit.
Celebrate Love is a grand package for larger groups wanting to enjoy the resort’s most picturesque venues, enhanced décor, premium amenities, and special romantic touches. In addition to the perks offered in other packages, this one includes bridal hair and makeup, ceremony seating, a decorated arch and musician for the ceremony, and $500 in resort credit. Finally, the Love Your Life package provides couples and guests with the most extravagant wedding experience they could imagine.
Typical Cost: $2,400 – $28,900
Bonus: The resort’s sprawling size ensures there are ample ceremony and reception sites that offer privacy from other guests.
Club Med, one of the best Bahamas wedding venues providing acclaimed tropical vacations for over 65 years, knows a thing or two about crafting weddings that cater to every nuptial need—especially on the private island of San Salvador, where the all-inclusive Columbus Isle resort is located.
Beyond boasting world-class scuba diving, dazzling white-sand beaches, and elegant, colonial-style design, this beachside resort provides 3 wedding packages that meet a range of needs and offers many picturesque settings to say I do. All packages include a ceremony venue, photographer, seamless event coordination from experienced planners, and a make-up artist and celebrant.
The Just Us package offers a secluded, romantic ceremony for couples who’ve whisked themselves away to the Bahamas for an intimate wedding for 2. A Dream Comes True accommodates couples celebrating with a small group who just want to exchange vows and have a toast with cake and sparkling wine, while the Moments That Last package is the most comprehensive, offering a classic wedding experience with an elaborate ceremony, a 1-hour cocktail party, and a 4-hour reception filled with merriment.
Typical Cost: Starting cost ranges from $2,450 – $4,900
Bonus: Club Med is all-inclusive, so couples and guests can enjoy unlimited gourmet meals, an open bar, a golf course, and other activities.
Sandals Emerald Bay, a famous 5-star resort in the Bahamas, offers a wedding package for the perfect price of free if couples book a stay for 3 or more nights. The complimentary wedding package includes a wedding planning team, preparation of marriage documents, a garment bag, a storybook ceremony venue, a bouquet and boutonniere, white cushioned Chiavari chairs, pre-recorded music, and a 5×7 wedding photo.
In addition, couples receive a reception with table settings that include white china, sparkling crystal, crisp white linens and shining silverware, a decorative centerpiece for the head table, Chiavari chairs, a cocktail reception with sparkling wine and hor d’oeuvres, a signature cocktail, and a two-tiered white fondant wedding cake with fuchsia Dendrobium orchids.
The package also offers a mimosa breakfast in bed, turndown service with rose petals, and dinner with white-gloved service at a specialty restaurant. For an additional fee, you can get creative with add-ons such as a floral ceremony structure, tea lights, draping, and more. If you want to elongate your stay, note that those who book 7 or more nights, or wedding groups that book 5 or more rooms, get many extra perks.
Typical Cost: Free
Bonus: Couples receive a 15% discount on all spa services.
With its famous pink sand beach, sparkling pool, charming colonial-style architecture, vibrant grounds, and finely-appointed rooms, Valentines Residences is an ideal choice for couples looking for a tranquil location for their special day. The venue’s popular, and aptly named, Stress-Free Wedding Package includes a wedding planner, a ceremony either on the beach, in the garden, or within the hotel, support with paperwork and administrative items, a wedding license, and an officiant. It also includes a bouquet and boutonniere, unlimited use of the resort for photos, a bottle of champagne, and comprehensive coordination on your wedding day.
For additional fees, couples and guests can enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a reception with full dinner service, decorative floral displays, a wedding cake, and anything else they can think of. Plus, Harbour Island, which is home to this resort, was named the “Best Island in the Caribbean” by Travel and Leisure magazine, so you’re almost guaranteed to have a breathtaking getaway.
Typical Cost: Stress-Free Wedding Package is $4,750 without add-ons; minimum dinner fee is $100 per person; open bar is $25 per person
Bonus: The resort’s amenities—scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, spa services, a fitness center, and other experiences ranging from serene to thrilling—can easily fill your time.
Melia Nassau Beach has a quintessential Bahamian vibe and a 1,000-foot stretch of white sand for the ultimate Bahamas destination wedding. Think spectacular views from every corner of the property, plush accommodations, opulent amenities, globally-inspired cuisine, and a range of activities such as golf, sailing, and snorkeling in the tranquil, turquoise waters surrounding Nassau Beach.
Avoid the stress of wedding planning with 2 wedding packages, Tropical Fairy Tale and Romance for Two, including Build Your Perfect Romance add-ons.
The Tropical Fairy Tale package offers a premium wedding site, an officiant, 1 hour of photography services, round trip airport transport, a Romance by Melia romance specialist, a bouquet and boutonniere, and a violin soloist during the wedding ceremony.
Couples can also enjoy the Romance for Two package which features a premium wedding site, an officiant, 1 hour of photography services, a Romance by Melia romance specialist, a bouquet and boutonniere, dinner for 2 at one of Melia’s premiere restaurants, late check-out, wine and chocolate truffles as a special welcome, and breakfast in bed the morning after the wedding.
With Build Your Perfect Romance add-ons, you can include licensing services, a photographer and videographer, additional décor, a saxophonist or steel pan player, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, and a post-ceremony cocktail party with hot hors d’oeuvres and a premium bar or a three-course plated dinner or buffet.
Typical Cost: Site fee starts at $950
Bonus: The Melia lobby often hosts some entertainment in the evenings.
Bailey Gaddis is a travel writer and author of Feng Shui Mommy: Creating Balance and Harmony for Blissful Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood. In addition, she works as a childbirth preparation educator and birth doula who supports mothers-to-be and new mothers. She is also a regular contributor to media outlets including Disney’s Babble, Working Mother, Pregnancy & Newborn, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, Redbook, and Woman’s Day. In addition to her childbirth-prep work, she volunteers for families in need of postpartum support. She lives in Ojai, California.