The Legal Formalities

If you are seeking to get married in Antigua and Barbuda then there are a few legal requirements and documents that you will need to bring with you, to ensure your special day runs with a glitch.

Your wedding ceremony will be conducted by a marriage officer who is appointed by the state of Antigua and Barbuda,  and is legally recognized on the island. The day and time of the ceremony can be agreed by the two parties and usually can be performed after one working day. If the wedding is to be performed outside of the Court House there is a Marriage Officer fee of EC$270.00 or US$100.00.

Every marriage must be solemnized or celebrated in the presence of two or more credible witnesses.

To prepare for the wedding there are three steps to take to fulfill your legal obligations.

Step One: You will need to apply for a marriage license at the Ministry of Legal Affairs on Queen Elizabeth Highway where an application form will be completed and signed.

There are two types of Marriage License

An Ordinary License
One of the parties must be resident in Antigua & Barbuda for a period of 15 days immediately preceding the date of the application for the license. The application for an ordinary license must be accompanied by a fee of US$40.00 or EC$100.00 payable at the Ministry

A Special License

There is no wait time or Residency requirement needed to obtain a special license.
The petition for a special license must be accompanied by a fee of US$150 or EC$405.00.

The following original legal documents are required when making the application

– A valid passport

– A birth certificate (if changing name)

– Proof of marital status, original or notarized copy of Decree Absolute is required if one or both of the parties is divorced.

– In the case of a widow/widower, the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required

– If either party has changed their name by deed poll or adoption, then proof is required.

– If either party is under the age of 18 then the consent of one or both parents/guardians is required in the form of an affidavit stamped by the notary public, and birth certificate.

Should you have any questions the Marriage Officer can be reached at 268.562.0381 or by e-mail legalaffairs@ab.gov.ag

Step Two: A registration fee of US$40.00 or EC$100.00 is payable at the Accounts Department of the High Court just below the Ministry of Legal Affairs.

Step Three: Armed with the two receipts head down to the Antigua Barbuda Civil Registry at 1932 High Street. Here you will need to complete a form with all the information to figure on the Marriage Certificate.

The Marriage certificate will be signed at the time of the wedding ceremony with one original copy staying with the wedding couple and another with the Civil Registry. Additional copies of the Marriage Certificate can be obtained from the Civil Registry at a cost of EC$25.00 or US$10.00.