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tying the knot: marriage license requirements

Marriage Requirements for Barbados

Residency Requirement: None
Necessary Documents: Passports or certified birth certificates; proof of divorce or death certificate of former spouse/s (if applicable); letter from officiant performing service.
Note: Both parties must apply in person at Ministry of Home Affairs in Cheapside, Bridgetown.
For More Info: Ministry of Home Affairs, (246) 228-8950, or http://www.barbados.org/weddings.htm

Caribbean: Barbados, an Overview

Escape from it all (including hurricanes) on this small island famous for windsurfing, rum and cricket.

This small, sophisticated expat island in the southeast Caribbean offers plenty of British charm sans the gray weather (it even lies outside the hurricane zone!). Here, afternoon tea and cricket matches mix with spicy food and sherbet-shaded sunsets for a stress-free escape.

In a Word: Sports

Bajans (as Barbados residents are called) are crazy about cricket (May to December) and golf (four courses dot the island). The rocky, wind-whipped Atlantic coast is one of the world's best windsurfing spots, while the tranquil west coast that faces the Caribbean Sea -- called the Platinum Coast -- is lined with posh resorts.

before you go: need-to-know info

  • Entry requirements: Passport, return ticket
  • Language: English
  • Currency: Barbados dollar, US dollar
  • Flight time: 4.5 hrs from NYC, 9.5 hrs from LA, 8 hrs from Chicago, 7 hrs from Dallas
  • Hotel tax and service charge: 17.5%
  • Tipping: 10%-15% if not included, $1 per night for maids, $1 per bag for bellhops
  • Getting around: Taxi, rental car (keep left!), bus
  • More info: Barbados Tourism Authority, (800) 221-9831

Why We'd Go: 6 Features You'll Never Forget

  • Rum: Yo, ho, ho! Sip this sweet elixir, called Bajan Gold, at the Mount Gay Rum Visitors Centre or the Malibu Visitors Centre, where Malibu Caribbean White Rum with Coconut is produced.

  • Green monkeys: Frolic freely with Mother Nature's little creatures at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, then picnic at picturesque Farley Hill National Park.

  • Tunnel of love: Gaze at the 40-foot waterfall and crystallized limestone formations of mile-long Harrison's Cave. Reserve your seats on the tour tram early by calling (246) 438-6640.

  • Sailing: Hop aboard a catamaran in Bridgetown for lunchtime snorkeling along the coast, or set sail for a sunset dinner cruise and sip a Banks Beer as the sun surrenders to stars.

  • Island eats: Indulge your taste buds with spicy French-Caribbean cuisine at the cliff-side tables of Carambola, or grab a seat on the intimate, torchlit terrace overlooking the Caribbean at The Cliff.

  • The Beat: Dance the night away in "irie" oblivion to live soca, reggae, or calypso at Harbour Lights or After Dark, home of the longest bar on the island, both in the Christ Church area.

Pucker Up: Best Places to Smooch

The Flower Forest near Mt. Hillaby offers a heady mix of aphrodisiac fragrances and tropical flora to lull you into each other's arms.

When to Go: Barbados at its Best

  • Best Weather: The climate in Barbados is tropical with the rainy season lasting from June through December. The temperature is usually pleasant and hurricanes are infrequent.

  • Best Prices: early September through mid-December; exact rates vary by hotel.

  • Festival Highlights: Crop-Over, Barbados’ most popular and festive celebration, originated in the late 18th century as a festival marking the end of sugar harvest season. Today, Crop-Over, which takes place during July and early August, is a colorful festival highlighting the many facets of Bajan culture and culminates with the Carnival parade.

Photo: Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia

-- Lori Seto

See More: Caribbean + S. America , Caribbean + S. America