What to do about your Cayman Islands Registered Marriage Certificate

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You don't have to do anything if you were married in the Cayman Islands through Simply Weddings or Cayman Weddings. However, the most frequently asked question about a wedding in the Cayman Islands is whether it will be legal when the couple get back home. This week, in reading an article in The Consumerist, I found out why there might be a concern.

Kim tells Consumerist that while she lives in the United States, she got married in the Cayman Islands. That sounds very beautiful and romantic and all, but she wondered: would she have problems with the handwritten marriage certificate when she returned home and needed to change her last name?

Here are facts you need to know about getting married in the Cayman Islands.

The Cayman Islands belong to the United Kingdom, and many of our laws are based on British law. Our Marriage Law governs any marriage in the three Cayman Islands. In order to be married in the islands you must be married by a Marriage Officer who is approved by the Cayman Islands Government. Most ministers of religion are also Marriage Officers. There are two Civil Registrars of Marriage on Grand Cayman, my mother Francine Jackson of Cayman Weddings and myself. Both my company Simply Weddings, and Cayman Weddings are full-service wedding companies and offer wedding planning as well as the services of a wedding officiant.

Simply Weddings offers modern, non-secular wedding ceremonies which are personalised to suit the couple. We offer no frills, all-inclusive, and deluxe packages. Each package includes the legal requirements set out by the Cayman Islands Marriage Law.

An important part of your Destination Wedding in the Cayman Islands is making sure you are given the two documents the law requires you to have.

You get the Certified Copy of the Marriage Register immediately after your ceremony. It will have all the details of the wedding and will be signed by the Groom, the Bride, two witnesses over 18 years of age, and the Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer who officiates your ceremony. Simply Weddings and Cayman Weddings will give you a decorative certificate with a seal and the Civil Registrar's personal stamp.

We do not use the hand-written certificates that Kimberley speaks about in the article, and which caused concern.

Kimberley's problem was that she did not receive the second and most important document from her Cayman Islands Wedding, her Registered Marriage Certificate issued by our public records office, called the General Registry.

You see, when your wedding ceremony is over, my work is not done. I must file your marriage with the local government authorities. I do this on the day of the marriage if you had a cruise wedding, or the next business day if you were a stay-over visitor.

The next day I pick up your Registered Marriage Certificate, and mail it to you. It normally take 5-7 days by airmail.

Here is what your Registered Marriage Certificate looks like.

It has all the details that your Certified Copy of the Marriage Register has, but it is printed on special paper that can't be copied.  The words "Secure Copy" are printed on the reverse side.  The top side has a watermark of the Cayman Islands Coat of Arms, and the raised seal of the Registrar General with an original signature of the officer approved by her to sign and authenticate the document.

When you get your Registered Marriage Certificate from Simply Weddings, or your Marriage Officer, I suggest you take it to your public records office/court-house in your city or town.  Tell the county clerk you were married in a foreign country, and find out if your state requires any more than a notation.  If they need the original, give it to them.  It is very easy to get another copy of the original document.

If you have lost, misplaced or never received this document for your Cayman Islands wedding, email me and I will arrange to have it applied for, collected, and mailed to you.  The cost of this service is $30 if you were married by Simply Weddings, and $50 if I have to do a search because it was another Marriage Officer.  You can contact me through our Contact Us page, through mywedding@candw.ky or by phone +1 (345) 949-9933.

Cayman Islands residents are required to have this document as well.  We do not obtain the RMC for residents, or include it in the Residents Wedding Package.  You must go to the General Registry, Citrus Grove Building on Goring Avenue, fill out a form, pay CI$15 and get this document.  Take your Certified Marriage Certificate with you to ensure that you have all the details, spelling of names etc. correct since if there is a mistake on your document it will cost you $25 CI to correct it.

If you have a question about your Cayman Islands wedding please contact me, and I will be happy to assist you.