planning a wedding in barbados

a guide on how to plan a wedding in barbados by a destination wedding photographer

planning a wedding in barbados

If you're planning a destination wedding, then you know that the options are endless. But if you're looking for a truly unique setting for your big day, then you might want to consider saying "I do" in Barbados. This gorgeous Caribbean island offers everything you could want for a romantic beach wedding, from stunning white sand beaches to luxurious resorts. And with its convenient location, getting there is easy for you and your guests. So whether you're planning a small intimate affair or a large scale event, Barbados is the perfect place to have your wedding.

Planning a Barbados destination wedding is of course more complex than having your wedding in the UK. However, as a destination wedding photographer who has been to Barbados multiple times, I can assure you - it is worth it. The island is a paradise. It's one of my favourite places on the planet to spend time, due to the stunning landscape, warm and friendly people and relaxed way of life. Not to mention the food is some of the best I've ever had on my travels. As a destination wedding photographer, I am using all of my experience to create the ultimate guide for you.

When you're given the chance, you can't really not go to the Caribbean, can you?

helen baxendale

Leah Marie photography | Destination wedding photographer

destination wedding photographer


My name is Leah and I am a destination wedding photographer who has shot in Barbados multiple times. The little paradise is one of my favourite places in the world and I have experience of helping my couples with planning a wedding in Barbados. I want to use my experience to help you plan your wedding in Barbados.

I'd love to be a part of your wedding and would love help you plan your wedding in Barbados. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...

check your wedding date

planning a wedding in barbados

planning a wedding in Barbados


What makes Barbados so special? Is it the natural beauty of the island, with its gentle rolling hills and white sandy beaches? Is it the warm and friendly people, who always seem to have a smile on their face? Or is it the laid-back atmosphere, where time seems to move just a little bit slower? Perhaps it is all of these things. Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that Barbados is a truly special place and a popular destination for weddings.

There is something about Barbados that feels like home, even if you have never been here before. Maybe it is the way the sun shines down on the island, or the sound of the waves crashing against the shore. Whatever it is, there is no doubt that Barbados has a unique charm. And once you visit, you will understand why so many people fall in love with this special place. So, whether you're familiar with the island or visiting for the first time, I can comfortable assure you that planning a wedding in Barbados is always a good idea!

I have been fortunate enough to be photograph in Barbados multiple times and it is one of my favourite places in the whole world. Whether it's the delicious (and a little bit too more-ish) rum cocktails, the friendly people or the crystal clear oceans - Barbados will not disappoint.



So you've decided to get married in Barbados, congratulations! Let the planning commence. Before we start digging into the details, here are some of the first things to consider when planning...

Which coast of Barbados is right for your wedding?

The coast of Barbados is a study in contrasts. On the east coast, the Atlantic waves crash against the cliffs, creating a dramatic and rugged coastline. In contrast, the west coast is sheltered by coral reefs, resulting in calm, turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkeling. This diverse landscape provides something for everyone, whether you're looking to relax on the beach or explore the underwater world. No matter which coast you choose, you're sure to enjoy your time in Barbados.

Prepare yourself for the tropical Barbados weather!

Barbados is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. The weather in Barbados is tropical, meaning that it is hot and humid year-round. The average temperature is around 82 degrees Fahrenheit, and the island experiences a wet season from June to November. Barbados is also vulnerable to hurricanes, which can occur between June and November. However, the island is protected by a coral reef, which helps to break up dangerous waves.

Hurricanes are relatively rare in Barbados, with the last major hurricane hitting the island in 1955. However, tropical storms and hurricanes do occur occasionally. In recent years, there have been several tropical storms that have brought heavy rains and strong winds to Barbados. As a result, it is important to be prepared for the possibility of a hurricane when traveling to Barbados. There are usually several weeks of advance warning before a hurricane is expected to hit, so travelers can typically make changes to their plans if necessary.

I would recommend ideally choosing a date that falls outside of hurricane season. October and November are usually the best months to get married in Barbados, as the weather is typically dry and sunny at this time of year. However, it is always worth checking the local weather forecast in advance, just to be on the safe side.

It is also important to choose a venue that can accommodate bad weather. Many of the island's resorts have outdoor ceremony and reception areas that can be quickly closed off in the event of bad weather. Alternatively, you could consider getting married in one of Barbados' many churches or somewhere indoors.

Finally, make sure you have a contingency plan in place in case bad weather does strike on your wedding day. This could involve hiring a marquee or arranging for your ceremony and reception to be held indoors. However I must say that one of my fondest memories of weddings in Barbados is one in Speightstown where the heavens opened during the dinner reception. Everyone accepted the tropical nature of where they were, 'singing in the rain' was being played, and everyone was dancing and laughing in the warm rain.

By being prepared for any eventuality, you can ensure that your wedding goes off without a hitch - no matter what the weather throws at you!

How to pick your dream venue.

When it comes to planning your dream wedding, there are a lot of important decisions to make. One of the most important choices you'll have to make is picking the perfect venue. And if you're lucky enough to be getting married in Barbados, you really are spoilt for choice. From stunning beachfront locations to luxurious infinity pools, there's something to suit every taste and budget. But why is it so important? Well, for starters, it sets the tone for the whole day. If you're planning a relaxed beach ceremony, then a hotel ballroom probably isn't going to be the right fit. Likewise, if you want a glamorous and sophisticated affair, then a rustic barn might not be appropriate either.

So take some time to think about what kind of wedding you want, and then start searching for somewhere that will fit that description. Another important consideration is the guest list. Make sure you have an accurate idea of how many people you'll be inviting before you start looking. There's nothing worse than falling in love with a venue only to find out later that it's too small (or too big) for your guest list. And finally, don't forget to factor in your budget when choosing. While it's tempting to splurge on a lavish location, it's important to make sure you can still afford everything else on your wedding checklist. With careful planning and a bit of research, finding the perfect place for your wedding in Barbados will be easy peasy.

How much does a wedding in Barbados cost?

There is no denying that weddings can be expensive, and Barbados is no exception. However, there are ways to keep costs down. For example, many couples choose to have a smaller ceremony with only close family and friends in attendance. Others opt for a more intimate destination wedding, which can be cheaper than a traditional wedding at home. And of course, there are always special deals and discounts to be found if you know where to look. Overall, it is possible to have a beautiful Barbados wedding without breaking the bank. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can tie the knot without going into debt.

Be sure to consider the distance involved.

If you're planning a Barbados destination wedding but you live in the UK, there are a few things to take into account in regards to distance. First, keep in mind that Barbados is a small island, so even if you're staying in a resort on the opposite side of the island from where your ceremony and reception will be taking place, it's still only going to be a short drive.

Secondly, consider the time difference when booking your wedding - remember that Barbados is five hours behind the UK, so if you're planning an early morning ceremony you'll need to make sure your guests are able to be up and dressed in time. And finally, don't forget to factor in travel time when sending out your invitations - Barbados is a nine hour flight from the UK, so most people will need to take at least one or two days to travel there and get settled into their accommodations before the big day.

By keeping these things in mind, you can ensure that distance won't be an issue when planning your dream wedding in Barbados.



If you're looking for a romantic setting to get married, Speightstown in Barbados is an ideal choice. The picturesque town is located on the west coast of the island, and features a charming old-world atmosphere. The narrow streets are lined with historic buildings, and the nearby beach is perfect for a sunset ceremony.

Speightstown is also home to a number of excellent hotels restaurants, making it easy to treat your guests to a memorable rehearsal dinner or reception. It is considered quite a luxurious part of the island and boasts numerous celebrity holiday homes. So if you're dreaming of a luxury destination wedding in paradise, Speightstown should be near the top of your list.

The only downside to getting married in Speightstown is that it isn't that close to the major airport on the island. It is about a 45 minute drive in a taxi, which isn't really too bad. In my opinion, it's worth the drive!




If you're looking for a breathtaking place to get married, look no further than Bridgetown in Barbados. The historic city is known for its colonial architecture, endless white sand beaches and crystal clear blue waters. Not to mention, it's incredibly romantic!

Whether you want to exchange vows in a quaint church or on the beach at sunset, Bridgetown has everything you need to make your wedding day perfect. Plus, there are plenty of accommodations for your guests and plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained. So if you're looking for a unique and beautiful place to tie the knot, consider getting married in Bridgetown, Barbados.

Bridgetown is also the most major city on the island and boasts Barbados' major airport, Grantley Adams International Airport.


When picking your venue there are a few factors to consider:

planning a wedding in Barbados


When planning a destination wedding, there are many factors to consider. One of the most important is location. The island of Barbados offers a variety of stunning locations for a memorable wedding day. From white sand beaches to lush gardens, there is something to suit every taste. Barbados is also home to a number of top-rated resorts, which can make planning your big day a breeze. In addition, the island's climate is perfect for a winter or spring wedding.


With the number of guests you're expecting, make sure to find a somewhere that can accommodate them all. If it looks like there will be too many people standing around or seated next to each other then they may get uncomfortable really quickly especially in hot weather where everyone wants movement and space!


You might be surprised at how much you spend on your venue. For example, couples tend to allocate 40-50% of their total budget towards the choice they make for a certain place that will host it! So before making any final decisions about where and when this lifetime event takes place - take out some time in spreadsheet mode (or whatever works best) so as not miss anything important related specifically with weddings… like what's left over after paying all those pesky bills!

cobbler's cover, barbados

Photo by leah marie photography


Barbados is a stunning location for a destination wedding. With its white sand beaches, lush tropical foliage, and warm climate, it’s no wonder that couples from all over the world choose to tie the knot in Barbados. Whether you’re planning a small intimate affair or a large extravagant celebration, Barbados has the perfect setting for your dream wedding. From pristine beaches to historic plantation houses, there are endless possibilities for where to hold your ceremony and reception. And with a variety of accommodation options available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay for your guests. So whether you’re looking for a traditional church wedding or a barefoot ceremony on the beach, Barbados has everything you need to make your special day truly unforgettable.


Before getting too far with your plans, it's important to understand the legal requirements for getting married in Barbados. Now, you may have noticed, but I am not a layer. I am a wedding photographer. So, please do not accept any of the below as legitimate legal advice, it is based purely on my own research from the Barbados website. Please speak to a legal professional before doing planning for your wedding in Barbados. Based on my research, here are the broad strokes of getting married in Barbados...

To get married in Barbados, you will need to make arrangements for an authorised marriage officer. You can either choose from the Minister of Religion or Magistrate and they must be presented before applying any license related matters with them!

You must apply for a Marriage Licence from the Ministry of Home Affairs in Bridgetown. The cost for this is Bds$200 (US$100) with a Bds$25 (US$12.50) stamp (for non-residents of Barbados). You will need to present your passports, as well as your return tickets.

My advice would be to ideally work with a Barbados wedding planner who is familiar with the process and can walk you through it and ensure it all goes through with no hiccups.


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planning a wedding in Barbados

If you're considering getting married in Barbados, you may be wondering whether or not to hire a wedding planner. While there are some clear advantages to having a professional help you plan your big day, there are also some potential disadvantages to keep in mind.

One of the main benefits of hiring a wedding planner is that they will have a wealth of experience and knowledge about planning weddings on the island. They'll be able to offer advice on everything from choosing the perfect venue to finding the right suppliers. They can also help to take care of all the logistics of your wedding, so that you can relax and enjoy the lead-up to your big day.

However, it's important to note that wedding planners can be expensive, and you'll need to factor this into your budget. You'll also need to be sure that you find a reputable and reliable planner who you can trust to make your dream wedding a reality.

My advice is - if you can afford a wedding planner, hire one. If budget is tight, and you're ready to take on the stress of planning a wedding in Barbados - you can do it yourself. However, if you do decide to go that route, consider hiring suppliers who have experience of weddings on the island (like, oh I don't know... me?!).




When you're planning your wedding in Barbados, one of the first things you'll need to do is create a guest list. This can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Here's a step-by-step guide to creating your guest list:

1. Start with your immediate family and closest friends. These are the people who you absolutely want to invite to your wedding.

2. Once you've got your core group of guests, start thinking about other people you'd like to invite. This could include friends, extended family members, co-workers, etc.

3. Once you have a list of potential guests, start narrowing it down based on practical considerations. For example, if you're inviting people from out of town, you'll need to consider whether they can afford to make the trip.

4. Once you have your final guest list, start thinking about how you're going to invite everyone. You may want to send formal invitations, or you may decide to just let people know via word of mouth.

Creating a guest list for your wedding in Barbados doesn't have to be difficult. By following these simple steps, you can create a list that includes all the people you want to share your special day with.

When planning a destination wedding in Barbados, it's important to consider the travel logistics for your guests. Barbados is a beautiful island located in the Caribbean Sea, and while it's a popular tourist destination, it's not always easy to get to.

The closest airport is in Bridgetown, which is about an hour's drive from most of the island's major resorts. If you're planning on having your wedding at one of these resorts, you'll need to make sure your guests can easily get to and from the airport.

There are a few different options for transportation, but the most popular is to arrange for a shuttle service through the resort. This will ensure that your guests can all travel together and that everyone arrives on time for the wedding.

Another consideration is whether or not your guests will need visas to enter Barbados. US and UK citizens do not need visas for stays of up to 90 days, but citizens of other countries may need to apply for visas in advance. Be sure to check with your guests' local consulate or embassy to find out what the requirements are.

Travel can be a complicated process, but with a little planning, you can make sure your guests have a hassle-free experience getting to and from your destination wedding in Barbados.

There are a few things to keep in mind when advising your wedding guests on travel to your wedding. First, the island is located in the Atlantic Ocean, so be sure to check the weather forecast in advance and pack accordingly. The average temperature in Barbados is 28 degrees Celsius, but it can feel much hotter due to the humidity.

Finally, while most people in Barbados speak English, it's always helpful to learn a few key phrases in the local language of Bajan Creole. By following these tips, you can help ensure that your wedding guests have a smooth and enjoyable trip to Barbados.

planning accommodation for a wedding in Barbados

If you're planning a wedding in Barbados, you need to start planning your accommodation options.

When it comes to wedding destinations, few places can match the natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere of Barbados. If you're thinking of tying the knot in this idyllic island nation, there are a few things you need to know about planning your accommodation.

First and foremost, it's important to book well in advance. Many couples choose to stay at an all-inclusive resort, which can take care of all your food and drink needs for the duration of your stay. Alternatively, there are plenty of private villas and vacation rentals available if you're looking for something a little more intimate.

Whichever option you choose, be sure to factor in the cost of transport to and from the airport - as well as any extra costs for activities or excursions you might want to enjoy during your time in Barbados. With a little planning and forethought, you can ensure that your accommodation is just perfect for your dream destination wedding.

picking a destination wedding photographer for a wedding in Barbados

A Barbados destination wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and you want to make sure that every detail is perfect. One of the most important decisions you'll make is choosing the right photographer to capture your special day. Here are three things to look for to help you pick the right wedding photographer for your destination wedding:

1. Find someone with experience of shooting on the island specifically. They will know the best locations for photos. They'll also be familiar with the brightness of the sunshine in the Caribbean, which can greatly affect photography.

2. They have experience photographing destination weddings. Destination weddings come with their own set of challenges, from coordinating travel plans to dealing with different time zones. A good photographer will have experience navigatings these challenges and will be able to provide you with peace of mind on your big day.

3. They're invested in your vision. A good photographer will take the time to get to know you and your fiance, so they can understand your vision for the big day. They'll be just as invested in making sure your wedding is everything you've dreamed of as you are.

Having the right photographer who makes you feel comfortable and adds to your enjoyment of the day is very important, make sure you make the right decision.

destination wedding photographer for a wedding in Italy

enquire about destination wedding photography

Of course, this is where I mention that I am a destination wedding photographer who has experience of shooting weddings in Barbados and am actually a recommended supplier for one of the most luxury resorts on the island. I am familiar with the island and all of the details that help make for a great wedding day.

If you'd like to get in touch with me to discuss your Barbados destination wedding, I would absolutely love to talk to you about it. Being a Barbados wedding photographer is always a dream. My experience will allow me to help you with the planning and ensure you get the most out of your wedding day.

finding a celebrant in Barbados

If you are looking for a celebrant to officiate your wedding in Barbados, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, it is important to find someone who is familiar with the island and its laws. There are many way to do this, including asking friends or family who have been married in Barbados, or searching online for reviews. Second, be sure to meet with the celebrant beforehand (even if it is on a zoom or FaceTime) to get a sense of their personality and style. This will help you ensure that they are the right fit for your big day.

Finally, be sure to ask about fees and paperwork upfront, so there are no surprises on your wedding day. By following these tips, you can be sure to find the perfect celebrant for your special day.

picking a dress and suit for a wedding

in Barbados

wedding photographer for Barbados wedding

When planning a Barbados wedding, one of the most important decisions is choosing the perfect dress. There are a few factors to keep in mind when making this decision.

First, consider the time of year. If the wedding is taking place during the hot summer months, a lighter weight fabric like cotton or linen will be more comfortable. For a winter wedding, a heavier fabric like satin or silk will be warmer.

Second, think about the style of the wedding. A formal wedding will require a more formal gown, while a less formal ceremony can be accomodated with a more simple dress.

Finally, don't forget about the venue. If the wedding is taking place on the beach, a flowing gown with a train may not be practical. Keep all of these factors in mind when shopping for your perfect wedding dress, and you're sure to find the one that's just right for you.

So that's the bride taken care of, let's take a look at a few specific recommendations for what to wear if you are the groom at a Barbados wedding.

For starters, a linen suit is always a good choice in a tropical climate. Linen is lightweight and breathable, making it ideal for an outdoor ceremony. Plus, linen suits have a casual yet elegant look that is perfect for a beach wedding. If you prefer something with a bit more of a formal look, consider opting for a seersucker suit. Seersucker is also lightweight and perfect for warm weather, but it has a slightly more dressy appearance than linen.

However you decide to dress, remember that comfort should be your top priority. After all, this is your special day!



If you're getting married in Barbados, there are a few things you need to do to make sure your guests are prepared for the big day.

First, let them know what to expect in terms of weather. Barbados is a tropical country, so it's important to let your guests know that they should pack light, breathable clothing. It'd also be a good idea to inform them that they will need to bring sunscreen and insect repellent. The sun is pretty intense in Barbados and mosquitos can be a problem in the evening hours.

Second, make sure they know what kind of currency to bring. The official currency in Barbados is the Barbadian dollar, but most businesses will also accept US dollars. From experience, be sure to phone your currency converter of choice ahead of time as they don't typically keep Barbadian dollars in stock. Ordering currency can take up to a week, so best to tell your guests to plan in advance.

Third, give your guests a heads up about the culture in Barbados. Remember that Barbados is a casual island culture. There's no need to dress up for dinner, and flip flops are perfectly acceptable beachwear.

Finally, plan to spend some time exploring the island. Barbados has beautiful beaches, historic plantations, and vibrant towns worth visiting. With a little planning, your guests will have a wonderful time at your wedding - and they might even want to stay awhile after the festivities are over!

planning a wedding in barbados

Here's a guide on how to source and send out your wedding invitations.

When it comes to destination weddings, one of the first things you'll need to do is send out your invitations. And if you're getting married in Barbados, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind. Here's a quick guide on how to source and send out your wedding invitations for your Barbados destination wedding.

First, you'll need to find a printer who specializes in destination wedding invitations. This is important because they'll be able to advise you on the best paper and printing options to use for your invitations. They'll also be able to help you with any customs requirements for sending your invitations to your guests.

Next, you'll need to decide on your wording for the invitations. If you're having a formal wedding, then traditional wedding invite wording will likely suffice. But if you're having a more casual affair, you may want to add a bit of island flair to your invitation wording. For example, instead of "Mr. and Mrs. Smith request the pleasure of your company at their daughter's wedding," you could say something like "Join us for a Caribbean celebration as we welcome [bride] and [groom] into marriage!"

Finally, once you have your invitations printed and ready to go, you'll need to figure out the best way to get them into the hands of your guests. With destination weddings, you need to get out invites in plenty of time to give your guests the best chance of making it work financially and logistically.

finding wedding caterers in barbados

catering - planning a wedding in barbados

When it comes to planning a Barbados destination wedding, there are a lot of details to take into account. One of the most important aspects of the event is the food. After all, what's a wedding without a delicious meal? If you're getting married in Barbados, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to finding the perfect caterer.

First, it's important to find a caterer that is familiar with the local cuisine. This will ensure that your guests are able to enjoy a truly authentic experience.

Additionally, you'll want to find a caterer that is experienced in working with weddings. This will help to ensure that your caterer is able to provide the level of service and attention to detail that you deserve on your big day.

A lot of venues will offer catering as part of their package. Be sure to try the catering before your wedding if possible, or if not - at least look at reviews. The food in Barbados is pretty good in most places. My favourite place for food is at the Barbados wedding venue Cobbler's Cove in Speightstown.

With these tips in mind, you're sure to find the perfect caterer for your destination wedding in Barbados.

organising a wedding cake in barbados

If you're planning a wedding in Barbados, one of the most important details to take care of is the cake. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to organising your wedding cake in Barbados.

First of all, you'll need to decide on the flavor. There are many different options available, so be sure to try a few samples before making your final decision. Once you've decided on the flavor, you'll need to choose a design. Again, there are many different designs to choose from, so take your time and pick something that you really love. Lastly, you'll need to decide on the size of the cake. The size will depend on how many guests you're expecting at your wedding.

Tradition in the Caribbean is to have the 'black cake' for your wedding, which is derived from the English Plum Pudding. But of course, just because it's tradition doesn't mean you have to conform!

As with catering, your venue or planner may be able to assist you with a local baker who can create the wedding cake of your dreams. Once you've taken care of these details, you can sit back and relax knowing that your wedding cake will be perfect.

bonus tips for your time in barbados

When you're not getting married, be sure to use your time in Barbados to experience some of the amazing things the island has to offer. The island is known for its white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush vegetation. Here are some tips for having a great trip to Barbados:

- Plan your trip during the island's dry season, which runs from December to May. This is the best time of year to enjoy Barbados' many outdoor activities.

- Be sure to pack plenty of sun protection, including sunscreen, hats, and sunglasses. The sun can be very intense in Barbados.

- If you want to experience the true culture of Barbados, be sure to visit some of the island's rum shops. Rum is an important part of Barbadian culture and you'll find some of the best rum in the world.

- When dining out, try some of the local specialties such as flying fish and cou-cou (a cornmeal dish).

- Barbados is home to many great beaches. Some of the most popular beaches include Mullins Beach, Rockley Beach, and Accra Beach.

- There are also several excellent golf courses on the island if that's your thing. Some of the best courses can be found at Sandy Lane Resort and Royal Westmoreland Golf Club.

- If you're looking for a more active trip, there are plenty of options for hiking, biking, and even zip lining through the rainforest.

- Take a tour of Harrison's Cave, an extensive cave system with underground rivers and cascading waterfalls.

- Travel back in time with a visit to Mount Gay Rum Distillery, one of the oldest rum distilleries in the world.

No matter what kind of vacation you're looking for, you're sure to have a great time in Barbados. Just follow these tips and you'll be sure to have an amazing time in Barbados.

Leah Marie photography | Destination wedding photographer

book your destination wedding photographer now


I can get booked up as much as two or three years in advance, so if you're interested in discussing me being a part of your special day, reach out now and we can discuss your special day.

I'd love to be a part of your special day and would love help you plan your wedding in Barbados. Get in touch and see if I have your date free...

check your wedding date