Marrying on a budget … More couples opting to tie the knot at RGD outlets
The number of new marriages in Jamaica may be decreasing, but more and more couples wishing to wed are choosing to do so at a Registrar General’s Department (RGD) outlet.
This option is arguably more economical than forking out exorbitant sums to utilise more expensive means for the life-changing experience, according to representatives from the government agency.
According to the RGD, from April 2018 to March this year, 1,940 persons opted to wed at a small RGD service rather than follow tradition, using a church with dozens of guests. There were 1,954 such weddings in the corresponding period for the previous year.
“We have a registry wedding service where persons wanting to get married can actually come to the RGD. They just need to make an appointment and set the date and time,” Nicole Whyte, marketing and planning manager at the RGD, told The Sunday Gleaner.
“This is at all of our 10 RGD offices islandwide, from Monday to Saturday. They just need to set the date so that we can ensure that the minister is here.”
The service cost is $15,000, and each couple is allowed eight guests, including two witnesses. They will also be issued two marriage certificates within four working days after the ceremony.
“We have been doing this for a number of years and persons have been embracing it. It is cost-effective, we provide the minister, the venue, and so on,” said Whyte.
“This is just for persons who are really just looking to get married. They are not into spending a whole lot of money and putting themselves in debt to have a big wedding.”
She said couples must ensure that they have all the relevant documents in place before starting the process.
These include: birth certificates, valid identifications, two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign the marriage register, and also a minister’s licence, which is available on the Ministry of Justice’s website.
WEDDINGS HELD AT RGD OUTLETS
April 1, 2016 - March 31, 2017 – 1,783
April 1, 2017 - March 31, 2018 – 1,954
April 1, 2018- March 31, 2019 – 1,940