Sun | Jul 5, 2020

Some couples unfazed as registry weddings fall

Published:Friday | May 29, 2020 | 12:32 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer

COVID-19 has put many significant events on hold, but many couples have remained determined to tie the knot.

The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) offers registry weddings at 10 locations islandwide and has been an ideal option for scores bound by social-distancing and public-gathering restrictions.

Preliminary data from the RGD have shown that almost 1,000 couples tied the knot in March and April.

Of that number, 112 were registry weddings, while another 882 were held otherwise.

“The RGD suspended the acceptance of new registry wedding appointments between March 18 to April 30, 2020. Only appointments made prior to March 18, 2020, were facilitated during this period,” the department said in an email response.

Just under 350 registry weddings were held for the same period in 2018 and 2019.

Registry weddings account for an average of 10 per cent of overall weddings – a trend that has been consistent for the past five years.

For years, they have been marketed as an affordable and convenient way to say ‘I do’.

The service cost is $15,000, and the couple are allowed eight guests, including two witnesses.

The minister and the venue are provided by the department, and two marriage certificates are issued within four working days of the ceremony.

The following documents are required to begin the process: birth or adoption certificates, valid IDs, two witnesses over the age of 18 to sign the marriage register, and a minister’s licence, which is available on the Ministry of Justice’s website.

Final divorce judgment papers, decree absolute or decree of nullity, must be submitted, where applicable.

If the spouse of either party has died, the previous marriage and death certificate will be required.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com