Friday, March 27, 2009

Cayman Vow Renewal for Louisville, KY Couple

Maybe because I'm an unabashed romantic, maybe because I've been married a long time, but I love to help couples plan, and to perform Wedding Vow Renewal ceremonies.

This husband from Louisville, KY contacted me about a surprise renewal for this wife of 11 years, at which he planned to give her a new ring. He was also involved in helping plan the words they would say to each other, for as he put it "something quick, simple and early" and on the beach of course.

My husband and I picked them up before 8am at the Marriott Resort on Seven Mile Beach where they were staying and took them down to the Governor's Beach which I thought would be fairly quiet that early in the morning, and it was.

They wanted the ceremony right down the beach, almost in the surf.

I always give my renewal couples a dated, signed and witnessed Wedding Vow Renewal Certificate as a tangible reminder of this significant event.

Signed and sealed with a glass of champagne, followed by Mimosas out of respect for the early hour.
Quick cuddle, also showing off the beautiful new ring. She really had no idea, he managed to quite surprise her.

This is a spectacular beach. Only a few early walkers were out. It is always clean thanks to the Department of Environmental Health's clean-up crew, who I really appreciate.

I have been officiating at a lot more Wedding Vow Renewals since the start of this year. Look for my new wedding vow renewal package on my website
which includes transportation and champagne all for one low price.

Cruise Wedding Vow Renewals are especially popular, an unforgettable way to celebrate a second-honeymoon or just a couples' get-away. You don't have to wait for the BIG anniversary,
couples can celebrate any milestone they wish, in their life together.

Call me to start planning your personalised Cayman Wedding Vow Renewal today (345) 5256551.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cayman Beach Wedding with Unity Sand Ceremony

Today was extremely windy over on the other side of the island. I was glad this chuppah was very sturdy. The wedding planner picked a good place to set-up the ceremony. I am going to write about this quite unusual wedding when I get the official pictures, but I get so many requests for Unity Sand Ceremonies I wanted to talk about this one in some depth.

This couple provided their own sand, and engraved Memory Vase. I am quite happy for you to do this, because particularly in the USA you can get many more colours of sand than I can. The colours being used today were purple for the bride and aqua for the groom. After we had the preliminary meeting to discuss the ceremony and finish the documentation we decided that since both mothers were present they would pour the neutral coloured foundation, and add their blessings. As your Marriage Officer I often do this for couples, symbolising that marriage is the foundation of your new life together.
Once the foundation is poured, then the groom pours a ribbon of his colour to represent his individual life. Then the bride pours a ribbon of her colour to represent the same. Then I ask them to pour the remaining sand together, to represent that their lives once joined will never be able to be separated. Finally I scoop some sand from the beach in a shell and seal the Memory Vase with a natural colour.
The new couple pose with their completed Memory Vase, a tangible reminder of their wedding day in the Cayman Islands.

Call me to plan your own Unity Sand Ceremony for your wedding or vow renewal, (345) 5256551 or There is a small additional charge for the Unity Sand Ceremony, as well as if I provide the memory Vase with packaging and coloured sand.

I will write a special ceremony for you to include speaking parts if desired, for family members or children. Watch this spot for a Cruise Wedding and Unity Sand Ceremony for a family with 6 children coming up in early April!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Wonderful Cayman Wedding at Starfish Point, Grand Cayman

On a beautiful, cool Cayman Saturday morning my husband and I set-off for our first wedding ceremony of the day, a Czech/Italian couple living and working on the island, who were tying the knot at one of the most wonderful spots in the Cayman Islands, Starfish Point, Ivory Kai, Grand Cayman.

Waiting to hear the pronouncement at the end of the short ceremony ..."and now, according to the laws of the Cayman Islands, and by virtue of the authority vested in me, I pronounce you to be husband and wife!"

Signing the marriage register documents

Two witnesses are required by law

Being presented with the Certified Copy of their Marriage Register by the Civil Registrar of Marriages

Well and truly married, and sealed with a kiss!

This is the real Starfish Point. Today the starfish were on the other side of Ivory Kai. I was glad I had brought a couple of my own starfish, assorted sand dollars and my lucky-in-love Trumpet shell to decorate the signing table.

Ceremony by Joy of Weddings for Cayman Weddings, flowers arranged by the Bride, photography my Olympus FE 370. Call or email me today for your own simple Cayman barefoot beach wedding at this or any number of wonderful spots in the beautiful Cayman Islands, call (345)5256551 or visit my website

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Getting Married in Cayman, the legal requirements for visitors

Every year between 800-1000 visitors get married in the Cayman Islands. Today I am going to walk you through how easy this can be. Even if you want a very simple wedding you must have two things, a Marriage Officer/Civil Registrar of Marriages and a Special Marriage License. The procedure is the same whether you are visiting on a cruise ship, or as a stay-over tourist. A Marriage Officer/Civil Registrar of Marriages is licensed by the Cayman Islands Government to conduct marriages under the Marriage Law (1963)

Marriage Officers are normally ministers of religion, or lay-pastors. They will conduct a religious ceremony according to their faith. A Civil Registrar, like I am will conduct a civil ceremony or a spiritual, contemporary ceremony.

A beach in the district of Bodden Town. This is where I grew up, and I still have fond memories of this district.

A Special Marriage License costs US$200 and is available from the Corporate Office of the Cayman Islands Government. Your wedding celebrant will get this for you, so there is no need for you to stand in line and wait to get this yourself. The Special Marriage License is included in all my packages.

You cannot obtain a SML in advance, your signature on the application has to be witnessed on the date it is applied for, and must be accompanied by your white Immigration slip, or your ship's card as proof that you are a visitor. There are different requirements for couples who are locals, or residents of the islands.

This is the famous Seven Mile Beach, often ranked in the Top Ten beaches in the world, and a favourite for a beach wedding in the Cayman Islands.

Your application for a SML must state the wedding officiant, the location and date of the wedding as well as your personal details. If you have been married before these personal details will include complete details of your divorce, or your spouse's death certificate.

All my weddings have a similar set-up to this, a table, with linens and usually shells and an envelope which contains the relevant paperwork to legalise your marriage. I have a particular affinity for star-fish which I think are very lucky.

After the ceremony, couples are required to sign three pieces of paper. A Certified Copy of the Marriage Certificate which is theirs to keep, (this is the pretty gold one you see in many pictures) the Marriage Register and the Marriage (Duplicate) Register. The Marriage Register is my copy and is filed in my Book of Marriages. Each Marriage Register has a unique number, and my initials. The Marriage (Duplicate) Register is the official record of your marriage which I file with the Registrar General's Office, or as you know it, the "public records office".

Under our Marriage Law every wedding must be witnessed by two other people over the age of 18 years. People often ask me whether family members can witness, yes, they can. If you are coming just as a couple, I can provide the witnesses but you must tell me in advance that you need them. It is appropriate to give your witnesses a tip if they have come out to your wedding especially.

This couple travelling on a cruise ship found some witnesses to bring along to their Seven Mile Beach wedding.

In a day or two, I obtain a Registered Marriage Certificate on your behalf which I mail to you.
This is your official Marriage Certificate which you will need to change your Drivers License, change the name on your Social Security, bank accounts etc. It is VERY important, and you should safe-guard it with your other important papers. (If you lose it, you can write to me and get another one, remember I have one copy on my own marriage book). All my wedding packages include the Registered Marriage Certificate. It says "secure copy" on the reverse, it has a coloured water-mark of the Cayman Islands Coat-of-Arms and it has the raised seal of the Registrar General.

You don't have to have a wedding cake like this one, but many people do. I like this cake topper which is Lennox crystal, and which features swans (swans mate for life!)

I write many special ceremonies for couples both for weddings and wedding vow renewals. I particularly enjoy writing parts for children and parents of the bride and groom when appropriate.

The Unity Sand Ceremony is very popular for a beach wedding. There is an extra charge for this if I provide the ceremony, sand and containers including the Memory Vase for you to take home. You can bring your own sand and Memory Vase, that's fine with me. I caution couples against using too many colours. The most popular colours are blues, greens and browns. Sometimes couples put special colours in to represent their favourite sports team. Sometimes if there are children involved I like to use small shells, small pieces of paper with wishes, or blessings anything which conveys to the child that this is a very special and unique part of the wedding ceremony.
Just married couple with champagne cork with the date, and a Cayman quarter. This is a local tradition which we got from the British. The sixpence in your shoe tradition doesn't work so well on the beach where most people go barefoot for their wedding.

I try to include some local traditions and Caymanian flavour in all my weddings. I have many different ceremonies, readings and vows. I can write a ceremony which reflects your own heritage, religion or customs. Please let me know when you have particularly enjoyed your Cayman Islands wedding and I will post your comments for other to share.

Call me for an application form today, and begin planning your simple, elegant and personalised wedding with "Simply Weddings- Grand Cayman Wedding Celebrants and Planners," (345) 5256551

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thank You from Joy and Simply Weddings, Grand Cayman

This is my favourite spot to do a beach wedding on Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman and my favourite simple set-up.

Today all my viewers made me very happy because in the 12 months or so I have been blogging seriously I have had 10,000 viewers! Obviously I can't blog every wedding I do, but when a couple really stands out because they are so nice, so happy, and so in love, then I try to share a bit about their special day.

From the North Pole to Sunny Cayman- Vow renewal for US soldiers

These two active duty soldiers from North Pole, Alaska were visiting on a Disney Cruise with their 5 year old son today, and arranged to have a vow renewal ceremony to celebrate their 6th
wedding anniversary.

Posing with their Vow Renewal Certificate after the ceremony

Family hug, I hope this little boy remembers the fun he had on Seven Mile Beach when he's older.

I always invite the couple to reseal their vows with a kiss

Looking at the cork from their special bottle of champagne, a small memento of the day and
Grand Cayman

This bouquet has aggapanthus, hybrid lilies and bear grass designed by Rachel of Trisha's Roses especially for this bride.

Since their renewal package included champagne, which I always give to service-men, I did a special order bouquet and boutonniere which was complimentary. (A token of my appreciation to armed services personnel, police and firemen for keeping us safe).

Having a vow renewal is a super way to remember a special family vacation, and to mark a milestone in your married life. Vow renewals have become an important part of my practice, as couples from all over the world choose to renew their wedding vows on one of our spectacular beaches. This ceremony by Joy of Weddings for Simply Weddings took place at the Governor's Beach, Grand Cayman. Photos, my Olympus FE 370. Call me for your own Cayman Vow Renewal (345) 5256551 or

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunset Wedding at My Secret Cove - Grand Cayman

Sometimes I meet a couple and the magic between them is very obvious. This was the case last Saturday with a local couple whose wedding I performed at MSC.

I love this shot which looks like they're standing in the water

I don't usually take this many people to MSC but Smith Cove was full of bathers, and sunbathers so I was glad for the privacy MSC provided.

A quiet moment at the end of the day to reflect on being Mr & Mrs.

Ceremony by Joy of Weddings for Cayman Weddings. Photography by Dubadah Boldeau. Wedding bouquet designed and supplied by the bride. Cayman Weddings is the company of choice for resident weddings, we have been in business continuously for 25 years. Call us at (345) 9498677 or drop in to our office at Suite 205B, Centennial Towers. West Bay. Office hours M- F, 9 am - 3 pm. Book your Saturday wedding early to avoid disappointment.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

(Ex-Cayman Weddings) 2009 Orchid Show

Despite having a very busy weekend with 5 weddings scheduled, this morning I got up early to go to the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park with my friend Yvonne to see the 2009 Orchid Society Show and orchid sale.

This is a Cattleya 24 Karat Lea (according to the tag)

This is Princess Mikasa Pink

Yvonne has an enormous orchid house, and got lots of new orchids today. I provided the transport and morale support.
This is one of the orchid enthusiasts Genevieve Henning with a Paphiopedilum

Part of the Orchid Display held in the Visitor's Centre

Yvonne takes a break with one of the new ones she bought. I was quite surprised at the number of people who were in line when the gates open. Apparently you have to go early to get the best selection of exotics brought in specially for the sale. Part of the fun seemed to be talking with fellow enthusiasts about the orchids you have, and the fine points of caring for these beautiful plants.
Here she is trying to get me to attempt to grow some of the "easy" ones. No luck, I'll go over to her house and enjoy hers. I did learn some names though, of orchids commonly used in wedding arrangements, such as the small red "Ann Blacks"

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

How To Get Married while in Grand Cayman - FAQs for Visitors

A recent couple from Ontario, Canada traveling on the Carnival Valor,

I get so many requests for information each week I decided to write what you need to know.
Basically under our Marriage Law a visitor is classified as someone who is here temporarily for the purpose of a vacation. Non-nationals who are here as students, on a work permit or for a few months (snow-birds) are considered residents, and different rules apply.

A visitor must be married by Special Marriage License, which costs US$200. You can apply for the Special Marriage License yourself, but the most convenient way to get this is to have your Marriage Officer get it on your behalf and bring it to the ceremony. Most times, particularly for cruise ship weddings I submit as much paperwork as I can in advance, but on the day of the marriage I still have to produce the couple's original signatures and their proof of visitor status, normally the ship's cards.

I arrange to meet my couple near the Rayal Watler cruise terminal. This is where the tenders, the small boats which bring cruise visitors from the cruise ship anchored in the harbour to the pier, dock. If you want to get dressed for your wedding in a formal wedding gown, I will take you to our office to dress. If you are traveling with a group, I arrange your transport to your chosen location. In most cases, this is Seven Mile Beach, but I have other beach locations I recommend as well.

I do not use locations that you have to pay to use. I do not accept commissions from any vendors to recommend their products and establishments, and I do not recommend any vendor whose services I would not use myself. I will tell you up front what all charges are, and if I can't do something I will tell you that as well.

I have a refund policy, and a bad weather policy. I require a $200 deposit in advance to book your visitor wedding. This is because I do only one cruise wedding per day. I want you to make the most of your Cayman experience.

Visitors can get married on Public Holidays, Saturdays and Sundays when the government office where the Special Marriage License is obtained is closed, if special arrangements have been made in advance.

At the wedding I will give you a decorative certified copy of your marriage certificate. I am required by law to give you a certified copy the day of your wedding. It is my choice to give you something nice which you want to keep.

At your wedding you must sign three copies of the Marriage Register, one is yours (referred to above) one is mine, for my Marriage Book, and one I file the next day with our Public Records Office, also known as the General Registry.

Connecticut newly-weds at the Reef Resort, East End, Grand Cayman

If you are a visitor, I apply for and obtain on your behalf, a Registered Marriage Certificate which is the legal proof of your marriage you will need when you go back home. This RMC says "secure copy" on the reverse. On the front it has your details, a coloured watermark of the Cayman Islands Crest and a raised seal of the Registrar General. This Registered Marriage Certificate is recognised world-wide. Make sure that you arrange with your Marriage Officer to get this important document, normally it is mailed to you within a few days of your marriage.
If you lose your RMC you can replace it for a small fee by writing directly to me. Many people get two copies from the beginning, in case they have to file their original copy with the authorities back home.

Arrangements for stay-over visitors are much the same, except that we ask you to come in to our office to complete the documentation for your Special Marriage License. I can come to your hotel, but there is an extra change for this and I usually do it only for my corporate clients eg. hotels who use my services as a marriage officer, and not as a wedding planner.

I have been performing weddings in the Cayman Islands for almost 15 years, full-time for the last three years. I am not a Minister of Religion, I am a Civil Registrar of Marriages. You can choose to have a spiritual ceremony with a prayer, or you can have a completely secular ceremony. I have a great variety of ceremonies with reflect marriage traditions of many cultures and countries.

Joy with a visiting couple from Tampa at My Secret Cove, last month

A Simple Cayman Wedding which covers all legal requirements, the wedding ceremony, the Marriage Officer, the Special Marriage License, the decorative certified copy of the Marriage Certificate, filing your marriage and the Registered Marriage Certificate costs US$650. Ask me about additional services. Ask about our Simple Cayman Vow Renewal, starting at US$400 and make it an anniversary you both will always remember. Call today (345) 5256551

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Simple Cayman Cruise Wedding for Pennsylvania Couple

Another beautiful day in paradise as our TV weatherman John likes to say. It has been very windy and the cruise ships went around to Spotts landing today. It didn't deter this group of nineteen from Pennsylvania, that I took down to Blue Water Beach for a family-style wedding.

I like to use this beach for groups because of the shade, the wash rooms, the fact that it is always clean, it's free, and my visitors can walk a few yards down the road to Alfresco's restaurant. I arranged transport for the group and went off to get their Special Marriage License. When I met them about an hour later they were enjoying themselves on the beach.

There were a lot of shouts of "At last!" and "It's about time" for the Bride and Groom from their traveling companions of family and friends. They asked me to give a shout-out to their friend Bret in Hamburg, PA.

The bride and groom surrounded by family and friends, including their respective children. I left them all set to enjoy their day in Grand Cayman, and particularly the West Bay end of Seven Mile Beach. swimming and walking the beach, eating and drinking before rejoining their ship, Carnival Valor, for the next stop on their western Caribbean itinerary.

A simple Cayman Cruise Wedding on the beach doesn't have to break the bank, even when traveling with a large group. Call me to plan your Cayman Cruise Wedding today, (345) 5256551 or plan a simple Cayman Cruise Vow Renewal and surprise your loved one on your special anniversary