Early in the Covid-19 corona virus lockdown, Premier Alden Mclaughlin announced that weddings and funerals would still be allowed, under certain restrictions, in particular, with very limited numbers. Joy Basdeo of Simply Weddings says that as of 1st May, 2020, her business resumed doing what she says they are known for: simple, elegant, personalised weddings.
“In fact, many things are the same with one exception, that is, we are doing all the communication, collection of documents, filings etc. electronically. Only the wedding is done face-to-face,” Joy states. “Our office off Smith Road is not open for enquiries or appointments, we are only open when a wedding is actually taking place. Watch our Facebook page www.facebook.com/SimplyWeddingsCayman for announcements of when regular business hours resume.”
Joy walks prospective clients through how getting married works in the time of Covid-19.
“First you contact us by What’s App at (345)525 6551 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you the application form and a description of the service called ‘How Cayman Residents Can Get Married’. When you return the application you also send a scan or photo of the picture page of both passports, and if you have been married before, a copy of your divorce decree,” she explains.
Simply Weddings then post the couple’s Banns of Marriage, a public announcement of their intention to be married. They are posted on their Banns Board outside their office in The Chestnut Centre on Smith Road for seven days. The Banns are good for 90 days, after which if you postpone your wedding further, you have to restart the process, Joy advises.
The Banns are intended to give anyone who has a valid objection to the wedding an opportunity to object. In reality, there is very rarely an objection, she says.
The Cayman Is Marriage Law does not require a Certificate of Eligibility for a couple to be married, but they must have two residents who can vouch for them, and countersign the Notice of Marriage. These can be friends, colleagues, employers etc.; they just cannot be family.
“We will send you the Notice of Marriage and you must sign it and have your co-signers sign and then you return it to us by scanning it or bringing it to the actual wedding ceremony,” Joy adds.
During this lockdown period everyone attending a wedding must be approved by the competent authority, Curfewtime.
“We are responsible for getting this exemption letter, so early on we will ask for the names of your witnesses and your guests,” Joy says. “At the time of writing you are allowed to invite, in addition to your witnesses, six other guests for a total of 10 people. It is important to note that guests can’t attend just because it’s their “day”. Your name must be on the approved, exempted list.”
If a couple are getting married indoors, they are required to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing. For this reason, if a couple choose to be married in their Wedding Room, they are allowed two witnesses and four guests.
Joy expands on the financial side of the event: “Once we forward you the approval letter, full payment for your wedding is due. Paying by debit card is preferable, but you can pay cash on the wedding day.”
After the wedding, Joy will file the couple’s register with the General Registry, Cayman’s public records office. The Registry will issue a certified copy of the Marriage Register which is proof that the couple were legally married in the Cayman Islands and their marriage has been recorded.
“It is your responsibility to apply for this important document (cost is $15 per copy) and keep it safe’ you will need it many times throughout the life of your marriage,” she explains. “You can also apply for the document online at www.ciregistry.gov.ky If the bride and groom are from different countries, we suggest you get at least two copies. Certain countries also require an Apostille stamp on your certified copy. Check with us if this is necessary for your country.”