Frequently Asked Questions About Barbados

About Barbados

Barbados is mainly a flat coral island about 166 sq. miles in size with white sandy beaches and sparkling blue waters.

When the Portuguese discovered Barbados in the 16th century they noticed that the bearded fig tree grew in abundance and christened the island Los Barbados which was then shortened to Barbados. The bearded fig tree is viewed as unusual because it sends aerial roots from its branches, therefore appearing as if it is bearded. While Barbados' official spoken language is English, a Bajan dialect is widely spoken by Barbados nationals.

An Eastern Caribbean island, Barbados is located within the tropics and is filled with warm days with cool winds (75-85 F) and cool, cozy nights. Each year in Barbados is normally divided into two seasons: a dry season which normally lasts from January to June and a wet or hurricane season which normally lasts from June to November. Visitors should note that wet season only entails quick showers and that a hurricane hasn’t been of major threat to Barbados since 1980.

Aside from Barbados’ wonderful and sunny climate, the atmosphere and environment that makes Barbados seem even more special and unique are its people. Barbados locals known as Barbadians or otherwise referred to as Bajans are the warmest and friendliest of souls who are always ready with a quick sincere smile. In addition, the island of Barbados itself is naturally charming and enchanting.

With so many day, night, and special annual activities in Barbados, you can never be bored on the island; Barbados has the distinction of being a well rounded tourist destination, with an array of scenic areas, shopping facilities, places of interest, historic monuments, beautiful beaches and a great nightlife. Barbados also has an array of leisure activities, such as surfing, sailing, road tennis, windsurfing, golfing, banana boat rides, horse riding, cricket, hiking, spas and beauty salons and amusement arcades. Barbados boasts a wide and diverse variety of nightlife that is designed to meet and suit everyone needs, here are some of the absolute must do night spots on the island of Barbados, the Olympus theaters, St. Lawrence Gap, Boatyard, Club Extreme, Harbour Lights, Bajan Roots and Rhythms and last but not least you must experience one of the Barbados Harbour Master cruises.

When visiting Barbados, also select one of Barbados’ exciting festivals to attend, Barbados celebrates a number of festivals throughout the year which showcases the island’s national culture and heritage.

These festivals include The Barbados Jazz Festival: this showcases several international and local artiste, The Barbados Holetown Festival: showcases a celebration of the first landing of settlers in Barbados, The Oistins Fish Festival: a celebration to honor the contributions made to the Barbados fishing community, The Holders Season: showcases opera, fine music and superb theatrical performances by international artiste, Barbados Gospelfest Festival: showcases a number of gospel artiste, Crop Over: a celebration that symbolizes the end of the crop season in Barbados and the island comes alive with sound of soca and calypso and brightly colored costumes, and last but not least the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts: showcases the best in literary, culinary, performing and visual arts in Barbados.

Legality of Your Overseas Wedding

Your Barbados wedding is legal according to the national laws of Barbados and is recognized as a valid overseas marriage, subject to meeting the specific documentation required by your country.

The Marriage Officer will provide you with your signed and witnessed marriage certificate. Another copy is retained by the Marriage Officer for his/her records and the third is submitted to the Barbados Supreme Court in order to register your wedding in Barbados.

In addition to the certificate issued by the Marriage Officer on the day of your wedding, you will require a certified copy of the marriage certificate. This certified marriage certificate will be obtained and posted to you via registered mail within 8-10 weeks after your wedding date. The fee for this service is already included in your wedding package costs. If you wish to have the certificate sent via courier, this can be arranged for an additional fee of approximately US$70.00.

For some European countries, other than the UK, an apostil is required. The Apostil Fee is US$75.00. Some other countries require that the certified copy of the marriage certificate be stamped by the Consular Representative on the island. We suggest you contact your local government registry offices and determine whether you will require an apostil or a consular stamp.

General Conditions of our Service

  1. Weddings are performed from Mondays to Fridays between 11.00am to 4.30pm.
  2. Sunset weddings are arranged on request at no additional charge.
  3. Saturday weddings may be arranged from a supplement of US$100.00.
  4. We do not usually host weddings on Sundays and bank holidays.
  5. The marriage officer will be a Minister from the Anglican or Methodist Church.
  6. Civil ceremonies can be arranged on request and usually involve an additional fee of US$175.00 and a visit to the Magistrate's court.

General Requirements for a Marriage Licence

  1. Valid passports.
  2. If either party was married previously and widowed, a certified copy of the marriage certificate and death certificate in respect of the deceased spouse.
  3. If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute OR certified copy of the Final Judgments, NOT the Decree Nisi.
  4. All documents not in English must be accompanied by a translation certified by an authorized Notary Public (NOT a Justice of the Peace).
  5. A letter from the marriage officer who has agreed to perform the marriage ceremony (provided by Tropical Weddings).
  6. Persons under the age of sixteen (16) cannot be legally married in Barbados. For persons between the ages of sixteen (16) and eighteen (18), the consent of both parents must be obtained and both parents must be present at the time of the application.
  7. Original deed poll if either party has had a name change.
  8. Persons eighteen (18) years and older do not require parental consent.

If you are getting married in a church other documents would need to be organized ahead of time - please click here for a list of these documents.

Question: What side of the road do you drive on in Barbados?

Answer: Driving in Barbados, like in Britain, is on the left-hand side. In addition, if you wish to rent a car during your stay in Barbados there are a number of agencies such as ‘Drive-A-Matic’ that offer a number of car rental specials. You will also need to buy a temporary Barbadian driver’s licence that you get at any car rental agency or the Barbados Licencing Authority for a fee of $10.

Question: I would love to have a tropical wedding in Barbados. What do I need to do?

Answer: You have chosen Barbados to be your destination of choice for your wedding. Go ahead and say I do on the beautiful landscaped grounds of Farley Hill National Park, Andromeda Botanical Gardens or a poolside or seaside gazebo or even on board your private sailing yacht or catamaran in the beautiful Caribbean Sea. In having your tropical wedding there is no waiting period or minimum length of stay. The application must be made by both the bride and groom in person at the office of the Barbados Ministry of Home Affairs. You are required to take the following documents with you when applying:

  1. Valid passports OR original or certified copies of Birth Certificates.
  2. If either party was divorced then the application must be accompanied with an original Decree Absolute or a certified copy of the Final Judgment. 
  3. If either party was married and widowed then the application must be accompanied with an certified copy of the Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate in respect of the deceased spouse. If neither the bride nor the groom are citizens or residents of Barbados then there is a fee of Barbados $200.00 plus a Barbados $25.00 stamp.

Question: What documents are required when I arrive at the airport in Barbados?

Answer: On arrival in Barbados please have available for examination a passport and a valid return ticket. In addition be sure to have ready your completed customs declaration form when clearing immigrations in Barbados.

Question: Do I require a visa when visiting Barbados?

Answer: If you are not a citizen of the Caribbean Community, the USA, Canada and the United Kingdom you are expected to obtain a visa before traveling to Barbados.

Question: If yes, then how do I apply for one?

Answer: Visa applications must be completed in duplicate and accompanied by two (2) passport sized photographs. The fee for a single entry visa is Barbados $50.00 and for a multiple entry visa is Barbados $60.00 which can be obtained from any of Barbados' Missions overseas.

Question: Where can I access more information once I arrive at the airport in Barbados?

Answer: If you have any questions upon reaching Barbados, feel free to contact the visitor information booth which is located in the baggage collection hall of the Grantley Adams International Airport. There you will also find information on accommodations, attractions and much more on Barbados.

Question: On my departure from Barbados are there any fees or taxes to be paid?

Answer: All persons departing from Barbados must pay departure tax of Barbados $60 or US$30, however this is included in your ticket already.

Question: What postal services are offered in Barbados?

Answer: Barbados' postal service is one of the oldest in the world with eighteen postal counters located across Barbados. Some of the services being offered are 1) the Express Mail Service which is designed to give the customer a fast, efficient and reliable yet fully documented service, either local or international and can be purchased from any District Post Office and 2) the Barbados Philatelic Bureau has recognized the growing demand for Barbados stamps by Philatelists over the last three decades. As a result, it now publishes four to six commemorative issues yearly and a definitive issue every four to five years. Visitors to the island can take advantage of Barbados’ walk-in policy and make a visit to the Bureau a must during their holiday in Barbados.

Question: What kinds of banking and financial services are offered in Barbados?

Answer: In Barbados, Commercial Banks open Monday – Thursday 8am-3pm and Fridays 8am-5pm. Travelers' cheques, Debit and Credit cards are widely accepted across the island. Barbados has six (6) commercial banks which provide full banking services: these are the Bank of Butterfield, First Caribbean International, Caribbean Commercial Bank, the Bank of Nova Scotia, Barbados National Bank and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Question: What is the exchange rate like in Barbados?

Answer: Barbados’ official currency is the Barbadian dollar, which has maintained a fixed rate of exchange of BDS$2 to US$1, since 1975. Both currencies are accepted nationwide including most major credit cards, which can generally be used at Automatic Teller Machines across Barbados. Foreign exchange transactions are also done in EC (Eastern Caribbean) dollars, US dollars, Pounds, Canadian and Euro dollars. Visitors can also change travelers’ cheques and perform cable transfers at any bank in Barbados.

Question: What sorts of health and wellness services are offered in Barbados?

Answer: Barbados has an excellent health care system which is available for both citizens and tourists, the island has a large array of private and public facilities, the primary ones being the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Bay View Hospital. Barbados also has a number of polyclinics that are effectively decentralized and many private medical practitioners as well. Barbados also has a heavy presence of spas, pharmacies and wellness centres.

Questions: What kinds of telecommunications services are available in Barbados?

Answer: Cable and Wireless in Barbados currently provides the island with fast and reliable telecommunications service in both land line and cellular communications service, in addition Barbados also has available two other cellular communication companies - Digicel and Cingular Wireless.

Question: Does Barbados have a reliable supply of electricity?

Answer: The Barbados Light and Power Co. Ltd. provides all of Barbados with a reliable electricity supply, power outages normally tend to occur during severe bad weather and in most cases is restored quickly . Electricity is supplied at both 110 volts AC and 220 volts AC, 50 cycles in most modern buildings. However, some buildings in Barbados may not supply 220 volts AC.