5 things you need to know about your wedding in Cuba
If you are thinking about getting married in Cuba, or have already started planning the wedding, there are some things you would find very useful to know. Just keep reading!!!
1. The documentation. This is one of the first decisions to make when you decide to get married in Cuba: perform a legal civil wedding or a symbolic ceremony. If you opt for the first option, you should know that Cubans must only present their identity card and birth certificate. These documents would be accompanied by the certificate of divorce (if the bride or groom is divorced). Foreigners must present copies of their passport and birth certificate. If the bride or groom is divorced or widowed, she or he needs to have Certificate of Divorce or original Marriage Certificate and former spouse's Death Certificate. Everything must be translated into Spanish and legalized by the Cuban consulate in the country where the documents have been issued. The request for marriage must be made in person and the wedding can be held a minimum of 24-72 hours later.
2. The wedding venue
Wedding at La Guarida
Although Cuba is usually associated with Sun and Beach, the truth is that if you are thinking about having your destination wedding here, there are many more options at your disposal than just Varadero. Yes, weddings on the beach are a total success, but if you prefer something different there are thousands of charm places in Havana that can work wonders for your wedding in Cuba. From restaurants such as La Guarida in the heart of the city, to gardens like those of the Hotel Nacional overlooking the sea. Small hotels in Old Havana or large hotels such as Parque Central, Cohiba, Riviera, Gran Manzana Kempinski or the historical Capri, with facilities and infrastructure for weddings. There certainly are a lot of options, and the biggest advantage from our point of view, is the opportunity to make incredible photos in the city with old vintage cars in the background and a truly romantic setting, or that your guests will live unique experiences.
3. The Wedding Date
Wedding on the rain in Havana
Traditionally spring and summer are the best seasons for weddings. The colors are more vibrant, the temperature warmer and the gardens greener. But in Cuba, this period also coincides with the rainiest season so if you choose a date between May and September /October you'll face greater risks of rain during the ceremony. The good news, usually the rain happens at the end of the afternoon, is not prolonged, and when it happens the sun rises again so you can enjoy a wonderful sunset. How to solve it? The options are several, from providing a Plan B in case the storm is very strong, to having umbrellas for the guests if it is only a summer drizzle.
4. The best hours
If you chose an outdoor ceremony you should think first of the natural light in Cuba and also the temperatures. Between 11.00 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. we don't recommended to carry out any wedding related activity as the sun is extremely strong, which could lead to emergencies of both makeup and photography (the light is too strong!) and very hot guests. The best time in the summer would be from 6.30-7.30pm and in winter from 5.00 to 6.00 pm..
5. The wedding flowers
Unlike other countries in which the season affects the type of flowers, in Cuba the selection is the same whatever the season you choose. Flower shops sell varieties that are not grown in Cuba, but weekly imported from Ecuador. Their availability depends on the capacity of producers to deliver them. The most common species are roses, chrysanthemums, carnations, gipsophilia (baby's breath) or lilies. Others such as orchids or calla-lillies require special orders more than one month in advance.
And with these last notes we are closing for today! We'll be back soon however with more wedding related topics specially written for you bride or groom dreaming about a destination wedding in Cuba!
Photos: Julio Alvite, Ivan Botello/Aire de Fiesta Cuba