Getting Married In Cuba - Cuban Wedding Guide
With beautiful white-sand beaches, cobblestoned streets, and colonial architecture, Cuba is the ideal destination for couples looking for a romantic wedding location. Its tropical climate, delicious cocktails, world famous cigars, colorful streets, exciting music, and vintage American cars make Cuba like nowhere else in the Caribbean.
Couples can choose to get married on a pristine beach while their guests enjoy spectacular scenery and mojitos. For a truly grand experience, tie the knot in one of the gorgeous colonial cathedrals. Cuba also has a number of resorts that offer couples all the services they need for a memorable celebration.
Cuba is a treat for all the senses with its diverse natural landscapes. If you're planning to stay back for your honeymoon, there are green mountain valleys, coral reefs, colonial cities, and mangrove swamps with flamingos to make it an unforgettable experience.
|Fact File||Food & Drink |
|Location & Flights||Wedding Providers Cuba|
|Highlights||Money & Wedding Costs|
|Weather & Climate||Legal Requirements|
|Culture & Etiquette ||Provinces |
- Size: 110,860 km²
- Population: 11.27 million
- Capital City: Havana
- Currency: Cuban Peso (CUP)
- Language Spoken: Spanish
- Main Religions: Christianity and Santeria
- Major Holidays and Festivals:
- Triumph of the Revolution / New Year's Day - January 1
- Good Friday - March or April (varies each year)
- Labor Day - May 1
- Independence Day - May 20
- Revolution Anniversary - July 25
- Day of the Rebellion - July 26
- Revolution Anniversary Celebration - July 27
- Havana Carnival - July
- Santiago de Cuba Carnival - July
- Christmas - December 25
Where is Cuba?
Cuba is a tropical country located in the northern Caribbean. It is where the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Atlantic Ocean meet. Cuba is only an hour’s flight from the United States.
How long is the flight to Cuba?
The flight to Cuba takes around an hour, from Florida, USA. If you’re in New York City the flight is 5 hours and 50 minutes. And if you fly from Los Angeles, the fight is around 7 hours.
The flight time between the United Kingdom and Cuba is 10 hours if you fly direct.
To experience the rich legacy of Cuba, walk through Old Havana's cobblestoned streets or through the charming town of Trinidad. Vieja and Malecon are the top attractions in Havana. Explore local artwork and enjoy jazz in the many music venues throughout the city. Modern Cuba is exciting and elegant. For beautiful French colonial architecture, the port city of Cienfuegos is one of the best places to visit in Cuba.
Cuba's cigar industry is located in Pinar del Rio while Santa Clara is the home of Che Guevera's renowned revolution battle. His remains are now located in a mausoleum on the outskirts of the town. The first capital of Cuba, Baracoa, is a beautiful beach-side community with a tranquil feel.
Cuba's geography and ecology are quite unique. Western Cuba is home to diverse ecosystems including the wetlands of Peninsula de Zapata, tobacco plantations in Vuelto Abajo, and rolling limestone hills in Valle de Vinales. Central Cuba is home to colorful coral reefs, white sandy beaches, lush mountains, and mangrove swamps. Eastern Cuba's highlight is the Sierra Maestra but it is also home to colonial cities like Santiago.
There are many popular places for your destination wedding in Cuba; these include an array of beaches where couples tend to have their ceremony. And the two most popular wedding beaches are Varadero and Cayo Santa Maria. Both beaches are quiet, relaxed, and serenely perfect for a wedding.
The most common place to get married is in Havana. The nation's capital offers phenomenal photo opportunities, and it's full of beautiful churches. You can even get a vintage Cuban car to drive you to your wedding through the colorful streets of Havana – it almost feels like you're getting married on a movie set.
If you'd like to visit somewhere secluded for your wedding ceremony, you'll love Cayo Cayo. You can get here via a short bridge – but it feels a thousand miles away from the main island, but it's not. The beaches are incredibly secluded yet stunning, and they make for a great private wedding spot.
Here are some popular attractions in Cuba.
One of the best attractions in Cuba is the Viñales Valley, which covers a total of 132 square kilometres. The area is an absolute gem for hiking and biking, with numerous trails through the luscious landscapes. In 1999 it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are numerous great ways to see this valley, one of the most popular ways is via horses. You can hire horses locally and go with a guide who will give you a fascinating insight into the nature of the area. And if you love rock climbing, there is a growing rock climbing scene.
National Capital Building
A highly popular site in Havana is the National Capitol Building, the building boats stunning architecture and is a focal point of the countries capital. It was built under the guidance of Eugenio Rayneri Piedra between 1926 to 1929.
The building was the tallest in Havana until the 1950s, and to this day, it houses the third largest statue in the world.
Museum of the Revolution
The Museum of the Revolution is a fascinating insight into the history of Cuba. Visitors love the detailed exhibits which showcase the revolution that took place in Cuba. The place has a lot of interesting pictures from the revolution era.
You will get to see classic Cuban cars, stunning architecture, and you can get audio guides that will detail everything that you’re seeing.
What is Cuba Famous for?
Cuba is famous for many things, but perhaps the most famous is the legendary Cuban cars. These classic cars have become synonymous around the world with Cuba, and there are 60,000 classic Cuban cars in the United States alone.
Cuba is famous for its vast stretches of gorgeous tropical beaches. The island has 3,500 miles of idyllic coastline and the beaches have become a pillar of the nation’s growing tourism industry since the late 90s.
It also has stunning old architecture. The country was a Spanish colony and therefore the architecture is similar. If you want to see the best buildings, explore Havana, the nation’s famous capital.
Cuba has a pleasant tropical climate which makes it a warm, sunny destination to visit. The dry season is the best time to visit the country, lasting from November to April. The average high temperature during this season is 27 degrees Celsius. Evenings tend to be cooler. Rains are quite infrequent during this time of the year and there is plenty of glorious sunshine to enjoy.
May to October is the wet season in Cuba, during which it receives 75% of its rain. Because of its tropical location, rainfalls are heavy and fast. Torrential downpours, storms, and high winds can be expected. This is also the hurricane season in Cuba. August- September are the peak of the wet season. The other months receive relatively less rainfall. The average high temperature during this season is 30 degrees Celsius and there is sunshine and clear weather between storms. Nights are usually cooler. However, humidity levels during this period can be quite high.
The climate varies in each region of Cuba. The southern part of the country is more prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. Western Cuba often experiences temperatures below 10 degrees Celsius during winter and spring. Southeast Cuba receives the least rainfall in the country. For a cooler climate, visit the mountains with higher altitudes like the Sierra Maestra.
Although many Cubans speak English, as well as some other European languages, it is recommended that you learn a few simple Spanish phrases such as "por favor" (please) and "gracias" (thank you) to get along better with the locals.
Because of the climate in Cuba, dress is usually informal. However, locals can be quite conventional in appearance. It is therefore recommended that shorts should only be worn at the beach. When traveling, women should also choose conventional, modest attire. This is particularly important when visiting religious sites. It should also be noted that Cubans frown upon public displays of affection.
Tipping (usually 10% of your bill) is considered to be good etiquette in Cuba, particularly in restaurants and hotels. Travelers can also opt to give gifts instead of a tip. When visiting a local house, bringing gifts for children or for the home is appreciated.
Is Cuba safe?
Cuba is very safe. Crime against tourists remains very low and the vast majority of stays are trouble-free. As always, you should take sensible precautions and watch out for petty theft.
Most restaurants in Cuba are government-owned and run. However, there are several Paladares (locally owned and run private restaurants) that are known to serve better quality food.
Cuban cuisine is delicious and mainly includes fried or roast chicken or pork, beans, root vegetables, and rice. Other popular dishes include “ajjiacco” (a rich stew with meat, green vegetables, and meat), “ropa vieja” (literally translated as “old Clothes”, a popular stew of slow-cooked shredded beef with garlic, onions, tomatoes, and peppers) and another famous delacasy, “lechon” (suckling pig marinated in herbs, garlic, and onion).
Black beans and rice are always served with a meal in Cuba. A lot of restaurants also serve fish, lobster, and shrimp which are usually very fresh and well prepared.
Cuba is known for its high-quality rum. “Mojitos” and “Cuba Libre” are the national cocktails and can be found throughout the country. Cerveza (lager) is also available at most resorts and bars throughout Cuba.
Other than the Cuban Peso, CUC (Cuban Convertible Peso) is also accepted in the country. CUC is used by most foreign visitors while they are in the country. However, it cannot be obtained outside of the country.
Most restaurants and shops still accept only cash so it is advisable that you always carry some. Train stations, buses, and shops may not carry enough change so it is best to have some lower denominations handy.
For purchases, debit cards and credit cards are accepted. Most high-end restaurants, resorts, and hotels will accept cards. However, it should be noted it is best to use only MasterCard or Visa, since most other types of credit cards are not accepted in Cuba.
Is it expensive to get married in Cuba?
Cuba offers a number of cost-effective options to couples looking to get married there. There are several excellent resorts that offer all-inclusive wedding packages at very affordable rates. Some companies offer packages for as little as $199 USD, which is very affordable. But you can get packages on private beaches for $800 USD. The prices can rise up to $5,000 USD for luxury. But if you’re looking for an affordable spot to get married, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better than Cuba.
Depending on the wedding package chosen, it may include services such as the wedding ceremony, bridal bouquet, boutonniere, wedding cake, decor, and drinks. Optional services such as photographer and private reception are generally available at an extra cost. Overall, Cuba is a very affordable, as well as a memorable destination, for couples as well as their wedding guests.
To marry in Cuba you must both be at least 18 years old and not be related by blood, marriage, or adoption. You will be required to be in the country for at least three days prior to your wedding.
All couples planning to marry in Cuba are required to provide:
- Birth certificates.
- An affidavit of your single status if you've never married before.
- If you’re divorced, a certified or original divorce certificate.
- If you're widowed, a certificate of your spouse's death and your marriage certificate.
All of the documents above must be translated into Spanish, certified by a notary public, and legalized by the Cuban consul in your country. Additionally, you will need to submit a sheet with your names, occupations, education, home address, and names of parents in Spanish and English.
Your documents should be sent to your hotel three weeks before you arrive in Cuba. It's important to ensure that your passport is accurate and the name on it matches all other documents as your marriage will be formalized in this name.
|The following notes are not comprehensive and are intended as a guide only. Before planning your wedding in Cuba we strongly advise you to contact the Cuban embassy in your home country or your country's embassy in Cuba to obtain up-to-date legal requirements.|
Cuba is one of the most diverse islands in the Caribbean, geographically as well as culturally. It is divided into 15 provinces and a special municipality.