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    Turks and Caicos begins attracting cruise weddings

    A recent move to make the Turks and Caicos Islands a wedding destination for cruise passengers by cutting the processing time for a visitor's marriage licence has started to bear fruit.

    Two cruise ship passengers, Jeff Douglas Wenzlick and Katherine Lee Williams, used the amended Marriage Ordinance for a November 11 wedding at the Carnival Cruise Centre on Grand Turk.

    The amendment in July this year removed the requirement that visitors must be present in the islands for at least 48 hours before applying for a special licence to be married. Cruise passengers could not be accommodated because their ships only remained in port for about eight hours.

    The Registrar General's Office said it received numerous requests from cruise passengers who wanted to be married on a TCI beach.

    Registrar General Sigrid Lightbourne was delighted to see the change bear fruit: "This is a very important moment for the community of Grand Turk and the TCI on a whole, as this provision allows the country to engage in a new and exciting area in the tourism industry. Our visitors can now view our beautiful by nature islands as a place where they can celebrate yet another special occasion. Even if they are only here for a few hours they would have created within the Turks and Caicos Islands memories that will last them a lifetime."

    This first wedding at the cruise port was solemnized by Delores Connolly, a TCI marriage officer.

    Section 12 (2) (b) of the Marriage Ordinance was amended by inserting, after "application" the words "but where neither of the parties has been resident in the islands for forty-eight hours, the Governor may waive the forty-eight hours residency requirement".

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