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Those who want to take the plunge and get married on these sun-dappled islands should know that there's some red tape. Visitors have to call ahead and arrange for an authorized person to marry them. The name of the "marriage officer," as the person is called, has to appear on the application for a marriage license. The application for a special marriage license costs US$180 and can be obtained from the Chief Secretary's Office, Fourth Floor, Government Administration Building, George Town (tel. 345/949-7900). There is no waiting period. Present a birth certificate, the embarkation/disembarkation cards issued by the island's immigration authorities, and, if applicable, divorce decrees or proof of a prior spouse's death.

The Cayman Islands are one of the few Caribbean destinations that allow U.S. citizens to marry the same day they arrive, instead of requiring a minimum stay before the wedding. A relevant brochure, Getting Married in the Cayman Islands, is available from Government Information Services, Broadcasting House, Grand Cayman (tel. 345/949-8092; fax 345/949-5936).

The Cayman Islands are a wedding-friendly destination. The host hotel or a wedding service can handle all ground arrangements. Wedding service companies can perform all the necessary functions related to the ceremony, providing musicians, catering, flowers, and photography, as well as the marriage application with the civil registrar or marriage officer.

Celebrations, PO Box 10599 APO (tel. 345/949-2044; fax 345/949-6947; www.celebrationsltd.com), is an excellent wedding planner, offering packages ranging from US$800 to US$3,000-plus. Bridal packages include everything from prerecorded wedding music to a personal wedding coordinator on the day of the grand event.

Competitor Cayman Weddings, PO Box 678 GT (tel. 345/949-8677; fax 345/949-8237; www.caymanweddings.com.ky), is another good choice, with packages starting at US$625 and going up into the stratosphere for deluxe weddings. You get such thoughtful extras as 36 candid photographs, two crystal memento glasses, and a two-tier wedding cake.

After arrival, rest, and perhaps a rehearsal dinner, guests usually convene the following day for a sumptuous island-style wedding. Choose from many romantic, tropical locations: a hotel, chapel, or church; the Caymanian-style Bride House; a beach at sunset; an oceanfront gazebo; a waterside restaurant; or perhaps the depths of the ocean (underwater weddings are extremely popular with divers).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.