Melia Cuba's Weddings team in Canada offer information on their wedding planning process as well as legal requirements.
1. Please provide details on the wedding planning process and what brides and agents can expect.
Your Melia Cuba wedding specialist in Canada will assist you and your clients with every step of the wedding planning process. This eliminates any possible miscommunications due to language barriers. She will ensure that they have all required documents and necessary information for a successful wedding in Cuba. Once the hotel is booked, the bride and groom must fill out a wedding reservation form in order to book their official wedding date. Afterwards, they will send us the copies of all the documents required for the legal wedding. A month before their departure, they need to provide a final and complete guest list as well as a list of any additional services required. The wedding planning takes place between the travel agent and the Melia Cuba wedding specialist in Canada. Shortly after their arrival, the bride and groom will meet with their onsite wedding coordinator to finalize all of the details for their big day.
2. Are there any special considerations required for getting married in Cuba?
A legal wedding ceremony is simpler than your clients likely imagine! If neither have been married before, they will simply need their original passports and birth certificates. Super easy, right?! If one or both are divorced or widowed, they will need to have some documents translated to Spanish and legalized by the Consulate of Cuba in Canada (Toronto or Montreal). Don’t forget however that you will have a contact here in Canada who will guide you every step of the way. Copies of all the legal documents must be sent to the Melia Cuba wedding specialist in Canada at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to the clients’ departure and the bride and groom must bring all the original documents with them to Cuba to give to the notary. If the couple is already married, we also offer the renewal of vows ceremony. This will be conducted by a notary and the bride and groom will simply need their passports and original marriage certificate. Finally, another alternative to the legal ceremony or the renewal of vows is the symbolic ceremony without a notary, which is usually performed by the onsite wedding coordinator. Since there’s no legal aspect, the bride and groom do not require any legal documents. This type of ceremony will allow them to celebrate their love with their friends and family without any legal paperwork requirements.
3. What’s the typical timeline for booking and planning a wedding from start to finish?
We recommend brides and grooms to book their vacation and wedding date as soon as possible but at least six months in advance so as to ensure their selected date and time are available. Our wedding forms are available upon request at email@example.com. Once the wedding date is confirmed, you can start sending copies of the documents to the wedding specialist. Four to six weeks prior to the clients’ departure, a final and complete guest list must be submitted. With the guest list, the hotel will be able to confirm if the clients qualify for the Free Wedding package or if they must choose a different package. Once the wedding package is confirmed, the bride and groom can choose additional services from the list of extras provided. Throughout this whole process, the Melia Cuba wedding specialist is available to answer the clients or the travel agents’ questions. Finally, when the couple arrives at their resort, they will meet with the onsite wedding coordinator to go over and finalize all of the wedding details.
4. How should travel advisors position The Level or Royal Service to their wedding prospects?
The Level and Royal Service rooms have added values and extra amenities that will definitely make for a memorable experience! Our brides & grooms will have access to exclusive services and facilities that will guarantee the perfect wedding. Upgrading to the Level or Royal Service areas will definitely bring luxury to their stay and allow them to be pampered! They can also choose to extend their stay for a week and honeymoon at these first class boutique hotels.
5. Are there any other services/packages that are most often purchased by wedding couples/groups?
If yes, how should agents best position them? The optional extras offered in our hotels range from musicians, to photography, to floral decorations, to private cocktails and dinners. These services allow them to personalize their wedding day and to make it even more memorable! All extras and wedding packages are payable locally in CUC. We also offer a package called Romantic Getaway that is great for any couple celebrating an anniversary or a special occasion in Cuba and at a cost of 150 CUC.
6. Are there any common misperceptions that need to be dispelled?
Are you worried that your clients’ wedding won’t be recognized here in Canada? Don’t be! All legal weddings performed at our properties in Cuba are recognized here in Canada. After the wedding, the notary sends the marriage certificate to the Canadian Embassy in Havana where the certificate is legalized and it is later mailed to the bride and groom’s home address. It is important that the clients understand that they will not receive their marriage certificate when they’re in Cuba. They will receive it four to five months after their wedding. Also, the original marriage certificate that they will receive at home will be in Spanish. We strongly recommend that the bride and groom register their marriage upon receiving this document and to do so, they must first have it translated into English.
Travel agents will be pleased to know that wedding planning with Melia is done with a dedicated point person based in Canada, so there is no need to contact the hotels directly. Melia says this is one of its biggest assets when it comes to destination weddings, as no other chains offer it. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.