While many couples opt to marry in their home country, and after have a symbolic wedding in Mexico due to cost, and required paperwork involved, there are still some couples whom want their wedding day in Mexico to be official. In these cases, it’s highly recommended you have a local wedding coordinator to help you through the complex process.
Our hotels partners will have an experience coordinator with experience in this matters or will refer you to a local coordinator familiar with the entire process. It is advantageous to plan your trip with a minimum of 3-4 working days prior to your wedding in order to complete all the necessary health exam requirements and paperwork. For your wedding to be recognized as a legal marriage, in Mexico and your country, it must be done by a Mexican civil registry official in a civil ceremony. These are typically done week days, not counting Mexican national holidays. A religious wedding, such as a Destination Catholic wedding in Mexico can be done in addition to a civil ceremony, but similar to the US, have no legal status, the same as goes for symbolic weddings.
Make note that marriage requirements while similar, each Mexican state marriage requirements may differ, and the exact requirements can be found in the registry office in the state you plan to marry (Oficina de Registro Civil), which is yet another important reason to plan your official wedding with a local destination wedding coordinator. Some of the requirements you’ll need to complete will include the Marriage request form, original copies of birth certificates, original of prenuncial certificate (medical exam) of blood test for blood type, HIV, V.D.R.L., and RH factor done 15 days previous to the wedding. The medical exam must be done in Mexico, tests outside of Mexico will not be accepted. For more details on marriage requirements in Mexico visit, the Mexican Tourism Board.
By law anyone under 18, must have consent of parents and or guardians, with a minimum age of marrying of 16 for males and 14 for females. You do not need to be a Mexican resident, and will need witnesses for your marriage, some states require two for bride and two for groom, with a minimum age of 18 years old. Your witnesses must have a valid form of ID. In most cases couples are bringing their own witnesses and therefore are also required to travel 3-4 working days prior to the wedding.
All documents, with the exception of passport, must be apostilled by the authorities of the country where they were issued if not Mexico, which means authenticated by your nearest Mexican consulate, birth certificates must be translated into Spanish by a certified translator. When traveling bring original and copies of all your necessary documents, however only provide copies, these copies will be kept by the civil registry office. Make a note to send copies of all your paperwork to your wedding coordinator this way they keep list, marked of all the paperwork you’ll bring with you. Your wedding coordinator will need to arrange a copy of the marriage license to you immediately after the ceremony. The translated, final license –that is valid as legal internationally (recognized as valid in the U.S.) for example- would be mailed to you within 1 1/2 to 4 months after the wedding.
Please consider that if you have been divorced you’ll need to wait at least 1 year before remarrying. If your marring a Mexican national you’ll need to complete an additional form, provided by the local Registro Civil, here also you’ll complete your marriage application form, and pay your marriage license fee. The ceremonies are done in Spanish, and you may have a translator, for a fee or otherwise. Those having a destination wedding often choose to get married on a location of choosing such as at a beach hotel, this is done with an additional fee.
When all is said and done, getting married officially in Mexico will cost an additional $800 to $1200 to have all paperwork and requirements prepared for your wedding day. Here you’ll find the nearest Mexican Consulate.
Please also consider that if time is too limited to comply with formalities, you can have definitely a beautiful and memorable symbolic wedding.
For religious destination wedding ceremonies in Mexico, a Catholic wedding must take place in a Catholic Church. You’ll find many in your destination and several resorts such as the Moon Palace, Barcelo Palace Deluxe, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach, Hyatt Ziva Cancun have a Catholic chapel where you can marry on-site. Documentation needed by the couple will include birth, baptism, as well as confirmation certificates; documentation from your home diocese to the priest performing your ceremony in Mexico, providing permission of being granted to marry by the church. You’ll want these documents a minimum of one month in the hands of the Catholic church where you’ll be getting married in Mexico. For Jewish destination wedding ceremonies, locating a local rabbi can be difficult, with the exception of few hotels in Mexico, this is why many Jewish couples include their rabbi from back home, as one of their wedding guests. For same sex marriages, couples can now legally marry in Mexico City, and the state of Quintana Roo, which include the popular wedding destinations of Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
Due to laws and requirements possibly changing, do not take this article as legal advice, and make sure to verify all information with the proper Mexican authorities, as well as we recommend you work hand-in-hand with a local wedding coordinator experienced in legal marriages for foreigners in Mexico. For additional information visit the Mexican Tourism Board site about weddings in Mexico.