Most couples choose to have a destination wedding in Mexico because they want to fill their big day with fun, relaxation, and a sense of adventure.
But what they might not realize is that making sure their wedding ceremony is legal in Mexico can be an adventure in and of itself! I know the process can sound complicated, so in this post I want to provide you with an overview of what steps to take to ensure your destination wedding in Mexico is legal and get married in Mexico without any inconvenient.
I will also share with you another option if you want to avoid the stress.
Here’s what you need to know:
Step 1: Obtain the Proper Papers — In Spanish
In order for your wedding in Mexico to be deemed legal in Mexico and abroad, you’ll need the proper documents. Some of the required documents include:
- Your passports
- Tourist travel permits
- Birth certificates
- Marriage application forms
It’s important to note that all of these documents — with the exception of your passport — must be in Spanish and notarized by a Mexican Consulate. Find out where the Mexican Consulate is located and plan to visit it, or ask your wedding coordinator as many of them will help you with this part of the process. Make sure you obtain the needed papers well in advance of your travel date to avoid any last-minute mishaps.
If you’ve been previously married or widowed, you’ll also need to bring copies of your divorce decree or the death certificate — and remember, these papers also must be notarized and translated as well.
For a complete set of documents, email us at info[at]lifewondersphotography.com.
Step 2: Book a Visit With a Doctor in Mexico
In addition to the mountain of paperwork you’ll have to get through, a visit to a clinic is a must before your marriage can be considered valid. Brides and grooms-to-be must undergo blood tests and, in some Mexican states, chest x-rays, within a certain time frame after they’ve submitted their marriage application forms. These tests cannot be performed in the U.S. — you must have the tests performed in Mexico. The results will be given to you in Spanish.
Step 3: Find a Civil Wedding Representative
In some countries clergy persons like priests, rabbis, and ministers routinely perform weddings, but weddings in Mexico are a strictly civil affair — so religious officials cannot perform the ceremony.
A representative of the Registro Civil must perform the ceremony for your marriage to be legal. You can have the civil ceremony conducted at the local registry office, or have a representative on-site at your ceremony. Speak to your wedding coordinator as they usually will take care of this for you.
Another, More Stress-Free Alternative
Since the legality process can be confusing, I know some brides and grooms choose to have the legal ceremony in their home country before or after their destination wedding in Mexico.
This frees the couple up to have their Mexican ceremony performed by close friends or a church representative, and it also frees them of the hassle of navigating the marriage legal system in a foreign language.
The above is just an overview of the marriage process in Mexico — if you want the nitty-gritty list of every step in the process (including deadlines you must be aware of), I can help. Just enter your name and email address below and I’ll send you a more detailed document that walks you through what needs to be done for each option. I want to help make your big day as stress-free as possible, and that starts with knowing what you need to do to ensure your ceremony legally “seals the deal.”
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Based out of Cancun & Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya Mexico, Dorota has extensive experience of photographing weddings at exotic locations like Mexico, Bali, India, and South Africa.
Dorota was a wedding photographer in San Diego, California and brings this modern photography style and personalized service to Mexico.
She can be reached at email@example.com