You are already sold on the idea of getting married on the beach in Mexico. Planning a destination wedding south of the border is a relatively easy venture, compared to getting married at home, but there is one pretty important question to address before jumping in head first: Can a US citizen get married in Mexico?
The short answer to this is Yes. However, only a civil ceremony is considered legally binding with Americans getting married in Mexico.
What documents will I need to get married in Mexico?
If you want to have a civil, or legal ceremony, here is what you need to get married in Mexico:
- passports, plus copies, for both of you AND four witnesses.
- tourist cards
- your birth certificates and copies
- divorce or death certificates (You must have been divorced for at least one year before remarrying)
- blood test results, done no more than 15 days before the wedding in Mexico
- marriage request form
Everything except your passports must be translated into Spanish by a certified translator and notarized by the Mexican consulate. If the legal requirements for marriage in Mexico make your head spin a bit, don’t worry, your wedding planner or coordinator is going to hold your hand through this process, and likely take care of everything for you (except the giving blood part, of course).
Can we bring our own marriage officiant?
In order to have a civil, or legal, ceremony, Americans getting married in Mexico will need to be married by an officiant from the civil registry of the local municipality of Mexico. You are welcome to have a friend or family member perform a wedding ceremony, but even if they are ordained, it will not be recognized as legal. This will be a symbolic or religious ceremony only and does not replace in any way a legally binding civil marriage. We have read accounts of trying to get around this, but they all involve getting legally married in the States first, followed by even more legal paperwork to fill out, so really, what’s the point?
Will my marriage be recognized as legal in the US?
After your civil ceremony, your marriage certificate must be apostilled to be recognized as a legal marriage in the States. Your wedding planner can take care of this for you for a fee, and then you will receive your marriage certificate between 6 weeks to 4 months later.
Note that certain states will also require your marriage certificate be translated into English to be recognized as legal. Is your home state one of them? Click here to see the list.
So, obviously there are a few extra hoops to jump through, and a few extra fees to pay, but honestly, destination weddings are big business in Mexico, and having a civil ceremony is easier than you might think. If you would prefer the total ease of a Vegas-style wedding, where you just hop on a plane and you’re married by sunset, you can always have a symbolic ceremony instead! And none of your guests would ever have to know.
For more on the requirements for getting married in Mexico, read this.
And if you’re also on the hunt for the best wedding photographers in the Riviera Maya for your wedding, then contact us here today! We are Fun In The Sun Weddings, your best choice for wedding photography in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.