It’s easy to get lost in all of the exciting aspects of wedding planning. Colors, themes, floral arrangements, the dress, the champagne… the paperwork. Ok, so maybe not that last one, however legal documentation is unavoidable should you wish to be legally recognized as husband and wife, in any country.
You may choose to take care of the paperwork in your home country before or after your ceremony in Mexico, however some of our couples feel strongly about completing the civil union on the day of the wedding. You shouldn’t be concerned about the process here in the Riviera Maya despite what you may have read about it being lengthy or complicated.
Here is the low down on “making it official” in paradise!
WHAT YOU NEED:
Passports: valid passports for bride and groom (must be valid for more than 6 months from the wedding date).
Tourist Card: given to every foreigner on the flight to Mexico.
Blood Test: to determine blood type, HIV, RH factor and Venereal diseases. By law this must be done in the municipality where you get married within 2 weeks from the wedding date.
Witnesses: 4 witnesses with their passports (min. 6 months of validation) and tourist cards.
That wasn’t so bad was it?! Now here is what you should know about the process.
Travel: the bride, groom and their 4 witnesses must be in Mexico for at least 3 complete business days (Saturdays, Sundays & Public Mexican Holidays are not included) before the wedding, not counting the arrival date or the wedding date, to submit all the required documents.
Marriage License (for USA, Canadian and British Citizens): we will obtain the apostle for the Marriage License and will send it to you by courier. The procedure takes around 2 months. This certificate is legally recognized in your country, the same as you would have received at home.
Ceremony: Mexican Law requires a Justice of the Peace to perform the ceremony. Some may perform in English however traditionally this is done in Spanish.There is a short script and you are welcome to have a friend or family member officiate in your language. Please note that the script can not be edited or altered, however you are free to add personal vows.
3 months before wedding
Photocopies of bride, grooms and witnesses passport emailed to planner
Make sure everybody has valid passports (remember, they need to be valid for at least 6 months past the wedding date)
In case of a divorce on any side, ask your planner if you need to present any document
3 days before wedding
Meet planner and review all documents are in order
Blood tests (it is usually possible to have a nurse come to your hotel or condo to perform the test and it only takes a few minutes to complete the forms and take the sample… you’ll even get a lollipop!)
Complete forms for marriage certificate. Couple and witnesses need to sign the papers.
Hopefully this helps you in your planning process. Your planner will be able to review everything with you should you have questions or concerns.