Legal Requirements

Wedding Legal Requirements

Making your marriage legal, especially in international countries such as Mexico, Central America, South America or the Caribbean can require some additional steps before you can say “I Do.” The goal of every destination wedding is to ensure that your marriage will be recognized back home after you return.

General Tips and FAQ’s

Here are some general questions to make sure you answer while planning your destination wedding.

What’s the waiting period and/or requirements for residency?

Most countries require a short waiting period typically of 2-5 business days to ensure all your legal documents can be properly processed prior to getting married. Based on the required waiting period or residency requirements, you’ll have to adjust your actual wedding date to make sure you have fulfilled the requirements prior to getting married. However, some countries may have longer waiting periods up to one month before you can legally apply for a marriage license, so make sure to check what your country’s residency requirements and waiting periods are so you
can plan accordingly when making you and your guests’ travel plans.

What documents do we need to bring along?

Check your individual destination for what required documents you have to bring and whether they will need to be translated or notarized before you arrive. Make sure you bring original, official documents such as birth certificates, divorce decrees or death certificates along with a few copies of each of the official documents. If you have been married before, you’ll need to provide proof that you are no longer married in the form of a divorce decree, death certificate or other official documentation that proves your single status. You and all of your guests will also need to have a valid, non-expired Passport for entry into any international destination. If you do not have a Passport, allow up to six weeks for your Passport to arrive, otherwise, you can pay an additional fee to have your Passport expedited. Make sure to also put any documents in your carry-on luggage instead of your checked baggage.

Is there an additional cost for getting married abroad?

Some destinations have additional legal and/or required fees that are separate from your hotel wedding fees, which vary by destination. Check with your individual destination to get an idea of the fees that may be required in addition to the form of payment necessary, especially if you need to pay in cash in the local currency.

Do we need witnesses?

Witnesses most likely will be required to make your marriage legal abroad. Check with your individual destination to see if witnesses are required at the ceremony and/or the time you are applying for the marriage license within your destination.

Do we need a blood test or physical?

Many times, your destination will not require this, but some may require you to perform a blood test or physical within the destination either at a clinic or your resort. Check with your destination to see what is required.

Are there any religion requirements?

If you want to get married under a certain religious denomination or wish to have a secular ceremony, you can generally find out what your options are from the local officiant or your hotel’s wedding coordinator. If you wish to do a religious/civil ceremony, check to see what additional documents you may need from your church such as a baptism record, notice of active status within your church or certification of marital counseling. If you want to bring your own officiant to perform the ceremony, make sure they check with the destination’s requirements to ensure that they can legally perform your wedding according to local laws.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Antigua. Please check with the Antigua tourism department, wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legalrequirements and fees for weddings in Antigua. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Deed Poll if there has been a name change
  • Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked
baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 48 hours prior to the wedding date and must
include 1 business day in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Aruba. Please check with the Aruba tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Aruba. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport with photographed pages of the bride and groom’s passport
  • A report with an “apostile” (special seal) from the bride/groom’s country of citizenship that proves their eligibility to marry and single status

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must send copies of all documents above to the Civil Registry in Aruba at least one month prior to the wedding date for civil wedding ceremonies in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in the Bahamas. Please check with the Bahamas tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in the Bahamas. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age
  • An Affidavit that provides proof of Single Status that is sworn before an authorized official or notary public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 24 hours prior to the wedding.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in the Dominican Republic. Please check with the Dominican Republic tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in the Dominican Republic. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • An Affidavit that provides proof of Single Status translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked
baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must send copies of all documents above to the Oficialia del Estado Civil (City Clerk) preferably six months in advance and request a judge at least one month in advance prior to the wedding date in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Jamaica. Please check with the Jamaica tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Jamaica. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 24 hours prior to the wedding and must apply for a marriage license at least 48 hours prior to the wedding. All wedding documents must be sent to the resort performing the wedding ceremony at least 10 business days prior to the wedding date.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Puerto Rico. Please check with the Puerto Rico tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Puerto Rico. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked
baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Blood/Health Tests:

  • A blood test will need to be performed in the destination by a local physician or by a certified laboratory within the United States which must be performed within 10 calendar days of the wedding date.
  • The bride/groom then have 10 calendar days to submit all documents to the local demographic registry and perform the wedding ceremony.

TIP: Some resorts may provide this service at the resort instead of needing to go to a clinic, so check with your wedding coordinator or us to see if they provide this service on-site.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a
certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in St. Lucia. Please check with the St. Lucia tourism department, your wedding coordinator or us at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in St. Lucia. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents (which must all be in English or translated into English by a legal translator):

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Deed Poll if there has been a name change
  • If under the age of 18, the bride/groom must present evidence of a consent of parents with a sworn affidavit stamped by a Notary Public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 72 hours prior to the wedding, which must include 3 business days (day of arrival can’t be included).

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a
certified death certificate.

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Turks & Caicos. Please check with the Turks & Caicos tourism department, your wedding coordinator or us at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Turks & Caicos. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents (which must all be in English or translated into English by a legal translator):

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Deed Poll if there has been a name change
  • Evidence of date of arrival to Turks & Caicos (such as a boarding pass or tourist card)
  • Written authorization from the parents/guardians if the bride or groom is under 21 years of age in the form of an affidavit stamped by the Notary Public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 72 hours prior to the wedding, which must include 3 business days (day of arrival can’t be included).

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a
certified death certificate.

Mexico Wedding Requirements

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Mexico. Depending on the area of Mexico or even resort you are having your wedding ceremony at, legal requirements may vary. Please check with the Mexico tourism department, your wedding coordinator at your resort or us for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Mexico. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Ceremony Requirements: For a wedding ceremony to be considered legal and binding in Mexico, the bride/groom
must have a civil ceremony with a Justice of the Peace.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

  • Official birth certificate
  • A valid, non-expired passport
  • Tourist card (this should be given to you at the airport upon arrival)

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Blood Test: A blood test will need to be performed in the destination with test results of syphilis, HIV, and Rh factor (blood type).

TIP: Some resorts may provide this service at the resort instead of needing to go to a clinic, so check with your wedding coordinator to see if they provide this service on-site.

Waiting Period: It is recommended that the bride/groom arrive at least 5 days prior to the wedding date to ensure translation of any necessary documents.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers:

  • For divorced or widowed parties, you must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate that verifies it has been at least 12 months since the official divorce from or death of the previous spouse.
  • A negative pregnancy test verified by the Mexican Consulate if the bride was divorced within the last year.

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