As you begin planning your Destination Wedding in Mexico, it’s important to factor in all the legalities involved when getting married in a foreign country. Below, we’ve answered some of the most commonly asked, need-to-know questions about marriage certificates, witnesses, blood tests and traveling with wedding gifts, so your wedding day is nothing but smooth sailing!Photography by Laura Grier at Beautiful Day Photography
What ceremonies are legally recognized in Mexico?
Only civil ceremonies are legally recognized in Mexico. Religious ceremonies have no legal bearing and do not replace, in anyway, the binding, legal civil marriage. Vow renewal and religious ceremonies are considered symbolic ceremonies and will be performed by a non-denominational minister. During a symbolic ceremony the couple will receive a marriage license that is not legally binding.
Mexico welcomes same-sex couples, however, only symbolic ceremonies are performed.
What legal documents are required for a Destination Wedding in Mexico?
The requirements for getting married in Mexico are:
- Apostille certified birth certificates for the bride and groom (The Apostille is a sealed document that certifies the authenticity of another document, such as a birth certificate, divorce decree, etc. The apostille will enable your documents to be legal in Mexico, and is necessary in Mexico).
- Health certificate and blood test provided by a Mexican official
- A valid passport and Tourist Cards (the blue sheet you receive at the airport)
- If applicable, a final divorce decree and or/or death certificate of former spouse
Our Destination Wedding Planning Tip: Once you’ve set the date for your Destination “I Do’s”, add all the important dates and time restrictions for your marriage paper work into your Wedding Planner, so nothing falls through the cracks!
How many days prior to your Destination Wedding ceremony should you and your bridal party arrive in Mexico?
Mexico requires that couples must be in the country at least 3 to 4 business days prior to your nuptials. The day of arrival, Saturdays, Sundays and Mexican Holidays will not meet the “Business Day” requirement. However, your Ever After Expert will verify if there are any additional arrival requirements.
How many witnesses must be legally present for your Destination Wedding in Mexico?
Four valid witnesses with appropriate identification must also arrive 3 to 4 business days in advance. Depending on the resort, some wedding packages are able to provide witnesses as well.
How far in advance does all legal documentation need to be completed and sent to your destination resort?
All legal documentation must be sent to your wedding coordinator at least 1 month in advance to make sure all information is verified. Also, you must have all original documentation with you when you arrive at your resort. Reminder: For documents to be made final and legal in Mexico, you must present proof of different names in order to get married. (i.e. divorce decree, birth certificate, etc.)
Other legal marriage restrictions:
If you have recently been divorced, you must wait at least one year before remarrying in Mexico and a copy of your divorce decree must be present.
Are blood tests required for your Destination Wedding in Mexico? What is being tested for?
For the purpose of full disclosure, a blood test will be necessary. The test must be performed in Mexico and should not be administered more than 14 days prior to your event. Blood will be tested for blood type, HIV, and RPR (sexually transmitted diseases). Results should be returned with a certificate of the blood test within 24 hours. Upon your arrival in Mexico, your wedding coordinator will set up an appointment for you to meet with a doctor either in your room or in the resort offices. Fees will vary by the resort, but couples can expect to pay anywhere between $150-$270. According to Mexican law, if either partners test comes back positive in any area, you cannot be married in Mexico.
Are there legal restrictions on how many gifts, wedding favors and decoration you can bring into the country for a Destination Wedding in Mexico?
Mexican customs will limit the amount of gifts you can bring into the country to $300 per traveling person. For gift bags and wedding favors, be sure to bring receipts that prove value. It is strongly suggested that you do not ship any items ahead of time as there is a chance they will get lost, misplaced or held in customs.
For any other questions or concerns regarding the legalities of getting married in Mexico, make sure to reach out to your Destination Wedding Expert at RomanceTravel@everafter.com, call us toll-free at 800-256-4920 or visit our website: everafter.com/destination-weddings-mexico.