How to Get Married in Mexico

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For a destination wedding that's not too far flung, head south of the border to get married in Mexico. It's a short flight from many parts of the United States, and the sandy beaches of Cancun, Cabo or any other waterfront town make for a picturesque backdrop for a wedding. However, you'll have some paperwork and a bit of a waiting period to take into consideration before you tie the knot.

The Legalities

Non-Mexican citizens who wish to marry in Mexico need to bring some paperwork with them to make the nuptials legal. Pertinent documents are a marriage request form, the original and a copy of both your birth certificates; an original prenuncial certificate that states blood type and confirms you’re both HIV-free, passports, tourist cards and proof if you first legalized your union in the United States. Additionally, you will need the original and copies of IDs of four witnesses, and if applicable, a divorce or death certificate from a previous marriage. If you have been divorced, you must wait a full calendar year before applying for a marriage license in Mexico. Because this amount of paperwork can be cumbersome, the Mexico Tourism Board recommends that you have a symbolic wedding in Mexico and get married legally in your home country.

Make It Official

Before you marry in Mexico, take your documents to the Civil Registry office in the Mexican states in which you plan to marry. It costs about $30 USD to obtain a marriage license, though the amount varies by state. Different Mexican states have different waiting periods, or how long you must wait to tie the knot after getting the license, so double-check where you plan to marry -- it can be anywhere from five minutes to a week, according to MexConnect. The Civil Registry office can also perform the civil ceremony; however, if you want to invite a judge to marry you at a resort or other location, you will pay an extra fee.

Find a Venue

While you can get married in the Civil Registry office -- known as Registro Civil -- tourists are more likely to want to marry at a resort or on a beach. Nearly all parts of Mexico have good weather and beautiful landscapes, but there are white-sand beaches, ancient ruins and luxurious resorts from which to choose. When it comes to selecting a town, Destination Weddings and Honeymoons ranks Cancun, on Mexico's east coast, and Los Cabos, on the west coast, as the top two destinations for weddings in Mexico. From there, explore packages at local resorts to determine which fit best in your budget and your overall aesthetic.

Inviting the Guests

When you host a destination wedding, you might wonder if you're expected to pay for the guests' airfare or hotel rooms to attend the nuptials. According to the Mexican Tourism Board, there's no requirement on the part of the wedding couple to foot the bill for their friends and family. However, it is considerate to take your loved ones' budgets into account, and help out very special guests who might not be able to attend otherwise.