If a destination wedding in is your dream, be sure to understand all the rules and regulations of that country and all the fees involved. If you’re heading to Mexico, there are two options to say “I Do”:
Legal (Civic Ceremony):
If a couple is heading to Mexico to officially exchange their vows in a legal, civil ceremony, it is recommended the couple arrive four business days prior to the wedding so the following rules are met:
- A legal marriage in Mexico requires a marriage license and must be performed by a Mexican justice of the peace.
- The cost of the marriage license and ceremony is around $480. An additional $95 fee applies if the marriage is out of office.
- A non-denominational non-religious ceremony is available for $380.
- There is a fee for the apostle, (the stamp that makes the marriage certificate valid outside of Mexico). The apostle is $100 with an additional cost of $80 to have it couriered. Couples should expect that document to arrive approximately one month from the date of the ceremony.
- Valid passports are required for the couple and four witnesses. No other identification will be accepted.
- Tourist visas are required for the couple and four witnesses. This isn’t difficult, as all foreigners are automatically given a tourist visa at Immigration at the airport, upon arriving in Mexico.
- The couple and witnesses need to photocopy their passport page with photo, and the front and back of their tourist’s visa.
- A blood test of the bride and groom is required, and must be completed and processed in Mexico. The test is for blood type and an HIV test. It can be done at any local clinic. In some cases, a nurse will be arranged to come to the hotel to perform the test. The results will be provided within 24 hours. The cost for the blood test is approximately $37 per person.
- A doctor’s certification of the blood test results is required and can be arranged through the facility that conducts the wedding. The cost for the certificate is approximately $60.
- At least 3 days prior to the ceremony, the couple and 4 witnesses must sign all documents. The wedding planner then delivers the documents, fees and medical certificates to the Justice office.
- If a couple needs witnesses for the ceremony, they can be provided for an additional fee.
If a couple is legally married in Canada prior to the trip to Mexico, then the wedding in Mexico is considered a symbolic ceremony:
- No paperwork is required to perform the wedding ceremony.
- The couple must arrive in Mexico two days prior to the ceremony to ensure that all details for the event are correct and to walk-through the plan with the wedding coordinator.
- There is no mandatory length of stay after the ceremony is performed.
For more information on a destination wedding in the Playa del Carmen region of Mexico, visit: