How to Have a Mexico Destination Wedding in 2021 as a Foreigner
A comprehensive guide on what you need to know to get married in Mexico
Why have your destination wedding in Mexico?
Hosting a destination wedding in Mexico is a very common choice with foreign couples. Given that it is one of the most popular places in the world for destination weddings.
Not surprisingly, many foreigners also get engaged here and seek to have their Mexico destination wedding in one of the abundant locations. Such as the pristine beaches in the Riviera Maya, in a majestic colonial house in Merida, Yucatan or during a breathtaking sunset in Puerto Vallarta. Something the Mexican Destination Wedding scene is not short of, is stunning wedding venues.
What types of Mexico Wedding Ceremonies are there?
A Mexico destination wedding ceremony can be divided into multiple categories. But here we divide them into 5 of the most common:
- Civil Wedding
- Symbolic Wedding
- Religious Catholic Wedding
- Mayan Union
- Same-Sex Weddings
CIVIL WEDDING - How to Get Legally Married in Mexico
First things first. Before investigating the various wedding options available, you will very likely be required to have a Civil Wedding. Obviously this can be done in your (or your fiancés) home country or Mexico. If you intend on having a religious wedding to celebrate your main wedding in Mexico, some ministers may request your legal certificate of marriage from your civil ceremony. Or at least proof of your civil wedding if it's going to be after your main wedding day.
If you are a foreigner and are having your Civil Wedding in Mexico. The documents you need may differ from state to state, but typically the requirements are:
- Your Passport, original and 2 copies.
- Apostilled Birth Certificate in your home country and certified in Mexico. In certain cases, it will need to be translated, depending on the region where you are getting married.
- Original and copy of your migration document; your Tourist Permit, Residencia Temporal, or Residencia Permanente.
- Medical Certificate (to be done 15 days prior to the civil wedding, MUST be done in Mexico).
- 4 Witnesses, each with 2 forms of official identification.
- If you are divorced or widowed, you will also need to present originals and copies of the respective documents and have them apostilled and translated where necessary.
A civil wedding in Mexico is 100% legally binding and valid anywhere in the world. As can be seen, it is a considerable amount of information to get your head around. If you need further clarification or a Wedding Planner to help coordinate a civil wedding for you. Feel free to contact me , and I can recommend wedding planners that can assist you with the process.
WHAT IS A SYMBOLIC UNION?
Generally speaking, many Mexico destination weddings in Cancun, Puerto Vallarta or Cabo San Lucas commonly fall under this umbrella. A Symbolic or non-religious wedding is generally conducted by an officiant or minister. Hence why they are very common with foreigners. Who, for the most part, have weddings on the beach, hotel resorts or colonial homes in Yucatan. Of course, it is not necessary for brides or grooms to have or share the same religious beliefs for a non-religious wedding.
A Symbolic wedding or non-religious wedding will generally require your passports in original form and copies. However, this will depend on the region where you are marrying and the officiant or minister. Again, if you need a recommendation on a wedding planner who can help coordinate a non-religious ceremony for your Mexico destination wedding. Please get in touch, and I can advise you accordingly.
HOW TO HAVE A RELIGIOUS CATHOLIC WEDDING
Mexico is a very Catholic country, and the chances are, if your partner is from Mexico they are also Catholic. So, what is the process for getting married in Mexico if you aren´t Catholic?
Just because your partner is Catholic, doesn´t mean you need to convert your religious beliefs. Nowadays, it is common to have what is known as a “Mixed Wedding” in a Catholic church or chapel. However, the requirements and process can be somewhat complicated. A Catholic wedding in Mexico has no legal status in Mexico or abroad. Hence why in Mexico it is common to have a civil and a religious wedding.
HOW TO GET MARRIED IN MEXICO AS A NON-CATHOLIC
If you are a foreigner and non-Catholic and want to get married in Mexico. You will be required to visit the Catholic church closest to the home of the bride to request permission to marry in a Catholic church. What advice you receive next may depend on the minister and church.
As a non-Catholic, you will be required to attend a Catholic course which generally lasts a few weeks (although this may vary). After which you will be granted permission to have your religious wedding in a Catholic church.
Next, you both will be required to attend pre-matrimonial talks with the minister, prior to your religious wedding. Once all requirements are fulfilled, the minister will give you a letter that is certified by the archdioceses in Mexico. This letter authorizes celebrating your wedding in another state (in the case of a destination wedding).
Your minister will assist you with obtaining all the documentation that is pertinent to your wedding.
- Civil Marriage Certificate or Proof of date confirmed of Civil Ceremony may be required (if after religious wedding).
- Pre-matrimonial talks certificate from the minister.
- Letter or Certificate from minister certified by the archdioceses in Mexico, granting you permission to marry in a Catholic church.
HOW TO HAVE A DESTINATION WEDDING IN MEXICO WHEN BOTH YOU AND YOUR FIANCÉE ARE CATHOLIC
If you are both Catholic and wanting to get married in Mexico. Then you will need to request your sacraments from the Catholic church in your home country are sent to Mexico. Depending on the state where you are marrying, you may need to have them translated into Spanish in Mexico.
- Civil Marriage Certificate or proof of date confirmed of Civil Ceremony may be required (if your civil wedding in Mexico is after the religious wedding).
- Pre-matrimonial talks certificate from the minister.
- Sacraments from the Catholic Church in your home country.
If you need a wedding planner to help you with this part of your wedding, contact me for a recommendation.
WHAT ARE MAYAN WEDDINGS IN MEXICO?
A spiritual wedding ceremony that originates from the state of Yucatan. A Mayan Union Ceremony is an ancient marriage ritual full of colour. Traditionally performed by a Shaman who commences with a ritual of purification. Giving thanks to the 4 points of the earth and asking for gods blessings of love, peace and abundance for the couple.
During the ceremony, the couples hands are tied using a ribbon. This symbolises their union to society and to the gods.
As the ceremony concludes, the newlywed couple throws flower petals into the sea as a gift to the gods. As a result, they are granted fulfilment of their wishes as a newly married couple.
Mayan Ceremonies are common amongst many couples getting married in the Riviera Maya. They usually take place at a resort next to the sea, a beach or a cenote. Traditionally it is performed in a Mayan dialect, although it is also common to have the ceremony performed in English.
A Mayan wedding closely fits in with a Symbolic wedding. It must be remembered it is not legally binding and no legal paperwork is required.
HOW TO HAVE SAME-SEX WEDDINGS IN MEXICO
Legal ceremonies for Same-Sex couples are not conducted in all of Mexico. At the time of writing, they are permitted in Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum (Riviera Maya). The Requirements for a legal same-sex wedding between a Mexican and a Foreigner are the same as the requirements for a Civil Wedding.
Destination weddings in Mexico come in many shapes and forms. It is very common for 2 foreigners to get wed in their homeland. Then celebrate the destination wedding in Mexico with friends and family.
If your fiancée is Mexican. You may not have such liberty and may be required to have a civil ceremony followed by a religious wedding. So that you aren´t offending anybody in your fiancée´s family. On the upside, Mexican weddings are fun and flamboyant!
I hope this gives you an insight as to what your wedding planning process may entail. Getting married to a Mexican as a foreigner in Mexico isn´t as complicated as it sounds. A wedding planner can take a lot of this burden off of your shoulders, and ensure everything is smooth sailing. Get in touch for recommendations on a wedding planner for your destination wedding.
Now you have decided on the type of wedding you want to have. How about a Mexico destination wedding photographer? 🙂