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How to get married in Mexico - Legal Restrictions and Other Topics of Consideration

Updated on April 14, 2011

A wedding in Mexico

Sometimes wedding planning can feel like a daunting task - especially if you're worried about the requirements in another country.  A wedding in Mexico will combine all the beauty and warmth of a Caribbean vacation, with the interesting cultural and historical experience a Mexican vacation would provide. 

I hope this guide to will help to simplify the process and ease your concerns. Getting married in Mexico is easy! You just need to be prepared. When you can combine a wedding with a wonderful Mexico vacation, you're guaranteed a good time.


In Mexico, the only legal type of ceremony is a civil ceremony. Although it is possible to have religious ceremonies, a civil ceremony is required to make the marriage official. This would mean you would have to have two ceremonies if you want to have a religious ceremony.

Getting Married in Mexico

A Carlos Mendoza Photo
A Carlos Mendoza Photo

Marital Status

If the bride has previously been married, she must wait 1 full year following her divorce to remarry in Mexico.  If her passport is in her maiden name, no further documentation is required. However if it is in her ex-husbands name, she would have to provide officially translated copies of her birth and divorce certificate.  The rules vary from state to state for grooms who were previously married.  For some states, the rules are the same as for the bride, and in others the grooms need not provide any documentation. Be sure to check with your resort wedding planner regarding the rules in the state you intend to get married.  
If the bride or groom's former spouse is deceased then a copy of the death certificate is required. This is for legal ceremonies only.

Paperwork and other requirements

Blood Test and X-Ray A blood test and thorax (chest) x-ray are requirements for the bride and groom. Following the blood test, you will be provided with a Health Certificate -which is necessary documentation for a wedding. Fees for blood tests vary by resort, and are sometimes included in the wedding package price.

Passport, Birth Certificate, & Tourist Card
A valid passport and tourist card is required for the bride, groom, and the witnesses. The tourist card is provided on the plane prior to arrival in Mexico. It is essential the name on the tourist card and the passport are the same.  Some states also require birth certificates, so be sure to have them ready as well. For all documents, make sure you have copies, as the documents will be kept.

Civil Ceremony Form
This form should be available through your Wedding Coordinator, and indicates witness' name, age, nationality, home address & occupation.

Each wedding is required to have four witnesses - two for the bride, and two for the groom. The witnesses are required to be over the age of 18 at the time of the ceremony. Many resorts will provide witnesses for an extra fee.

The bride, groom, and their witnesses are required to arrive in Mexico 3 business days prior to their wedding. This is to allow enough time to process paperwork and blood tests.

A Mexican Wedding

Mexico - A wedding destination
Mexico - A wedding destination

After the Wedding

You will receive a wedding certificate following your wedding. This will have to be officially translated for your wedding to be legal in the United States. It is much easier to have it officially translated while in Mexico than after you return home, so make sure you make arrangements.
There is nothing daunting about getting married in Mexico - just make sure you are prepared, and bring all the necessary paperwork with you! 

If you want assistance in planning your Mexican wedding, don't hesitate to get in contact with professional Mexico wedding planners!


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