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Legal Requirements for Destination Weddings in Different Countries


Here we collect the different requirements that each country requests to make legal weddings. Alert: these requirements may change without prior notice by each government of each country. In general, MMO recommends each couple have a civil ceremony in their state since it is more convenient in general and to have a symbolic wedding in the chosen country. We also are ordained ministers to help our couple in that matter. To have a legal wedding in another country, you generally need to submit personal documentation as well as have a residence period in the country you want for a certain time to be able to apply for the marriage application and perhaps other requirements such as blood tests.

The decision of where and how to have your wedding is a very personal decision for you. Here, I will explain some of the favorite countries for destination weddings. Please always verify with the country of choice all the requirements beforehand. \



Puerto Rico

REQUIREMENTS TO ENTER IN MARRIAGE DESTINATION WEDDINGS ACT 127 OF AUGUST 11, 2010

Sec. 2 “For purposes of this section, Puerto Rico accepts a medical certification that complies with all tests required to enter in marriage in their place of residence, and will not insist upon mandatory laboratory tests necessary in our jurisdiction, for men and women non-residents of Puerto Rico who wish to get married on the Island...”

Prior to starting all wedding preparations, you must obtain all documents required by the Vital Records offices in Puerto Rico, the formalities necessary for our agency, and the conclusion of the ceremony. The future spouses must both visit the Demographic Registrar’s Office and comply with the following requisites:

  • 1. A statement or certification (letter or prescription note with full address of the medical center or doctor's office) from an authorized medical physician which indicates the compliance of all tests required to enter into marriage in their place of residence. Please specify if lab tests are not necessary. The certification has a validity of ten (10) calendar days subsequent to the date of issuance, and following these, will not be able to get married until a new medical certification is issued.

  • 2. A sworn statement or affidavit which stipulates the following:

  • Non-residents of Puerto Rico; The purpose of the visit is solely to enter into marriage;

  • Duration of the visit; if a foreign citizen establishes that he/she will not stay in Puerto Rico for more time than what was specified in the permission to enter a United States Territory, granted by the corresponding federal agency. If the sworn statement is written in the United States, the public notary’s signature, before who the statement was made, must be authenticated by the state County Clerk (in some cases, this corresponds to the Secretary of State).

  • 3. Valid photo identification, issued by the government of the state or country of residence. The following are the most common forms of accepted identification: Driver’s License, Passport, or State Identification. Expired or mutilated is not acceptable.

  • 4. Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Stamp for the sum of $150.005.

  • Original birth certificates; the names will be documented per the way they appear on the certificates. If a legal change of name provides evidence from the courthouse, documents have to be sealed as a certified copy.

  • 6. Divorce decrees from all previous marriages, or in the case of widowhood, the spouse’s death certificate. Original documents. “If you have a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certification (or documents related to the divorce), name changes by the court, or any other Document that you have to submit in order to obtain a marriage license in Puerto Rico that is not originally Spanish, you must translate the documents in Spanish or English. You will have to provide the original document and the translated document”

  • 7. Celebrants must be registered through and authorized by the Demographic Registry in order to officiate marriages in Puerto Rico. The authorized Registrar shall provide the intending spouses with the form RD2014, to be completed in its totality, and submit it to the local Demographic Registrar’s Office, supplemented by both the Sworn and Medical statements. The Registrar will verify that all information documented is correct, before completing the Marriage Certificate and issuing the License to get married. Minors of 21 years of age must be accompanied by both parents with legal guardianship, duly identified, who will sign the marriage certificate in the presence of the celebrant. The celebrant is obligated to submit the marriage certificate and matrimonial license to any Demographic Registrar’s Office, regardless of where the matrimonial rituals were celebrated during the subsequent ten (10) calendar days after the celebration.



Dominican Republic


The following is all the documentation required by Dominican Law in order to get married in the Dominican Republic.

  • Birth Certificate of Bride(s) and Groom(s) or certified copy of the Birth certificate. If parents’ names are not shown on the certificates, please indicate them separately.

  • Notarized Declaration of Single status for the Bride(s) and Groom(s). If previously married, submit two copies of the Divorce Decree or Death Certificate. There is a mandatory waiting period for women, 10 months before they are legally allowed to remarry.

  • A photocopy of the Bride(s) and Groom(s)’ Passport (or documents used to enter the DR).

  • Photocopies of all Witness's Passports. Cannot be family members.

  • The bride (s) and Groom(s) must be in the country three business days prior to the wedding. All documents must be translated and legalized by the Dominican Consulate prior to arriving in the Dominican Republic, except for the Passports. The documents should be legalized by the Dominican Consulate no more than three months prior to the wedding date. It is the couple’s responsibility to have all the documentation ready prior to the wedding. The Judge is an outside service provided by the Dominican Government. The Judge will duly register your

  • Wedding Certificate at the Central Civil Board and legalize it with the Foreign Affairs Department of the Dominican Republic. Then the Wedding Certificate will be sent to the couple via mail which may take up to 10-12 weeks.




Mexico


  • Copy of the Tourist Visa Card of the bride(s), groom(s), and four witnesses (This is given at the airport upon arrival to Mexico)

  • Blood tests that should be taken in Mexico; are not valid if it is taken elsewhere. To be considered valid the test should not be taken more than 14 days prior to the ceremony. The blood will be tested for HIV, RPR (sexually transmitted diseases), and blood type. The results will be ready in 24 hours and they will be given to the wedding coordinator to complete the paperwork.

  • Four witnesses can sign the legal forms four days before the wedding and during the ceremony.

  • Legal form completed with the names, addresses, nationalities, ages, occupations, and relationships, of the bride(s) and groom(s).

  • Birth Certificate of the bride(s) and groom(s)*


*The Marriage Certificate that you receive on the ceremony day from the JOP is only valid in Mexico. The coordinator in your resort will discuss the process of making your marriage certificate legal internationally. Make sure that you bring all requirements listed above to the first meeting with the wedding coordinator when you arrive at the Resort (you and the coordinator will set up a time and place to meet).

In case of a previous divorce, you will need to bring the divorce decree, and this must be apostilled and translated prior to the arrival at the resort. Please bring this document to the final appointment with your wedding coordinator. Additional fees apply for legal weddings.

*Birth Certificates for the bride and groom are optional. It applies only if the Bride and Groom WANT the names of their parents to appear on the Marriage Certificate. If you decide to take this option the Birth certificate should be the one that has the names of the parents on it, also a translation into Spanish is required. This document must be translated into Spanish and should be provided with an “Apostille” stamp and it should be processed at the hometown, service is not available onsite. In case that the Birth Certificate of the Bride and Groom don't have the “Apostille '' stamp. The parent ́s name will not appear on the Marriage certificate, the spaces for those names will be filled out as i.e(---).



Jamaica

  • Residency period: 48 hrs. (includes weekends and holidays).

  • Notarized copies of BOTH bride and groom’s valid government-issued Passport photo ID or Driver’s License.

  • All copies of documents must be notarized. Please note that Notary’s commission must be valid until after the wedding date.

  • Notarized copies of BOTH bride and groom’s state-issued birth certificates.

  • Notarized copy of all previous divorce decrees, all pages of court-certified final judgment for BOTH bride and groom (if applicable).

  • Notarized copy of former spouse’s state-issued death certificate and related notarized marriage certificate (if applicable).

  • Notarized copy of legal adoption papers or legal name change (if applicable).

  • Notarized copy of a legal translation of all documents to English along with notarized documents in the original language (if applicable).

  • Mandatory marriage officiant and government documentation fees are $95.



St. Lucia

  • Residency period: 72 hrs. (three business days, NOT including the day of arrival, weekends, or holidays); no Sunday weddings.

  • All original documents with certified court seals must be hand carried to the island.

  • Country-issued passports and state-issued birth certificates for BOTH bride and groom.

  • All previous divorce decrees, all pages of court-certified final judgment for BOTH bride and groom (if applicable).

  • Former spouse’s state-issued death certificate and related marriage certificate (if applicable).

  • Legal adoption papers or legal name change (if applicable).

  • Legal translation of all documents to English along with documents in original language (if applicable).

  • Express Wedding: Residency period 48hrs/ 2 business days (excludes day of arrival). A fee of US$341 is due at the time of booking.

  • Mandatory marriage officiant and government documentation fees are $270.





Bahamas

  • Residency period: 48 hrs. (two business days, NOT including the day of arrival, weekends, or holidays); no Sunday weddings.

  • All original documents with certified court seals must be hand carried to the island.

  • Country-issued passports and state-issued birth certificates for BOTH bride and groom.

  • All notarized copies of previous divorce decrees, including all pages of court-certified final judgment for BOTH bride and groom (if applicable).

  • Former spouse’s state-issued death certificate and related marriage certificate (if applicable).

  • Legal adoption papers or legal name change (if applicable).

  • Legal translation of all documents to English along with documents in original language (if applicable).

  • Please note that divorce decree documents will not be returned. This document can be a notarized copy.

  • Mandatory marriage officiant and government documentation fees are $310.



Turk & Caicos


  • Residency requirement: 48 hrs, must include two (2) business days (day of arrival and weekends NOT included).

  • State-issued birth certificate and copy of the driver’s license OR passport.

  • All pages of all court-certified final divorce decree with the judge's signature. Divorce Decrees MUST have the following written: “Final Decree”, “Final Judgment” or “Dissolution of Marriage”.

  • State-issued death certificates with related marriage certificates Legal name change or legal adoption documents if applicable.

  • Two (2) Notarized Affidavits of Spinster ship/Bachelorhood, (a sworn statement indicating either party has never been married) one to be mailed in, and the other to be hand carried to the resort with original documents.

  • Affidavits notarized must be dated and notarized within 90 days prior to the wedding date.

  • An original notarized sworn affidavit referring to documents specifically may also be provided to accompany the photocopy of the document.

  • A late fee of US$150 will apply for all documents received within 21 days prior to the arrival date.

  • Couples must hand carry all original state issued and/or court-certified documents with raised/embossed seals and stamps plus a copy of the Spinster ship/Bachelorhood affidavit to resort.

  • A notarized Affidavit from either parents or legal guardian must be provided in order to marry Turks & Caicos if under 21 years of age.

  • All required documents are due 60 days prior to travel for all islands.



If you want more details or looking for information to get a Destination Wedding just contact us.






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