Not sure how to tie the knot (legally) in paradise? Read on for some tips!
But first, there are two types of destination wedding ceremonies:
A legal ceremony is when you receive a marriage certificate from the destination you’re married in, and is recognized legally back home. A legal ceremony typically requires more paperwork, a judge, additional fees, and occasional blood tests.
A symbolic ceremony has no legal binding, and makes up approximately 80% of all destination weddings.
Popular Destinations: Ceremony Requirements
As one of our most popular wedding destinations, the bride and groom will receive no legal bearing in this symbolic marriage. In fact, the only civil ceremony that is legally recognized in Mexico, must be performed by a judge. A blood test is required for this.
If you decide to wed here, keep in mind the only legal ceremonies are the ones performed by the judge or Catholic priest. Be sure your paperwork is notarized and translated into Spanish, which will typically add an additional $500-800 to your wedding costs.
Both civil and religious ceremonies performed by a minister are legally recognized in Jamaica. Jamaica is one of the easiest countries to have a legal destination wedding!
Costa Rica offers legal ceremonies if they are performed by a judge. Religious ceremonies or vow renewals will hold no legal bearing, as they are considered symbolic.
Typically, we recommend the bride and groom go to their local courthouse, obtain your license and file the paperwork to become legally married before their destination wedding. This takes a ton of stress off during the trip. Abd don't worry!... a symbolic destination wedding ceremony is performed just like a legal ceremony (just without the paperwork!) so your guests will never know the difference!