How to Get Married in Mexico

Three Parts:Getting The Legal RequirementsLegalizing Your Marriage Back HomePlanning Your Wedding

Planning a destination wedding may mean that you are trying to figure out how to get married in Mexico. This location can be an attractive choice for couples, and you can plan your wedding and honeymoon around any number of areas in the country. Planning a wedding from afar does present its own challenges, though, so knowing how to make all of the proper arrangements before you go will be key to the event's success.

Part 1
Getting The Legal Requirements

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    Make sure both parties consent. People who are younger than 18 years old cannot get married without the consent of their parents. Boys have to be at least 16 years old and girls 14 years old with their parents consent to be able to legally marry.[1]
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    Get chest x-rays and blood tests in Mexico. You must get these tests done locally as they need to be in Spanish and completed by a certain time frame from when the Marriage Application Form is complete. Some Mexican States do not require a chest X-ray so check the local requirements for exact deadlines and requirements.[2]
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    Choose four witnesses. Whether they are family and friends flying over with you or local residents, they will need a valid Passport or another form of government-issued identification.[3]
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    Legalize your marriage certificate in Mexico. Your Marriage Certificate will only be valid around the world if you apply to the Foreign Office/State department. Consult a local Mexican registry office to find out the location of the nearest office.[4]
    • Only a civil marriage is legal in Mexico. If you have a religious ceremony without the civil service, your marriage will not be recognized.
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    Provide valid documents if you have been previously married. Some states have different laws about how long someone must wait before they can re-marry. Check with local officials for requirements. If you have been widowed, you may need to provide a death certificate of your spouse.
    • For example, Cancun requires that females must wait at least 300 calendar days before they are legally allowed to re-marry.
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    Keep your documents in order. Document requirements will between states. Documents must be translated into Spanish, a Mexican Consulate must notarize your documents, and you must be a legal resident of the country issuing your appropriate documents. You will need the following documents:[5]
    • Marriage application form - Specify if you will be getting married under separate property or joint. You may obtain this form at a local registry office.
    • Passport - The copy of the passports must be valid for at least six months for both the groom and bride.
    • Travel Permits - Copies of tourist permit (FMM) or other immigration permits (FM3, FM2, etc). You can obtain your tourist permit from your port of entry.
    • Birth Certificates - Contact your closest Mexican consulate to find out where you can have these translated and certified by an approved translator.
    • Divorce Decree / Death Certificate - If one of the parties had been previously married, they may need to provide these documents may be required depending on your location.
    • Chest X Rays - Get the plates from a local lab at which you have it done.
    • Blood Test Results - Get these done in Mexico and have the results written in Spanish.
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    Legalize your marriage back home. Consult the Office of Authentication at State Department if you are going back home to the USA. Visit their website and follow the procedures to request authentication services and how to pay the associated fees.[6]
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    Pay your Marriage License fee. After you have gathered the appropriate requirements, including official documents and paperwork, you must pay about a $30 Marriage License fee. Depending on the state, you may have to wait 30 minutes or several days before the actual marriage ceremony can take place.[7]

Part 2
Legalizing Your Marriage Back Home

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    Ensure your marriage certificate is certified. Your Marriage Certificate will only be valid in your home country if you apply to the Foreign Office/State department. Consult a local Mexican registry office to find out the location of the nearest office.[8]
    • A certified copy is called Acta de Matrimonio and will be prepared at the Registo Civil office. The document must be authenticated by the Oficina de Legalizacion de Documentos, Palacio de Gobierno as it gives proof that your marriage certificate is official because of the seal and signature of the Mexican official. You will have to pay a fee determined by the state at which you are getting married.
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    Complete a Request of Authentication Service form. Visit the U.S. Department of State site and print out the Request of Authentications Service (DS-4194) form. Follow the prompts and fill out the form accordingly.[9]
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    Request a Consular Report of marriage abroad. You will need to request authentication from the U.S. Department of State via mail, walk-in, or appointment services.[10]
    • Mail your complete packet to Office of Authentications, U.S. Department of State, CA/PPT/S/TO/AUT, 44132 Mercure Cir, P.O. Box 1206, Sterling, VA, 20166-1206[11]
    • Walk-in to the Authentication Services Counter at the U.S. Department of State from 8am to 9am, Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays, with your complete packet.[12]
    • Call 202-485-8000 between 9am to 12pm and 1pm - 3pm EST, Monday through Friday, to schedule an appointment with the U.S. Department of State.[13]
    • A complete packet should include the completed Request of Authentications Service form, copy of your marriage certificate, related documents as indicated by form DS-4194, fees, and a self-addressed prepaid envelope.[14]
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    Pay the fees. You must pay a $30 fee for the first copy and $20 for each additional copy of a Certificate of Witness to Marriage.[15] There is also $8 authentication fee per document. You may pay by cash or check, payable to the U.S. Department of state.[16]
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    Consult the US Department of State for any other queries. Visit or the office of Authentications at U.S. Department of State, 600 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006.[17]

Part 3
Planning Your Wedding

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    Choose your location. Mexico is a large and beautiful country with plenty of scenic locations to have your wedding. You may choose the East or West coast to help cut down on your travel time depending on your location. You may also choose your location based on price and available activities.[18]
    • Be sure to put in the time and research your locations. Create a list of what your top destinations offer and narrow it down. Read reviews and visit forums to find answers to questions that aren’t immediately answered on websites.
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    Create a budget. Mexico is a great destination because it may offer a comparable alternative to a local weekend wedding. For the same amount of money that you spend on a wedding at home you may be able to spend an entire week at a Mexican resort. Mexico also allows friends and family to have a fun getaway around the joyous occasion or an immediate honeymoon for the newlyweds.[19]
    • Make sure you create a limit and are strict when noting your expenditures.
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    Choose the date. Once you have chosen a location and created your budget, choose a date. Make sure that it gives you enough time to prep and gives your guest enough time to make an informed decision. Taking time off work and spending money to fly to a destination is a big commitment so give your guests time to process.[20]
    • Make sure you choose the best time of year to have a wedding at your location. Some destinations may be too hot or it may be rainy during certain times of year. November through to May are ideal times to avoid weather extremes.
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    Find a local wedding planner. Local wedding planners or planners who specialize in destination weddings in Mexico may greatly ease the stress of planning a wedding at an unknown location. They can help you organize legal requirements as well as find the best deals to suit your budget and wedding plans.
    • Make sure you read reviews and research forums to find a wedding planner that will meet and exceed your expectations.
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    Find a wedding package. Many resorts and locations offer wedding packages to ease the planning. You may choose to have the ceremony outdoors or in the hotel grounds. Make sure the package suits your budget and don’t be afraid to ask if you can make adjustments. For an extra cost, there are a lot of personal touches you can create.[21]
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    Get your legal requirements taken care of. Make sure that you have submitted the proper paperwork and requirements to the local registry. Requirements differ from state to state so make sure your wedding planner has briefed you and confirmed all proper documents and fees have been processed.[22]
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    Invite your guests. After creating your guest list, create your wedding invitations and send them out at least four months before the date of your wedding. You want to give your guests enough time to take time off work as well as give your venue enough time to make the proper arrangements for changing numbers.[23]
    • You will need to confirm with your venue at least a month prior to the wedding so schedule the rsvps accordingly.
    • Provide travel options and itineraries for your guests so they can see what their budget may look like. Your guests don’t have to travel the same airlines or participate in all the activities, or even stay at the same hotel but giving them an outline will be appreciated.
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    Plan the entertainment. Based on the location and length of stay, plan suitable activities to keep your guests entertained. Consult your wedding planner to find group deals on activities. Make sure you plan activities for every age and give leeway to those that choose not to participate because of budget, health or schedule.[24]
    • There will be time to check out tourist excursions or laying on the beach. Make sure that you schedule at least one meal or activity every day where everyone can just check in and catch up. You want to make sure your guests are safe and enjoying themselves.
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    Get married! Once the date has arrived, enjoy your ceremony. Allow the staff of your venue and your wedding to do their jobs. You should not have to focus on anything other than celebrating your marriage ceremony.[25]
    • It is not unusual to have an activity scheduled before or after the ceremony. Enjoy your time in Mexico however you choose.


  • Send out save-the-date cards at least 4 to 6 months in advance for a destination wedding. Be sure to include both the date and the location so that guests can start pre-planning and booking their arrangements.

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Categories: Weddings