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Navigating the Process: How to Get a Destination Wedding Marriage License

Dreaming of saying "I do" amidst the sun-drenched beaches of Mexico? Obtaining your marriage license may not be the most thrilling part of preparing for married life, but it's a crucial step to ensure the legality of your union. Wondering how to get a marriage license? Our comprehensive guide has all the details you need.

For US citizens seeking to tie the knot in Mexico, obtaining a marriage license involves a series of steps and documentation. Let's embark on this journey together as we explore the process of acquiring your marriage license and making your dream wedding a legal reality with 'I Do by 2 Getaway'.

Common Questions

What is a Marriage License?

A marriage license is an official document issued by the government allowing you to marry. It confirms that both parties are legally qualified to enter into marriage, ensuring neither is already married, underage, or otherwise ineligible.

What is a Marriage Certificate?

A marriage certificate is the official document you receive after your wedding, whereas a marriage license is the permit allowing you to marry. The certificate is issued once the marriage license is returned and validated by the issuing office.

Why do I need a Marriage License?

Not having a marriage license means your marriage will be considered illegal by the law. While you can opt for a ceremonial or religious marriage only, the state won't grant you the benefits reserved for legally married couples, like tax advantages, social security benefits, joint healthcare plans, and inheritance rights.

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Mexico Destination Wedding Marriage License: 

Before diving into the process, it's crucial to gather the necessary documents for a legal marriage in Mexico. Foreign nationals are typically required to submit the following:


  • Valid passport.

  • Valid Mexican entry documents (visas, migratory form, etc.).

  • Birth certificates.

  • Pre-nuptial Agreement specifying the property system.

  • If divorced or widowed, appropriate certificates.

  • Pre-nuptial medical certificate (obtained in Mexico).

  • Parental permission for individuals under 18.

  • Four witnesses with official identification (in some states).

  • Certificate of No Impediment (CNI) in some states.


Note: All foreign documents must be apostilled or legalized in their country of origin and translated into Spanish by an official translator in Mexico.

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Understanding Apostille and Legalization:

An apostille is a certification that authenticates the origin of a public document, such as a birth certificate or divorce decree, for use in foreign countries. To obtain an apostille, you must contact the appropriate authority in your home country, typically the Secretary of State's office, and follow their specific requirements for legalization.


The Process in Quintana Roo:

 In Quintana Roo, home to popular wedding destinations like Riviera Maya and Cancun, the process for obtaining a marriage license typically involves the following steps:


  1. Gather all required documents and ensure they are apostilled/legalized and translated into Spanish.

  2. Present the documents to the local Registry Office (Oficina del Registro Civil) in the municipality where you intend to marry.

  3. Pay any applicable fees, which can vary depending on the municipality and services required.

  4. Wait for the marriage license to be processed, which can take several days to weeks.


Costs and Waiting Times:

Prices for marriage licenses in Quintana Roo can vary depending on factors such as the municipality and additional services requested. It's essential to inquire about specific fees and waiting times at the local Registry Office where you plan to marry.

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Skip the Process: Another Option

Another option if you don’t want to comply with all this process is to have your legal wedding in the USA and your celebration and symbolic wedding in Mexico. This is the preferred way for many couples as it simplifies the marriage process significantly.

By separating the legalities from the celebration, couples can focus on enjoying their special day without the added stress of navigating foreign legal requirements. This approach allows for a seamless and memorable destination wedding experience while ensuring that your marriage is recognized and legally binding.


In destination weddings, you have the flexibility to choose how you want to get married – whether legally, symbolically, religiously, or in a combination of these ceremonies. Many resorts specialize in various types of weddings, offering expert guidance and personalized services to cater to your specific preferences and traditions. From intimate beach ceremonies to lavish ballroom receptions, the options are endless when it comes to crafting your dream wedding in paradise.

Where do I get a Marriage License in the U.S.?

The location where you obtain your marriage license depends on the state where you plan to get married. This can include city hall, the clerk's office, a designated marriage license bureau, or another location specific to your area.

To find out more about the marriage license requirements in your state, refer to the laws in your state.

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When planning your destination wedding, entrust your vision to the experts at I Do by 2 Getaway. With our wealth of experience in destination weddings and our extensive network of resorts and vendors, we'll help you find the perfect venue and coordinate every detail to perfection.

Whether you envision a romantic beachfront ceremony or a glamorous celebration under the stars, let us turn your dreams into reality. Contact us today to start planning the destination wedding of a lifetime.









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