All you need to know about Getting Married in Mexico

Mexico is a popular destination for couples looking to tie the knot. And it’s no wonder why! With its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious food, Mexico is the perfect place to say “I do.”

Before you start packing your bags for your Mexican wedding, there are a few things you need to know about getting married in Mexico. Read on to learn everything about weddings in Mexico, from legal requirements to types of weddings, and some extra tips!

When it comes to getting married in Mexico, there is actually a range of different wedding options for couples to choose from. These options can go from quaint little chapels to world-class amenities with breathtaking ocean views, making them the perfect setting for a romantic and unforgettable celebration.

Whether you’re looking for a more traditional Mexican experience or a modern beachside affair, there truly is something for everyone when getting married in Mexico. So why not start planning your dream wedding today? Whether you’re exchanging vows in a small church or a sprawling resort property, these are the most common types of weddings in Mexico you can choose from:

getting married in mexico on a beautiful ceremony on a garden with ocean view
Weddings in Mexico are versatile, beautiful and fun!

Symbolic Weddings in Mexico

A symbolic wedding is an ideal choice for couples who want all the beauty of a traditional Mexican wedding without the legalities. This type of ceremony is not legally binding, which means that you can say your “I Do’s” anywhere you want. A lot of couples choose to have the ceremony at a beautiful beach, a lush tropical garden, or a unique natural location.

This type of wedding may be the most popular type of ceremony in Mexico as it’s simpler to organize and less expensive. The symbolic wedding ceremony is performed by an officiant who can be either a priest, rabbi, or even a friend or family member.

One of the advantages of having a symbolic ceremony is that it gives you complete freedom to personalize your vows and create the wedding of your dreams. You can also choose to include any traditions that are important to you, whether they are religious or cultural.

wedding sand ceremony with a flower bouquet with roses
A sand ceremony represents the union of two separate lives becoming one

Mayan Weddings

For couples who are getting married in the Riviera Maya area and want an authentic traditional Mexican experience, a Mayan wedding may be perfect for you! A Mayan ceremony is a traditional binding marriage ritual performed by a shaman who blesses the couple and their union during the ceremony.

The ritual is performed in sacred places such as cenotes or natural environments and includes an exchange of marriage vows, the presentation of offerings, and the sharing of a ceremonial meal. Not only Mayan weddings are incredibly beautiful, but they are also said to be good luck for the marriage!

mayan ceremony altar with offerings
A traditional Mayan ceremony performed at Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya

Indigenous Weddings

Some resorts outside the Riviera Maya area may offer a spiritual and symbolic choice for couples looking to have a one-of-a-kind destination wedding experience. These weddings provide an opportunity to experience local culture in a unique and intimate way and are also often carefully designed to be eco-friendly, ensuring that all aspects of the ceremony are respectful to the land and environment.

These weddings are deeply rooted in the traditions of Mexico and are typically performed in accordance with the customs and traditions of the native peoples who live in that region, incorporating elements such as colorful costumes, elaborate rituals, traditional dances, and breathtaking altars made of flowers.

Indigenous weddings in Mexico tend to have a laid-back and fun vibe, making them an ideal choice for couples who want to focus less on formality and more on celebrating their love with friends and family.

traditional huichol wixarika wedding in riviera nayarit
A colorful Huichol or Wixarika wedding procession at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Multicultural Weddings

Multicultural weddings are a unique and special way for couples to celebrate their love in beautiful Mexico. These ceremonies are traditionally held by two partners who come from different cultures or religious backgrounds, usually involve elements from both traditions, and the ceremony itself is led by a priest or officiant from either culture.

Culturally diverse weddings provide couples with a chance to pay tribute to their family histories while bringing together two cultures under one roof, and they offer an unforgettable experience that is both rich and deeply personal.

Jewish beach wedding ceremony
Multicultural weddings allow you to include your own traditions. Take it Photo.

Requirements for Symbolic Weddings in Mexico

  • The wedding couple must arrive 2 full business days in advance of the wedding (arrival day, Mexican holidays and weekends do not count),
  • That’s it! Easy peasy.

Average Costs of Symbolic Weddings in Mexico

Take note the following rates may vary significantly from one location and resort to the other, but in general, you will be spending on these concepts:

Regular symbolic ceremony
*Most wedding packages already include it
$ 0 USD
Mayan / Indigenous / Multicultural Wedding$600 USD –
$1,200 USD
Rates are subject to a 15% service fee + 16% TAX

What is the difference between a symbolic wedding and a legal wedding?

A legal wedding is the official, legal union of a couple, recognized and regulated by the law of the state or country where the marriage takes place. This type of wedding typically involves legal paperwork and is performed by a Justice of the Peace.

In comparison, a symbolic wedding is more informal in nature. This type of wedding focuses more on the spiritual aspects rather than legal requirements. As such, there are usually fewer legal requirements involved with a symbolic wedding, making them a popular choice for couples seeking an intimate or romantic experience.

A legal wedding in Mexico is exactly what it sounds like – a legally binding marriage ceremony that is recognized by the Mexican government. These types of ceremonies are officiated by a Justice of the Peace at the ceremony venue you choose at your resort.

To get married legally in Mexico, you will need to obtain a permit from your nearest Mexican consulate before your arrival in the country. Once you have your permit, you will need to present it along with your passports at your chosen wedding venue. Depending on where you get married, you may also need a few more documents to be able to tie the knot.

multicultural wedding couple holding each other on a garden
You can legalize any wedding ceremony with the right documentation and paying the pertinent fees

Requirements for Legal Weddings in Mexico

  • At most resorts, the wedding couple must arrive 4 full business days in advance of the wedding (arrival day, Mexican holidays and weekends do not count),
  • Four witnesses over 18 years old: two per person,
  • Couples and witnesses valid passports, for at least 6 months,
  • Couple and witness tourist cards provided by customs when you arrive in Mexico,
  • If you don’t provide witnesses, most resorts will be able to provide them for a fee,
  • Mexican witnesses require an official ID,
  • Health certificate and blood tests: it has to be made at the destination where the wedding will be celebrated to have legal value in Mexico,
  • In some destinations you would need a chest X-Rays taken a few days before the wedding, at the location where the wedding will be,
  • Couples’ Birth Certificates translated into Spanish and certified (only if the names of the parents are wanted on the Wedding Certificate),
  • If widowed, a Death Certificate will be required,
  • If divorced, the final divorce decree will be required and you must be divorced for over 1 year,
  • A civil wedding application form with (names, addresses, nationalities, occupations, and ages of the bridal couple, both parents and witnesses),
  • If one member of the couple is adopted, adoption papers are required.

All documents must be translated into Spanish. If you are a US Citizen, you can contact the Secretary of State where you were born to request the service. Find more info by visiting APOSTILLE US.

NOTE: The Marriage Certificate that you receive on the ceremony day by the Justice of the Peace is only valid in Mexico. Once you have legalized your marriage in Mexico through the ceremony, you must legalize your marriage in your country of birth/residence if you want it to be recognized once you return home.

You do this by registering your marriage certificate at your local City Hall after receiving your marriage certificate. The wedding coordinator of your hotel will be able to assist you with this process. Visit the US Embassy Website for more details.

Is Gay Marriage Legal in Mexico?

YES! Mexico is quickly becoming a premier destination for gay couples, lesbian couples, and LGBTQ+ couples seeking the perfect spot to tie the knot, and what’s best, gay weddings are legal in Mexico! At least at the most popular travel destinations (for now).

More and more resorts offer qualified and trained staff who are well-versed in providing all of the services you need for your big day. Some service providers and vendors are certified by recognized institutions such as the Equality Institute, to make sure you are confident and comfortable during the whole planning process.

two grooms wedding invitation with rings and ring boxes

RELATED: Hola Weddings is an LGBTQ+ Certified Travel Agency!

Average Cost of Legal Weddings in Mexico

Take note the following rates may vary significantly from one location and resort to the other, but in general, you will be spending on these concepts:

Justice of the Peace for legal ceremonies$ 600 USD
Judge’s transportation fee.$90 USD
Blood test per couple$300 USD
Apostille validation per couple of the marriage license (process after the
wedding, shipping fee included)
$300 USD
Translation of the marriage license after being apostilled from
Spanish into English
$250 USD
Fee per witness provided by the hotel (each)$25 USD
Rates are subject to a 15% service fee + 16% TAX

Catholic Weddings in Mexico

Catholic weddings and destination weddings can perfectly go together! These weddings are typically conducted according to the traditional catholic wedding process, and they involve several different important steps and rituals.

Some popular options include catholic churches or cathedrals in cities like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, which offer grand and stunning venues for these special events, and some resorts provide recognized chapels on site, so you don’t have to leave the resort for your ceremony! You can have a religious ceremony and have it be legal as well, paying the corresponding fees.

spanish colonial wedding chapel in puerto vallarta
A beautiful spanish colonial chapel in Grand Palladium Vallarta

NOTE: Catholic weddings in Mexico are not performed on Sundays.

Requirements for Catholic Weddings in Mexico

  • Couple must inform their local church they plan to get married at a different location,
  • Couples scanned copies of baptism, communion, and/or confirmation within the Catholic Church,
  • In the case that one person is not Catholic, you will need special permission, consult your parish priest as to how and if you can obtain this paperwork,
  • Certificate of Pre-Cana marriage preparatory program provided by your church,
  • Approval from your local parish to be sent to the parish here in Mexico where you plan on getting married.

Average Cost of Catholic Weddings in Mexico

Take note the following rates may vary significantly from one location and resort to the other, but in general, you will be spending on these concepts:

Catholic priest$600 USD
Church or chapel rental$800 USD
Rates are subject to a 15% service fee + 16% TAX

So, are you getting married in Mexico?

wedding ceremony with a flower arch in front of the beach

Mexico is a beautiful country with a rich culture that extends to its weddings. Whether you’re looking for a traditional Mayan ceremony or a more modern white sand beach affair, there are so many options for couples getting married in Mexico. No matter what type of wedding you’re dreaming of, Mexico has something for you!

With our years of experience and extensive knowledge of all things related to Mexican weddings, we will make sure that your big day is everything you have ever wanted and more. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today and let us help you start planning the best day of your life!

Get in touch, we love to help!
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