More couples are trading in conventional hometown weddings for week-long celebrations in exotic lands. Destination weddings are a great way to visit amazing locales while bonding with your closest family and friends. According to TheKnot, more than 50 percent of American brides-to-be fancy a casual bash over a black-tie affair, which explains why many are seeking laid-back destinations where the weather is warm and the beaches always inviting.
Millennial couples, in particular, are fueling the popularity of tying the knot abroad. It’s no surprise that many are planning on saying “I do” in Mexico, given its world-famous beaches, natural beauty and proximity to the U.S.
A tropical beach ceremony in Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta has lots of appeal for adventure-loving couples, and believe it or not, far-flung nuptials are often more affordable in the long run.
Here are a few important things to know when planning a destination wedding in Mexico.
Start planning early
Ideally, couples will have the wedding date nailed down as early as possible. This will allow you to scope out and book the perfect venue and ultimately secure better rates. Try and send out your Save the Dates at least 9 months in advance, which allows guests ample time to arrange accommodations and flights.
Research the weather
Weather plays a large factor in any wedding celebration, especially for those who want a sunny barefoot bash on the beach. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid the rainier months of July-October that also coincide with hurricane season. The months of May and November may be perfect for a sunset ceremony on the Riviera Maya, but weather patterns vary from the Yucatan Peninsula to Baja California. Do your research first to ensure the best odds of a rain-free wedding.
Have marriage paperwork in order
Mexico has specific requirements for a legal civil marriage, and these can vary from state to state.
Necessary documents include:
- Current passports that are valid for at least 6 months
- Certified copies of your birth certificates that must be notarized and translated by the local Mexican consulate
- Medical tests: some states require couples to have a blood test and chest x-ray two days prior to the event
- Marriage Application form available at local registry
- Copies of your Tourist travel permits (FMM cards)
In addition, foreigners who are marrying in Mexico must have four witnesses present at the ceremony. Ensure that each has a valid passport or government-issued ID.
Consider a wedding coordinator
Professional wedding coordinators can prove invaluable when marrying abroad. Using their local expertise, they can hire the most reputable vendors, inform couples on local marriage requirements and ensure your big day runs like clockwork. A local planner is experienced to handle all the details, saving you considerable time and stress.
Possible waiting period
If you were previously married and divorced, Mexico imposes a 12-month waiting period before you can legally apply for a marriage license. Authorities will require a certified copy of the divorce decree.
Additional Resources on Mexico Destination Weddings:
- BrideBox, How To Plan A Destination Wedding In Mexico http://www.bridebox.com/blog/plan-destination-wedding-mexico/
- TheKnot, Having a Destination Wedding? Read This First https://www.theknot.com/content/why-have-a-destination-wedding
- TheKnot, Marrying in Mexico: An Overview for Destination Weddings in Mexico https://www.theknot.com/content/destination-wedding-in-mexico