Getting Married in Mexico
Many people seem to think that they can run away to Mexico and quickly have a beautiful wedding in paradise. However, going to Las Vegas for a drive-thru Elvis themed quickie ceremony is not going to happen in Mexico.
Getting married in Mexico is a complicated affair even if you are both Mexican. If, however, one of you is “foreign” complicated does not begin to cover it.
The first thing you have to do is go to the local Civil Registry to obtain a list (in Spanish) of all the paperwork and requirements that you will need to apply for a permit to apply for marriage license.
By the way these requirements can vary from state to state so if you go online to try and get the information make sure you add in where you hope to be married. You will need your passport, a current tourist visa, and your birth certificate for starters. Regarding your birth certificate, if you are a foreigner, you will need a stamp called an “apostillado” which basically means you have to return to the place of your birth and have a notary do the necessary search to provide said stamp. In some places this can be done by mail but it takes much longer and is even more complicated and in other cases the “long form” of your birth certificate will be required before the “apostillado” is provided.
In the case of Ajijic, Lake Chapala, you will need to make several trips into Guadalajara for courses on marriage and health issues, applying for a permit to apply for a marriage license then going back in to pick up said permit when it is ready. These visits usually take up to four hours each.
You will also need blood tests and proof that you do not have AIDS or an STD.
Once you have all the necessary paperwork and have completed the list of requirements you proceed to the Civil Registry Office and, if everything is in order, they will give you a date for the civil ceremony which might be within the week or might not depending on how many applications they have to deal with.
Naturally, there is a cost involved in obtaining a marriage license which can run to the thousands of pesos.
Clearly Mexicans take marriage very seriously and do not allow anyone to leap into it easily. One has to be absolutely committed and the faint hearted need not apply.
Following the civil ceremony one can then plan a more traditional wedding in a church or place of your choice. You may then have whoever you wish to perform the ceremony now that you have your hard earned marriage license firmly clenched in your little hand.
So if you are sitting in the frozen north thinking that you might pop down to warm sunny Mexico for the week-end to marry your loved one think again.
What many couples do is come to Mexico and have a beautiful commitment/wedding ceremony and then get properly married back home.