When planning a Cabo San Lucas wedding ceremony, many couples ask what is the difference between having a minister or a Justice of Peace/judge perform their ceremony. Ministers perform non-denominational ceremonies, but this does not change your marital status anywhere in the world. If you wish for your wedding to be recognized as legal around the world, you must get legally married in the U.S. and then have a non-denominational/symbolic ceremony here in Los Cabos. You may also have both a non-denominational ceremony and civil ceremony in Mexico. By selecting a non-denominational ceremony, you may participate in the creation of your entire wedding ceremony including vows, ring exchanges, prayers, songs, readings, etc., whereas in a civil ceremony, you may not. Your marital status will change with a civil ceremony. It is important that you take into consideration that the ceremony must be performed in Spanish, but will be translated simultaneously in English. The vows that you will exchange are set by the State and cannot be modified. There are certain requirements that need to be completed for a civil ceremony to take place which are mentioned below:
- Copy of birth certificate from both bride and groom
- Copy of photo ID from bride and groom
- Marriage application filled out completely (the document will be sent by your wedding planner)
- Copy of four witnesses' photo ID
- Laboratory blood tests--which needs to be performed in Los Cabos--and will have a cost of approximately $200.00 US (cost may change). The blood tests are to check blood type and STDs statuses
- Migration form/tourist card, which is provided to each person when they travel to Mexico.
In the event that...
- The bride or groom is divorced, a minimum of one year must have passed in order for them to be legally married in Mexico and are required to provide the divorce decree
- Either the bride or groom are widowed, they will need to present the decree
- Either the bride or the groom are adopted, a certified copy of the adoption papers will be required
- Either the bride or groom have a Mexican nationality, it is required for them to sign a prenuptial agreement, which will be provided by the Justice of the Peace. A letter, which will be provided by your coordinator, must be sent to request permission for the marriage to take place at the Migration Offices in Los Cabo. You will, therefore, be requested to arrive at least five working days prior to the wedding.
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