3 Ways to Get Married in Mexico and the Caribbean

By Susie Reese

When you choose a destination wedding, you want impeccable service, an unforgettable setting, and a festive atmosphere. As many celebrities would agree, Mexico and the Caribbean create exceptional ceremonies with exquisite amenities and special touches. But perhaps as important as the destination is what type of ceremony you want to celebrate. Find out the three choices available to you below at luxurious resorts south of the border and in the Caribbean islands!

destination wedding Secrets Maroma Riviera Maya Cancun

Hold your perfect destination wedding in Riviera Maya at an all-inclusive resort. (Pictured: Secrets Maroma)


Symbolic Ceremonies

The most frequently celebrated union, this type of wedding isn’t legally binding or recognized by religion. Celebrated by a minister or a justice of the peace, these are beautiful events on the beach or at a special location on property. Imagine rejoicing your love with your closest friends and families in a tropical setting amid lavish gardens, a fantastic waterscape, or an elegant retreat. With an on-site wedding coordinator, which most hotels provide, all the little details will be crafted to create your dream ceremony.

Excellence Playa Mujeres Riviera Maya Cancun wedding

Included in most wedding packages is the delicious cake, which can be customized for your tastes. (Pictured: Excellence Playa Mujeres)

Most wedding packages include: preparation and ironing of the wedding dress and groom’s tuxedo/suit, bride’s natural flower bouquet, groom’s flower boutonniere, wedding cake, sparkling wine, special turn down service, a honeymoon/newlywed package, and late checkout for bride and groom.

Resorts generally have a handful of wedding packages, perfected for any budget or taste. Some even hold specialized ceremonies, like the Mayan Weddings at Oasis Resorts and the Pyaara Indian ceremonies at Atlantis. When your wedding party books a certain number of rooms for a predetermined length of time, you are entitled a complimentary wedding package that includes all the basic necessities that can easily be customized to become your dream ceremony.

Resorts that offer symbolic weddings include AM Resorts (Secrets, Dreams, Zoetry, Sunscape, Now, and Breathless), Excellence Resorts (Finest and Beloved), Oasis Resorts, Hard Rock Resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, RIU Hotels, IBEROSTAR, Majestic Resorts, Meliá, Real Resorts, Palace Resorts, Grand Velas, Sandals, Beaches, and more.

Same-sex couples can enjoy a lavish wedding at Grand Oasis Sens, a gay and lesbian friendly resort, with customizable packages and incredible service.

Related story: Read “How to Plan Your Destination Wedding by Palace Resorts” here.  

Legal Ceremonies

Secrets Puerto Los Cabos destination weddings

Legal ceremonies cost more but are available in most Caribbean and Mexico destinations. (Pictured: Secrets Puerto Los Cabos)

You want your union to be official everywhere, so choose a legal wedding, which are celebrated by a justice of peace. This type of ceremony requires legal paperwork completed for the civil court of Mexico, blood tests, and a separate fee. Other requirements of a legal ceremony include:

– Couple and four witnesses must arrive in Cancun four days in advance of the ceremony.

– Valid passports.

– Tourist card.

– Names, addresses, nationalities, ages, occupation, relationship, copy of a tourist card, and valid identification for the four witnesses.

– A blood test that must be taken in Mexico.

A marriage certificate is only valid in Mexico, but the marriage coordinator will help you validate it internationally, which usually takes two to three months after the wedding date.

Related story: Read “Destination: Weddings by AM Resorts” here.  

Religious Ceremonies

Religious ceremonies are celebrated at most resorts in the Caribbean and Mexico, and many have ministers at the resort to officiate for Christian ceremonies. Though most religions can be accommodated, especially at AM Resorts, couples of Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu faiths usually bring their own officiates. On-site coordinators and your local travel agent can help you choose the right resort that fits your spiritual beliefs and customs, as well as your budget.

Moon Palace Stacey and James Cancun wedding

No matter what ceremony you choose, you’ll be immersed in romantic bliss. (Pictured: Stacey and James’s Wedding, Moon Palace)


Ready to plan your destination wedding? Check out other posts via keyword “Destination Weddings” for the opulent details from AM Resorts, Excellence, RIU, and Oasis Resorts.