Frequently Asked Questions
Will my ceremony be legally binding in the U.S.? Only a civil marriage is recognized as legal and must be performed at a local Civil Register Office (Oficina del Registro Civil). A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes in the U.S., but a religious ceremony without the civil ceremony is not. Legal ceremonies offer the ability to have everything legal taken care of all at once in destination.
It’s important to note that a legal ceremony will require you to gather legal documents in advance such as your passport, birth certificate, copy of divorce decree (if applicable), blood tests, and medical certificates, and send them to the resort at least three months in advance. The paperwork will be processed to have the wedding officially recognized within the destination, but it is the responsibility of the newlyweds to follow up with their local courthouse on processing any documents in order to obtain a wedding certificate for their home state.
What is a symbolic ceremony? For your destination wedding we recommend having a symbolic ceremony. A symbolic ceremony allows you to experience your wedding just as you would if you were being married civilly/legally without the complications of getting blood tests, filing for a marriage license in Mexico, or medical certificates. Most couples do not share with their guests that they are having a symbolic ceremony; because to them, it is the official ceremony and as real to them as it would be if were legal.
You can apply for a marriage license in your home state (not more than 30 days from your ceremony date), bring it to Mexico and have your officiant sign it, and file the document upon your return to the U.S. Your marriage license is valid for 35 days so the signed document must be filed and received by the County Clerk’s office within that timeline. Click here for more details.
When should I apply for a passport? It can take up to three months to receive a U.S. Passport so we suggest that you apply early! For information on how to complete an application click here.
How much more is a destination wedding verses a wedding in my hometown? A destination wedding might sound pricey, but it's important to think of all the places you'll be saving. When your venue is the beach, a lot of the work is already done — instant atmosphere! Your dress code will probably be more casual (i.e., dresses will likely cost way less), and amazing seafood and exotic flowers are much less expensive when they aren't being shipped in. So overall a destination wedding can be less expensive than a stateside wedding.
What percentage of my guests will attend a destination wedding? When you plan a destination wedding, it's important to realize that fewer people will be there but for many, that's a plus. The people you're closest with will make the journey, and you'll end up with a tighter group of people that you actually want to spend time with. No second cousins (twice removed) or random friends of your parents here!
How much can my guests expect to spend to attend my Isla Mujeres wedding? Your guests will spend approximately $1,200-$1,500 for five days depending on the time of year. This includes airfare and transportation to and from the island if staying at Izla but does not include excursions.
If I want my wedding on Isla Mujeres what airport to we fly into? The closest airport is Cancun International Airport.
How do I get to the island? We highly recommend making reservations for ground and ferry transportation two weeks in advance. You can book through Best Day Transfers or CARM Tours and Transfers. The cost is approximately $70 round trip.
When should I send out my invitations for a destination wedding? The average lead time for invitations is six to eight weeks before the wedding. However, destination-wedding invites should be sent anywhere from two to three months ahead of time. If you sent a save-the-date, an invitation is expected to follow.
What time should my ceremony begin? Many couples dream of a sunset ceremony but keep this in mind … once the sun sets it gets dark and it’s nearly impossible to capture good photos. We suggest starting the ceremony about an hour before the sun dips below the horizon so that you can still capture your portraits at that special moment, allowing your guests to watch you exchange your vows in the light of the day and enjoy dancing by moonlight.