Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Summary of Legal Requirements for Getting Married in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera

The following is a summary of civil marriage requirements between foreigners in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera.

  • Completed marriage application form.
  • Bride, groom & witnesses must be in Mexico at least 3 business days before the wedding, not including Saturdays, Sundays, or Mexican holidays (some hotels require at least 4 business days).
  • Two witnesses each for both bride & groom (total of four witnesses). Witnesses must be over the age of 18.
  • Birth certificates for bride and groom (original & Apostilled copies) translated into Spanish by an authorized translator.
  • Valid passports for bride, groom, and witnesses (original & copies).
  • Tourist visa cards for bride, groom, and witnesses (original & copies). Tourist cards are issued at Customs upon arrival at the Cancun International Airport.
  • Prenuptial clinical analysis of bride and groom for V.D.R.L., H.I.V., and R.H. Blood tests must be done in Mexico (results are valid for 15 days).
  • If divorced, the final Divorce Decree must be presented, translated into Spanish by an authorized translator (original & Apostilled copy). Check with your wedding coordinator for further details.
  • If widowed, the Death Certificate must be presented, translated into Spanish by an authorized translator (original & Apostilled copy). Check with your wedding coordinator for further details.
  • Symbolic and religious ceremonies do not require bride and groom to have official documentation or blood tests.
  • Catholic ceremonies require additional documents. Contact your wedding coordinator for details.
  • Civil ceremonies are not performed on Sundays, Mexican holidays, or during Easter Week.

The above information is deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. For complete details, talk to your wedding coordinator, the Registro Civil, the Mexican Embassy, or the Mexican Consulate in your area.

Friday, December 15, 2006

What's New on - Destination Weddings: The Resort Report
2007 Cancun & Mayan Riviera

Q: I’m thinking of getting married in the Mayan Riviera. Where do I start?

A: The process of planning a destination wedding can seem overwhelming at first. To help you get started, we suggest you download our new e-book, Destination Weddings: The Resort Report – 2007 Cancun & Mayan Riviera. This free e-book highlights 10 excellent properties for weddings in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. Whether you're dreaming of a big beach wedding at a luxury all-inclusive resort, or an intimate affair at a boutique hotel, this book will give you an in-depth look at what's available and how much you should expect to pay. To download the book, go to

Friday, December 8, 2006

Mexican Wedding Traditions

Q: We’re looking to add a special touch to our Mexican wedding ceremony. Do you have any ideas? Perhaps something traditional in Mexico?

A: There are several ways to add a special touch to your Mexican wedding. Here are a few ideas:


1. Mayan Ceremony: This spiritual ceremony is presided over by a Shaman (Mayan Priest) in the Mayan language, and includes ancient rituals and music to put the couple in perfect harmony with nature. You will find Mayan ceremonies throughout the Mayan Riviera in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico.

2. Mexican Wedding Lasso: A lasso made of flowers, beads, jewels, ribbon, etc. is placed around the bride and groom in a figure-8 shape as they say their vows. The lasso symbolizes the couple’s love and union, and is kept by the bride as a memento.

3. 13 Coins: The groom offers his bride a gift of 13 gold coins (arras), which is blessed by the Priest during the marriage ceremony. The tradition symbolizes the groom’s trust in the bride and his promise to provide for her for during their married life. It is said that the 13 coins represent Christ and his 12 apostles.

4. Mariachi: The traditional music choice for Mexican weddings and receptions. Usually a mariachi group consists of at least two violins, two trumpets, one Spanish guitar, one vihuela (a high-pitched, five-string guitar) and one guitarrĂ³n (a small-scaled acoustic bass).

5. First Dance: At a traditional Mexican reception, guests join hands and form a heart shape around the newlyweds during their first dance as husband and wife.

6. The Dollar Dance: A Mexican tradition where guests offer money in exchange for a dance with the bride or groom. One guest pins some money on the bride or groom and dances with them until the next guest pins their money.

7. El Muertito (The Little Death): Usually performed during the reception, this Mexican tradition involves lifting the groom over the shoulders of the male guests and tossing him several times in the air.

8. Mexican Wedding Cookies: These small round sugar cookies, called ojarascas, are traditionally made with pecans, but can also be made from other nuts including almonds and pistachios. The cookies are given as wedding favors to guests.

9. Mexican Favors: In addition to wedding cookies, favors given to guests can include fans, note cards featuring Mexican artists, or pottery.


1. Sand Ceremony: During the wedding ceremony, the bride and groom pour two small vases of sand into one dish, symbolizing their unity as husband and wife.

2. Flower or Shell Release: At the end of the ceremony, guests are given a flower petal or seashell to make wishes on behalf of the bride and groom, which is then released into the ocean.

3. Butterfly Release: Guests are given butterflies in individual boxes at the beginning of the ceremony, which they release at the end for a beautiful display of colors. As a variation on this ceremony, during turtle season, we have heard of guests releasing baby turtles into the sea.

4. Throwing Rice: Since it is now considered harmful to birds, the traditional practice of throwing rice at the end of the ceremony has been replaced with birdseed, flower petals, bubbles, or balloons.

5. Other: To add a special surprise for your wedding guests during the reception, many resorts can arrange a firework display, fire jugglers, drum shows, or traditional dance shows.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Resort Chapels - Los Cabos

Q: I want to get married in a chapel in Los Cabos. Do you know of any resorts with chapels on-site?

A: The following resorts have chapels on-site that will host wedding events:

1. Sheraton Hacienda del Mar

2. Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa

3. One & Only Palmilla

4. El Encanto Inn

If you know of any other resorts with on-site chapels, please e-mail us at

Resort Chapels - Puerto Vallarta

Q: Are there any resorts in Puerto Vallarta or Nuevo Vallarta with chapels on-site?

A: We are not aware of any resorts in the Puerto Vallarta/Nuevo Vallarta area with chapels on their property. However, if you want to hold a Catholic ceremony, there are many Catholic churches in Puerto Vallarta, including the famous Virgin of Guadalupe.

2007 Stray Travel Publications, Inc.