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Wedding Tips and Advise

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General Tips and FAQ's

There are definitely a few key things to consider as you think about the possibilty of a beach detination wedding:

1. What type of budget are your working with?

2. How much will the guests attending the wedding be willing or able to pay for the trip?

3. If you have guests from across the country, choose a destination that is easily and widely accessible

4. Determine the type of wedding ceremony-Religous, Civil, Legal, or Symbolic

     - Note that most couples choose the Symbolic Ceremony to eliminate much of the red tape of getting legally married in another country

5. Select a Destination Wedding planner that will work well and personally for you. The big companies tell a good story but a smaller company with personalized service can provide all the same benefits.

6. Know that there is wiggle room for negotiation and that the various resort policies could mean a free or discounted wedding, free rooms or room upgrades and lot's extra perks

7. Give your family and friends lot's of advance notice. With a destination wedding, save-the-date cards are crucial. Send them as early as possible up to eight months in advance. Giving a heads-up allows them to work with us to secure the best airfares and allow for the trip to be worked into the family budget.

8. Last and most importantly, PLAN AHEAD. The more time you have to select a date, destination, and resort the better for everyone. You will usually get better rates and save yourself lot's of stress.

 

Give Us a Call if You Have Other Questions or Would Like More Information on How to Get Started Planning Your Perfect Destination Wedding at 877-404-4228

 

Legal Marriage Requirements by Destination

Making your marriage legal, especially in international countries such as Mexico or the Caribbean can require some additional steps before you can say "I Do." Check below for marriage requirements by destination to ensure that your marriage will be recognized back home after you return.

General Tips and FAQ’s

Here are some general questions to make sure you answer while planning your destination wedding.

What’s the waiting period and/or requirements for residency?

Most countries require a short waiting period typically of 2-5 business days to ensure all your legal documents can be properly processed prior to getting married. Based on the required waiting period or residency requirements, you’ll have to adjust your actual wedding date to make sure you have fulfilled the requirements prior to getting married.

However, some countries may have longer waiting periods up to one month before you can legally apply for a marriage license, so make sure to check what your country’s residency requirements and waiting periods are so you can plan accordingly when making you and your guests’ travel plans.

What documents do we need to bring along?

Check your individual destination for what required documents you have to bring and whether they will need to be translated or notarized before you arrive. Make sure you bring original, official documents such as birth certificates, divorce decrees or death certificates along with a few copies of each of the official documents.

If you have been married before, you’ll need to provide proof that you are no longer married in the form of a divorce decree, death certificate or other official documentation that proves your single status.

You and all of your guests will also need to have a valid, non-expired Passport for entry into any international destination. If you do not have a Passport, allow up to six weeks for your Passport to arrive, otherwise, you can pay an additional fee to have your Passport expedited.

Make sure to also put any documents in your carry-on luggage instead of your checked baggage.

Is there an additional cost for getting married abroad?

Some destinations have additional legal and/or required fees that are separate from your hotel wedding fees, which vary by destination. Check with your individual destination to get an idea of the fees that may be required in addition to the form of payment necessary, especially if you need to pay in cash in the local currency.

Do we need witnesses?

Witnesses most likely will be required to make your marriage legal abroad. Check with your individual destination to see if witnesses are required at the ceremony and/or the time you are applying for the marriage license within your destination.

Do we need a blood test or physical?

Many times, your destination will not require this, but some may require you to perform a blood test or physical within the destination either at a clinic or your resort. Check with your destination to see what is required.

Are there any religion requirements?

If you want to get married under a certain religious denomination or wish to have a secular ceremony, you can generally find out what your options are from the local officiant or your hotel’s wedding coordinator. If you wish to do 2

a religious/civil ceremony, check to see what additional documents you may need from your church such as a baptism record, notice of active status within your church or certification of marital counseling.

If you want to bring your own officiant to perform the ceremony, make sure they check with the destination’s requirements to ensure that they can legally perform your wedding according to local laws.

Wedding Requirements by Destination

Mexico Wedding Requirements

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Mexico. Depending on the area of Mexico or even resort you are having your wedding ceremony at, legal requirements may vary. Please check with the Mexico tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Mexico. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Ceremony Requirements: For a wedding ceremony to be considered legal and binding in Mexico, the bride/groom must have a civil ceremony with a Justice of the Peace.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Tourist card (this should be given to you at the airport upon arrival)

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Blood Test: A blood test will need to be performed in the destination with test results of syphilis, HIV, and Rh factor (blood type).

TIP: Some resorts may provide this service at the resort instead of needing to go to a clinic, so check with your wedding coordinator to see if they provide this service on-site.

Waiting Period: It is recommended that the bride/groom arrive at least 5 days prior to the wedding date to ensure translation of any necessary documents.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers:

 For divorced or widowed parties, you must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate that verifies it has been at least 12 months since the official divorce from or death of the previous spouse.

 A negative pregnancy test verified by the Mexican Consulate if the bride was divorced within the last year.

Caribbean Wedding Requirements

Antigua

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Antigua. Please check with the Antigua tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Antigua. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Deed Poll if there has been a name change

 Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 48 hours prior to the wedding date and must include 1 business day in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

Aruba

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Aruba. Please check with the Aruba tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Aruba. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport with photographed pages of the bride and groom’s passport

 A report with an "apostile" (special seal) from the bride/groom’s country of citizenship that proves their eligibility to marry and single status

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must send copies of all documents above to the Civil Registry in Aruba at least one month prior to the wedding date for civil wedding ceremonies in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

Dominican Republic

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in the Dominican Republic. Please check with the Dominican Republic tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in the Dominican Republic. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 An Affidavit that provides proof of Single Status translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must send copies of all documents above to the Oficialia del Estado Civil (City Clerk) preferably six months in advance and request a judge at least one month in advance prior to the wedding date in order to apply for a marriage license.

Witnesses: You must have two witnesses over the age 18.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate translated by an official translator into Spanish at the Dominican Consulate where the document was issued. 

Jamaica

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Jamaica. Please check with the Jamaica tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Jamaica. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 24 hours prior to the wedding and must apply for a marriage license at least 48 hours prior to the wedding. All wedding documents must be sent to the resort performing the wedding ceremony at least 10 business days prior to the wedding date.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

The Bahamas

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in The Bahamas. Please check with The Bahamas tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in The Bahamas. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Written authorization from the parents/ guardians if the bride or groom is under 18 years of age

 An Affidavit that provides proof of Single Status that is sworn before an authorized official or notary public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 24 hours prior to the wedding.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

Puerto Rico

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Puerto Rico. Please check with the Puerto Rico tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Puerto Rico. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents:

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Blood/Health Tests: 5

A blood test will need to be performed in the destination by a local physician or by a certified laboratory within the United States which must be performed within 10 calendar days of the wedding date.

 The bride/groom then has 10 calendar days to submit all documents to the local demographic registry and perform the wedding ceremony.

TIP: Some resorts may provide this service at the resort instead of needing to go to a clinic, so check with your wedding coordinator to see if they provide this service on-site.

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

St. Lucia

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in St. Lucia. Please check with the St. Lucia tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in St. Lucia. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents (which must all be in English or translated into English by a legal translator):

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Deed Poll if there has been a name change

 If under the age of 18, the bride/groom must present evidence of a consent of parents with a sworn affidavit stamped by a Notary Public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 72 hours prior to the wedding, which must include 3 business days (day of arrival can’t be included).

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

Turks & Caicos

The information below is a general list of requirements to perform a legal wedding ceremony in Turks & Caicos. Please check with the Turks & Caicos tourism department or wedding coordinator at your resort for additional information on legal requirements and fees for weddings in Turks & Caicos. All information below is subject to change without notice.

Necessary Documentation: The bride/groom must bring original copies of the following documents (which must all be in English or translated into English by a legal translator):

 Official birth certificate

 A valid, non-expired passport

 Deed Poll if there has been a name change

 Evidence of date of arrival to Turks & Caicos (such as a boarding pass or tourist card)

 Written authorization from the parents/guardians if the bride or groom is under 21 years of age in the form of an affidavit stamped by the Notary Public

TIP: Make two photocopies of each of the documents above and pack in a separate suitcase such as your checked baggage. Make sure to bring any original documents within your carry-on luggage.

Waiting Period: The bride/groom must be in the destination for at least 72 hours prior to the wedding, which must include 3 business days (day of arrival can’t be included).

Divorced/Widowed Travelers: Divorced or widowed parties must provide official copies of the divorce decree or a certified death certificate.

           

 

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We are not your typical online travel website or travel agency. We take absolute joy in helping our clients experience some of the most beautiful and amazing places on the planet.

We specifically chose to specialize in the beaches for the way it makes us feel everytime we go there. We want to pass on that feeling and our passion for Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii and the many other beach destinations through the highest level of attention and service to our valued clients.

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What Do Our Clients Have to Say? Here's Some Feedback We Recently Received:

Destination: Riviera Maya, MX
Resort: Secrets Silversands

We had such a great time at the Secrets Silversands Riviera Cancun. I also was very happy that I got to work with you to coordinate the group travel event for us and all of our guests. You were super nice, always helpful, and willing to listen to all of my questions! I always felt like you were available to talk and discuss things and followed up with responses to my questions very rapidly. I had positive feedback from my guests that you were very nice and easy to work with. I would certainly work with you again on travel arrangements!

Destination: Punta Cana
Resort: Breathless

We all had an AMAZING time at Breathless! The hotel was great, food was actually a lot better than I expected, drinks and staff were awesome as well. I think how lively the resort was worked out perfect for all ten of us who wanted to party and celebrate the boys’ 30th birthday. We were very satisfied with your recommendation and will certainly be using you in the future for our next vacation.

Thanks again for all of your help!—I wish we were still on the beach!

Destination: Riviera Maya, MX
Resort: El Dorado Casitas Royale, By Karisma

Tom,
What an amazing trip you planned for us. It was everything we wanted and more!!! The hotel was amazing, the food was spectacular, and the service was impeccable. We truly lived like royalty. Makes coming back to the real world quite a bummer. We've already begun telling people about the property and referring them to contact you.
We would love to look into a trip around the same time next year.
Again, thank you for making this trip so fantastic and easy to put together.

Nothing but smiles here and we are 1000% (that's not a typo ) satisfied with you and everything involved with the trip.

Thanks again!!

Chris and Angela
Dallas, TX

Destination: Punta Cana, DR
Resort: Hard Rock Resort & Casino

"My husband and I decided to get married in Mexico at Iberostar Grand over Labor Day weekend. It was a large destination wedding as we had 130 guests traveling. Tom and his group did a phenomenal job of coordinating everyone's accommodations, travel plans and transportation. As far as I know, there was not one guest that had any difficulty with their trip. Everyone arrived safely and on time! Tom made himself available for discussion at all hours throughout the planning process and was never difficult to reach. He was extremely knowledgable about the area we were traveling to and worked with the people at Iberostar to provide all of our guests with the getaway they deserved. We will use Tom over and over again for our future group travels and recommend him to anyone getting married :)"

Kristin & Rob
Iberostar Grand
Riviera Maya, Mexico
September 2014


"Tom helped us book our engagement trip. We then needed to discuss wedding stuff. After much debate and family discussions, Deanna and I decided to do a destination wedding in Mexico, and decided that we had such success with Tom helping just us two, that we would love to use him again. He was extremely helpful in getting everything organized for us. From helping friends and relatives book flights, nights stays, discount programs, transfers to and from the airport and working in close connection with Apple to make sure everybody arrived safe and sound. To say that we were beyond happy and pleased would be an understatement. EVERYTHING was perfect, flawless and extremely stress free. Deanna and I want to thank Tom for everything to make our trips so wonderful!!! He has been a part of our engagement, wedding/honeymoon and hopefully trips here in the near future. I highly recommend using his services."

Deanna & Joe
Secrets Silversands
Riviera Maya
March 2014


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