Legal Marriage Requirements for your Destination Wedding!

Each country has their own rules and requirements for marriage in another country.  It’s best to look into these before booking your wedding as the requirements could make or break your decision.  Some countries have a residency requirement, some require translation of documents and others require blood tests. I work with my clients to make this process as easy as possible so they can make a clear decision that is right for them.

As of September 16th, 2012 these are the requirements for Canadians in the following destinations.  These requirements can change at anytime so please check with your Wedding Planner. As well, each resort may have additional requirements.


Visitors can be married 24 hours after arriving in Jamaica, providing prior application has been made for a marriage license.

Necessary Documents

Notarized copies of the following documents are required:

Proof of citizenship – certified copy of birth certificate, which includes father’s name.

Parent’s written consent if under 18 years of age.

Proof of divorce if applicable (original certificate of divorce).

Certified copy of death certificate for widow or widower.

French Canadians need a notarized translated copy of all documents and a photocopy of the original French documents.

Dominican Republic

  • The Dominican Republic requires that you be in the country at least three business days prior. Sundays and Dominican holidays do not count. Your arrival day does not count toward the “business day” requirement. You must arrive three FULL business days prior.
  • Photocopy of valid Passport.
  • Legalized and translated-Original Birth Certificate
    Note: If you were born outside of Canada, you must first certify your birth certificate as an authentic document from your country of birth at the country’s consulate or embassy in Canada before submitting it to us for legalization.
  • Legalized and translated-Original Statutory Declaration of Single Status.
  • If previously married (divorced or widowed), original Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate or a notarized photocopy.
    Note: If the bride to be is divorced or widowed, by law she must wait ten (10) months before she remarries.

Passport: Required for identification purpose only.


  • Ensure that both parties have the following documents:
    • A valid passport and birth certificate;
    • If either party’s name has been changed by Deed Poll or other, proof of legal name;
    • If either party is divorced, an original or certified copy of a Divorce Decree absolute;
    • If either party is widowed, a certified Death Certificate of the deceased spouse;
    • If either party is under 18 years of age, a notarized affidavit of parental concent.
  • A minimum of three (3) days residency is required; it takes three business days to completely process your application.
  • Application for a marriage license is usually made through a local registered lawyer to the Attorney General.


It is very easy to get married in Barbados as there is no required waiting period or minimum length of stay. Application for a marriage licence must be made by both parties in person at the office of the Ministry of Home Affairs in the capital city Bridgetown. You will require:

  • Valid passports or birth certificates.
  • Return tickets.
  • If either party was divorced, an original Decree Absolute or a certified copy of the Final Judgment.
  • If either party was previously married and widowed, a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate and Death Certificate in respect of the deceased spouse.
  • For a Roman Catholic ceremony, the relevant documents must be sent by your bishop to the bishop of Bridgetown.
  • Where necessary, all documents not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation.


Canadian citizens or Permanent residents in Canada wishing to get married in Mexico must present the following documents before the officer of Registro Civil (equivalent to the Office of the Registrar General) of the city or town where the marriage is going to take place:

a) A filled application form (provided at the local Registro Civil). This includes an agreement prepared by the couple indicating whether their marriage will be signed under the system of separate or common ownership of their goods and properties.

b) A certified copy of their birth certificates (long version), previously legalized

c) In the case one of the parties has been married before, the couple must present a certified copy of the divorce decree, legalized by the Mexican Consular Office having jurisdiction over the region where the divorce decree was issued; or, a certified copy of the Death Certificate, legalized by the Mexican Consular Office with jurisdiction over the place where the spouse died.

d) A physician’s certificate stating that according to the blood tests and X- Rays taken in Mexico, neither applicant suffers from any contagious disease.

e) Two legally qualified witnesses (over 18 years old), who must be present at the ceremony, swearing that the applicants do not have any legal impediment to marry.

f)  Payment of a fee.

These are general requirements and could be different depending of the federal state where the marriage will take place. Resorts and hotels could be able to provide information about the local requirements.

Important information

  • A civil marriage in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes in any other country unless the parties were deliberately evading restrictions imposed by their own National Laws.
  • A certified copy of the Original Marriage Certificate may be obtained from the Registro Civil, once the marriage has been performed. This document can be legalized by the Canadian Embassy or Canadian Consulates in Mexico, so it can be recognized thereafter as a valid document by any Canadian authority.
  • People under 18 years old cannot marry without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.
  • In some states divorced people cannot marry in Mexico until one year after the divorce order has been issued by the judge, unless otherwise indicated in the divorce decree.

About Jennifer Borgh:

Specializing in destination weddings and local weddings in Toronto and York Region, Jennifer Borgh with her team of exceptional assistants and vendor connections ensure every single detail of your wedding is taken care of. Jennifer Borgh Events is a boutique planning company and doesn’t overbook.  Jennifer Borgh plans weddings and honeymoons FULL time and is therefore available when you need her!

Her extensive background in events has taken her all across the Caribbean.  Being Certified by The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, Sandals and Travel Industry Council of Ontario leaves destination bridal parties completely worry-free in her capable hands.


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