Top Wedding Destination Marriage Requirements

Mexico – Jamaica – Dominican Republic – Bahamas – Hawaii – Las Vegas


(NOTE: Please check with the tourist board(s)and/or country wedding coordinator to verify that these requirements are still in effect at the time of your ceremony.)


Some jurisdictions in Mexico require that the bride and groom both take a blood test after arrival. The results must be presented in Spanish, and foreign documents must be translated into that language. Check with the wedding coordinator at the resort to clarify exactly what is needed for that area of Mexico.

The only legal wedding ceremony is one performed as a civil marriage. As long as you have two witnesses to your civil wedding, you could have the legal wedding performed in private, and then have a civil or other type of ceremony in front of your guests. Most Mexican weddings have two ceremonies: the civil and the religious.


  1. Certified copy of you and your partner’s birth certificates.
  2. Birth Certificates – translated into Spanish or international Birth Certificates which include Spanish. Either one must have an “Apostille.” (Apostille is a form of certification of an American authority, usually the Secretary of State, from the state where they originated, who attaches this apostille to the document.)
  3. Certified copy of passport (in case you are a Canadian Citizen, you must get them translated and then legalized with the Mexican Embassy or Consulate).
  4. A blood test to be done in Mexico, or at least notarized by a Mexican doctor. It must contain blood type, R&H factor, Syphilis test and HIV test. They must be done once upon you arrive by a doctor in Mexico, as required by the civil ministry office. Blood test may be obtained also at a local laboratory with a charge of US$120.
  5. Copy of tourist card or visa.
  6. Four witnesses. Check with city; some require Mexicans, with others U.S. citizens are fine. Names, addresses, ages, nationalities & tourist card numbers are needed for all four witnesses.
  7. Fulfilling these requirements take 2 to 4 days to be complete.
  8. If you are divorced or widowed, one full year must elapse from date of the following:
    • Divorced, final dissolution of marriage must be verified with a certified copy of the divorce decree.
    • Widowed, a certified copy of spouse’s death certificate must be verified.
  9. Citizens under age 18 need parent or guardian’s consent.
  10. Cost is approximately US$250.



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

Following documentation is 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.
  • Italian nationals celebrating their wedding in Jamaica must notify their embassy and a certified copy of their marriage certificate forwarded to their embassy to be legalized and translated.
  • French Canadians need a notarized translated copy of all documents and a photocopy of the original French documents.

A mandatory government license and marriage certificate processing fee of $150 and must be paid at least 30 days prior to arrival.

There are non-denominational Marriage Officers who can officiate either at their offices, in their homes or at a place chosen by the couple, and are able to provide witnesses. Marriage Officers charge anywhere from US$50 – US$250.

The resort wedding coordinator will typically take care of the application or to apply for a marriage license, call the Ministry of National Security at 1-876-906-4908 or visit the Ministry of National Security. Some resorts/hotels will make all arrangements for you and provide special package prices including performance of the ceremony, tax, transportation costs and expenses incurred plus any other special requests (wedding cake, etc.). Check with your resort/hotel as these packages vary.


Dominican Republic

The information below outlines the marriage requirements for getting married in Dominican Republic:

  • No waiting period
  • No blood test
  • Two witnesses required
  • US citizens are required to write to the American Consulate in Santo Domingo requesting permission to marry
  • Parties must be at least 18 years of age to marry

Documents required

  • Passport
  • original birth certificate
  • single status affidavit in Spanish for each party, joint affidavits are not acceptable. These must be notarized and state whether the bride or groom has ever been married, divorced, or widowed.
  • divorce decree or death certificate for partner in Spanish.
  • According to Dominican Law a divorced woman has to wait 10 months before remarrying unless she is marrying the same man she divorced or she was divorced under special DR law. Then the ruling is a waiting period of 24 hours.


US$60 – $100 depending upon judge.  (Spanish documents can be prepared by the Dominican consulate nearest your residence.)

Most hotels have wedding coordinators on site to help you, however, be warned, they like to receive paperwork at least 15 days in advance to prepare for your wedding.

You will be given a document that proves the wedding took place after the ceremony. You then need to request a marriage certificate from the local Justice of the Peace. The document issued by the Justice of the Peace is a valid marriage certificate anywhere in the world.



The information below outlines the marriage requirements for getting married in Bahamas

Application For License

The couple must be in The Bahamas at the time of application for the marriage license.

Residency Period

Couples may apply a day after their arrival and can be married once they receive their approved license the day after application.


If either party has been divorced, the original final decree or a certified copy must be produced. Where applicable, a translated, certified and notarized copy of the final decree must be produced.


If either party is widowed, the original death certificate, or certified copy, must be produced. Where applicable, a translated, certified and notarized copy of the death certificate must be produced.

Single Persons

If either party is single or never been married before, a declaration certifying this fact must be sworn before a notary public or other person authorized to administer oaths in the country of residence. This document must accompany the application for the marriage license. This declaration can also be obtained in The Bahamas from an attorney-at-law or notary public.


Minors (under 18 years) may be married with both parents’ consent. Consent forms for minors are available at the Registrar General’s office.

Marrying In The Out Islands

Persons desirous of being married in the Out Islands (any island outside of New Providence and Grand Bahama) can obtain a Marriage License at the Administrator’s Office on that island.

Proof Of Identification And Residency

Both parties must produce a valid passport, birth certificate and photo ID. The parties must also produce evidence of the date of their arrival in The Bahamas. The Bahamas Immigration Card or entry stamp in your passport will suffice.

Blood Test

No blood test is necessary.


The fee for the license is $100; certified copies of a marriage certificate are $20.

Note: Marriage Licenses are issued at the office of the Registrar General in Nassau. This office is open to the public Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Registrars Offices

The registrar’s office should be contacted for specific rules regarding planning your destination or beach wedding in Bahamas. They will also provide information regarding marriage licenses and marriage certificates.

Office of the Registrar General
PO Box N532
Rodney Bain Building
Parliament and Shirley Street
Nassau, The Bahamas

Tel: (242) 323-0594
(242) 323-0595
(242) 323-0597

Fax: (242) 322-5553



Hawaii wedding planning is much easier than in foreign countries for many reasons. No translations or other official paperwork must be prepared before coming to Hawaii to get married, and there are no residency requirements. No blood tests are required. You must be over 18 (under special circumstances you may be married at as young an age as 15, but this requires family court consent), and present proof of your age (birth certificate, or if you’re over 19, driver’s license). Both members of the couple must be present when applying for the marriage license and it must be done in person. You may have either a religious or civil ceremony, as long as the officiate is legally able to marry people in Hawaii.

How to Apply for a Marriage License

  • The prospective bride and groom must appear together in person before a marriage license agent to apply for a marriage license. Proxies are not allowed.
  • The prospective bride and groom should be prepared to provide the necessary proof of age and present any required written consents and approvals. All of the necessary documents should be obtained prior to applying for a marriage license.
  • The prospective bride and groom must prepare an official application and file the application in person with the marriage license agent. Applications are provided by the marriage license agent or may be downloaded from this site (see below). The application will not be accepted if sent by either postal mail or e-mail.
  • Upon approval, a marriage license is issued at the time the application is made.
  • The marriage license costs $60.00, payable in cash at the time the application is made.
  • The marriage license is good only in, but is valid throughout, the State of Hawaii.
  • The marriage license expires 30 days from and including the date of issuance, after which it automatically becomes null and void.
  • If you do not get married within the 30 days, return the unused license in the pre-addressed envelope provided to you for invalidation.

More information and marriage license applications are available in a “fillable” Adobe Acrobat portable document format (PDF) at this website:













Online application;



Legal Matters For A Cruise Wedding

If you choose to get married on a cruise, don’t automatically assume that your captain can marry you. Legally, a captain can only perform a marriage ceremony if they are also a judge or justice of the peace, or if they obtain special permission. You’ll also need to find out if the marriage license you have obtained will be valid at sea. Some states allow their marriage licenses to be used at foreign ports or at sea, you’ll need to contact your state’s department of health or county clerk. Other options include getting married at a port, or being married by a Bermudan captain aboard one of their ships – this would make it technically a Bermuda wedding (so you’ll have to be over 21). Make sure to bring your photo ID (passport is best) along with any other required paperwork in order to obtain a valid marriage.