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How to Get Married in North & South America

The Americas offer an amazing choice of wedding location, whether you are looking for a glamorous city wedding, a stunning backdrop of mountains or vineyards or a tropical beach ceremony, the countries of North & Central America won't disappoint.

It is slightly easier to get married in North America than in countries further south, especially if your documentation is in English. However please note that all the information below is only a generalisation as documentation will vary depending on your country of residence, so please check with your embassy before making a decision to marry in a specific country.

Just make sure you leave plenty of time to obtain all your documents before you leave home, as sometimes these things can take a bit of time.

Below you can find a summary of the marriage law for each country, but make sure you also check with your embassy for a full list of all documentation as this varies depending on your country of residence. Click through too for the full marriage law per country.

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Required documents for all countries:

  • Full birth certificates showing both parents' names
  • Passports
  • If divorced, show your original final divorce papers
  • If widowed, show the death certificate of your former spouse
  • If you have changed your name then show legal proof of the change
  • (Bride and groom must not be related by blood, marriage or adoption)

Some countries also require these documents:

Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage
This can be obtained from your local department of foreign affairs or your embassy in the country in which you are getting married.

Apostille Stamp
Some countries require foreign legal documents to be stamped with an apostille which then makes them legal documents in that country.

Certificate of Single Status/Sworn Affidavit that you are free to marry

These are similar to a Certificate of No Impediment, but instead you have to swear you are single in front of a legal representative.


Order affidavits here

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North America

 

Canada - Alberta

You will need: all required documents above. Residency requirement: none. Full Alberta marriage laws here.

 

Canada - British Columbia

You will need: proof of home address and marital status, all required documents above, marriage licence application form. Residency requirement: none. Full BC marriage laws here.

 

Canada - Ontario

You will need: marriage application form, photo ID, residency card if living in Canada, all required documents above. Residency requirement: 3 days. Full Ontario marriage laws here.

 

Canada - Quebec

You will need: 1 photo each, civil marriage general information form or declaration de marriage form, all required documents above, if you are having a religious ceremony you may need to provide further papers. Residency requirement: none, but if your ceremony is religious then banns must be posted for 20 days.

 

USA - California

You will need: passports or birth certificates, divorce or death certificates as applicable. Residency requirement: none. Full California marriage laws here.

 

USA - Florida

You will need: passports, you must be able to state the dates of any previous divorce or death of previous spouse, if this is less than 30 days previously you must show the divorce/death certificate, a certified copy of your birth certificate may be required. Residency requirement: none. Full Florida marriage laws here.

 

USA - Hawaii

You will need: passports or birth certificates, you must be able to state where you were born and, if divorced, when and where you were married and the date of divorce, if adopted state when and where you were adopted. Residency requirement: none. Full Hawaii marriage laws here.

 

USA - Idaho

You will need: passports, driving licences, divorce, death or former marriage certificates as applicable. Residency requirement: none. Full Idaho marriage laws here.

 

USA - Nevada

You will need: passports. Residency requirement: none. Full Las Vegas marriage laws here.

 

USA - New York City

You will need: all required documents above. Residency requirement: 24 hours. Full New York marriage laws here.

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Central America

 

Belize

You will need: photocopy of passport showing photo page and date of entry into Belize, certified copy of full birth certificates, all required documents above. Residency requirement: 3 days, a licence may then take up to 7 days to be issued. No residency for a Special licence, 2 working days to issue. Full Belize marriage laws here.

 

Costa Rica

You will need: 2 photocopies of passports, sworn statement given in Costa Rica stating your date and place of birth, if divorced you must also state the date, place and court of your divorce and the full name of your ex-spouse, your witnesses' passports. Residency requirement: none. Full Costa Rica marriage laws here.

 

Mexico

You will need: tourist entry card for Mexico, chest x-rays obtained in Mexico, blood test results obtained in Mexico, if widowed your previous marriage certificate, certified translations of all required documents above, if divorced you may not be able to remarry with a year of your divorce. Residency requirement: 3 days. Full Mexico marriage laws here.

 


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