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Weddings in North, Central and South America

Weddings abroad on this vast continent are as diverse as they are beautiful, and you'll find some incredible locations here where you can exchange vows.

North America is a land of wild beauty and cosmopolitan cities (many of which you will have seen on TV). Canada's landscapes range from the turquoise lakes and snow tipped mountains of the west, through the prairies to Niagara Falls and the historic and European-feeling Quebec in the middle, to the Maritime provinces with their boating culture on the east coast.

Canada's marriage laws vary per province, but it's generally quite straight forward to get married here. The legal age of marriage is either 18 or 19, and you don't need to be resident.

The USA has an even wider range of marriage laws, but they also tend to be simple. Especially in Las Vegas, the wedding capital of the world, where you can get a marriage licence any day of the year (yes, including Christmas day!).

American landscapes tend to be large and spectacular, as you would imagine. From the many gems of coastline along the Pacific, to the cliffs and wide rivers of the national parks, from the incredible Grand Canyon, to the blues and jazz of New Orleans, from the warm waters of the Florida keys to the familiar sight of Central Park, New York, America has no end of choices for your wedding day.

States which are popular for a wedding abroad include Florida, New York and California, all of which have easy marriage laws and welcome non-residents for marriage. Beach weddings are common in Florida and you just show up at the courthouse to get your marriage licence and can marry on the same day. New York's popular wedding destinations include Central Park, the Empire State building and on a boat sailing around Manhattan, while California offers winery weddings or spectacular ceremonies overlooking the sea amongst others.

Further south, you may not have thought of getting married in one of the countries of Central America, which is understandable, as it's not always easy to marry there. They do make amazing wedding locations though, so you may be content to have the ceremony in the jungle or temple there and then do the legal bit at home. Belize is one exception to the legalities though, as it's the only English speaking country in Central America and you can legally marry there if you aren't resident. Belize is on the Caribbean coast and has a fabulous mixture of jungles, Mayan ruins, blue seas, white beaches, pretty islands (called cayes), and luxurious resorts (Francis Ford Coppola the movie director even owns a resort there). If you get married there then you can be sure you'll have a wedding unlike any other!

Talking of unusual, how about getting married in South America? Its beauty is legendary, with the Andes mountains, the pampas and gauchos of Argentina, the Galapagos islands in the Pacific ocean, enormous glaciers, huge waterfalls (Iguazu Falls), fiestas, sensual dances (tango anyone?), and general enjoyment of life.

Unfortunately most South American countries also don't allow non-residents to marry there easily, but you do have a couple of choices – you can have the ceremony in the country of your choice and do the legal bit at home, or you could get married in Argentina, as they have recently changed the law so non-residents can legally marry there. There is some paperwork involved, but your wedding planner/resort can help you out with it, and it does allow you to have an amazing wedding in a welcoming country. Whether you decide on a vineyard wedding, a sophisticated city wedding in Buenos Aires or a mountain wedding, Argentina won't disappoint.

As you can see, the Americas have enough wedding destinations to make even the most dedicated bride hesitate as to which one is best. Our suggestion is to think about what ceremony would make you both happy and then look for it here – we bet you find it.

Americas Marriage Laws