When to make it official?

posted 2 months ago in Destination Weddings
Post # 2
822 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

Well personally I wouldn’t say the destination wedding in Mexico is for your family, it’s for yourself. If you wanted something private and the ceremony was just so your family could feel part of it then you should have had something local, but that’s a seperate issue.

Is there any reason to get legally married 5-6 months before the wedding?

Post # 3
625 posts
Busy bee

FI and I are doing a destination in MX too. However, we’re obtaining the licence in our home state and signing it there before we leave, submitting it after we get back. That way it feels as much like a proper wedding as you can manage out of the country. 

Changing your name isnt hard, but remember; if you do that you’ll need to get a new passport with your correct legal name before you go. That can take some time. It might be easier just to wait till you’re back and do the legal niceties then.


Post # 6
587 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I agree – a destination wedding is not for those who have to take time and money to attend.  Will people attending know you are already married and they flew to Mexico to hear public vows?

Americans get married in Mexico all the time.  Why wouldn’t it be legal?

Post # 8
625 posts
Busy bee

irishbride2018 :  If you are planning to change your name, you will need to update your passport before you travel internationally. To do that, you’ll have to send a certified copy of your marriage license. So you’d need time to file, receive your copy, file the paperwork with the state department, allow time for processing, and have your documents back in time for the trip. 

If you are keeping your maiden name, it doesn’t matter.

Also, the resort offers the services of a “symbolic” officiant as a part of the package, but that doesn’t mean you need to be married beforehand. You can always just have the ceremony and then file the paperwork at the courthouse when you return. But obviously, beforehand works too.



Post # 10
231 posts
Helper bee

irishbride2018 :  if your irish the law is different in Ireland than the states so some things bees say mightn’t apply. 

Changing your name here is really simple, just submit your marriage cert along with the usual passport renewal information. Remember there’s about a 6-8 week wait at the moment. Online is quicker but you might want to check out if you can do this when changing your name. 

When you officially marry is up to you. It does tend to be far simpler (& the norm for a lot of Irish ppl going aboard) to marry here first, so do it whenever you fancy & give yourself enough time for new passport if you feel you want to have it changed before you travel. But you don’t have to. I travel on my maiden name cause I havent bothered changing my passport yet. Once the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport it doesn’t matter. 

Post # 11
1031 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2017

You don’t need to change your Irish passport as long as you book tickets in your maiden name. I got a new Irish passport last year and don’t plan to change it until it runs out. But if you do want to change it before travelling then 5 months is plenty of time to get everything sorted. 3 months should be enough. 

Also, I’ll be doing the legal wedding about 3 months before my ‘big’ wedding. I live abroad and both weddings will be in the country I live in but in terms of paperwork and embassy visits I decided it would be simpler to get the legal bit out of the way as I’ll have to travel a lot for work those last few months.

Post # 12
502 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

We are planning to quitely go to the courthouse to sign the necessary papers shortly before the wedding because the officiant we want to marry us (FI’s childhood pastor) isn’t licensed to perform weddings in my home country. For us his participation, the religious ceremony, and with vows with our community present is what makes us “married.”

We won’t be able to legally change my name for about a year after our wedding because I don’t want to change it in the middle of our green card application process to make the paperwork more complicated. I’ll just call myself HisLastName, change my work email, Facebook, etc. and then wait until immigation approves me to make the legal change. Otherwise I would have different names on paperwork in two different countries to contend with. We’ve agreed that we will take two friends as witnesses and then buy them dinner after, but not call each other husband/wife and use our rings or anything.

We’d also prefer to have our marriage docs signed in the county I plan on immigrating to, just to minimize certification processes. Once I’m all green card-ed I’ll apply to change all of my docs in my home country (passport) and then in the country we live in now (SSN, drivers license, banking, etc.).

Post # 13
917 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

teamroro :  This isn’t true. I’ve been married for two years and have traveled twice internationally since then with my maiden name on my passport. As long as any reservations for air travel are in your maiden name, it does not matter. When you fly the agent just checks your passport; they have no way of knowing your name has since changed.  I have taken my marriage license with me in the event there is a problem, but so far it’s stayed tucked away. 

Post # 14
2702 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

Personally I would pay the extra to get married on the actual wedding day in Mexico, or at least do it like the day before you leave or the day you get back. I feel like the larger the time gap is the less relevant the wedding becomes. But that’s just me. 

Post # 15
5698 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

I had a DW in Mexico myself.  We initially planned to get legally married the day before the trip, but decided to move it up and do it 2 months before our Meico wedding because we didn’t want to delay our visa process any further.  

I know several people who’ve had DWs in Meico and none of them got legally married there due to the beurocracy/regulations involved.  Usually, I’ve seen them get married a few days before they leave for the trip.


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