Jul 26, 2010

Will your wedding be legal?

A little while after we decided to have our wedding in Mexico I got asked if our wedding would be legal back in the United States. I was speechless.

I had no idea and truthfully it never crossed my mind that it might not be. So I went into superwoman (aka panicky bride) research mode. Here is what I discovered:

Basically a wedding in Mexico would be legally recognized here in the states but there were some nuances. We would need to have a blood test in Mexico, our birth certificates would need to be translated into Spanish and we would have to be in the country three days before the ceremony. When we returned home we would be unable to register our marriage license back here in Michigan. So while it would be legal no one would ever be able to look up our marriage status or get a copy of the license. Also the only type of ceremony that is recognized as legal in Mexico is a civil ceremony (which has no room for customization) officiated by an officer of the Registro Civil.

I wanted to throw a "I'm the bride and I want it my way right now" tantrum!

But then again who says you have to have the legal stuff done where your wedding is taking place? I started researching what it would take to make it legal in Michigan before we left. I found out that you can have a judge do the legal part without even having a ceremony ($10 + license). Each state is different and has some required wording but in short you just have to tell the judge you both agree to be married, come of your own free will and sign the marriage license.

Since we wanted to have a custom ceremony in Mexico and didn’t want to deal with any of the other stuff, we decided to do the legal paperwork back in the states. We don’t actually plan on publicizing the fact that we did the legal paperwork back home. (Hmmm might work better if I didn’t write about it on a public blog. Oh well.)  As far as we are concerned, we won’t see ourselves as married until the day of the ceremony in Mexico.

Anyone else getting married before they get married?

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