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Destination Wedding Marriage Laws

BRINGING_LOVE_BACK_01- marriage lawsDid you know that just because you want to get married outside the United States doesn’t mean your marriage will be legal? You marriage is only considered legal in the U.S. if you marry in a country that considers you legally married as well (and even then a U.S. court may not recognize the marriage). So what does it take to get married legally abroad? The answer to this varies based on where you decide to get married.

For example, some countries require that you stay in the country up to three days before you wed whereas others require a longer stay. Marrying in some countries will require a blood test and if you are pregnant or have a disease a country like Mexico let you get married at all.

Even if there is no requirement for how long you have to stay in the country, there may be paperwork and fees associated in order for the country you choose to perform your wedding ceremony. Some of this paper work can take weeks to fill out and have processed so it’s a good idea to research the country you are planning on having your wedding in well in advance of your wedding day.

Because of all this red tape many couples choose to have commitment ceremonies in lieu of wedding ceremonies and get married “officially” when they return home to the United States. If you insist on actually being married when you arrive at your destination you could do the paperwork with the United States courts before you leave for your destination wedding as well. If you decide to only have a commitment ceremony abroad, when you get married in the U.S. is really up to you.

Have you had a destination wedding? How did you handle the legality and paperwork for your marriage? We would love to hear from you!

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