If you want to know how to get married in Tulum, here you will find out what types of ceremonies you can choose from.

But first, some tips: The best time to have your ceremony is about one and a half hours before sunset, so you can capture the beautiful lighting in your pictures. It also allows you to have enough time for the ceremony, the cocktail party and to get everybody seated by dinner time at night. Lots of little candles and Tikki torches add a mystical and romantic atmosphere at a beach wedding.

Here is a list of the most popular types of ceremonies you can choose from, so you know how to get married in Tulum and get an idea on Mexican marriage requirements.

CIVIL CEREMONY: This is the only ceremony that is legal and it’s performed by a Judge who reads the traditional vows. This ceremony will be recognized by your country once you present you Mexican marriage license in your local county. It can take place wherever you want: the beach, a cenote, a beach house or the City hall. It requires quite a bit of paper work. (If you wish to avoid this, but still have a legal wedding, you can get married legally in your local town, and have a symbolic wedding in Tulum). Here is the list of requirements:

  • Passports and tourist card (issued at the airport upon arrival), original and copy.
  • Divorce license (if applicable).
  • Blood tests V.D.R.L., H.I.V., R.H. and a medical certificate, all issued in Mexico no longer than 7 days before the wedding.
  • 4 witnesses over 18 years old, with passports and tourist card, original and copy. They all must be present during the ceremony.
  • Complete an application form.

The ceremony lasts about 15 to 20 minutes, and yes, the judges are bilingual.

Your Mexican marriage license then needs to be annotated; you will receive it in about 3 months, via Fedex.

CHRISTIAN CEREMONIES: Performed by a Christian (Non Denominational) Pastor, with readings from the Bible, he talks about the importance of marriage, children, and what it means to become “one” and being guided by God’s wisdom during your married life. Readings of your own vows (optional). No certificate is handed and it is a non legal ceremony. No papers are needed.

CATHOLIC WEDDING: The ceremony can only take place inside a Church as the Catholic priests are no longer authorized by the Catholic Church to perform a ceremony elsewhere (on the beach, a garden etc.). You need to gather all the requirements back home with your own Parish, and have them translated and sealed by your Church: Baptism papers, First Communion papers, Confirmation papers, pre-wedding talks at your church and credential size pictures, one for the bride and one for the groom.

Once this is done, your Parish priest will have to write a letter to the Priest in charge of the Tulum Parish in turn, confirming he has authorized you to get married and that you have completed all the Church’s requirements. You need to meet in person with the Parish priest of Tulum two months before your Wedding date. Approximate duration of the ceremony is 1 hour. A translator is needed and you cannot have been previously married.

SYMBOLIC CEREMONIES:  These ceremonies don’t have any legal value, but they allow you to have the type of personalized and emotive wedding ceremony you have dreamed of.  They can take place anywhere you want and are the perfect way to renew your vows. No documents are required. Here are a few of the most popular ceremonies:

  • Mayan Ceremony: These ceremonies are usually performed by the beach or in the “cenotes”, which are sacred Mayan sinkholes nestled in the jungle. Usually performed by a Xaman, who invokes the four cardinal points and asks permission to the earth in order to bless your union. Accompanied by percussions, grains, flower petals, burning incense and nature, it is a symbolic yet meaningful ceremony, that honors the traditions and the land you have chosen for your union.
  • Sand Ceremony: This ceremony is performed with two small jars that contain sand, which is poured by the bride and groom, into a larger vase symbolizing the union of both becoming one. You can personalize your own vows and include the people you love in the ceremony. The officiant’s speech is based on personal information you decide to share with him/her, and they mention the importance of love, friendship, and all the values that keep a happy couple together.
  • Flowers offering to the Ocean: To honor the past, for the present and to invoke love, happiness, and abundance for the future. At the end of the ceremony, you will give an offering of flowers to the ocean. The ceremony can be performed by the couple or with family and friends.
  • Celtic Ceremony: This kind of ceremony is very meaningful; it takes place outside, with nature to bless the union. The soul will manifest in the trees, in the water, in the sun. The ceremony itself is a simple ritual called hand fasting. The bride and groom stand facing each other holding hands, and they are bound by a ceremonial cord, as a symbol of the unity of the couple. It is a very romantic and original wedding ceremony.

Whichever you choose, you will be handed a simbolic wedding certificate at the end of your ceremony.

If you wish to know more about how to get married in Tulum, you can contact the wedding planner in charge. These are just a few options: email weddings@thebeach-tulum.com to get started on planning your destination weddings in Tulum, Mexico.

Photo Credits: Elviss Aceff Photographer