Getting Married in Mexico


I don’t know everything about getting married in Mexico. At least, not yet, hahaha (en espanol jajaja).

I think for the most part it’s like how it is in the US, although some people choose to have both a civil and religious ceremony. I went to one religious ceremony – Catholic of course, and it seemed more or less the same as the ones I’ve seen in the states. At that time my Spanish wasn’t so hot, so as you can imagine I was pretty well bored.

Most people just go to the reception, which starts in the afternoon and rages on until really late at night. They enjoy a great reputation. I’ve been to a bunch already, including one on the beach in Acapulco that got really hot. They are MUCH bigger affairs than in the states. You might get three bands at one party! Lots of dancing, lots of drinking (always open bar), lots of food, and plenty of activities. Certain party favors come out for certain songs, like balloons, cheap cowboy hats, masks, you name it. It’s a seamless mix of family and friends, all night. Grandma will stick around as long as the drunken best man.

However, something quite funny for us gringos is that for a month or so before the wedding, the photos of the bride and groom are posted outside the church for all the community to see. Why? Maybe one of them is already married! Hey, I know that guy, he’s married to my cousin!

I hope you don’t think I’m being culturally insensitive by finding amusement in this. You should know that Mexicans get a big laugh out of this too. Leave me a comment, what do you think about this custom?

I have many goals for my future in Mexico, and one of them is to find someone, man or woman, that got burned by this custom. Any help would be appreciated.


About Ted Campbell

U.S.-Canadian writer, translator and university teacher in Mexico. Travel stories and practical tips on my blog No Hay Bronca: Twitter: @NoHayBroncaBlog // Contact: nohaybroncablog (at)

Posted on March 11, 2012, in Mexico and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. My husband (a Mexican National) and I got married here, a civil ceremony at the Registro Civil. (Note to others: each state and each little town can have their own rules so don’t use my post as a guide.) Since it took me nearly 12 months to gather up all the documents they wanted in order to grant the marriage license, the marriage itself was anti-climatic to say the least. I still have my file with copies all the documents they asked for—23 in all. Every time we went to the Registro Civil, thinking this was it, we’d finally get our license, the clerk would study everything, look up at my husband (never at me) and say “she needs to bring in one more item.” This went on for 12 months. It was important to keep a good sense of humor, although I can’t say I always managed to. At one point I had to fly back to the US to fetch a document from the courthouse and and get it apostilled. Electric bill, water bill, the original birth certificate that they gave to my mother when I was born (not a copy), proof of residence in Mexico (somehow my FM3 wasn’t enough), translations by a perito traductor (took 2 months just for that one) the list just kept growing and growing. And then we had to complete a marriage training course at the local health center with 3 other prospective couples that included counseling on birth control and domestic violence. We were asked how many children we plan to have and we said none (we’re in our 50s and it’s a second marriage for us both), but this answer wasn’t satisfactory so the gov’t psychiatrist teaching the course put down “four” on our certificate of completion. And then finally we had to get blood tests to prove we were HIV and Hep free. I was reminded of a scene from a Cantinflas movie–it goes something like this. Cantinflas is the gov’t bureaucrat. A very old gentleman is trying to get his paper work done. The old man stands before Cantinflas sitting behind his desk and asks Cantinflas if he can remember how long it’s been since he’s been trying to get the paperwork done. Cantinflas answers “About 30 years. We’re almost there. I just need one more document.” Always it’s just one more document, right?

  2. This is such a great post! My boyfriend lives in Mexico and after my graduation from college this coming May (woohoo!), we’re planning to get engaged and get married in the near future. I’m so ready for a wild reception!

    This blog is always a warm reminder of why I wish to return to Mexico. Thank-you so much!

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: