Things You Need To Know About Planning Your Ceremony - Legal vs Symbolic - The Pros & Cons

When you are looking at planning your ceremony in destination you need to understand some of the Pros and Cons of each. 

It is also important to understand the legal requirements of the destination when you have it chosen, some destinations are simple and some are not.

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Many couples want to do a legal ceremony because they always think no one will come if we are already married. 

But how do they know you are already married.  You can do this very discreetly so that no one knows. 

When the ceremony is performed in destination, only you and the wedding coordinator know it is not legal, you still go through all the steps of a legal ceremony.

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Here are a few PROS to a legal ceremony:

Legal ceremonies are more authentic and you can incorporate many of the traditions in your destination and get a really amazing cultural experience. 

You will have a minister or judge that will preform the ceremony which will give it that official feel. 

It’s exciting to receive the legal paperwork from the destination in their language.  Most couples who are legally married will frame the marriage certificate.

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Here are some of the CONS to Legal ceremonies:

They are much more expensive than symbolic and it is our professional recommendation that you always do a symbolic wedding.  This means getting married at home and doing a blessing ceremony in destinations. 

Some of the additional costs involved when doing a legal ceremony are legal fees when getting documents notarized

Translation fees as most destinations require your documents be in their native language

Judge or Minister fees to have them available for your day


Waiting for the legal certificate to come can take some time and be very stressful.  

With a legal ceremony, most destinations require you to have been in the country for a certain length of time before you can get legally married which can mean more cost by having to arriver earlier. 

Lastly, in destinations like Mexico, you are still required to get blood tests done before you can get married.  Most resorts include it in the legal ceremony costs, but make sure you ask regarding this if you plan to do a legal ceremony.

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