| Originally Posted by dallas_texas09 |
Here's my understanding on this. I thought that for the Mexican government to view a marriage legal it must be done in front of a Judge. This means that if you have a wedding officiated by a Judge then it is fine. However, for a Catholic wedding, it is officiated by a priest, therefore the marriage is not technically legal. From the church's perspective you are married but this is not accepted by everyone else in the world. When we got married in Playa del Carmen, the priest did not give us a marriage license after our ceremony. He gave us a marriage certificate -- similar to what you get when you get Baptized or when you have your Holy Communion or Confirmation. However, the marriage certificate provided by the Church is not a legal piece of document stating that we are married. It is a document ONLY accepted by the Church.
So, with that said, it was my understanding that if you wish to have a Catholic ceremony in Mexico, you must also do a civil ceremony (one performed by a Judge). You can do this before or after your Catholic wedding ceremony and can be done in the U.S. or in Mexico. This is when you get your actual marriage license. In my case, we had our civil ceremony in the U.S. prior to going to Mexico.
this is absolutely correct for those of you wondering.
the catholic part is legal only in the sense that it's legal in the catholic church, so youre recognized as married by the church.
the legal thing is something separate. in mexico you are required to do both if you want your marriage to be legal in mexico.
however, for example, if you get married in a catholic church in the US, your priest can sign your legal marriage certificate, so your catholic wedding can count as both the legal and the spiritual.