| Originally Posted by shanbeth |
When you say "legal ceremony" do you mean that if if we are getting married in Mexico to make it legal all the witness siging, etc. has to be done "DURING" the ceremony? I thought they do it after? I'm still debating whether to get married at a JP before we leave to save on $ or wait. We are arriving the 4 days before to make it legal, but seems like a lot of work for something to go wrong. Any advice would be great!
you have a short meeting with your WC a few days beforehand. they will need your necessary documentation (passport/birth certificate ... i forget what exactly but it was no biggie), and both the two of you AND your 4 witnesses will need to have the residency requirement and provide your tourist cards and sign some stuff (marriage application, etc.). again, it's a short meeting, no biggie (my witnesses were actually raucously drunk during this meeting as we fetched them from the swimup bar, lol).
the blood test gets scheduled for early the next morning usually, and literally is the quickest, most painless blood test ever. a doc and a security escort come right to your room to do it and it takes seconds. show ID, sign something, get a teeny vial drawn ... DONE! seriously i have never had a blood draw so quick and painless ... maybe my blood was thin from all the liquor, lol! oh and on that note, there are no restrictions on what you can eat/drink the night before.
but yes, you and your husband sign your marriage certificate (in triplicate) and provide your thumbprints DURING the ceremony. then each of your four witnesses is called up and they each need to sign in triplicate. it will take 5-10 minutes of your ceremony time to do so (which is why i suggested providing songs to play during this time).
however, the ceremony is absolutely, positively IN ENGLISH. that is literally why i got married in mexico and not dominican republic. of course the judge had an accent but he was fluent in english and not difficult to understand. i have to mention though that when i got married i was told i was NOT allowed to change the legal part of the ceremony at all, but i could add readings/sand ceremony/etc.
it took 6 months post-wedding for my translated legal documents to arrive, only to find out that NJDMV will not accept translations done anywhere but a few agencies that they use. so i still haven't changed my name just bc i don't feel like dealing with the hassle and it's not that important to me to change it. i'm legally married whether my name ever changes or not, kwim? anyway what you can get away with seems to vary greatly by state and even county.
good luck girls! sorry for the novel but i hope it was helpful. when i had my legal wedding at DC i was pretty much the only one ... everyone did symbolic ... so there was no one to talk to about this stuff!