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chulzle

REQUIREMENTS for non-legal wedding at Excellence?

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anyone had a non-legal ceremony at excellence?

do they still say i now pronounce u husband and wife?

is this going to be not any different from the real thing bc our guests dont need to know this is just a formality...

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Originally Posted by chulzle View Post
anyone had a non-legal ceremony at excellence?
do they still say i now pronounce u husband and wife?
is this going to be not any different from the real thing bc our guests dont need to know this is just a formality...
Chulzle,

I have a copy of the non-legal ceremony in English, I'll send it to you. They do end it with "in front of your witnesses, declare you husband and wife. Congratulations!!!!!You may kiss the bride."

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Originally Posted by haskinl View Post
If you have a non-legal ceremony is it not recognized? What's the best way to go?
It's entirely up to you. The difference is:

1.) Symbolic Ceremony (non-legal): You get "married" in the US prior to going to the DR, such as at a courthouse, etc.
- Pluses: No translation fees, no waiting for your marriage license to come in and then get translated and processed (can take up to 6 months, which can complicate taxes with second half of the year weddings), the ceremony can be in English (performed by a minister).
- Minuses: If you tell them, some guests may feel that the wedding in the DR is not your "Real" wedding. Many brides on the forum emphasize that getting the marriage certificate in the US is just paperwork, and they don't do the "You may kiss the bride," dress, party or other frills.

2.) Legal Ceremony: In the DR you have two options, a religiously recognized Catholic Ceremony (by a priest), or a non-denominational legal ceremony (by a judge). The ceremony is performed in Spanish, which may be a plus or minus depending on your guests.
- Pluses: The day of your vows in the DR is the official and legal start of your marriage. Your guests witness your legal marriage, and your attendants sign your real marriage license.
- Minuses: Cost - Translation fees through WEDO can run between $250-$500. Timing - You need to get your documents to WEDO within a certain timeframe for them to be translated (passport, birth certificates, single status affidavits, divorce decrees if applicable), and then get them back in time to take with you. You also will then have your marriage license issued in the DR in Spanish, and will need to wait up to 6 months to receive it in the mail, then send it to WEDO to have it translated back to English and registered with the US government.

It all comes down to what you want. If you're set on having your "I do" moment be "real" then you may want to go the legal route. There are a lot of threads on the message board about "Symbolic or legal?" decisions, and lots of really valid viewpoints.

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Although the legal ceremony route is a pain having to obtain all the proper documentation and all, its the right choice for us. What you decide to do should be what works the best for you and your FI. One of our main reasons is that we both want to remember our ceremony on the beach as the moment we became one...so the choice is a very personal one.

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