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Newbie trying to plan marriage (eloping!) in Havana, Cuba. HELP!

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Havana Beach


I'm planning my wedding with my fiance in Havana, Cuba for this September, 2010 (I know, it's very soon!) and have a few questions...


My fiance is Brazilian and I am Canadian, so we're meeting there from September 19th-26th to get married as neither of us can go to each others country at the moment due to visa restrictions, work, etc. (long story!). We're going just the two of us, and plan to have additional wedding ceremonies later on in both Canada and Brazil!


I have been corresponding with both the Wedding Coordinator and the Hotel Quality Manager, who have sent me some very confusing documents regarding wedding packages and other marriage-related information. No one at the hotel seems to be able to answer the questions that I have been asking via email for the past month. I'm staying at the Melia Habana Hotel in Havana, Cuba, which is supposed to be a five star hotel, so I would expect better customer service. We actually switched to this hotel from a 3 star, specifically for this reason, as I wanted this process to be as smooth as possible!


I have been informed by the Cuban Consulate in Toronto that if you are single, never been married, the only documents you need to get married in Cuba are your passport and tourist card. Finally, after a lot of work, I have helped my hotel Manager to understand that these are the only documents that both my fiance and I will need (both the Cuban Consulate and the Cuban Tourist Board told me that the same is true for a Brazilian marrying in Cuba, and that the rule applies as long as you are not marrying a Cuban.) He does want us to bring our birth certificates as well though. So here are my questions about this:


1. Should the birth certificates be the long version, (which needs to be ordered from the government, and includes parents' names, your weight at birth, hospital, etc.) or the regular short Canadian birth certificate that most people have?

Do the birth certificates need to be translated into Spanish? If yes, do the translations need to be done by the Cuban Consulate in Canada & Brazil, or any translator? If yes, do the translations need to be certified by the Cuban Consulate in Canada & Brazil?


In one of the documents the hotel sent it states that there is a government tax of 626.00 CUC for the marriage certificates. However, in another document they sent, it states that for a full wedding package that includes the Notary, marriage certificates and legalization fees, PLUS a whole other list of extras that would only be needed for a wedding with guests (we are going to be eloping), the cost is only 699.00 CUC. This doesn't really make sense to me! Here's what the document from the hotel states about fees:



72 hours after marriage ceremony, two certificates shall
be delivered: one of them duly legalized by the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba and with legal
effect abroad, and another to be used in the Cuban
territory. For these reason, additionally, the client will pay
the taxes in Cuban pesos and in convertible Cuban pesos


1.For the preparation of the marriage record,
legalization and delivery of two copies of
the marriage certificates, one of them duly
authenticated, including entering into records.


Accelerated service

48 hours CUC 50.00
24 hours CUC 100.00

For the power of attorney to authenticate a marriage.
CUC 150.00

If after all the formalities to hold a marriage have been
completed, the contracting parties desist of their interest
in getting married, the Lawyerâ€s Office will refund only
50% of the fees already collected, the remaining 50% will
be used to cover expenses and professional fees.


Marriage applications will be accepted Mondays through
Fridays from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Casa Matriz
Directora: Lic. Daisy Miriam González Leyva
Dirección: 5ta Ave. esq. a 162 No. 16202, Playa, Rpto.
Flores, Ciudad de La Habana, Cuba.
Telef.: (53 7) 273-6824 y 204-6749 Fax: (53 7) 204-6750
E-mail: bufete@bufeteinternacional.cu



Has anyone had a simple wedding package in Cuba that included only the marriage certificate, a notary/judge/official to marry you, two witnesses (for those who eloped and had no guests), and a photographer? If yes, how much did this cost? Which hotel did you stay at? Are there any other documents/information that were required? 


I read on the internet that many hotels require a sheet with the bride and groom's names, contact information, addresses, birthdays, occupations, level of education, nationality and parents' names and birthdays. I also read that this needs to be translated into Spanish. Would we require this?)


I apologize for the length of this message! It would be greatly appreciated if you could post any information about getting married in Cuba and/or answer any of the questions that I have!


Thank you!  smile105.gif

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