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Legal Marriage At Home


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#1 LauraM

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  • Wedding Date:May 1, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Beach Palace, Cancun Mexico

Posted 06 November 2014 - 06:48 AM

Can someone please guide me through this? I live in Massachusetts. We need a simple no-frills legal marriage prior to traveling to Mexico for our destination wedding celebration. I've been reading the laws and doing some research but I'm still confused. I think I need to go to my town clerk's office to get a "marriage licence." But then what? Are we married? Do we need to do something WITH the license? My mother keeps telling me that I need to then hire a justice of the peace to officially marry us. She seems to think we need to do the whole "i-do" mini-ceremony thing at home in order to become legally married. Is this true? I'd rather not do anything of the sort. I literally want to sign a paper and then forget about it, so that we can treat Mexico as our wedding, anniversary, celebration, etc. Please educate me! =)



#2 candle23

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Posted 06 November 2014 - 07:59 AM

Hey! I know this feeling too! Lol I am in Canada so it works a little differently but here we had to get a license and then we have to have a justice of the peace or minister or someone allowed to marry us do the whole little ceremony and then they are responsible for sending the license in. Then you get it back in the mail once all the paper work is completed. Once you have the actually marriage licence, it is legal, and you can go about changing your name and such.

We decided to do it after our actual wedding so that day really is our wedding date. We got married October 23 and are going to meet my uncle, who is a minister, November 15 to sign the papers.

Hope that helps a little! Good luck!

#3 TAkathy

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    Posted 06 November 2014 - 08:00 AM

    Hi there.

     

    It is a bit confusing I realize.  Based on the information from this website: http://www.usmarriag...s/massachusetts

     

    The marriage license is the document required by the state in order to then have the ceremony legally recognized. There are time frames involved based on a number of factors (whether both applicants are MA residents, etc) so you need to read the entire document to know how your situation applies.

     

    But the short answer is:  

    1) you need this document FIRST in order to have a wedding ceremony registered as legal in the state

    2) No, you are not married once you get it - the ceremony would then follow based on the specific time guidelines applicable to your situation.

     

    If you are wanting to get legally married in MA prior to your Destination Wedding event (in other words, your DW will be SYMBOLIC - not Legal )- you would have to do whatever MA requires to legally register the marriage there.

     

    If you want to have the Legal ceremony in Mexico, you need to determine and follow the requirements for having a Legally Binding ceremony in that specific Mexican state (they vary) and be sure to complete all necessary requirements.  However, you need to determine what Massachusetts requires (if anything) in order to have the Mexican ceremony recognized in your home state.

     

    It's generally more expensive to have a legal ceremony in a DW site because of extra costs (residency or visitation requirements prior to the ceremony, legal paperwork fees, translation costs, US documentation preparation, etc) but some Brides and Grooms prefer to do it this way - it's up to you both.

     

    Just be sure you are clear on which way you want to do it and what each country will require of you to register the marriage legally.  It may be worth a call or a trip down to the appropriate government agency to speak with someone who can walk you through the legalities.  It is very important to know what will be required of you in advance.

     

    I hope that helps.


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    #4 Lindsay30

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    Posted 06 November 2014 - 09:47 AM

    You do have to go through the whole 'I do's' to legally bind that certificate to receive your marriage license. What you receive from the city clerks office is a certification that you have to bring to the judge who marries you. They sign it after the I Do's and then they mail it in. A few weeks later you can either pick your marriage license up to start the whole name change process or sometimes they will mail it to you. I had to go pick mine up. I'm in Illinois.

     

    You can also do a very quick I Do ceremony at the city clerks office and be done in 5 minutes.

     

    We probably made a bigger deal of the quick wedding at home than we wanted to but we have a family friend whose a judge so it meant a lot to my husbands family to have someone we are somewhat familiar with, marry us.. While we won't celebrate that day as our wedding, it'll be one of those things we will remember forever. We definitely felt that it was still real if not more so when we did it in Mexico and had our best guy friend perform the ceremony. 



    #5 Sabes44

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    Posted 06 November 2014 - 02:12 PM

    It is totally confusing!  This is the one thing I have put my fiance in charge of because even on the county website, its says conflicting things.  But I think you have to get the marriage license before and then legally get married.  We are planning on just doing it at the courthouse the week before.  



    #6 veryvalentine

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    Posted 07 November 2014 - 05:22 AM

    agreed. I'm not looking forward to planning the logistics of this stuff. 



     
     
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    #7 colleentf09

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    Posted 12 November 2014 - 04:16 PM

    We plan on having a symbolic ceremony in Mexico and going to the courthouse before we leave to make it legal. My mom thinks the ceremony in Mexico won't feel special if we're already technically married. I've explained to her many times the cost and how much sooner we would have to get to Mexico to make it legal there. Has anyone else has this issue with family members? I just think of the courthouse as basically signing paperwork and Mexico will be our real wedding/ anniversary. I wish I hasn't told her about this in the first place!

    #8 Kayla88

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    Posted 12 November 2014 - 07:55 PM

    We plan on having a symbolic ceremony in Mexico and going to the courthouse before we leave to make it legal. My mom thinks the ceremony in Mexico won't feel special if we're already technically married. I've explained to her many times the cost and how much sooner we would have to get to Mexico to make it legal there. Has anyone else has this issue with family members? I just think of the courthouse as basically signing paperwork and Mexico will be our real wedding/ anniversary. I wish I hasn't told her about this in the first place!


    I have a few family members that feel this way. We will actually do the paper work once we return from Mexico. I hope this will make the wedding more real for the members that are worried :)

    #9 hellosassypants

    hellosassypants
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    Posted 13 November 2014 - 06:40 AM

    We plan on having a symbolic ceremony in Mexico and going to the courthouse before we leave to make it legal. My mom thinks the ceremony in Mexico won't feel special if we're already technically married. I've explained to her many times the cost and how much sooner we would have to get to Mexico to make it legal there. Has anyone else has this issue with family members? I just think of the courthouse as basically signing paperwork and Mexico will be our real wedding/ anniversary. I wish I hasn't told her about this in the first place!

    I know some people frown upon people making it legal before the actual wedding date. We are also doing a symbolic ceremony too. We are still undecided on whether to make it legal AFTER we come back from Mexico or a week before Mexico. The only reason I want to make it legal before we leave is because we have a daughter together. God forbid if something were to happen, I don't want to hit any roadblocks. I want to hear other ladies experience too and see what they did.


    Edited by hellosassypants, 13 November 2014 - 06:41 AM.

    N&C

    April 17, 2015

    Gran Caribe Real (Cancun, Mexico)

    Including Bride & Groom: 22 guests (19 adults & 3 children)


    #10 calgarybride2015

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    Posted 13 November 2014 - 05:23 PM

    We are doing it before so once we so I DO in Mexico we are really husband and wife. We don't want to technically have to wait another week or two. Haha that's what I came up with. We aren't telling anyone either -- our witnesses won't be at the wedding. It's not that I think my family would be upset but it appears some people take it harder than expected so easier to just not go there.


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