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Getting Married In Costa Rica

Getting Married in Costa Rica

Getting Married in Costa Rica just got easier. We offer Civil Marriage Ceremonies!

What is a Civil Marriage Ceremony?

A civil ceremony is simply a nonreligious, legal marriage ceremony presided over by a legal official instead of a religious one.

How is a civil ceremony different from a religious one?

A civil ceremony is basically a one stop shop because we do everything for you. It’s legally binding, which means you won’t have to have two ceremonies. A religious ceremony in Costa Rica is not legally binding (unless it is performed by the local Catholic Church), so to get married in Costa Rica requires a civil ceremony either before or after your religious ceremony.

Civil ceremonies take approximately 30 minutes to fulfill the legal requirements and signing of all documents. Ceremonies can be performed at your location or at the office of the Notary Public.

Marriages legally performed and validated in Costa Rica are also legal and valid in other countries. Your marriage certificate will be issued by the Registro Civil in about three months after it has been registered.

Your marriage will be recognized in the Canada and the U.S. after you submit the appropriate certifications to the Canadian or U.S. Embassies in Costa Rica.

To be legally recognized in the U.S. or Canada, your marriage certificate must be:

  • Translated into English by an Official Translator accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Relations Authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Relations;
  • Notarized by a Notary Public (we can do this for you); and
  • Certified and signed by your Embassy’s Consular Section.

Choosing the Location

Not everyone wants to have a grand traditional church wedding. There are other options for your wedding ceremony. For most civil ceremonies, you can just go to the lawyers office. If you don’t want to get married at the lawyers office, you can have your civil ceremony anywhere, like your backyard, public park, at the beach or a nature reserve.


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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. Wanting information on where to start with getting married on the beach. Only a total of 6 people will be present including bride and groom. So just a quick and simple ceremony. We will be there Feb. 2 – 9, 2019. How do I go about getting a lawyer to perform it?

    1. Hello Vidal,

      Marriages in Costa Rica typically take 8 – 20 days to be documented (inscribed) in the National Registry.

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