Getting Married in Costa Rica

Getting married in Costa Rica is simple and straightforward. In most cases all you need are your current passwords. You will have to provide some basic information, including a copy of each passport, your dates of birth, your occupations, your current address and the names of your parents.
Two witnesses are required to be present at the ceremony. If you are traveling alone, your hotel or wedding consultant will provide the required witness.

Things are slightly more complicated if one or more of the partners was previously married. In such a case, the previously married partner must provide an official copy of the divorce decree.

Most travelers who get married in Costa Rica do so in a civil ceremony officiated by a local lawyer. After the ceremony, the lawyer records the marriage with Costa Rica’s National Registry, which issues an official marriage certificate. This process generally takes between 4 and 6 weeks. Most lawyers or wedding coordinators then have the document translated and certified by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry and at the embassy or consulate of your home country within Costa Rica before mailing it to you. From here, it’s a matter of bringing this document to your local civil or religious authorities, if necessary.

Because Costa Rica is more than 90% Roman Catholic, arranging for a church wedding is usually easy in all but the most isolated and remote locations. To a lesser extent, a variety of denominational Christian churches and priests are often available to perform or host the ceremony. If you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or a follower of some other religion, bringing your own officiant is a good idea.