If you’re someone who lives for off-the-beaten-path experiences and prefers meaningful and memorable over mundane and manufactured—a destination wedding in Puerto Rico might just have your name written all over it. From its proximity to the U.S. East Coast (we’re just a 2.5-hour flight from Miami!) to its laid-back vibes and lush landscapes—tying the knot in Puerto Rico is the perfect way to get a quick-and-convenient change of scenery for your wedding, without the headache and hassle of planning a destination wedding overseas.
Today, I’m offering up 3 pieces of helpful insight for high-spirited, laid-back couples thinking they just might want to get married in Puerto Rico.
Understand what you need to get married in Puerto Rico legally.
Move over, swimsuits—make sure you save some room in those suitcases for a bit of paperwork. If you want to ensure your celebration is legally binding, you’ll need to bring along the following:
- A valid photo identification:
- For both you and your partner, you’ll need to present an I.D. card that’s been issued by the government of the country or state where you currently reside. (Think: passport, state identification card, or a driver’s license.)
- Birth certificates:
- If you can’t find the original, be sure to bring along a high-quality photo copy. Also, if you and/or your partner have a name that’s different from the one listed on your birth certificate, make sure you bring sealed-and-certified evidence of your name change.
- Medical certification:
- You’ll need to prove you’re medically approved to get married. This can be done via a letter from your doctor and should be dated no more than 10 days prior to your wedding. The letter you bring should be written on a prescription pad or on your doctor’s letterhead—and it needs to meet all the test requirements for marriage in your place of residence (some countries may require a blood test; if your country of residence doesn’t require a blood test, make sure that’s stated in the letter). If one of you is a resident of Puerto Rico, you will both need to go for blood tests, as blood tests are a requirement of marriage here.
- Internal Revenue Stamp:
- When you arrive, you’ll need to head to a government office and pick up a stamp for $150.00 from the Puerto Rican Government, which you will include with all of the paperwork you submit to get legally married here.
- An affidavit, if you’re not a resident of Puerto Rico:
- You’ll need a sworn statement dated no more than 10 days prior to your wedding that states you’re coming here specifically to get married in Puerto Rico and that you’ll return to your place of residence afterward.
Local vendors are the way to go.
The best way to ensure a seamless celebration is to trust in local vendors. They’ll know the area intimately and in a way nobody else does, understand what problems might arise, and have in-depth insight into the ins and outs of planning a successful destination wedding in Puerto Rico. With 350 weddings and events under my belt, I’m more than happy to show you the island’s most stunning settings and answer any (and all!) of your questions along the way.
If you can visit before your wedding, definitely do.
I always recommend couples check out the island before they get married here if they can make it work. From Spanish haciendas and storied architecture to sandy beaches and lush landscapes—there are so many options to choose from when it comes to wedding venues in Puerto Rico. You may just find something that surprises you! Keep in mind: the best time to visit is typically from around mid-April to June, right after the hustle-and-bustle of the busy winter season and right before the rainy summer starts up.
Is the idea of a destination wedding in Puerto Rico speaking to your soul? I’d love to photograph your celebration and help you tell your story in a way that’s both effortless and artistic. Reach out today and tell me all about your plans!