The Dominican Republic offers a choice of breathtaking coastline, enchanting history, fascinating culture and pristine white-sand beaches – ideal for that long dreamt of beach wedding!
The legal requirements for getting married in the Dominican Republic are relatively straightforward, but we recommend getting the paperwork aspect of your wedding finalised about six months before your wedding date.
Marriages performed in the Dominican Republic are internationally recognised and legally binding.
None for symbolic and non-legal ceremonies, which allow flexibility for arrival date. For a church wedding the bride and groom must be in the country three business days prior to the wedding.
Documents required for a legal wedding in the Dominican Republic, include…
Statutory Declarations are to be declared per person (i.e. joint declarations are not accepted) and must include passport numbers, address and employment. Statutory Declarations are valid for a period of three months from the date of issue. A divorced woman cannot remarry until 10 months after the divorce is finalized, unless her new husband is the same man she divorced.
All documents must be translated into Spanish, either by a registered commercial translator or by the Dominican embassy or consulate. They must also be certified as true copies of the original by the embassy.
Marriages in the Dominican Republic fall generally into one of two categories: civil ceremony or a religious ceremony.
Civil marriages are those in which the parties themselves register the marriage with the Dominican government. The person officiating at the wedding ceremony is a government official, usually a Notary Public. It is the couple’s choice whether or not to hold a separate religious ceremony. The Civil Wedding is celebrated in Spanish.
Canonical marriages are those performed by a Roman Catholic priest. Following the ceremony, the church takes responsibility for registering the marriage with the appropriate Dominican government offices.
Couples of the Roman Catholic faith are required to meet with a parish priest in the Dominican Republic to show documentation of attendance at an appropriate marriage preparation course.
Marriages in religious denominations other than Roman Catholicism are fully legal and permitted. However, only the Roman Catholic Church has the ability to register marriages on the couple’s behalf. In the case of wedding ceremonies in other denominations, both members of the couple must present themselves to the governmental registrar’s office to legalize the marriage.
Your marriage certificate will usually be ready a day or two after your ceremony. Your marriage certificate will be sent to you in Spanish, you will then need to have it translated and legalized into English.
European Union citizens may need to have their Registered Marriage Certificate apostilled (or authenticated). US citizens are required to have their documents apostilled.
This does not apply to citizens of Canada, Australia or New Zealand. Citizens of Asian countries, South and Central America should check with their Civil Registrar/Marriage Officer as to whether an apostille is required for your country.
The following fees apply, depending on individual circumstances…
Many hotels offer comprehensive assistance to couples planning their destination wedding in the Dominican Republic.
For further information visit the wedding portal at the Ministry of Tourism, Dominican Republic – to learn more about top wedding venues, recommended wedding consultants and service providers. Alternatively, visit your nearest Dominican Republic embassy or consulate for more information.
Please note: while accurate at time of publication this information is for guidance purposes only and liable to change without notice. Please check with your wedding planner at your resort of choice or the relevant embassy of the country in which you intend to marry for up-to-date details before your wedding.
Latest update: How to get married in the Dominican Republic: 18 November, 2018
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