Hey there! As I grow more in-depth into the Puerto Rico elopement photography world, I discover new pains of my clients, the biggest of them, concerning Puerto Rico marriage requirements. There are a few blogs up there that are either outdated, missing information, or just misleading in general. Most websites make getting married in Puerto Rico seem like this complicated chore. So I decided the best way to defeat this was to bring a legal professional actively involved in the Puerto Rico elopement industry: meet my dear #bosslady Ana María!
Since this is a written collaboration, I'll highlight my own (Camille) comments in blue, and share Ana María's piece in black. Finally, all photos shared in this blog are of weddings we've worked together. So that you see how happy couples were about having savvy Ana María by their side.
Ana Maria Hernández, wedding officiant and founder of Wonderland
Hello, gorgeous couples! For those who do not know me, I am Ana María Hernández, the queen boss behind Wonderland: a project where we believe in diversity and dare to think differently about weddings. I am an Attorney, Notary, and Translator living in Puerto Rico, and my passion for weddings made me end up as a Wedding Officiant and Planner in Puerto Rico. It is truly an honor to be invited to Camille's blog to talk to you about one of my passions: marrying couples!
As a Notary and wedding officiant, I will guide you through the process of getting your Puerto Rico marriage license for non-residents of Puerto Rico. There is this idea that it is complicated to get your marriage license in Puerto Rico, and I am here to tell you that it is not true. You just need an expert like me to guide you through the process. There is a lot of incorrect information on the internet– including the one coming for the Registro Demográfico (Demographic Registry or Vital Records Office), office in charge of issuing marriage licenses in Puerto Rico.
Before Starting the Marriage License Process in Puerto Rico
Visiting Puerto Rico, you'll have a lot of amazing experiences. Overcoming the language barrier at a government office, and figuring stuff out as you go could put a damper on all those other happy moments you will live here. As a wedding professional that continuously works with destination couples, can't stress enough the convenience of having an expert Puertorican wedding officiant holding your hand through the process. Even if you're bringing someone else to officiate the actual ceremony.
The second thing to consider is that you will have to visit the Registro Demográfico offices in person to request your marriage license. Hence, you have to plan your trip so that you have time for that. Registro Demográfico offices open from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday, the offices close on weekends.
Documents to Bring for your Puerto Rico Marriage License
Here's the (updated as of March 2020) document list you need to bring to the Registro Demográfico office with you:
- Birth Certificates
- Government-issued IDs
- Medical Certification from your place of residence (depending on your state or country of residence the requirements may change for this document)
- Sworn Statement indicating that you are not residents of Puerto Rico (depending on your state or country of residence the conditions may vary for this document)
- Tax Stamp
- Divorce Judgment, Decree, or Sentence, or Death Certificate of your deceased spouse (if any of you are divorced or widowed).
- Official evidence or documents of name change (if any of you have had a name change in the past)
Ceremony and Post-Ceremony Procedures
For the day of the celebration, you will need two witnesses, both need to be 21 years old or older, and they need to know how to read and write. After your wedding, you can request your Marriage Certificate online. Your names will appear as they do on your Birth Certificate, if you wish to change your name, you will have to do so in your state or country of residence.
International couples: you may need an Apostille depending on your country's requirements to register a Marriage Certificate coming from the United States. Remember, for all legal purposes, Puerto Rico is part of the United States.
Final Comments Concerning Puerto Rico Marriage Requirements
I've never been married, and to the fun-loving photographer in me, for many years working in the industry, this sounded like the worst part of planning a Puerto Rico wedding or elopement. However, after getting to know and work with Ana María, I've learned how easy it is when you're thoroughly informed, and with the correct officiant as your teammate.
Getting married in Puerto Rico is easy, and our wedding vendors will appreciate your support so much during these trying times of our local economy. The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy because we are #weddingready for you to say I Do in this paradise called Puerto Rico.
Cami & Ana María