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Marriage Requirements

Marrying in Costa Rica is often easier than marrying in the states. You do not have to be in the country for any specific amount of time and the ceremony is legal worldwide. However, you will need to contact your officiant prior to your trip to Costa Rica. All that you are required to submit is a valid passport and to answer a few questions via email to your officiant.

We recommend Marcelo Galli for the wedding ceremonies and vow renewals. He will produce all of the paperwork, perform the ceremony, file the paperwork, translate and send you the documents once they have been processed. He speaks excellent English and performs a beautiful ceremony. It usually takes about 30 days for you to receive the certificate of marriage, but on occasion takes up to 45 days. Please keep in mind you will need to pay him directly and his accepted form of payment is cash only. Contact Marcelo at

Your marriage officiant will need the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Profession/Occupation
  • Current Address
  • Copy (or good, clear photo) of your Passport
  • Martial Status
  • Date and Place of Birth
  • Full Name of Father and Mother and Current Citizenship
  • Mailing Address
  • Phone Number
  • Email Address
  • Witness Information (2 are required)

You will not need to bring any notarized legal documents because all your data will be included in a sworn statement which you both sign the day of the wedding. This avoids you having to notarize anything at the Costa Rican Consulate nearest you, and will save you time and money. No need for notarizations nor divorce decrees. No need for blood test, nor police records. It’s as simple as that!

The Certification of Marriage

The procedure for a valid marriage in Costa Rica involves the signing of two documents once concluded the ceremony. One is a sworn statement attesting principally to your marital status, thus avoiding any further proof. The other is the marriage document itself. After the ceremony, the paperwork must be submitted first to the Civil Registry of Costa Rica by your officiant. The whole processing of documents, which includes translation and notarization by the Consulate of your country of residence (or apostille), may vary but normally takes about 2 weeks.

Once everything is ready, the Marriage Certificate will be sent, along with instructions, via certified mail (an additional 10-15 days) to the address you provide your officiant. You will receive the certificate 30 to 45 days after ceremony day.

If you need temporary proof of marriage before you receive the Certificate of Marriage, our recommended officiant can gladly provide (upon request) a Notary Certification, which will work as valid proof of marriage with private sector only, such as insurance companies, or at work, for example.

The Ceremony Speech

Your officiant will communicate directly with you by email, phone or Skype in order to tailor the speech to your complete satisfaction, making each ceremony a meaningful and unique event. You can add your own vows, readings, poems, songs, rituals, and traditions. Special touches like the Unity Sand Ceremony can be added and even modified to include the participation of friends and family.

Marriage Legality

Your certification of marriage will be issued by the Civil Registry of Costa Rica, translated by an Official Translator, and apostilled by the Costa Rican Foreign Ministry, or authenticated by the Consulate (or Consular Offices) of the country you reside in. This procedure is done strictly following Costa Rican as well as international laws that regulate these matters, thus ensuring full validity of your marriage back home.

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