Everything you need to know about getting married in Costa Rica (if you aren’t a citizen)


1 March 2024

When it comes to tying the knot overseas, the process can often be complex, time-consuming, and costly, as highlighted by the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs. However, opting for a wedding in Costa Rica can alleviate these concerns. Destination weddings can sometimes bring legal worries. Ensuring the validity of your marriage in your home country is crucial.

In Costa Rica, the marriage paperwork is relatively simple. No need for blood tests or waiting periods. Surprisingly, there's no requirement for a marriage license either in Costa Rica or your home country. With some advance planning, you can meet the legal criteria to validate your marriage in both Costa Rica and your home country.

Here's the inside scoop on how to tie the knot in sunny Costa Rica!

  • *1. Fill Out Forms in Advance**

Get ready for some paperwork fun! Before your big day, you'll need to fill out forms with details about you and your partner. Remember, you must be at least 18 years old to get hitched! If you've been married before, be prepared to spill the beans on your past unions.

  • *2. Choose Your Officiant Wisely**

Pick an officiant that's legit in Costa Rica. Whether you go for a civil, Catholic, or other religious ceremony, make sure your officiant knows the ropes and can help you seal the deal.

  • *3. Bring Your Witness Squad**

Don't forget your entourage of two non-relative witnesses! If you're keeping it intimate, no worries - you can recruit some locals to stand in as your official witnesses.

  • *4. Make It Official Back Home**

Once the "I dos" are exchanged, your attorney will handle all the legal jazz to ensure your marriage is recognized back in the U.S. - no sweat!

  • *5. Name Change? It's Up to You!**

In Costa Rica, women don't change their last names when they say "I do." If you fancy a name change, handle it back in the U.S. just like you would if you got married at home. Time to update that driver's license and bank account!

So, get ready for a tropical wedding adventure full of love, paperwork, and maybe a few passport stamps - Costa Rica style!

A Drift Away Lodge, we can guide you through the process to make things work even more smoothly! From flowers to food, we can help create the wedding of your dreams! We have wedding packages for all budgets and can even customize an experience as unique as you and your partner!