Get Married or Renew Your Vows in Puerto Rico

Wedding on Seven Seas Beach in FajardoGetting married on a tropical island, on the beach, with the sun setting behind you … How romantic!

Or how about getting married in a garden surrounded by tropical flowers … or in the rain forest … or just about anywhere your heart desires! If that is what you are looking to do while visiting Puerto Rico, you have many options.

We recently had a couple stay with us and did just that. Let me tell you about their experience.

A Casual Beach Wedding

Kathy and Jim are an older couple, with grown children, thus they have large extended families. The original wedding plans, to have a small wedding in Canada, were getting out of hand – too big for their taste. So Kathy and Jim decided they should run off to paradise to get married on the beach. And that is how we met them.

Kathy went on line and somehow found Reverend Aran Santana. She also found out all of the requirements for getting married legally here in Puerto Rico.

You can obviously do all the legwork yourself, or hire someone to do it for you. Kathy told us that the Reverend was able to get through the lines and paperwork quickly, and he knew exactly what had to get done and where to go to do it. He went with them to all offices and took care of it all. He took a lot of worry out of the business-end of the wedding.

Kathy and Jim decided to get married on the beach, so they checked-out a few local beaches, and decided to have their wedding at Seven Seas Balneario in Fajardo. As it turns out, that was a good choice because it was mid-week during to winter, so the beach was almost empty.

So there they were, getting married in paradise, on the beach with a few friends there to witness the joyous occasion. Kathy picked flowers from our yard for a bouquet and Jim looked very tropical in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt. Reverend Santana did an really nice job with the ceremony too. It was so peaceful and beautiful. And once they were married, Jim picked his new bride up and carried her into the ocean for a swim!

Kathy thought ahead, and after the ceremony they had a mini reception while we were all at the beach, complete with champagne and cake. Everyone was happy and chilling out on the beach!

This was their relaxed wedding, but you can get as formal, or even more casual, as you want. There are all types of locations for the ceremony and plenty of locations for receptions of all sizes.

A Vow Renewal in Old San Juan

Heart-shaped cloud in Old San JuanI also "met" Carrie on-line and she also used Reverand Santana for her vow renewal (no paperwork required). She and her family were in port for the day on a cruise, and she and her husband had their ceremony along the Paseo de la Princesa in Old San Juan. She had her "reception" at El Picoteo in Old San Juan and thought the whole thing was "so beautiful!!!".

In Puerto Rico, you can officially be married by a judge, or any clergyman registered and authorized to perform marriage ceremonies by the Demographics Registry office. The only one I personally know is Reverend Santana, but there are loads of them. Or you can a contact wedding planner who can take care of almost all of the details for you. Your heart’s desires – big or small, they can help with. Do a search on-line, or here’s a recommendation that I got from a friend for a local company called Tropical Weddings Puerto Rico.

Marriage License Information

Documentation you will need

    Official DEMOGRAPHIC REGISTRY requirements.

  • Original birth certificates, with raised seal.
  • Government-issued photo id – US citizens can use a driver’s license, passport, or state-issued id card; Non-US citizens need their passport, visa or green card.
  • All the labs and a medical certification from your own Doctor that says that you have gotten all the lab tests and requirements needed to comply with your state of residence’s marriage requirements. It is valid for only 10 days, so it must be dated within ten (10) days of visiting the Demographic Registry office in PR.
  • You need a notarized affidavit letter that stipulates that: that you are not resident of Puerto Rico, and that it is your intention to get married in PR (and for foreign citizens: that you will not remain in Puerto Rico more time than permissible by immigration rules). For US citizens, this affidavit must be accompanied by certification of your state’s county clerk. For others, these affidavits need the Apostille seal of the Hague Treaty of 1961.
  • If either party was previously married, they will need the original copy of the finalized divorce decree or death certificate with a raised seal.

Once you’re here in Puerto Rico

  • To make life easier- for brides and grooms who do not reside in Puerto Rico and wish to marry here, can call and make an appointment to visit one of the Demographic Registrar´s Office. Both parties need to appear in person at the Marriage License Bureau of Demographic Registry Office with all of the above documentation/certifications, the license fee (For Destination Weddings ( $150 total payable at the Demographics office) and then fill out a marriage license application. You can go to any Demographic Registry Office. There is a special Demographic Registrar’s Office exclusively for destination weddings in Old San Juan, at Ochoa building on 500 Calle Tanca. It is open Monday – Sunday 9:00am – 5:30pm. Phone: 787-721-2400 Ext. 3210, 3211. There is also a Demographics Office on the 3rd floor at the Plaza Las Americas Mall in Hato Rey PR which is open M-F 8am- 9pm, Saturdays 9am-9pm and Sundays, 11am – 7pm. Call for a reservation 1-800-866-7827.
  • They will then give you the signed marriage certificate and issue you a license to get married and then you are ready for “The Big Day”!

 

And on to your big day

After you have jumped through all of the above hoops, you’re ready for your big day in paradise. Enjoy yourself! (Note: If either party is under 21 years of age, they will need to have all their parents or legal guardians present to sign the Marriage Certificate.

Once the judge or minister performs the ceremony , the signed paperwork (the certificate, marriage license and all other attached documents) gets delivered to the Demographic Registry within 10 days after the marriage by your officiant. It may take about 10 more days for your official marriage certificate to be issued. You will need to pick it up or have your officiant pick it up and send it to you.

PR Residents still are required to obtain lab tests and a “health certificate” from a local physician within 10 days of filing for the marriage license. See full : PR resident Marriage rules.

Resources

You can contact Reverend Santana via email at santana_ministries@yahoo.com, or you can call him at 787-435-3145.

Puerto Rico Destination Weddings is a local wedding-planner who can handle everything (from officiating to paperwork to planning) for your dream wedding. They offer elopement and “barefoot on the beach” packages. You can contact them via email at info@prdestinationweddings.com, or call them at 939-238-3664.

Tropical Weddings Puerto Rico is a local wedding-planner who can handle the planning for your wedding. You can contact them via email at tropicalweddings@yahoo.com, or call them at 787-671-1690.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 25 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

No, no special stuff needed for renewals. Just decide where you want it and find someone to do it for you.

Comment by Gwenn on 09 Aug 2018

I am looking to renew our vows. We are married. how do I go about that? does it involve another marriage certificate??

Comment by Rosa Dillard on 09 Aug 2018

You probably should contact a wedding planner or at least contact a minister or someone to wed you and maybe they can help. Perhaps the tourism company of San Juan can help? The article gives you everything I know about getting married in PR.

Comment by Gwenn on 11 Feb 2016

Hi I'm looking to get married on July 31st 2016 the problem is I live in boston n everything has become a hassle to plan I chose the venue which is la casona but every hotel wants to charge me 4000 just for the beach ceremony I just wanna get married on the beach n then go to the venue but everything is so expensive I just don't know what to do

Comment by Erika medina on 11 Feb 2016

Yes, but you have to do the paperwork ahead of time and I assume make the contacts for the officiant. An officiant or wedding planner can help a lot!

Comment by Gwenn on 22 Nov 2015

My fiancee is in the military and coming to Puerto Rico on leave, is there a way to get married in less then 2 weeks in Puerto Rico?

Comment by Burt Reynolds on 22 Nov 2015

I don't really know for sure, but I think no . Especially if you are only having a few guests. You can call the Vieques Tourism office or Mayors Office and check. I don't know Vieques companies but I would suggest you try asking on Trip Advisor Vieques forum. Good Luck!

Comment by Gwenn on 14 Aug 2015

Hi, I first want to say I am so glad you set up this forum! Your replies are very informative:) My daughter is getting having a symbolic marriage ceremony on the island of Vieques on February 13, 2016. They are doiing everything themselves to cut down on cost. It appears no permit is needed for a beach ceremony there? Also, are there any local florist and bakeries you could recommend? Thank you in advance for your time and this forum. Rennette

Comment by Rennette on 12 Aug 2015

We supplied some names/info in the article. The minister will probably be able to suggest a beach. Any public beach should not have an issue with a small joining. Or check do a Google search for wedding ministers or officiants in Puerto Rico. There are now many people that do it. Try http://www.weddingwire.com/c/pr-puerto-rico/san-juan/wedding-officiants/9-vendors.html

Comment by Gwenn on 13 Jul 2015

I would like a simple but intimate beach symbolic ceremony done by s minister .. The hotel i am staying at Condado Vanderbilt is too expensive ? For just me and my husband .. Can someone please guide me in the right direction .. I will be arriving August 11, 2015 staying for a week ..

Comment by LaQuindra on 07 Jul 2015

Well, the El Con is on the east coast. you would need to go somewhere that faces west. Depending on the time of year (if it is high summer), you may be able to see a sunset on one of the beaches on the north shore not too far from Fajardo, facing northwest. As long as it is not a big ceremony, I don't think a regular beach would be a problem. But between Fall- Spring, the sun sets much more southwest. But, you may want to think about...what if there is no sunset (clouds or haze). It happens. You may want something else in the backdrop. I love El Morro or the forts. You should be able to contact them and see if after hours you need a permit to use their grounds.

Comment by Gwenn on 18 Jun 2015

Hi there, we are coming for our 15 year anniversary and staying El Conquistador.I am planning a surprise vow renewal for my husband and I and are two kids, and have our family friend/minister flying in. The question is - where with a sunset that doesn't require hefty permit fees, etc. to just have a small 30 minute ceremony and take photos? I would love not to drive further than an hour and a half from Fajardo but the sunset and cost factor is important. Any ideas?

Comment by Natalie Lambert on 16 Jun 2015

If it was me and I wanted just a little ceremony, I would just go to a beach in the area (not a hotel beach or balneario). Looks like RT 165 goes along a long stretch of beach in that area. Ask a relative to scope it out and find a nice part that has a pretty backdrop. Then they also can check the local paper for a place that rents sillas. I gave the contact info for Reverend Santana in the article, or you can check online for another minister. http://abeautifulaffairoftheheart.com/, http://www.gatheringguide.com/vp/wedding-ministers-puerto-rico-san-juan Still looking at about $400 for one. Maybe you can ask a family member to do the symbolic ceremony?

Comment by Gwenn on 11 Jun 2015

hello... Me and my fiance plan to get married here in South Florida... Well actually we plan to sign the papers at the courthouse. We would love to have a symbolic wedding ceremony on the beach in Puerto Rico since all her family lives there. We've been looking at many venues and everything is so pricey. Would you be able to recommend a beach where we can just go and get married and not have to go through any big hotel chains or ridiculous beach fee ceremonies that a lot of these companies charge? A simple wooden arch and a few chairs on the sand would be enough. trying to stay in the San Juan ,Dorado ,Levittown area if possible. Thank you so much in advance. oh and do you have that reference information that everybody talks about?

Comment by alfredo flores on 11 Jun 2015

No, no paperwork needed. Just find someone to do the ceremony for you. Enjoy!

Comment by Gwenn on 23 May 2015

My husband and i got married in 2011, i want to do a vow renewal in san juan, do we need to fill out an official paperwork sense we are already married.

Comment by angela guadalupe sanch@@ez on 22 May 2015

Rev Santana, THE BEST! I harassed him everyday for 6 months. My two sisters and I decided to have Rev. Santana renew my parents vows for their 30th anniversary. He help us find the perfect place right on the beach where there was absolutely no one around but us and the ocean and trees. BEAUTIFUL! His price was great. He visited with my parents when we arrived in puerto rico. My father had just gone thru chemo and radiation fir stage 4 throat cancer. Mr. Santana is, in our opinion the only man for the job. He's pretty humorous as well. Great man, if i ever get married he's the man. Thank you Reverend Santana.

Comment by on 11 Jan 2015

Carli- the article mentions what paperwork you need to get married. As per cost, you would need to contact someone in Ponce- try their Tourism office for starters.

Comment by Gwenn on 11 Feb 2014

How much does a wedding cost to get married in Ponce, Puerto Rico? I am trying to find a place in Puerto Rico to get married.I just want to know how much it cost and what do I and my boyfriend have to bring to Puerto Rico to get married?

Comment by Carli on 11 Feb 2014

Hector- Congratulations! But we don't offer packages or tours or anything like that. Just info on how to best enjoy your time in PR. You will need to contact a travel agency or something to work out package deals.

Comment by Gwenn on 28 Jan 2014

I am trying ti find information to renew my vows with my wife. We got married in 2003 in culebra p.r and I want to surprise her and get a price package on a trip to puerto rico between april 5 to april 10 our anniversary date. Thank you.

Comment by Hector guma on 26 Jan 2014

I don't believe Notaries can marry people. But you can call the Demographic Registry office 800-866-7827 and ask.

Comment by Gwenn on 20 Apr 2013

Hello, . I was inquiring about getting married there in may and wondering if a notary can marry us...please advise..thank you

Comment by cesilda massacci on 14 Apr 2013

Thanks- I have reviewed the rules and added some of your notes to the article!

Comment by Gwenn on 16 Jan 2013

"It will take about 10 more days for your official marriage certificate to be issued and sent to you." This information should be verified. While it is true that the certificate is issued in 10 days, it is not sent to you. You need to go pick it up personally at the demographic registry in the municipality. Believe me, I married five years ago and haven't picked it up (because it's far from home), and they never sent us anything. The judge who married us told us that we needed to go pick it up. Also, I understand that the judge/minister is the one who deals with sending all the paperwork down to the municipality. One thing less to worry about! That is a great help that makes up for the simple task of having to pick up the certificate.

Comment by IB on 18 Nov 2012

Leave a Comment & Continue the Discussion

All fields are required.

@
Your email address will not be published.
More Info
Ads & Sponsors

Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque
San Juan Bus Map - learn about public transportation in the San Juan metro area