Elope in Mexico

Elope in Mexico

If you’re planning to get hitched or elope in Mexico, ensure that you do enough research and prepare all the requirements. Eloping sounds like an easy task that only involves exchanging vows, but there’s a lot to do to make your intimate wedding memorable and special.

What does it mean to Elope?

The meaning of elopement has evolved over the decades. As early as the 17th century, it referred to “running away with a romantic interest”. Conventionally, since then, it has meant running away to get married without the knowledge of the couple’s parents and loved ones.

Given these traditional meanings, eloping used to have a negative connotation in society. Today, the term is widely used to refer to a very intimate destination wedding that only concerns the couple and their closest family members and friends. It shifts the focus from pleasing all guests to celebrating a couple’s relationship and new life together.

Elopement is favoured by many modern couples because, aside from being an intentional celebration of love, it is budget-friendly. You only spend on the things that matter the most for you and your partner. Without the hundreds of mouths to feed as you do with a traditional grand wedding, you cut a significant aspect of the costs.

How to Elope in Mexico?

How to choose your location?

Mexico is one of the cheapest destinations for elopements. Aside from many romantic attractions and scenery, it is home to several beach resorts providing destination wedding or elopement packages.

Given the numerous options, choosing the right venue for your Mexico elopement is quite tricky. Many factors come into play when making a decision. The most important things to consider are the following:

  • Season or weather
  • Budget
  • Available packages

What are the requirements to elope in Mexico?

The venue is only the first item on a long checklist to make your dream destination come true. There are many requirements to get married legally in Mexico, especially if you and your partner are non-residents and only in the country for your vacation or destination wedding.

Marriage Licence

For tourists to get a marriage licence in Mexico, the requirements are as follows:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Tourist card
  • Prenuptial medical examination, which should be done in Mexico no more than 15 days before the wedding
  • Proof of termination of previous marriage (if applicable)

All documents must be translated into Spanish if they’re not yet in Spanish. Once you have all the requirements, visit the nearest Mexican consulate to get them notarized.

Processing the marriage licence application takes some time, depending on the concerned local government unit. As such, be prepared to wait.

Witnesses and officiants

For your marriage to be legally binding in Mexico, you need a Civil Registry officiant and four witnesses. You need to call the Civil Registry Office at least 14 days before your elopement to make an appointment.

As for witnesses, it doesn’t matter whether they’re also foreigners or Mexican citizens. They only need to be of legal age and present a valid government-issued ID.

Symbolic Ceremony

Legally getting married in Mexico is a daunting and lengthy process for foreigners. The paperwork alone takes time and money, which isn’t practical, especially for couples on a budget.

However, these concerns can’t stop you from having your dream intimate wedding in Mexico. It’s possible to get married legally in your home country and have a symbolic ceremony for your dream elopement.

If you opt to do all the legal formalities in your home country, you no longer need to obtain a marriage licence in Mexico. You also don’t need an officiant from the Civil Registry Office and four witnesses.

Simply put, with a symbolic ceremony, your wedding can be anything you aspire it to be without the extra hassle. Your close friend or family member can officiate your wedding, and you can have as many or as few witnesses as you wish.

How much does it Cost?

Eloping in Mexico doesn’t have to cost you your entire life savings. You can be as frugal or as splendid as you want.

If you go through the legal process in Mexico, take note of the following basic expenses:

  • 30 USD for a marriage licence
  • About 25 USD to 200 USD for a Civil Registry officiant

Many hotels and resorts offer elopement packages tailored to meet the budget and needs of different clients. Affordable packages usually start at around 1,000 USD or less. For grand, intimate weddings that involve numerous vendors, they can go as high as 20,000 USD.

Best time to Elope in Mexico

The best time to elope in Mexico depends on your chosen location. Generally, you’d want to go after the holidays because that’s the time when rates are relatively low. The attractions are also less crowded post-holidays.

Elope During Off-Season

What you’d want to avoid the most is eloping in Mexico during the summer. Aside from various places being packed by tourists, the rates are high because it’s considered a peak season. Nevertheless, it still depends on the location.

Summer and Autumn in Cancun

For example, Cancun is ideal for summer destination weddings. Autumn is also a great time to elope in Cancun. The rates are usually cheap in the city during these seasons.

Summer in Isla Mujeres

In Isla Mujeres, the off-season is from mid-May to September. Avoid visiting anytime between December and March unless you want to take advantage of the nice weather at the expense of mingling with large crowds.

Summer and Autumn in Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas is an excellent elopement destination during the months of May or November, just right before tourists start flocking for the holidays.

Autumn in Todos Santos

For Todos Santos, you’d want to plan your wedding for September, October, or November. The weather is relatively nice during these months, and there are only a few tourists.

Best places to Elope in Mexico


Cozumel is home to various all-inclusive or luxury resorts offering wedding packages. An excellent example is Secrets Aura Cozumel.

Ensuring you a picturesque elopement in Mexico, this all-inclusive resort has a beach, pier, or gardens that may serve as wedding venues. The in-house wedding coordinator is attentive to every detail, giving you the wedding of your dreams.

The Elope in Luxury Package includes coordination services, hair and makeup services for one, bouquets and/or boutonnieres for the couple, ironing of the couple’s attires, 20 digital photos of the symbolic ceremony, wedding cake, and sparkling wine toast for two.


Known for its Mayan ruins, Tulum has a certain historical charm. It also has a vibrant nightlife scene and coastal vibe.

One of the best wedding venues here is NEST, an environmentally conscious resort offering 13 guest rooms and villas. To host your symbolic ceremony here, a minimum food and beverage order worth 8,000 USD is required.

A 1,500 USD fee also applies for hosting an event at NEST. This charge includes the services and assistance of the hospitality staff and manager, the use of in-house facilities, and other essential administrative support to execute your wedding.

The resort’s full dinner and reception service has a maximum capacity of 45 guests, which is more than enough for an elopement wedding.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a dreamy Caribbean destination because of its incomparable natural beauty. Like Tulum, it has a rich Mayan history.

If you opt to elope here, consider MIA REEF ISLA MUJERES. It offers the Happily, Ever After Package, which includes a symbolic ceremony with up to 12 of your closest family and friends, a bridal bouquet, a groom’s boutonniere, and a wedding coordinator’s services. You can choose from different onsite venues, including the Gazebo on the Beach, Gazebo at the Pier, North Gazebo, and South Gazebo. Moreover, you get a commemorative marriage certificate after the ceremony.


A renowned spring break destination, Cancun is bustling with resorts and nightclubs. You can easily have your resort wedding here and take advantage of the picturesque setting that the white-sand beaches provide.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba has various event spaces for intimate weddings. You can conduct your ceremony by the beach, in the garden, or on the rooftop terrace. To know more about its wedding offerings, you can contact the concierge.


Sayulita is easily accessible for those flying into Mexico because it is only about 45 minutes from Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport.

Amor Boutique Hotel may not be a luxury resort, but its compelling event services guarantee you worry-free and memorable elopement. From floral arrangements to entertainment, it got you covered. The onsite catering is also at your service, helping you customise the menu for your big day.

Cabo San Lucas

With a breathtaking Caribbean atmosphere, Cabo San Lucas promises an idyllic wedding experience for you and your partner. The weather is pretty decent year-round, so it’d be the least of your worries if you want a beachfront wedding at any time of the year.

Hotel Riu Palace Mexico is one of the leading hotels with competitive wedding packages. As of the 2023 season, it offers 5 Wedding Collections. Your wedding could either be a civil ceremony or a symbolic ceremony.

If you simply want a simple but meaningful symbolic ceremony without spending on anything other than accommodations, the Free Wedding Collection is suitable for you. This package is available at no charge, and includes standard setup, recorded music, bridal bouquet, groom’s boutonniere, wedding cake, sparkling wine toast, and semi-private dinner.

The next package is the Classic Wedding Collection, which starts at $1,199. On top of the inclusion of the Free package, it comes with decorations in lovely aquamarine tones and a symbolic ceremony minister.

The smallest venue, the Chapel, can host up to 24 people. If you want to get married on the beach, a federal tax of 300 USD applies.

Todos Santos

Todos Santos sits by the Pacific Ocean, only about an hour away from Cabo San Lucas. It is not as famous as the aforementioned Mexican destinations, so there aren’t that many tourists. As such, you can enjoy a serene escape with your partner on your special day.

PARADERO TODOS SANTOS is one of the best elopement wedding venues in town, mainly because of its breathtaking views. More importantly, it has an in-house events team that can make your big day extra special.

Romantic things to do in Mexico

Whether you’re into relaxation, food trips, arts and culture, or outdoor recreation, you’ll find plenty of things to enjoy with your significant other in Mexico.

You may explore the fascinating cenotes or see the ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum. El Castillo is one of the most famous ruins here, so it’s worth adding to your itinerary.

On Isla Mujeres, you will also find a couple of Mayan ruins and cenotes. You might want to dive to see the incredible Maya Reef after your Isla Mujeres elopement wedding.

Some places, such as Cancun, have a thriving nightlife scene. You can hop from one bar to another and party till late after your wedding ceremony.

If you love picnics, you may have one on the beach. You can also just sit back, relax, and sunbathe while reading a book with the love of your life.

Checklist for eloping in Mexico

Civil Wedding Ceremony

If you want to get married legally in Mexico despite the lengthy process, you need the following:

  • Marriage licence
  • Officiant from the Civil Registry Office
  • Four witnesses

Acquiring a marriage licence isn’t an easy task for foreigners. The following are the requirements for getting your marriage licence application approved:

  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Tourist card
  • Prenuptial medical examination, which should be done in Mexico no more than 15 days before the wedding
  • Proof of termination of previous marriage (if applicable)

On top of these requirements, you also need to look for the following:

  • Venue
  • Vendors or suppliers
  • Wedding coordinator (if necessary)

You’ll be able to save a lot of time and energy if you choose a great all-inclusive elopement package offered by one of the resorts in Mexico.

Symbolic Wedding Ceremony

If you’re already getting married legally in your home country, you can skip all the formalities when you elope to Mexico for a symbolic ceremony. The requirements are the same as those for a civil wedding ceremony, excluding the legal paperwork.

Nowadays, elopement doesn’t come with a shameful connotation. It is now often used to refer to practical destination weddings that significantly focus on the couples and the relationship itself.

Mexico is one of the best countries for elopement weddings because it offers many gorgeous locations. It is also pretty affordable. After the ceremony, you can spend your honeymoon exploring Mexican attractions, trying outdoor activities, or relaxing with your spouse.

Whether you’re having a civil or symbolic ceremony in Mexico, numerous resorts can turn the wedding of your dreams into a reality. They offer many competitive packages tailored to meet the needs and budgets of different couples.

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How do you elope in Mexico?

To elope in Mexico, you first need to ask yourselves if you want a Civil Wedding Ceremony or a Symbolic Wedding Ceremony. The former means your marriage is legal in Mexico. However, it’s quite a lengthy process for tourists. Meanwhile, the latter involves you filing all the necessary legal paperwork in your home country and going to Mexico for a symbolic celebration of that marriage.

If you opt for a civil ceremony for your elopement wedding in Mexico, you need to get a marriage licence. The requirements for acquiring one are as follows:

1. Passport
2. Birth certificate
3. Tourist card
4. Prenuptial medical examination, which should be done in Mexico no more than 15 days before the wedding
5. Proof of termination of previous marriage (if applicable)

Certain fees also apply for obtaining a marriage licence. Aside from it, you also need a Civil Registry officiant and four witnesses.

Read our in-depth guide here to know more about how to Elope in Mexico

How much does it cost to elope in Mexico?

Usually, a resort’s elopement wedding package in Mexico starts at around 1,000 USD to 2,000 USD. This package includes a venue, officiant, decorations, music, and food for a few guests. Wedding coordination and entertainment are also often included.

Everything, including flights and accommodations, may cost you up to 10,000 USD. Of course, that also depends on how many guests you’ll have and what activities you want to try during your stay in Mexico.

If you’re on a budget, you can opt for a resort that offers free elopement weddings for staying guests. An excellent example is Hotel Riu Palace Mexico in Cabo San Lucas.

Learn most about How Much it Costs to Elope in Mexico.

How do you Organise an Elopement Wedding with your resort in Mexico?

Many luxury resorts in Mexico have in-house events teams that can help you plan your elopement wedding. Otherwise, at the very least, they offer Wedding Packages that include everything you need for your ceremony.

Before you make a reservation or settle with a particular resort, look for establishments that can potentially give you your dream wedding. Call each one of them to inquire.

The following are some of the Best Resorts for Elopement Weddings in Mexico:

1. Banyan Tree Mayakoba
3. Secrets Aura Cozumel