Published on June 27th, 2013 | by Mark Chesnut
Tying the Knot: Gay Marriage & Destination Weddings in Latin America
Given the recent Supreme Court decisions that have strengthened same-sex marriage rights in the United States, the time is perfect to cast our gaze elsewhere in the Americas, to an array of Latin American cities where gay destination weddings can make tying the knot an especially memorable experience.
Gay Marriage in Mexico
Mexico City became the first large Latin American city to legalize gay marriage in 2009, and the state of Quintana Roo (where Cancun, Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya are located) began allowing same-sex marriages afterwards. As Mexico’s sophisticated hub, Mexico City is an especially good place to explore options. The city’s tourism office has a gay travel section that includes links to travel agencies that can help plan romantic events — and a U.S.-based company called Promesa is among the other companies that offer gay wedding planning services in Mexico specifically for foreigners.
According to Promesa, here is what non-Mexican citizens need to bring in order to get married in Mexico City:
• An original birth certificate for each person and, for anyone who might already be divorced, a divorce certificate (birth and divorce certificates should be “legalized” or “apostilled” depending on your country of origin).
• Translation into Spanish of your certificates and apostille / legalization by an official translator authorized by Mexico City’s government.
• Copies of your passport as proof of ID, and a copy of the stamps received during the immigration process when entering the country.
• Proof of a local address of Mexico City (which Promesa can arrange).
“Mexico City is an ideal destination to have a wedding, first of all because foreigners can get married without any problem, almost on the exact same day they arrive — there aren’t minimum-stay requirements like in Argentina,” said Francisco Robledo, the Mexico City-based wedding coordinator for Promesa and also serves as editorial director for the LGBT Website Enehache. “When couples want to make their ceremony a more memorable event, I’ve helped them to stage their wedding parties in everywhere from the beautiful garden of a private home — with live music, a banquet, waiters, decorations and the judge’s ceremony — to a private event in a hotel salon, with a private dinner, mood music and personalized service, in one of the many hotels that are interested in supporting the celebration of these weddings.”
Gay Marriage in Argentina
In 2010, Argentina became the first country in Latin America and the second in the Americas (after Canada) to allow same-sex marriage on a national level. In 2012, the mayor of Buenos Aires approved same-sex marriage in his city for foreigners. To get married here, if you’re not Argentine, you’ll need a passport and an official marriage certificate, which takes about five days. Argentina’s tourism office has an LGBT travel section on its Website, although it’s only in Spanish.
A company called Fabulous Weddings can organize gay destination weddings in Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Iguazu Falls, Patagonia and elsewhere around the country. Whether you’re looking to incorporate tango, Argentine wine, or adventure travel into the special event, there are lots of possibilities here. The newfound possibilities for gay weddings for visitors from the United States will likely be a topic during the upcoming GNetwork360, an LGBT travel conference that takes place in Buenos Aires starting on July 3.
Gay Marriage Elsewhere in Latin America
Mexico City and Argentina aren’t the only places in Latin America to allow same-sex marriage. Brazil began offering same-sex marriages in May 2013, and same-sex marriage will become legal in Uruguay on August 1, 2013 (the nation began recognizing same-sex civil unions on a national level back in 2008). While neither country has yet started marketing same-sex destination weddings to foreigners, considering their gay-friendly stance, it is likely just a matter of time before new options turn up in Brazil and Uruguay as well.
MORE LATIN AMERICA GAY TRAVEL TIPS:
• “My Puerto Vallarta” — Travel Tips from Don Pickens of Casa Cupula
• Rainbow Caribbean: A Gay Bar Guide to San Juan, Puerto Rico
• Carlos Meliá’s Most Romantic Buenos Aires Travel Tips
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