Love wins: LGBTQ+ marriages in Costa Rica

November 30, 2020

Beach WeddingCosta RicaDestination WeddingsWeddings

2020 has been full of ups and downs, but there is one piece of great news we’d like to highlight from the past year; as of May 26th, 2020, same sex marriages are legal in Costa Rica! As the first country in Central America to recognize and perform same sex marriages, we hope that many more destinations follow suit.

Alexandra and Dunia were the first same sex couple to get legally married in Costa Rica, their wedding took place right after the legalization. A grand total of 82 same sex couples were married within the first week of the legislative change!

Want to plan your own LGBTQ+ destination wedding in Costa Rica? Riu Guanacaste and Riu Palace Costa Rica are great resort choices to host your big day! Both properties offer stunning ceremony locations, plenty of picturesque reception venues and versatile wedding packages, so you can plan your dream wedding day in paradise. Plus, both resorts can perform legal same sex weddings.

We’ve included some fast facts about weddings in Costa Rica and the paperwork you’ll need to legally say “I do” in this beautiful destination.

Fast facts:

  • You must arrive three full business days before your civil (legal) ceremony. Please note that weekends and national holidays do not count as business days. Weddings are not performed on Sundays or on national holidays (including December 24, December 25, December 31 and January 1).
  • You must register your declaration of marriage certificate after your ceremony. The registration process in Costa Rica takes approximately three to six weeks after the date of your civil ceremony. RIU will send you the marriage certificate issued by the Costa Rican Civil Registry Office, officially translated and Apostilled (which means it’s legally recognized by the Hague Convention). Please note that it may take up to eight weeks for you to receive your marriage certificate in your home country.

Paperwork required for a civil ceremony:

Please note that all documents must be submitted at least 15 days prior to your ceremony.

  • Valid passports for the groom(s), bride(s) and two witnesses
  • Couple’s birth certificates
  • Divorce decree from any previous marriages (if applicable) 
  • Death certificate from any previous marriages (if applicable) 

The documents that you bring to the hotel do not need to be translated into Spanish. You do not need to apply for a marriage license in your home country; the minister will contact you via email to fill out the relevant paperwork.

We’re thrilled that LGBTQ+ weddings are now legal in Costa Rica. If you have any questions about tying the knot in this dreamy destination, or anywhere else, contact Luxe today and we’ll be happy to walk you through the process.