by: Robelyn Martinez Yambao
It's been awhile that I didn't do any writing in my site. Today, I am going to share with all of you my experience in getting married here in Costa Rica. I will tackle here about the documents that we submitted to the officiant of our civil wedding and how we plan our simple civil wedding in a very affordable way.
How We Plan The Wedding
When we arrived in Costa Rica, I was already pregnant to my second daughter. We were planning to have our baby here so, we immediately decided to look for an attorney for the civil wedding before our baby's birth. We don't speak Spanish so, it is so hard for us to communicate and find local attorney who can do the ceremony for us. At first, we looked online of some attorneys who can speak in English. But, they are so expensive. We inquired about fees and how they do it through email. We were so hesitant to trust someone that we don't know because they might scam us and waste our money and effort. Luckily, when our landlord visited us we asked him if he knows someone who can do the marriage and told him that we would be glad to give him a little amount for the help. He tried and he found one. We were so happy for his help and we didn't waste time anymore to book the date of the marriage.
The attorney were asking some documents from us to do the ceremony. The following documents are the one we submitted:
1. Xerox Passport (Both)
2. Cenomar (Certificate of no marriage) for me and Divorce Decree for my husband
3. Birth Certificate (Both)
4. Two Witnesses Documents
a. Costa Rican friend - Cedula ID
b. American Friend - Passport & Driver's License ID
Note: All documents should be authenticated by your embassy.
It was just a simple ceremony. The officiant only read something on his papers we don't understand because it's all written in Spanish. When he instructed to kiss the bride that's the time that we realized it's done. After that, was the contract signing. The bride and groom will sign the papers and the two witnesses. We just had a simple lunch together like having a visitor at home.
How long is the Processing of the Marriage Certificate?
In our case, we got our papers after 6 months. Why? Because the attorney that we got didn't file the papers on time. The correct processing time is only 3 months before it will reflect on the Costa Rican System. You can check it online after two or three months. If you can't find your name that means your attorney didn't file it.
TIPS: Trust only attorneys that recommended by your Costa Rican Friend. If something bad happened to your papers or you have complains about not in the system or why you can't find your marriage certificate in the system through online, you know where you find him and you can ask your friend to help you kick the ass of that attorney. Most Costa Rican attorneys are not reliable and they are so slow in processing papers or Should I say not doing their job properly? Be careful also with people who are asking too much fees.
How to get a copy of your marriage certificate?
After confirming that your marriage is already registered in the Costa Rica System through online, you can have a copy anytime by getting it in the TSE office personally or order the papers through their website. To know more about this topic, you can visit my article below: Getting a copy of a Costa Rican Birth & Marriage Certificate
I hope that this article is helpful for others and please share if you think this is informative. Thank you for reading!
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A licensed teacher in the Philippines who shifted her career into another direction to follow her passion to be a blogger. Her blogs are related in traveling and simple living as an expat in a foreign land.