Are you looking for the perfect destination wedding for your same sex wedding ceremony? You should take a look here.
Puerto Rico legalized same sex marriages in 2015 with the US Supreme court decision of Obergefell v. Hodges. (All US Federal laws apply to Puerto Rico).
This Caribbean island sets itself apart from the others as the LGBTQ+ capitol of the Caribbean, and a great location for your LGBTQ+ destination wedding. Even more, it has direct flights from many US cities, does not require a passport, and uses the US dollar. And it is fairly easy to get married in Puerto Rico with a little prior planning. As a plus, Coqui del Mar Guesthouse even has a licensed celebrant (required to register the marriage and make it legal). Celebrating your same sex destination wedding in Puerto Rico is more affordable than you might think.
Much of the paperwork that you need, you must obtain from your home state. But, be aware, changes were passed into law summer of 2020 and will affect how marriages are conducted. We expect the new guidelines in early November. So what do you need (previous guidelines)?
What you need for your same sex destination wedding in Puerto Rico:
- You must provide a valid government issued identification with photo ID that is not expired. Passport, driver’s license or state issued ID are the most common.
- Bring a notarized letter that states that you are a non-resident of Puerto Rico and are visiting solely for the purpose of marriage AND state the duration of the visit. For non USA citizens, the duration of the visit cannot exceed what is authorized by their visa/immigration.
- Obtain a letter from a doctor for each spouse stating full address of the physician/doctor’s office. The letter must state that you are both in full compliance with your state laws regarding entering into marriage (in your place of residence). This certification must include the name of the spouse and signature of the doctor and be dated less than 10 days from the date of the certification of the marriage. Please specify if lab test/blood test is required or not. See here if your state requires lab/blood tests.
- A Puerto Rico Internal Revenue Stamp for $150 is required. (This can be purchased at the demographics office post ceremony)
- You must provide the original of both birth certificates. The marriage license will be issued in the same name as the birth certificate. If there has been any legal name changes, then evidence of that must be provided with a sealed, certified copy.
- If you are under 21, you must have both parents/legal guardians present (Puerto Rican law).
- You must submit all previous final divorce decrees from any previous marriages.
- You must submit any death certificates from a previous spouse.
- The future spouses must obtain all the required documents above AND visit the demographic registration office in Puerto Rico (to pay the IRS tax), prior to the ceremony. The paperwork that the demographic’s office provides allows for the ceremony to proceed. (At Coqui del Mar we have all of this paperwork, so we can skip the initial trip to the demographic’s office).
The same sex ceremony then takes place:
You can book a venue for the ceremony, or do a smaller impromptu ceremony in a more private setting. You will need two witnesses to sign the ceremony paperwork (they do not need to come to the demographic registry office).
- The celebrant/officiant must be registered with the demographic registry office. The celebrant should provide a form (Form RD-14 REV 11/18) to be completed post ceremony. The document must be submitted within 10 days of the wedding ceremony to the demographic registry office. Couples considering a celebrant should check the date of the expiration of the celebrant’s license (these can be renewed for a maximum of 6 months). Only the celebrant is required to turn in the post wedding ceremony paperwork.
*If your documents, such as divorce decrees, name changes, birth certificates or other required documents are in a language other than English or Spanish, then you must translate these into English or Spanish and provide the original documents.
**Obtain your marriage license online afterwards at vitalcheck.com about 3 weeks after the celebrant turns in the paperwork.
***Paperwork must be filled out in blue or black permanent ink (Not ball point pen). No mistakes/line outs/etc allowed or you must redo paperwork. Bring several blanks in case of errors.
To download the actual document with the government rules and further information, please download the document below:
Coqui del Mar Guest House has a gay celebrant and is able to officiate weddings in Puerto Rico. We specialize in Gay / LGBTQ+ weddings though we are happy to join any two partners for their future commitment.
We will hand walk you through the process and keep this important day as stress-free as possible so you can enjoy what is truly important.
We offer 3 levels of gay destination wedding packages. Please email us for this information. We can customize any package to ensure it fits with your special day.
A gay/same-sex marriage is a union that should be celebrated with meaningful experiences. We know this on a personal note, so it’s always our pleasure to offer you our best available resources so that you can have memories that will last a lifetime. The fact that same-sex marriage has been legal across the United States only since 2015 makes this special day even more momentous.