Catholic Weddings in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya

Photo credit: Amin Dominguez

Our Wedding Planners can arrange a Mexican Catholic Wedding for you in Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Akumal, Tulum and all along the Riviera Maya.

A Mexican Catholic Wedding is easy to arrange and is recognized as an official Catholic wedding when all the official documentation and requirements have been fulfilled. Catholics can be married in local Mexican parish churches. Permission from your parish priest to marry outside of your parish is required and this permission must be approved by your parish's diocese.

The marriage couple must complete the Pre-Cana classes, the required pre-marriage courses, and the Pre-Cana certificate is required prior to the wedding.

All official documents required for a Catholic wedding in Mexico must be received 30 days prior to your ceremony. Rarely are their exceptions to this 30 day rule.

In some parishes, the Catholic Wedding and Mass are held in Spanish only. On the Riviera Maya, there are two priests who can perform a Catholic wedding and mass in English.

Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya Catholic churches:

  • Playa del Carmen: Chapel of Nuestra Señora del Carmen on the Caribbean Sea
    (air conditioned)
  • Playa del Carmen: Nuestra Seņora del Carmen -Downtown
  • Playa del Carmen: Nuestra Señora de Fatima - Ejido
  • Playa del Carmen: Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe - Colosio
  • Xcaret: Chapel of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Akumal: Chapel in Pueblo
  • Tulum: Mission church

Requirements for Couples marrying Outside of their Parish
Requesting to Be Married in the Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal, Quintana Roo Including Catholic Churches located in Playa del Carmen, the  Riviera Maya, Xcaret, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum and Cancun

Frequent Asked Questions About Catholic Marriages

  1. If you have not already done so, please contact your parish priest/deacon regarding marriage preparation. He is responsible for your marriage preparation and instruction.
    1. The Permission of your parish priest, who will assist you with obtaining the necessary documents, permissions and dispensations (if needed).
    2. A Determination of Readiness and Freedom to Marry
      In order to determine that a couple is ready and free to marry in the Catholic Church, the couple must to do the following:
      a. Complete a “Pre-Nuptial Questionnaire” which will provide basic information that will help determine if the couple is ready and free to marry in the Catholic Church. This questionnaire is completed in the parish office.
      b. Obtain a recent copy of baptismal certificate, issued within six months of the marriage.
      c. Have two witnesses for the bride and two witnesses for the groom complete and have notarized a questionnaire in order to prove the freedom of the couple to marry.
      d. If necessary, obtain necessary annulments of previous marriages (civil, non-Catholic religious, Catholic Church).
      e. If necessary, obtain necessary other dispensations\permissions, if applicable:
      • a dispensation for disparity of worship
      • a dispensation from canonical form
      • permission for Mixed Religion
      • decree of nullity of a former marriage
        (If either party was previously married, a declaration of nullity for a lack of form or formal annulment must be obtained.)
  2. Litterae Testimoniales/Nihil Obstat: Generally, if you are going to be married in another Catholic Church, that Church will want your parish to prepare a document called a Litterae Testimoniales/Nihil Obstat. It states that you have permission to be married, all the documentation has been secured and appropriate marriage preparation instruction has been provided.
  3. Contact Ajua Weddings at least (three (3) months prior to the date of your wedding) to make arrangements for a priest/deacon to officiate at your wedding, to reserve the church as well as schedule a rehearsal and provide the following information:
    • Bride and Grooms names, addresses, home and work phone numbers;
    • the name of the priest/deacon responsible for the marriage preparation;
    • the name of your parish, address, phone and fax numbers;
    • the name of the priest/deacon responsible for the marriage preparation;

Other Helpful Information

The sacred nature of marriage demands that the couple have an understanding and acceptance of the spiritual aspects of their mutual commitment. Having been duly prepared for this commitment, the couple welcomes the opportunity to marry according to the prescribed laws of the Catholic Church. Therefore, the marriage of TWO CATHOLICS is to take place in a sacred place (a Catholic church or officially recognized Catholic chapel).

When a CATHOLIC plans to marry a person who is CHRISTIAN but not CATHOLIC, the couple, if there is a good reason, may send a request in writing to the Office of the Chancellor, Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal, to obtain the permission of the bishop to grant a dispensation for the marriage to take place in the church of the non-Catholic partner.

When a CATHOLIC is going to marry a person who is NON-CHRISTIAN and wishes to have a non-Catholic minister or a civil official officiate at the wedding rather than a Catholic priest/deacon, the couple may send a request in writing to the Office of the Chancellor, Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal, to obtain the permission of the bishop to grant a dispensation to delegate the authority to either the non-Catholic minister or a civil official.

Requirements Licensing Priests From Outside the Diocese To Officiate at a Specific Wedding

If you are inviting a priest/deacon from outside the Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal to officiate at your wedding, please ask him to:

  1. contact the pastor of the parish where the wedding is to take place to seek permission.
  2. write to the Chancellor of the Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal for a letter of recommendation asking that a license to officiate at the marriage be granted. Include with the request for permission
    1. a letter from his Bishop, Vicar General, or Major Superior stating that he is in good standing in his diocese and he has permission to officiate at a wedding in the Diocese of Cancun-Chetumal..
    2. the names of the bride and groom, the specific date, the church and/or location of the wedding.

The priest officiating at the wedding must see that all necessary entries regarding the marriage are entered in the marriage register of the parish where the wedding took place.

Will your Wedding be Recognized in your State or Province?

Once you are married, your official marriage certificate and papers will be forwarded to your parish and recorded in your parish records. If you wish these to be sent by Fed EX, an extra charge would apply. If not, it normally takes about six weeks for your papers to arrive at your parish.

State and province regulations vary. A Catholic wedding in Mexico is an official Catholic wedding in the United States under Catholic Canon Law. It is your responsibility to see if your official Catholic wedding in Mexico will be recognized under the laws of your state, as a civil marriage. It is your responsibility to verify your state's requirements and if this would be valid under your state's laws.



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