Destination Weddings: Will My Marriage Be Recognized?


If we get married on a beach in the Caribbean, will my marriage be recognized in the US?


First, it is important to note that each island has its own marriage requirements. Before departing for your destination, make sure you know the requirements for your specific island so you bring the appropriate documents with you.

In general, marriages that are legally performed and valid abroad are also valid in the United States. If you are unsure of the marriage requirements on your island or want to make sure that your marriage will be recognized upon your return to the U.S., contact the attorney general of the state where you live. For marriage requirements in some of the most popular destination wedding locales, check out our complete guide to destination weddings.

Though your ocean-side marriage will be legally recognized in the US, it may not be recognized by certain religious sects. Some Christian denominations, for example, require that marriages be performed in a church. Check with your religious leader to be sure your destination wedding ceremony adheres to your specific spiritual guidelines.

-- JoAnn Gregoli

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