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Thread: Legally Married at Home vs Civil Aruba Ceremony

  1. #1
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    Legally Married at Home vs Civil Aruba Ceremony

    Hi everyone!

    My finace and I are getting married in October 2010. I have read many threads about people not being about to get their marriage license from Aruba in a timely manner (and even one having to remarry back home to be legal!) and I am a little worried about it. I really wanted to have the license done at the city hall in Aruba as 1) it's a beautiful building, 2) so the date matches our ceremony date on the island and 3) we would have a marriage license were we actually said our vows instead of from Connecticut. However, it seems like such a hassle to get the correct paperwork from the Aruba city hall/wedding planner for some people on these boards and I'm wondering if we should just go to our own city hall here and just have the beach ceremony in Aruba.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Senior Member princess's Avatar
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    If you are marrying as a tourist in Aruba, the paperwork is fairly simple. You have more than a year to get it organized, we did it in less than 2 months. I would higly recommend having your ceremony in the Aruba city hall, it is indeed beautiful.

    The only thing we had to do in order to make our wedding legal at home was getting an apostille-stamp, no hassle

  3. #3
    Member Flamingo78's Avatar
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    Although it is a bit tricky, I think that it is well worth it to get the proper paperwork and get married in the city hall in Aruba the day of your wedding ceremony. We did it recently, and about 20 of our family members (out of 72 guests who joined us in Aruba) chose to join us, and were glad that they did. There wasn't a dry eye in the room! Mr. Betto Christiaans did a beautiful ceremony, and I treasure the pictures from that morning. I also did not want to have 2 different wedding dates, so having them happen on the same day was great.

    We had to get official copies of our birth certificates with a raised seal, then send those to a state to have an official apostille seal put on it, both needed a signed a letter of intent to marry (which I typed myself based off of an example I found while researching online), valid passports and copies of passport pages of your witnesses, and official single status forms from our state from approximately age 18 on. If either person is divorced or widowed, you need additional paperwork.

    I would say that it took a couple of months to get everything back, but there was confusion about what we needed. They require you to send the paperwork at least a month in advance. I faxed all the paperwork to the City Hall in Aruba for approval (probably 2 months ahead of time), and also faxed to our wedding coordinator for review. The wedding coordinator went to the City Hall and got approval, then booked our requested date and confirmed it with me.

    I was nervous too, and almost decided to get married in our local city hall before we left, but I'm glad I didn't do that. You'll be fine! Any questions, don't hesitate to ask... the process is a bit intimidating!

  4. #4
    Member jingle96's Avatar
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    I had the same fear from others on this site and from a co worker who got married in DR. And after much thought, my fiance and I decided to get married here in VA first. We wanted to be married by our church and were planning to do it when we got back, but it made more sense to just do it before so I wouldn't have to deal with the stress. We plan to marry 2 weeks ahead of our Aruba wedding with just us and our parents, then having an intimate luncheon @ a nice restaurant. What better way to celebrate, being with the most important people.

  5. #5
    Senior Member luvsun's Avatar
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    I thought there was a lot of paper work, somethings I didn't even now about! the only problem I had was the DMV after we got home. When I went to change my name on my drivers license they wouldn't except the marriage certificate from Aruba. Even though I had my social security card changed. I had to do back 4 times before they finally changed my license. All is good now. Wouldn't of done the wedding any where else. Just start early with the paper work.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the great advice everyone! I'm not sure if we are willing to part with not having the same wedding date as our ceremony in Aruba so we may just have to keep our fingers crossed and hope things work out fine with the paperwork. I'm just such a worrier that it gets the best of me at times.

    Flamingo78 I’m sure I will have plenty of questions when the time gets closer although I’m thinking even though we have a little over a year to do this, it probably couldn’t hurt to start gathering the paperwork now.

    Since I am originally from another state (NJ) does this mean I would need to get the official apostille seal on my birth certificate from there?

  7. #7
    Member Flamingo78's Avatar
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    ArubaLovers25, yes you will need to send your official long-form birth certificate back to the state that you were born to obtain the apostille from that state (and usually along with a check for $25). They will send it back to you with the apostille on it. If you call the state offices, someone there can advise you where to send your birth certificate. There is also lots of information online. Best wishes!

    (http://www.state.nj.us/treasury/reve...postilles.htm)

    This was online for NJ:
    Requests submitted by regular mail should be sent to the NJ Division of Revenue, Notary Unit, PO Box 452, Trenton, NJ 08646. Processing time for mail-in requests is typically 15 days. This time frame is not guaranteed and may be longer based upon the number of requests received.
    Last edited by Flamingo78; 08-19-2009 at 03:12 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks so much for the information! It's very appreciated I'm so glad my fiance and I at least live in the city where he was born so we will only have to mail everything for one of us!

  9. #9
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    We got married at home in NYC before our ceremony in Aruba. I've heard many stories about people getting their docs back months later, and some who got them right away. We didnt want to take the chance since we needed our docs asap to change my name, insurance, etc. It wasn't a big deal -and no one knew that our ceremony in Aruba wasn't "legal".. Congrats!

  10. #10
    Senior Member princess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gigi View Post
    We got married at home in NYC before our ceremony in Aruba. I've heard many stories about people getting their docs back months later, and some who got them right away. We didnt want to take the chance since we needed our docs asap to change my name, insurance, etc. It wasn't a big deal -and no one knew that our ceremony in Aruba wasn't "legal".. Congrats!
    Just make sure that you get your wedd´ng book sealed with the Apostille IN Aruba, BEFORE you leave, that makes your marriage legal worldwide. (no other wedding documents required for name change)

    The wedding book is handed to you at the end of your ceremony!
    Last edited by princess; 08-20-2009 at 05:54 PM.

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