Tulum elopement
A prepared beach wedding – Asad Photo

Tulum is amongst the most popular elopement destinations for couples that don’t care for the fluff and grandeur of big weddings.

Eloping is for couples that care about making memories and discovering new experiences, but it doesn’t mean being free from responsibilities and expenses. Instead, it means you are willing to do something different than what is traditionally expected. However, you still have plenty of things to do to make it happen. We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of everything you need to know to plan your elopement.

Everything You Need to Know about Tulum Elopement

Remember that eloping can quickly escalate into a small wedding when you add people, things, and services to your list of must-haves.

Make a reminder of what is essential and what is extra; this will help you narrow your to-do list and help you and your partner enjoy your elopement.

Is a wedding in Mexico legal in the US?

“A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes in the U.S., but a religious ceremony without the civil ceremony is not, as U.S. law only recognizes marriages which are valid in the country in which they take place.” Source: the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico.

To ensure your elopement goes smoothly, here is a list of the documents you will need to bring ahead of time or get done in Mexico to get a marriage license. You must be 18 years old or older to apply for a marriage license, and the fee is about $30.

  • Birth certificate translated into Spanish and apostilled.
  • Completed marriage application.
  • Two witnesses for each applicant. Witnesses don’t need to be U.S. citizens but must show their official I.D.s and copies of their Ids.
  • Prenuptial medical examination(blood test and chest x-rays) issued by the local General Hospital in Mexico within 15 days before the day you marry.
  • Front and back copies of your Passport. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months before the expiration date.
  • Proper evidence of the termination of your previous marriage, divorce, or spouse’s death certificate. Translated and apostilled.

Once all documentation has been received, you are in the clear. You can now go ahead and make the appointment for your marriage ceremony.

Remember that all your official Marriage certificates must be translated and notarized once the ceremony ends to be valid documents.

Can you have a symbolic wedding in Mexico?

Yes you can have a symbolic wedding in Mexico. If you would like to skip the paperwork and do something more symbolic, Tulum is the place for symbolic weddings. Some resorts and hotels do traditional Mayan wedding ceremonies or religious ceremonies. Once you arrive in your home country, you can apply for a legally binding wedding.

Can same-sex couples get married in Mexico?

Yes, same-sex marriages have been legal in Mexico (including Tulum) since 2015.

How much is a wedding in Tulum?

Depending on who you hire and where you do the wedding, it can cost between $,5000 to $30,000. Remember that it becomes a small destination wedding once you add people to your elopement. As soon as guests are added, the price of the elopement rises significantly. Consider everything essential to your special day and cut out the rest. This will help you stay on budget.

The traditional wedding party in the USA averages from $10,000 to $45,000. An elopement can add up quickly the more you add to your list. That is why it’s essential to determine your non-negotiables and what is not worth splurging on.

  • Photographer $1,500 to $4,000
  • Videographer $2,000 to $9,000
  • Wedding dress/attire $30 -$5,000
  • Wedding planner $200 – 2,000
  • Marriage license $30 – $100
  • Venue or location reservation $30 – $100
  • Officiant $500
  • Flowers/Archway $50-$3000
  • Hair /makeup $650
  • Elopement reception/celebration $1000-$2000
  • Travel and Accommodation $2000-$5000

Where are the best wedding venues in Tulum?

Choose from big chain resorts and hotels, small boutique hotels, villas, venues, or even yachts and boats as the location for your elopement.

Hotel and Resorts

Hotels and resorts make standard packages for elopements and offer in-house services such as photographers and wedding planners. If this is the route you want, check out these options:

  • Dreams Tulum Resort and Spa – A resort that offers elopement packages.
  • El Dorado Spa Resort Tulum – A more traditional all-inclusive resort with packages predesigned for small weddings and elopements and all sorts of services ready to help make your stay stress-free.

Small Boutique Hotels

Small boutique hotels may provide a beautiful, more secluded location.

If you choose to go the route of a small boutique hotel, consider hiring a wedding planner to help you find a location, a marriage officiant, photographers, and more.

  • Cabanas La Luna Tulum – A free-spirited vibe Resort that offers elopement services.
  • Casa Malca Tulum – Stay in this eclectic villa, where art and jungle meet to bring together a luxurious and private experience.
  • Nomade Tulum – Where jungle meets architecture. Discover the spaces they offer for special occasions while you stay in this luxurious space.
  • Nest Tulum – Natural architecture, minimal design, ecological but luxurious, perfect location to tie the knot.

Adults-Only Hotels and Resorts

Adults-only resorts and hotels are popular among eloping couples wanting to bond peacefully. There are plenty of all-inclusive adults-only resorts in Tulum if that is the experience you wish; usually, these resorts offer abundant activities for adults like yoga retreats, sunset meditation, couple spa, Mayan rituals for healing, and more. You will need to source your elopement services, such as photography, reserving a venue within the boutique hotel, and anything else you need for your special occasion.

  • La Valise Tulum – An adults-only beachfront bungalow crafted from natural resources and a feeling of freshness, quiet luxury, and peace in the air.
  • The Beach Tulum – An adult-only hotel on the Mayan Riviera. Luxurious spaces, deluxe rooms, private areas for guests, and a long stretch of sandy white beach. Their elopement services are priced to your needs.

Check out more recommendations at the best hotels in Tulum for weddings.

Unique Venues

Venues that showcase nature and let your imagination run wild with the decor are popular in Tulum. Here are some suggestions if you want a venue that can take care of all the details or work with a wedding planner.

  • Chechen Tulum – A venue in the heart of the Tulum jungle.
  • Mia Selina Tulum – It’s a beautiful venue in the heart of Tulum, with seaside views and nature all around the area, making it one of the best places to get married.


Yacht rental is another option if you want to be original and escape to the sea. Find the perfect Yacht rental in Tulum that will help you make your marriage ceremony dreams come true miles away from shore, surrounded by clear blue water and good company.

Wedding Planners

If you are not going for the big resort standard elopement packages, do yourself a favor and hire a wedding planner. You will need a person with contacts and know-how in Tulum who can make your day easy.

For example, a wedding planner can take care of finding a translator, sending you to the right place to get your tests, finding the right venue and decor, and the perfect photographer, and taking care of all the little details you might not have considered yet. Here are some wedding planners with experience in Tulum:

Planning to have a bachelorette party before? Here are our hotel recommendations for a fantastic bachelorette party in Tulum.

Flowers and bouquets.

If flowers are still part of your budget or you want a specific type of bouquet for your wedding, consider looking up the florists below to bring your dream bouquet dreams to life.

Makeup and Hair

Looking and feeling good on your wedding day is essential. So add to your budget a hair and makeup artist if this is part of your vision. Here are some contacts that can help you with the look you are going for.

Photographers and videographers

The most significant chunk of the budget is a good photographer and videographer. This is where the most critical piece of the budget goes because many people want to return home and show their elopement with friends and family. There are all types of photographers and videographers with different styles and expertise. We suggest you find what you want and check their portfolios to find what you want.


Make a clear list of what you want in your elopement and what you don’t care about. Another list of the things you need to buy and want to get in Tulum. And one more list of what you need to do before eloping and things you need to get done in Mexico.

Clear out an afternoon to plan your elopement, and then grab your passports and pack your bags to get ready to say “I do” in one of the most beautiful locations in the world.

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