Information Desk: Tie the knot on a holiday in Mexico

We are going to Mexico next year and we are interested in getting married there; we have heard there are all sorts of snags. How do we organise this ?

Susan Winston

Birmingham

Jill Crawshaw replies: To marry in Mexico you must both be at least 21 years old and you will be required to have a compulsory blood test. This can be done either at a clinic once you are out there or by your hotel doctor and will cost around pounds 40 to pounds 60 per couple.

You will also need to produce passports and birth certificates. If either of you are divorced you will need proof of your Decree Absolute; if you are a widow or widower you will need to produce the Death Certificate of your late spouse; and if your name has been changed by deed poll, you will need proof. Original copies not photocopies are required of the various documents. The minimum period of residency in Mexico is just five days.

Despite these perfectly reasonable complications, weddings in Mexico are becoming more and more popular. But you might find it easier to tie the knot through a tour operator. Many of them now have special wedding departments, and they take care of all red tape, arrange for the fees for the Registrar, marriage licence and certificate - even the Best Man, witnesses and reception, with optional "extras" which include videos, photo albums and special music.

Our largest tour operator Thomson Holidays, for example, can arrange all of these elements at the Allegro Resort Hotel in the very laid-back resort of Puerto del Carmen on the Yucatan Peninsula, at the Royal Solaris Hotel in busy Cancun, or at several other hotels in the Pacific coast resort of Puerto Vallarto.

In Puerto del Carmen you would pay pounds 575 in summer, pounds 595 in winter for the wedding. Among the extras: a video will cost pounds 100 to pounds 150; photos pounds 80; a three-piece band pounds 75 to pounds 270; canapes pounds 10 to pounds 14 per person. For the two-week all-inclusive holiday, which, of course, also doubles as a honeymoon, you have to pay between pounds 1,100 to pounds 1,600. A week would cost pounds 749 to pounds 919, but remember that you need the five days residence in Mexico before you can marry. Kuoni and Cosmos also offer a wedding service.

The weddings are conducted between Mondays and Saturdays but not on public holidays. The ceremony is conducted in Spanish with an interpreter present, and the Marriage Certificate will also be issued in Spanish.

Jill Crawford is a travel expert, writer, and broadcaster.

Will Egyptian sunshine be the best cure for SAD?

Can going on holiday to Egypt for a couple of weeks in the middle of the winter help prevent me from getting SAD, or Seasonally Affected Depression? Or will it return as soon as I get back to England? Alternatively, is there any other measure I can take which would not necessarily involve flying to Egypt?

David McLeod

Newcastle

Dr Larry Goodyer writes: Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), as the name implies, is experienced by certain individuals as a - sometimes quite severe - depression which comes on during the autumn and winter months. The affected person will usually recover completely during the spring and summer. It is most common in women and will usually first appear in early adulthood.

It is now believed that the most important contributing factor is a decreased exposure to light during the winter months, although other things, such as latitude and climate, may play a part.

The most successful therapy found to date has been light treatment, or phototherapy, where the patient is exposed to bright light in timed doses. However, research is still needed to establish the best regimen for this type of treatment.

In theory, taking a holiday during the winter months in an area where there are more hours of sunlight should help the condition. The further south you go in the winter the longer the daylight hours.

But I have not come across any research that has investigated the effect of this sort of travel on SAD, so I don't really know if your planned trip will have any benefit or whether the problem will come back when you return home.

Melatonin has also been used in the treatment of SAD, although, again, this is somewhat experimental and the effectiveness has not yet been fully established.

Interestingly, there seems to be a link here to jet-lag, which is also said to respond to melatonin treatment. It has been suggested that phototherapy could also be tried as a possible treatment.

Dr Larry Goodyer is the superintendent of the Nomad Pharmacy (3-4 Turnpike Lane, London N8; tel: 0181-889 7014). Contact the travel medicine helpline on 0891 633414 (calls cost 50p per minute).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Day In a Page

    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor
    The ZX Spectrum has been crowd-funded back into play - with some 21st-century tweaks

    The ZX Spectrum is back

    The ZX Spectrum was the original - and for some players, still the best. David Crookes meets the fans who've kept the games' flames lit
    Grace of Monaco film panned: even the screenwriter pours scorn on biopic starring Nicole Kidman

    Even the screenwriter pours scorn on Grace of Monaco biopic

    The critics had a field day after last year's premiere, but the savaging goes on
    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people used to believe about periods

    Menstrual Hygiene Day: The strange ideas people once had about periods

    If one was missed, vomiting blood was seen as a viable alternative
    The best work perks: From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)

    The quirks of work perks

    From free travel cards to making dreams come true (really)
    Is bridge the latest twee pastime to get hip?

    Is bridge becoming hip?

    The number of young players has trebled in the past year. Gillian Orr discovers if this old game has new tricks
    Long author-lists on research papers are threatening the academic work system

    The rise of 'hyperauthorship'

    Now that academic papers are written by thousands (yes, thousands) of contributors, it's getting hard to tell workers from shirkers
    The rise of Lego Clubs: How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships

    The rise of Lego Clubs

    How toys are helping children struggling with social interaction to build better relationships
    5 best running glasses

    On your marks: 5 best running glasses

    Whether you’re pounding pavements, parks or hill passes, keep your eyes protected in all weathers
    Joe Root: 'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    'Ben Stokes gives everything – he’s rubbing off on us all'

    Joe Root says the England dressing room is a happy place again – and Stokes is the catalyst
    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada