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).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
Floyd
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
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

    Service Charge Accountant

    30,000 to 35,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: We are currently recruiting on...

    Management Accountant

    28,000 to 32,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our client, a hospitality busi...

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive

    £20 - 24k: Guru Careers: A Marketing Analyst / Marketing Executive is needed t...

    Day In a Page

    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
    The magic of roundabouts

    Lords of the rings

    Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
    Why do we like making lists?

    Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

    Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
    Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

    A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

    As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
    Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

    Paris Fashion Week

    Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
    Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

    Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

    One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
    10 best children's nightwear

    10 best children's nightwear

    Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
    Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

    Manchester City vs Roma

    Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
    Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

    Trouble on the Tyne

    Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
    Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

    Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

    and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

    The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
    Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

    Last chance to see...

    The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
    So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

    Truth behind teens' grumpiness

    Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

    Hacked photos: the third wave

    Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?