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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

    Orthorexia nervosa

    How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
    Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

    Lady Chatterley’s Lover

    Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

    Set a pest to catch a pest

    Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
    Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

    The dark side of Mexico

    A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

    Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

    Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border