Casinos y Juegos de Azar
If you love to bet or just soak in the casino atmosphere, head to Santo Domingo, Punta Cana, Santiago, or Puerto Plata—the three best casino hubs of the DR. Lining the capital’s Malecón seafront boulevard, most of Santo Domingo’s brand hotels offer full service casinos. Try your hand at roulette, blackjack, or poker, among other options, while the drinks flow, often to live merengue music. In Puerto Plata, Ocean World’s casino doubles as a nighttime bar with cabaret-style shows. Punta Cana’s world-class resorts each offer casino entertainment on site, and remain open throughout the night. In Santiago, the city center lights up at night with casino signs.
Rolling the dice is a year round possibility in the DR. Place your bets!
Destination weddings work for either large or intimate ceremonies. The hotels offer packages specially designed for all tastes and budgets. At the hotels, experienced wedding planners will help the bride work within the budget, choose the sites, plan makeup and hair on the wedding day, choose flowers, wedding cake, photography, videos, music and of course, the banquet.
The services also ensure that your paperwork is processed correctly and papers sent to the right entities. Take note that while the requirements are the same, the process may vary depending on the justice of peace. The wedding planner will assist couples in finding a justice of peace or priest and will follow through with the sending of the marriage certificate.
Take note that civil services are performed solely in Spanish, but translators can participate.
If you will not be using the services of a wedding coordinator, have a friend or relative visit the specific civil registry office whose services you will be using to confirm the specific requirements of the judge that will be acting at the ceremony.
The Dominican Republic is a member of the La Hague Apostille Convention. Therefore, all non-Dominican official documents need to be apostilled by the issuing country’s foreign affairs ministry. Canadian citizens are not required to present apostilled documents. The documents need to be translated and legalized by a Dominican Consulate. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks after the ceremony for the issuing of the legal notarized marriage certificate from the Justice of Peace. This will be mailed to the bride and groom.
The following paperwork is required to be submitted before the Oficialía del Estado Civil (Civil Registry Office) for the preparation of your civil marriage certificate. Allow three months for the processing. It is recommended that scanned documents or photocopies be sent in advance and the originals brought for the final processing. Note that the documents need to be translated into Spanish by an official translator and legalized by the Dominican consulate:
- Original passport with photocopies of the photo page and the latest entries into the country.
- Sworn declaration before a notary public of being single and eligible to marry, known as a Single Status Affidavit.
- Original Birth Certificates.
- If previously married, the Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate, if applicable.
- Adoption Certificate, if applicable.
- Parental Authorization, if applicable.
- Two or more witnesses with valid passports. Relatives cannot be witnesses.
Roman Catholic Church weddings
Priests at Roman Catholic churches in the Dominican Republic can perform legal weddings for both locals and foreigners. In keeping with church rules, priests will not officiate weddings on the beach, but they may celebrate a wedding inside a closed area of the resort. For a wedding at a church, a mutually convenient date needs to be set and will depend on church availability. In addition to the same standard documents required for a civil wedding, a Roman Catholic Church wedding will require authorization from the local parish in the couple’s country of residence. Also required are baptismal, communion and confirmation certificates and church certificate of annulment (if applicable). Catholic ceremonies have the same legal implications as a civil marriage and the issuing of the marriage certificate follows the same procedure.
Catholic Churches where tourists frequently marry include:
- Iglesia de San Estanislao in Altos de Chavón (La Romana)
- Parroquia Jesus Maestro (Punta Cana)
- Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey (near Punta Cana)
- Catedral de San Felipe (Puerto Plata)
- Convento de los Dominicos (Santo Domingo)
- Catedral de Santiago Apóstol (Santiago)