DESTINATION WEDDING – MEXICO
Whether you want to have a festive destination wedding or a secluded honeymoon escape, Mexico has everything you want and need. From a practical standpoint, Mexico offers myriad options that combine the wedding ceremony and honeymoon, in some cases at a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding. All-inclusives abound, making it more affordable for you and your guests. Here are some of the best locations to consider for your wedding or honeymoon.
Mexico’s newest resort destination is continuing to grow by leaps and bounds, and the wedding and honeymoon packages are extraordinary. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay. With 100 miles of golden sand beaches just north of the Puerto Vallarta airport on the Pacific coast of Mexico, Riviera Nayarit offers couples a beach getaway with endless activities and entertainment. There is something for everyone—nature, adventure, culture, history, spas, dining, entertainment, shopping, beaches and plenty of sun. Construction on new hotels is underway including top brands such as Park Hyatt,Capella, Grupo Vidanta, Iberostar and Grand Hyatt over the next two years.
Planning a wedding or honeymoon may only be a few years removed from their own spring break adventures in Cancun, but be assured that this destination has plenty to offer for couples. In fact, each year nearly 5,000 couples head to Cancun to have a destination wedding. Located on the northeastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and bordered by the Caribbean Sea and tranquil Nichupte Lagoon, Cancun boasts a 16-mile stretch of beach filled with numerous hotels, from four-star luxury to group-friendly all-inclusives. As everyone knows, when the sun goes down, Cancun lights up. Rock, jazz, Latin, salsa and reggae seep from numerous clubs and discos. For a quieter scene, the newly married couple may prefer to check out the more sophisticated lobby bars of hotels for flamenco and jazz. Another good option is dinner cruises offering music and dancing on the waves.
Close to Cancún, this 81-mile-long stretch of powdery white beaches on Mexico’s Caribbean coast still feels enchantingly remote and is a good choice for young couples who may be weaning themselves off the Cancun club scene. (Should they get the urge, however, Cancun is only an hour away.) Plus, Riviera Maya’s own Playa del Carmen has plenty of restaurants, cafés and bars to keep you occupied when you feel like being part of the crowd. However, for wedding and honeymoon couples, low-key pleasures are this destination’s big selling point. In Playacar, just minutes from Playa del Carmen, couples find the perfect combination of the leisure and romance of a private hotel zone with 12 different hotel options to enjoy a wedding and honeymoon on the beach. Each resort here has its own unique tropical style and amenities. Other options include the quieter, more nature-oriented Tulum or Punta Maroma, where smaller, luxe resorts and spas offer more personalized service and amenities.
Here in this Pacific Coast resort area, you can have your ceremony on the beach, on a yacht, in a private villa or a golf clubhouse, even while scuba diving. For the more traditional couples, several resorts have wedding chapels. Los Cabos comprises two very different, very picturesque towns surrounded by desert and sea: to the northeast, San Jose del Cabo, a mission town established in the 18th century and still charming; and at the southern tip, Cabo San Lucas, whose shops, restaurants and nightclubs rock around the clock. Its most notable landmark—and the perfect background for photos—is El Arco, a rock arch at the tip of Land’s End, where thePacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortes.
Nestled between the lush jungles of the Sierra Madre Mountains and one of the most alluring stretches of the Mexican Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s top wedding destinations renowned for its white sand beaches, warm blue waters and stunning sunsets. Whether a couple is looking for an intimate romantic seaside wedding, or a weekend-long fiesta, Vallarta is a good bet. There is also a sense of Mexican culture that may be missing from some of the other resort areas. Puerto Vallarta, despite recent growth, retains its distinct small-town pueblo feel with cobblestone streets, friendly faces and its bustling Malecón (ocean walk), which continues to be a center of social activity for the locals. Traditional mariachi music is often an intrinsic element of a wedding in Vallarta, be it on a beach, in a chapel, or on the edge of the sea.
With properties in all of Mexico’s top resort destinations, the Unlimited-Luxury Dreams Resorts & Spas provide the perfect seaside settings to tie the knot in paradise. Each luxurious getaway offers guests pristine beaches, superior service and lavish accommodations. The on site professional wedding coordinators assure that every detail is simply perfect. And here’s a bonus: Currently, couples who reserve at least seven nights in the required room category at the Dreams Resort & Spa of their choosing will receive a complimentary Wedding in Paradise or Eternity Honeymoon Package. Both of these packages include the chance to earn free nights toward a return stay over their first anniversary.
Couples planning ahead may be interested to learn more about two upcoming impressive properties on the Riviera Maya. Sol Melia’s Paradisus Playa del Carmen and Paradisus Xaman, a name inspired by the indigenous Mayan word for the area, will be located in Riviera Maya’s Playa del Carmen enclave on Mexico’s eastern shore. Facilities and amenities for Paradisus Playa del Carmen include 534 suites, 122 of which are Royal Service and two Presidential; six restaurants, five bars and a signature Gabi Beach Club. The Paradisus Xaman will feature 325 suites including two Presidential suites—most notably 120 Family Concierge suites which allow for two & three bedroom suite configurations (perfect for bridal parties and family members). For those couples looking to celebrate their special day nearer in the future, Sol Melia also has eight other resort properties currently in operation in Mexico, many of which are all-inclusive.
Because of the natural beauty of Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso’s surroundings, it’s the perfect place for couples to pledge their love. The decor, the beach, the food, all make this Riviera Maya resort the ideal place to get married. A wedding coordinator will take care of everything from the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonnière, to the cake, and even reservations to an a la carte restaurant. This adults-only, superior all-inclusive is just one of 10 Iberostar properties in Mexico where your clients can have an unforgettable wedding and/or honeymoon.
Rules & Regulations
Most Mexican resorts can handle all wedding arrangements, from paperwork to details like flowers and photography. In Mexico, only civil wedding ceremonies are legal; these are officiated by a Justice of the Peace.
For the ceremony, the couple will both need certified copies of their birth certificates that have been previously legalized by the Consulate of Mexico with jurisdiction over the country of birth.
Couples also must bring identification cards or passports and tourist cards. A blood test is also required.
The couple must also have two witnesses over age 18 who will need to bring ID as well as copies of the ID. It is also recommended that couples bring two copies of all their documentation.
Also, they should plan to be in the country five days before the ceremony to take care of translation of documents. Be sure to check with the hotel’s wedding coordinator before the wedding as regulations are subject to change.
As with the U.S., each state in Mexico has its own marriage laws so some regulations may vary from state to state.