While destination weddings are romantic and exciting, they can be a headache. No wonder so many couples opt for an easy-does-it resort wedding among the gorgeous beaches and lush foliage of Mexico.
“Mexico has been a big destination for weddings recently because, let’s face it, it stayed wide open during COVID, while some Caribbean islands are still holding onto certain restrictions,” JoAnn Gregoli, a wedding planner and owner of NYC’s Elegant Occasions, told The Post. “Plus it’s an easy flight from both the east and west coasts.”
But wedding planners warn that there’s still lots to consider south of the border. For one there’s the weather.
Los Cabos tends to have less rain than Riviera Maya, but if you’re in the interior of the country — say, in San Miguel — you need to do your research for timing. In Tulum, turtle hatching season closes the beach.
“You may be getting a great deal from a resort, but that may be because it’s hurricane season [June to November],” said Gregoli.
Still, there are worse things than bad weather: Another bride could be stealing your thunder. Many large resorts will host multiple weddings at the same time, so if you aren’t booking out the entire resort, it’s essential to ask if other weddings are scheduled the same day.
Many venues have surprisingly early noise curfews, too, so communicate with the resort if you want to keep the tequila shots flowing late into the night.
However, cultural differences are the first thing to think about, said Jove Meyer, a New York wedding planner and event
“A Mexican wedding is very different from a standard American wedding, a Jewish wedding, an agnostic wedding, a Catholic wedding or an Indian wedding,” said Meyer, noting that while communication is key, things move at a more leisurely pace in Mexico than in New York City, so factor in more time. “They fundamentally just do things differently there. So you really need to understand and discuss with a venue what a wedding looks like to them, what their standard wedding includes and what their level of service is.”
Meyer said that the most successful wedding parties in Mexico embrace the differences and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. Jove recommends planning hyperlocal activities for your guests like exploring ruins, diving tours and nights on the town.
“That’s part of the joy and experience of being in Mexico,” he said. “It’s really leaning into all that it has to offer.”
Gregoli agrees. She recommends that couples mix elements of the local culture into their ceremony too, from shamanistic ceremonies and conch shell trumpeting to Mayan rituals with incense and chanting.
“You are someplace special,” she said. “You are someplace different. So research the local culture and infuse that into your wedding, because it makes it really memorable.”
Here’s a look at some of Mexico’s most luxurious resort venues and the only-in-Mexico perks they offer.
Una gran fiesta
Saying “Sí, quiero” (that’s “I do” — keep up!) is easy on the stunning shores of the Pacific surrounding Punta de Mita. It’s even easier when you let an Auberge resort handle all of the hard work. Auberge Resorts Collection’s 59-room beachside Susurros del Corazón is opening Nov. 3, and the brand new venue will soon gie US couples looking to tie the knot somewhere swish to celebrate. That’s because it offers 600,000 square feet of event celebration locations — ranging from its premier, 5,100-square-foot, indoor-outdoor Cantamar and Terrazza Cantamar space, to its private greenhouse-inspired dining garden Mari.
Catering is by Casamilpa, the resort’s seaside Mexican farmhouse, where seasonal vegetables paired with proteins fresh from the land and sea are on the menu.
The property has 59 rooms and suites, plus a top spa with 11 treatment rooms.
Weddings start at $300 per guest. Rooms start at $999 per night.
The Rosewood Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Los Cabos celebrated its 25th birthday this summer, but for eager love birds, it’s offering new and totally unique perks.
For instance, the 83-room resort operates an A-team of wedding planners, known as the Department of Romance, which makes dreams come true on the Sea of Cortez. Think bespoke menus, cocktails, lighting and furnishing set-ups, decorations and event management.
Rosewood also believes that bouquets should be bigger: Its in-house flower shop Flores del Paraiso specializes in all arrangements larger-than-life. Just imagine expressing your love in custom clusters of 250 roses. Oh, and did we mention that you’ll receive a personal butler for all of those little last-minute emergencies?
Ladies also get a two-hour bridal party with a pre-wedding spa experience that includes a “Holistic Twilight Ceremony,” and a Mayan ritual with sage smoke and shaman prayers “to honor Mother Earth and the four elements” — followed by a personalized massage for each guest, of course.
There are two venues at the resort: the dramatic, white-sand beach along the Sea of Cortez, perfect for seated dinners and cocktail receptions; and the al fresco party spots La Plaza & La Pergola (bright stars and flaming urns). After the vows, set things off with a firework show.
Rooms start at $900, with a three-night minimum.
If you’re heading down to Mexico because tradition ain’t your thang, then check out the Hilton Vallarta Riviera, just down the coast from Punta Mita on the stunning beaches of Bahia Banderas.
Not only does the 444-room, all-inclusive resort specialize in LGBTQ+ weddings with Equality Institute-certified planners, but the property is conveniently split into an adults-only wing and a family wing, ideal when you need time away from your 25 little cousins from Jersey.
Couples wed along the shimmering pool deck at the beach club, or the rain-proof ballrooms and Sky bar.
Weddings range from $1,970 for the Signature package that includes the couple and up to 28 guests, to $13,150 for the resort’s biggest blowout celebration.
Rooms start at $198.
The world’s favorite selfie spot also makes for a dreamy wedding locale.
Hilton Tulum Riviera Maya, which opened this May as Hilton’s first all-inclusive resort in Tulum, boasts white sand, blue water and authentic Mayan ceremonies. To seal the deal, a shaman will officiate, followed by a one-hour reception with the chef’s selection menu in one of the hotel’s 10 event spaces.
Special touches include copal incense, veils, torches, lamps and bushels of seasonal flowers. The hotel offers wedding coordinators, but you’ll need your own for more than 100 guests.
Meanwhile, the resort, which shares a campus (and perks) with Conrad Tulum Riviera Maya, recently launched Enclave — an elevated room category for an exclusive experience, such as a separate pool and access to exclusive wellness and fitness offerings, perfect for a party looking for a more private experience.
Weddings range from $2,800 to $14,000. Rooms start at $352.
Heart of the matter
Let’s face it: Not everyone is a beach person. If that’s you, Belmond’s stunning Casa de Sierra Nevada inland in San Miguel de Allende is your venue.
Composed of a cluster of heritage mansions, with just 37 unique rooms, the hotel is surrounded by the rich, with 17th and 18th century baroque and neoclassical colonial structures, and World Heritage Sites.
You’ll want to suck up the culture, and the hotel’s dedicated special events team is here to help. Try creating your own mini-mojiganga (pronounced: mo-he-gang-ga — they’re the region’s famed papier mâché parade puppets) with a resident artist, or take some guided tours.
The cuisine of the Bajío region is second to none, so you’ll want to arrive hungry. The hotel can set up anything from casual BBQs under the stars, private wine and spirit tastings or classes with their in-house chef at Sazón Cookery School.
When it’s time to wed, gather within verdant gardens for a unique blessing with a live band and show-stopping ceremony.
Buyouts start at $29,415 plus taxes and service charge. Rooms this fall start at $375 per night.
Go big or go home
If you want a Mexican wedding that really wows, it’s gotta be the Four Seasons Punta Mita.
Bigger parties will want to book Cuevas Beach, where 250 guests celebrate with their toes in the sand. For an elegant, unique elopement, “the Rock,” a natural formation in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, accommodates up to 12 guests. But there other equally playful and romantic ceremony sites on property including beaches, gardens and pools.
The 177-room resort will arrange every detail and cater to every whim, from planning florals, décor and menus to arranging your guests’ stay via their dedicated wedding team. Four packages are on offer but seeing that you are at the Four Seasons, let your imagination run wild and go fully bespoke. For example, you can release a turtle as part of the ceremony; have mariachis escort your guests, and even serve your guests “the best tequila in world” from a barrel with the couple’s initials on it.
Wedding prices vary, but you can plan on about $250 per guest. Rooms start at $600.