Mexico destination weddings have always been popular, but they seem to be all the rage these days. And we understand why. The country boasts beautiful coastlines, lush jungles, colorful cities, ancient architecture, and luxurious 5-star resorts. Not to mention the delicious food, vibrant culture, and delicious drinks. But there’s a lot to know when planning one.
From choosing the right time of year to tie the knot to ensuring that you’re legally married, we’re putting together everything you need to know about planning your own getaway “I do’s.”
Top Cities For A Mexico Destination Wedding
Cabo San Lucas
Cabo San Lucas is located on the tip of Baja California, and is by far one of the most popular Mexico destinations for a wedding. That’s because it has a vast array of white sand beaches, impressive coastal landscapes, stunning desert scenery, and high-end resorts.
Situated on the west coast of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta is the perfect destination for adventure lovers. If you and your significant other are big nature fans and love things like zip lining, bungee jumping, and exploring rushing waterfalls, this may be the place for you.
Cancun sits in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula and is home to a large and easy-to-navigate international airport–making it one of the most accessible destinations to fly into. The city has the same white sandy beaches you’d expect to find, but it’s also known for its Mayan ruins and nightlife scene–aka, it’s the best place to go if you’re looking for a party.
There’s a good chance you know at least one person who has tied the knot in Tulum. That’s because it has quickly become one of the most common Mexico wedding destinations over these past few years. It’s not hard to see why. It boasts incredibly blue waters, chic boutique hotels, incredibly delicious restaurants, and ancient Mayan ruins. Only downside? It’s about a two-hour drive from the Cancun airport.
San Miguel de Allende
For an authentic city experience, consider San Miguel de Allende, located in the Colonial Highlands region. The vibrant city is complete with a rich wine scene, colorful buildings, endless markets and artisans, and arguably some of the best food you will ever have in your life.
Best Time Of Year For A Mexico Destination Wedding
Because Mexico is a tropical destination, it’s crucial to time your wedding correctly to avoid hurricane season. This rainy season usually takes place from June to October. This means the chance of your ceremony getting rained out is pretty high. However, tropical destinations usually only receive rainfall for 1-2 hours at a time.
To get the best weather possible, consider January through early May. Because the weather is so beautiful this time of year, this is known to be peak season, which can lead to higher prices. You want to be mindful of this when putting together your destination wedding budget.
What Does A Mexico Destination Wedding Cost?
Much like every other wedding, the cost of your wedding will vary depending on your venue, vendors, etc. On average, you can expect to pay anywhere from $5,000 to $20,000. While many assume that a destination wedding is more expensive, Mexico destination weddings actually tend to be cheaper than the average wedding in the US–which is about $30,000.
What Costs Should You Cover For Your Guests?
One of the benefits of having a destination wedding is that it naturally trims your guest list. That’s because–typically–the couple tying the knot is not in charge of covering any costs for the guests. This means they are responsible for booking their own hotel, airfare, etc. However, we suggest booking a hotel block so that they get a discounted rate and are near all the fun, though this isn’t mandatory. Do what fits best for your budget, but don’t be surprised if some people can’t make it for financial reasons.
When Should You Send Out Save The Dates & Invites?
When planning a destination wedding, it’s important to send out your save the dates as soon as possible. Ideally, this would fall about eight to twelve months before your big day. Invitations should then follow about six months before your wedding. This gives your guests plenty of time to book their flights and lodging.
When Should You Begin Booking Your Vendors?
As with any wedding, the further out you book your vendors, the better. If you’ve had your eye on a particular vendor for a while, reach out ASAP to ensure that you get to work with them. And don’t be afraid to bring a vendor from home. Just be mindful that you will have to pay for their travel expenses.
Should You Hire A Wedding Planner?
Speaking of vendors, we can’t recommend hiring a wedding planner enough. They are extremely familiar with the destination, its vendors, and tips and tricks to help you save money in the long run. Not sure where to start? Check out our directory of wedding planners in Mexico.
Legal Requirements For A Mexico Destination Wedding
There’s a lot to consider legally when it comes to your destination wedding in Mexico. Many couples choose to tie the knot at a courthouse a week or so before they jet off. This ensures that the wedding is legal in their home country. However, if you want your legally binding marriage to take place in Mexico, there are a few things that you have to do.
To ensure that you can legally marry, you need the following:
- Marriage application forms
- A tourist/visitor’s permit
- Blood test results (which can be done in Mexico no longer than 14 days before your marriage application)
- Valid passports
- Birth certificates
It’s also important to remember that your marriage will only be legally binding if you have a civil ceremony. During this civil ceremony, you need at least four witnesses, you have to arrive at the resort at least three business days before the ceremony, and you can’t say “I do” on a Sunday. Sound like a lot? We know–that’s why most people forgo jumping through these hoops!
Our advice is to research your destination’s legal requirements early on in the wedding planning process if you plan to have a legally binding wedding in Mexico. This will ensure that you have all of the documentation you need, which will prevent unwanted hiccups. This is also something a planner is great for.
Ways To Incorporate Mexican Culture Into Your Wedding
There are some staple decor pieces in the Mexican culture that you may already be familiar with. Think papel picado banners, colorful textiles, star pendant lights, and bold florals.
We’ve featured quite a few Mexican destination weddings on Junebug, and one thing we never tire of seeing is couples incorporating a Mayan ceremony into their special day. These symbolic ceremonies are full of mysticism and spirituality and are officiated by a native priest, known as a shaman. In it, the newlyweds are introduced to the four elements: Earth, water, fire, and air–all of which are thought to bring energy and harmony to the couple.
This kind of ceremony occurs in nature, usually at an archaeological site or a cenote. That’s why they’re extremely popular in places like Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
If you’ve settled on San Miguel de Allende for your wedding, don’t forget to take to the streets in a Mojiganas parade. These parades take place with giant paper mache puppets and music. It’s the perfect way to celebrate one of the most important days of your life.
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning tequila. There are so many ways to use the traditional Mexican spirit. You and your spouse can take a unity tequila shot during your ceremony, have all of your guests take one with you after you seal your love with a kiss, serve margaritas during cocktail hour, or you can offer a tequila tasting during your reception. The options are endless.
Every wedding needs good music. And nothing is more festive than hiring a mariachi band. They’re a fun addition to your ceremony or cocktail hour when you want to get everyone ready for a fiesta.
Mexican food is arguably one of the most popular cuisines in the world–and for a good reason. Rather than serve a sit-down dinner consisting of chicken or steak, consider serving Mexican street food such as tacos, elote, chips and guacamole, enchiladas, etc. And you can’t forget about churros and Mexican wedding cookies!
We know that nailing a budget down for your Mexico destination wedding seems like a daunting task. That’s why we’ve broken it down for you and created a free budget spreadsheet so that you can keep track of your expenses and have the wedding of your dreams.