If you’re searching for a superb destination wedding location, look no further than Mexico. This country is rich in culture, history, and of course, an endless supply of sun-soaked paradise. There are plenty of secluded beaches and private villas to host your nuptials, as well as lots of other great locations. Whether you want an intimate elopement or a large ceremony, there is a spot in Mexico that will suit you perfectly.
We know that wedding planning can be daunting enough, but it can get downright overwhelming when you add a foreign location to the mix. For example, you may be wondering, ‘What are the most important things to consider when planning a destination wedding in Mexico?’ or ‘How do I go about planning my dream wedding in Mexico?’. From the perfect time of year to visit, to the legalities of getting married in another country, we’ve got you covered. While there are many details to consider when planning a destination wedding, it’s possible to have a stress-free experience.
Without further ado, here’s our ultimate guide to having a destination wedding in Mexico!
As a wedding planner and travel agent, I get asked all the time why I think Mexico is a great destination wedding spot. The answer is simple: Mexico is easily accessible from the United States, relatively affordable, and offers a seemingly endless number of venues to host your wedding. So if you’re looking for a romantic and relaxing wedding, this is the place to do it.
Imagine getting married on a beautiful beach in Mexico. Your closest family and friends surround you as you exchange vows. Then, you’re whisked away to a luxurious resort for an evening of drinking and dancing with everyone you love. If you love the idea of having a luxurious beachfront wedding for a fraction of the price, then you’ll love being a bride in Mexico.
Additionally, Mexico is an excellent destination for couples looking to extend their stay after saying ‘I Do.’ Depending on the venue you choose, you may be able to take advantage of a honeymoon-inclusive wedding package. This may include discounted or even free extra days in paradise to use for a romantic honeymoon. Or, consider arriving a few days early along with your wedding party to enjoy a bachelor or bachelorette party complete with dazzling destination amenities.
There are no shortage of beautiful places to get married in Mexico.
From ancient ruins to lush rain forests to mountain retreats and castles, Mexico is a land of great beauty that offers numerous settings for your dream wedding. While there are many beautiful and exotic locations to consider for your destination wedding in Mexico, there are three areas that stand out from the rest: Cancun, Riviera Maya, and the Baja Peninsula.
For some destination wedding inspiration, check out our top 10 Stunning Destination Wedding Locations in the Caribbean.
Cancun is located on the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. This location is a beautiful addition to the region’s natural beauty and ancient Mayan treasures. While Cancun was once known as a spring break party town, it has since become a luxury resort destination. The pristine white sand beaches, and turquoise blue water secure Cancun’s reputation as one of the top beach destinations in the world.
Cancun, in particular, is a prime for destination weddings because it has such a wide range of accommodation options to fit all budgets. Furthermore, it’s quite easy to get to from most U.S. cities. With thousands of resorts, it’s no wonder why many couples choose this location for their big day. All-inclusive resorts offer a variety of wedding packages and numerous venue options for your ceremony and reception.
Furthermore, Cancun offers guests so much to do during their stay. There is something for everyone from snorkeling to zip-lining, shopping in downtown Cancun, visiting the Mayan Ruins, or just relaxing on the beach! If you want a sneak peek into a Cancun wedding, check out this Real Wedding | Chantelle & Eric | Majestic Elegance Costa Mujeres.
If you’re looking for a destination wedding venue that will wow your guests, nothing beats Riviera Maya, Mexico. Located just south of Cancun, this spot is ideal for couples looking to enjoy their own private slice of paradise. This region of Mexico includes notable cities such as Playa del Carmen and Tulum, with each city having its own unique feel. Developed after the rise of Cancun, these cities are less populated and come with a lifestyle centered on the beach and local cenotes.
It’s not just the white sand beaches and luxury resorts that make this a prime location for tying the knot. It’s also an attractive setting to host a wedding because of its culture, historical landmarks, and gorgeous scenery. Wedding venues here come in all shapes and sizes. From boutique hotels to villas with ocean views, there are plenty of options for couples looking for something unique.
The Baja Peninsula, which includes stunning Cabo San Lucas, is another beautiful spot to add to your list. Located on the country’s western coast, this spot is particularly attractive due to the lack of significant hurricane seasons. The Baja California Peninsula is made of two states: Baja California Sur and Baja California Norte. The northern region has a rugged landscape with high mountains in the east and gently rolling terrain on its west coast. In contrast, Baja California Sur has a smooth coastline with desert areas and tropical vegetation. Separated from mainland Mexico by the Sea of Cortez, the Baja Peninsula has a different vibe from the other locations on this list.
From the resorts in Cabo San Lucas to the wineries in Valle de Guadalupe, there’s something for everyone on this 1,000-mile stretch of land. A smaller event is better suited for a more remote location like Valle de Guadalupe, which has a handful of gorgeous boutique hotels but fewer larger resorts and villas. Cabo San Lucas has plenty of accommodations to host even the most extravagant events ideal for larger weddings. The Baja Peninsula is ideal for couples who want a wedding that combines fun with romance. Additionally, for those looking to extend their stay for a honeymoon, the Los Cabos region has stunning hotel options. Honeymooners can enjoy private plunge pools and breathtaking ocean views on the Mexican west coast.
As you do the legwork to find your dream wedding venue in Mexico, we advise keeping patience in mind. Mexican culture is very laid-back, and responses may not be as quick as you would hope for or experience stateside.
Here are a few questions to ask potential venues to ensure you find your perfect fit.
For venue inspiration, check out our post on 10 Stunning Destination Wedding Locations in the Caribbean.
Usually, the best weather in popular vacation destinations correlates with tourist season. This typically means more crowds, fewer hotel and venue availabilities, and higher rates all around. Luckily, the weather in Mexico is consistently warm and sunny year-round. But, if you’re looking to avoid hurricane season, you’ll want to plan your wedding between December and April.
A passport is one of the essential documents you’ll need when traveling abroad, so make sure it is valid for at least six months after your trip. If you don’t have a passport, you can apply for one at your local post office or courthouse. Once you receive your passport, be sure to make a copy to store in case something happens to the original.
Once you arrive in Mexico, you’ll need transportation to your final destination. There are many options at the airport, but we recommend arranging transportation with your wedding planner or travel agent prior to your arrival.
As with all destination weddings, couples have two options. The first option is to legally marry in their destination wedding country. The second option is to legally marry in their home country prior to their wedding. The destination wedding would be symbolic for couples who marry before their destination date. There are several benefits to a symbolic over a legal ceremony. This includes avoiding paperwork, legalities, and fees associated with legally marrying in that country. It’s important to note that only civil ceremonies (not religious) are legal and valid in Mexico.
For a legal marriage ceremony in Mexico, you’ll need a few legal documents. The documents include a valid Passport, tourist permits, and a marriage permit. Additionally, four witnesses must be present for the marriage to be legal. As in the United States, each state in Mexico determines marriage and divorce procedures for that state. Check out all the legal documents and further information here: U.S. Embassy Website
Once the couple enters the country, they must visit the local registry office to obtain the application forms, fill them out, and pay the marriage license fee. Depending on the state, the application process may take 30 minutes to a couple of days. If one person has Mexican citizenship, different rules will apply. After the ceremony, you’ll need to get a certified copy of the marriage certificate from the registry office.
A Mexican marriage license will run approximately $26. You’ll also need an Apostille stamp that authenticates the marriage, which costs roughly $7. Additionally, some states in Mexico require a national marriage permit, costing around $175.
Due to the currency rate between the United States and Mexico, you may get more value for your money there. That said, the cost will vary and depend on the region and the resort. But generally, destination weddings in Mexico tend to be less expensive than weddings of the same caliber in the States. Because destination weddings often have a smaller guest list, wedding spending can often be less, despite being a trip away. For many couples, a destination wedding may end up being a more cost-effective option to tie the knot.
Make sure you understand what’s included (and what isn’t). Some resorts have everything in their advertised base price — including the ceremony and reception, flowers, food, and drinks — while others tack on additional fees for some or all of these items. Check around for package deals and compare prices to determine what is best for you.
To save money, we recommend booking an all-inclusive resort. Most resorts have wedding packages that include everything you need for a dream wedding, including decor, rehearsal dinner options, cuisine, and accommodations for you and your wedding guests. Furthermore, it’s important to time it right. Many resorts charge less during their off-season (typically May through October), but they might not offer as many amenities or activities during that time. There may also be weather concerns during hurricane season.
Decide that a destination wedding in Mexico isn’t for you? How about tying the knot in Italy instead! Check out Lake Garda Weddings: What You Need to Know for more info on this incredible wedding destination.
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