I recently had the privilege of photographing Rachel and Justin’s destination wedding in sunny Riviera Maya Mexico, and it was one I’ll never forget! If you want a memorable day (or entire wedding week!) without all the stress, an all-inclusive destination wedding package is the way to go. They had their ceremony and reception at El Dorado Seaside Suites all-inclusive resort overlooking the sparkling blue Caribbean Sea. As you would imagine, the location was stunning, and they had perfect weather since their wedding was in April.
This sweet couple traveled with their closest family and friends all the way from Pennsylvania—giving themselves a few days to vacation together beforehand and then having their wedding ceremony on a Wednesday. They were able to really savor every moment without feeling rushed. I love the way Rachel chose to honor her late father with a white rose and bouquet charm. It’s such a touching way to remember and include a loved one who’s passed at a wedding.
Now that things are opening back up and wedding plans are back on, I highly recommend a Mexico destination wedding. If you’ve waited to tie the knot because of COVID, one day of celebration isn’t enough! You deserve an epic celebration and honeymoon in one of the most beautiful place on earth. Here are a few tips to get you started:
Be sure to reserve a block of rooms at your destination so that you can be sure all your friends and family have a place to stay upon arrival. Your guests will love having rooms close together so that everyone can meet up for wedding events. It also helps to choose a hotel that is close to your wedding venue (or is your wedding venue) so that your guests don’t have to worry about transportation. Some resorts even offer a free one-night VIP stay for the couple if they book a block of rooms.
On that same note, booking the wedding early also allows you to coordinate with friends and family members for a better turnout. While I normally say this is your day; do what’s best for you—this is the one exception. For destination weddings, I recommend choosing a date with those you really want in attendance instead of picking and expecting them to make sudden schedule and budget arrangements.
Hosting your wedding in a foreign country can be a bit different than in the states. As do most international weddings, Mexico has a few different rules when it comes to wedding ceremonies. Hiring a local wedding planner ensures that everything is smooth sailing for you wedding day. A planner will help with:
Plus, it will be nice to have someone on-site to handle all the small details and coordination since you probably won’t be there in person beforehand.
When planning a destination wedding, it is important to choose the correct attire for the occasion. For example, if you are having your wedding ceremony on the beach, your wedding dress doesn’t have to be (or need to be) very formal. You will probably choose a simpler dress with a lightweight fabric, making it perfect for warm beach weather. I also don’t recommended heels for the beach, so bring a pair of cute sandals instead. Also, feel free to pack multiple outfits if you are changing locations in between the ceremony and reception or other wedding festivities.
Your guests may bring wedding gifts to celebrate your big day! Be sure to bring extra luggage, or make plans to ship your gifts back to the states. If you’re having a small destination wedding, you could also ask that guests not bring gifts directly to the wedding.
If you’re thinking about having a destination wedding, Mexico is a great choice! Your big day will be even more special and memorable. Be sure not to stress over the small stuff, and just enjoy making memories during the process. This is a celebration after all! I enjoy every unique experience as a traveling destination wedding photographer, and I can’t wait to capture your love story from behind the lens!