Planning a Mexico wedding? Here's where to stage your fiesta.
November 29, 2016
The top international country for U.S.-based couples marrying away, Mexico charms with colorful culture, sophisticated local vendors, 6,000 miles of Pacific and Caribbean coast, and plenty of tequila (distilled in the country since the 1600s). Are you thinking about getting married in Mexico? It all starts with the perfect wedding venue. Here's where to stage your fiesta.
Couples love Mexico's no. 1 tourist locale, which experienced a 20 percent uptick in destination weddings in just the last year. No longer the spring breakers' playground of yesteryear, Cancun is more sophisticated than ever, with its new focus on upscale travel.
Beach Palace Cancun
The all-inclusive Beach Palace Cancun hosts events on its Sky Wedding Deck, boasting a 360-degree view of the lagoon on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other.
Celebrate while floating in the Nichupte Lagoon on Aqua World's Cancun Queen dinner cruise.
Eight miles off the coast of Cancun lies picturesque Isla Mujeres, where the 62-room Isla Mujeres Palace blends the excitement of its mainland neighbor with the solitude of an upscale beach resort. Four Colin Cowie-designed wedding packages are easy on the eyes and surprisingly accessible, with a completely free option featuring a ceremony and dinner for up to 30 guests.
Live Aqua Cancun
In the middle of the city's hotel zone, the sleek, adults-only Live Aqua Cancun resort, with its streamlined decor, international cuisine and house DJ, is a hip departure from neighboring hotels. A poolside terrace (seats 100) overlooking the Caribbean Sea makes the perfect ceremony spot, and receptions wow on the beach or in one of 10 banquet halls.
Mandala Beach, Cancun
An event at Mandala Beach club makes the most of a dance floor, a sleek bar and poolside cabanas.
Nizuc Resort & Spa was built March 2013 with the intention of topping every other luxury resort in Cancun. The 274-suite hotel, located on a secluded estate that was once a private hideaway for Mexico's president, hosts vows on a terrace adjacent to Bar A-Kan.
Ocean Weddings, Cancun
Ocean Weddings features a private strand, an iron garden gazebo, modern lounge seating and a tented area with an LED-lit dance floor.
Though Los Cabos is appropriately dubbed Land's End, Mexico's far west coast is a mere 2½-hour flight from Los Angeles (translation: celebs love it) and offers eye candy galore, from deserts and beaches to jagged cliffs and postcard-worthy sunsets. Bonus: It rains only 10 days a year.
Saying I do at The Resort at Pedregal affords you exclusive surroundings: The only road access to the resort is via a secret tunnel carved through a mountain. A mere 96 rooms — each with its own private plunge pool — are nestled within the 24 mountainside and oceanfront acres. Exchange vows on a cliff overlooking the Pacific; then hold your reception at the Beach Club or on El Farallon hillside terrace.
Flora Farm, San Jose del Cabo
Flora Farm's manicured fields make for a lush milieu, and its catering team utilizes fresh produce in every dish (yep, even cocktails).
One&Only Palmilla, San Jose del Cabo
Jennifer Aniston is such a fan of One&Only Palmilla that she chose the 173-room resort for her 41st-birthday bash. Welcome beach bonfires are popular, and Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten influences event menus. Arrive at the resort's whitewashed wedding chapel in style via a horse-drawn carriage.
Sunset da Mona Lisa restaurant specializes in sunset-facing reception dinners of Italian cuisine.
Vista Ballena, Los Cabos
Looking for the perfect rental villa? Vista Ballena is a crowd-pleaser thanks to its hacienda-style architecture, wine cellar, game room (with billiards!) and vistas of both the Sea of Cortez and the Punta Ballena lighthouse.
This 80-mile stretch of Caribbean coast offers more than just all-inclusives (though there are many). The Riviera Maya is also prime real estate for exotic wildlife (coatimundi!), jungles, mangroves, white sand, turquoise water, eco-adventures and thousand-year-old Maya sites.
Esencia, Riviera Maya
Sitting just 20 miles from the Maya site at Tulum — a national treasure perched above a paradisiacal beach — Esencia hotel is a haven for foodie couples, thanks to reception menus featuring beef tenderloin rubbed with coffee and ancho chilies, or grilled rack of lamb with Oaxacan mole, a sauce rich with chocolate and spices. Marry poolside, in the English gardens or on the beach.
Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma, Playa del Carmen
Generations Riviera Maya by Karisma opened in February 2014, and the fanfare for the gourmet food and 24-hour butler service hasn't stopped. Multigenerational groups appreciate the family-friendly rooms, which can be arranged in groups of three connected by a shared foyer. (We recommend splurging on a suite with a plunge pool and outdoor shower.) Wed on the beach, on the elevated dock or in the adobe chapel (seats 140).
Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda, Riviera Maya
Encompassing 14 restaurants, a spa and a vibey outdoor lounge with lighted white furniture, Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmeralda is a posh paradise with its own wedding and honeymoon registry. Choose from six signature packages: Breezy fabrics and ivory roses accent Chill Out Chic, while Allure flaunts pops of purple and gobs of glitter. Extras include a post-wedding bubble bath, a planning team and complimentary honeymoon or anniversary nights.
Xcaret, Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya
Adventure reserves rule the Riviera Maya. Two hundred-acre Xcaret park is one of the largest — and one of the few places in the area where you can wed at an archeological-dig site or celebrate in an underground wine cave.
Riviera Nayarit & Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta's cityscape and exploding food scene are a lively complement to the sleepy villages of Riviera Nayarit, whose enclaves range from posh (Punta Mita) to boho (Sayulita). You can easily drive from one to the other without any indication of a border crossing, and both front Banderas Bay, frequented by some 800 humpback whales every winter.
Casa Velas, Puerto Vallarta
The 80-room, adults-only Casa Velas resort is proof that you don't have to break the bank to get married in one of Puerto Vallarta's swankiest hotels. The Casa Velas Beach Club, which has its own private strand, can seat up to 250 for an oceanfront ceremony, while the Salon Casa Velas is a blank indoor space that can be transformed into a themed reception for up to 220.
Dreams Villamagna, Nuevo Vallarta
At Dreams Villamagna, swap vows in an infinity-edge garden that overlooks the sparkling Pacific. Or choose an elevated stretch of sand that allows for more privacy than the typical beach wedding. Throw a reception on Villamagna's rooftop, and then kick off your first morning as newlyweds with a visit to the hydrotherapy spa.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Riviera Nayarit
Nestled on Banderas Bay's powder-white sands, the 173-room Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita hosts some of the area's most stunning weddings, thanks to accomplished onsite wedding coordinators, scenic event spaces from beaches to the Tamai Garden, and a diverse range of activities, including a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a luxe Apuane spa.
Hotel Villa Amor, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit
Set along a steep cliff overlooking Sayulita Bay, the 42 one- to three-bedroom villas at Hotel Villa Amor feel like private Mexican mansions, highlighted by mosaic tiles, colonial-style iron doors and verandas with brilliant ocean views. Weddings can take place on the beach, in a historic courtyard surrounded by palapas, or in the "kissing garden" (great lawn).
Las Caletas, Puerto Vallarta
A private beach cove located an hour by boat from the Puerto Vallarta mainland, Las Caletas is the perfect secluded Eden for barefoot-chic weddings. Intimate ceremonies for up to 80 take place at water's edge, while ocean-view receptions occur in the Spanish-tiled, open-air restaurant. Enjoy dancing and a bonfire on the beach, and then keep the party going on the boat ride back.
Martoca Beach Garden, Riviera Nayarit
With three sparkling pools, a palm-lined beach, and expansive ocean and mountain views, Martoca Beach Garden in Bucerias, along Banderas Bay, is the perfect spot for nature-loving couples. Follow a beach ceremony with a poolside cocktail hour and sunset reception for 15 to 300 guests.
Petit Hotel Hafa, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit
Six-room Petit Hotel Hafa blends Mexican, Mediterranean and Moroccan design elements on its intimate rooftop.
Playa Escondida, Sayulita, Riviera Nayarit
Playa Escondida, nestled between the Sierra Madre tropical forest and the Pacific Ocean, is an outdoor enthusiast's dreamland, with paddle boarding, snorkeling, horseback riding and yoga available. The Terraza patio, with its flower-laced bamboo and palm trees, is a hit for weddings. Guests will love shopping in Sayulita, while you and your new spouse can sneak away to the hillside Love Nest bungalow.
Terra Noble, Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta's Terra Noble is a zen mountaintop spa with an open-air terrace for events.
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Riviera Nayarit
Popular for its white-sand beach, swank service and Mexiterranean style, The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort occupies 22 acres at the northernmost tip of Banderas Bay. I do's are often said on the hotel's calm shores, but ceremony sites also include a tiered balcony with views of the Marietas Islands. Can't find your guests? They're likely hanging at Mita Mary, a boat-turned-beachside-food-stand, whose chefs catch and prepare local seafood daily.