Post # 1
I just recently got engaged, and could not be happier! The Fi and I have friends and family all over the world, and so our wedding(s) will require traveling for most. His family is from Mexico, and I desperately want to get married on the beach there, but I am concerned about travel/time expenses for family and friends. His family is not very large, so accommodating them is not my main concern (while I do love them!) Another concern is my grandma – she’s 92, soon to be 93, and traveling is a challenge for her.
I am contemplating doing two receptions, but do people ever do two ceremonies, or does that defeat the purpose? I want the ceremony in Mexico, but I want my grandma to attend the ceremony.
I don’t have an extremely large budget, so I can’t afford to offer to pay for family airfare, as I have heard some people do. So, I was wondering:
1) Does anyone have experience planning a destination wedding in Mexico? (Language barrier not an issue for me)
2) Do you invite everyone to both weddings? I don’t want people to assume the obligation of 2 gifts…
Any and all ideas/help would be greatly appreciated!
Post # 3
Hey, I am getting married in Acapulco and I live in Mexico, and it has been quite complicated at times. Expectations, service and all that are just not what you expect in the U.S.
But I think if you marry at a popular hotel in Cabo or Cancun it is probably WAY easier to coordinate long distance (SO many people get married there…) although it will be more expensive. They are used to coordinating with people in the U.S. and know what they will pay….
Also, keep in mind that religious ceremonies in Mexico are NOT legally binding, and you would need to either have a judge come too, or just have the religious ceremony here and have your legal marriage be the one that happens in the states (recommended — getting a marriage license here is a PITA).
One last thing, not sure if you are Catholic but it can be difficult to get a priest to do a marriage on the beach. But most planners can find you a rebel 🙂
Post # 4
Thanks for your input! Yes, I definitely plan on doing the wedding certificate in the States. I think what will be difficult will be finding a venue in Mexico that will not allow bikini-clad spring breakers in the background of my pictures/day/ceremony/reception. I think the exclusivity, and on the beach, has a high price tag. Did you choose more of a chain hotel in Acapulco for your wedding? Also, do you have a dress, and did you find that in Mexico? I think I might like to have my dress made, and I know that seamstress labor there is very skilled, and also much more reasonable than here. Mexico really protects their textiles industry, as it is a huge presence.
Thanks again for your advice! I’d appreciate any more!
Post # 5
I think it’s going to be close to impossible to find a "private" beach venue, unless you have a whole lot of guests. If you manage to book an entire resort, you will get whatever area of beachfront is exclusive to the resort all to yourselves – at least to the extent that the resort actually controls the beach. However even at a resort with private beachfront, every other guest has access to that stretch of beach. If you have only managed to book a small percentage of their rooms I doubt they are going to prevent access for their other guests.
Weddingkitty has a really good point that unless you get a Mexican marriage license, so that your marriage is legal in Mexico, your legal ceremony will need to be in the US anyway. The marriage license from whatever state you live in can’t be legally completed in Mexico. A good solution, especially if you have relatives here for whom travel will be difficult, is to have your Mexican wedding and to also have a small ceremony at home. If you’re looking for a Catholic ceremony, that is an especially good solution, as it’s not just "difficult" to find a priest that will marry you on a beach – the only time the Catholic church will recognize a marriage that is not performed in a consecrated chapel is with the special permission of the bishop and due to exigent circumstances. So, for instance, you could get permission to have a Catholic priest marry you at the bedside of your 93-year old grandmother if she was dying and unable to be transported to the church, but not much short of that will get you an exception.
My sister had a lovely wedding in New Mexico, but it wasn’t in a consecrated chapel, and we also had some travel issues. So a few weeks later we had a small ceremony in our local Catholic church, after mass. It wasn’t really a "second wedding" in that we didn’t decorate or have a big crowd of people, there wasn’t a bridal party, and she didn’t wear her wedding dress. But it was a lovely ceremony, and meant a lot to some of our older relatives who couldn’t travel to the big wedding (and to whom the Catholic ceremony was probably most important anyway).