Cancun is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. Travelers fly in from all over the world to enjoy its beachfront resorts, over-the-top nightlife, great shopping and compelling Maya heritage. It’s also the ideal choice for a destination wedding, with an array of resorts suitable for a wide range of budgets, an important consideration when compiling a guest list for a destination wedding. According to The Knot’s 2012 Destination Wedding Study: Key Trends, 66% of international destination-wedding brides choose a destination wedding because they desire a special, fun or exotic locale, which is an apt description of Mexico, and especially Cancun.
The Knot survey also found that 7 out of 10 couples choose to honeymoon in their wedding locale, which makes perfect sense. The party’s over and instead of packing for home they can relax. A romantic choice would be to choose a second property in the same destination, maybe something more intimate and secluded, where newlyweds could decompress and reflect on their future together.
Cancun is also a superb choice for a growing niche in the destination wedding market: couples who have been married before and who most likely having kids from a prior marriage. Cancun’s beachfront setting makes it perfect for these types of blended family weddings, especially the all-inclusive resorts, which are packed with activities and options for all age groups.
An important detail to keep in mind is the passport requirement for U.S. citizens traveling to Mexico. Only a third of American citizens have passports, so there’s a good chance some of the people on a bride and groom’s wedding list don’t have a passport. Do everyone a favor and give your guests time to rectify the situation. On the plus side, it’s really easy to score a convenient flight into Cancun from the U.S., given its popularity as a vacation destination.
The Sandos Cancun Luxury Experience Resort provides a high-end all-inclusive setting for a destination wedding. The beachfront resort offers four wedding packages: Scarlet Love, where the ceremony takes place on the property’s oceanfront Martinière rooftop terrace; Ivory Pearls, with vows exchanged in an oceanfront gazebo; Scents of Luxury, with the ceremony on the beach; and the most basic of the wedding packages, the Sandos Wedding, which takes place at a location to be designated at the resort. A nice perk is the complimentary suite for the newlyweds the night of the wedding, where they’ll enjoy romantic touches like rose petals, sparkling wine and chocolate strawberries. Newlyweds should try to score one of the resort’s Caribbean Suites. These have a large ocean-front terrace providing gorgeous sea views.
Ritz-Carlton is known for sophisticated elegance. While it can all be a bit Great Gatsby at times, their Sabor a Mexico package keeps proceedings lighthearted with a perfect melding of Mexican style and Ritz-Carlton polish. The package includes Mexican-themed gifts for the wedding guests, such as brightly colored rebozos (shawls) for the woman and pañuelos (handkerchiefs) for the guys. The ceremony on the beach is accompanied by spirited music from a 12-piece mariachi band. The wedding dinner features Mexican cuisine and the guests are served Mexican wine and individual tres leches wedding cakes. There’s even an option for chilaquiles (fried tortillas with toppings) at midnight, a local wedding tradition. Pre- and post-wedding, there are lots of options for interesting activities that are destination-centric, including tequila tastings, cooking lessons, and flights to view the ancient Maya archeological site of Chichen-itza.
Live Aqua Cancún has been making waves since its opening, attracting raves for its adults-only, sophisticated atmosphere. The all-inclusive resort makes a case for providing a “Be Yourself” atmosphere — there are even eight pools, all maintained at a different temperature.
The “Be Yourself” attitude extends to its wedding offering, in which couples are encouraged to customize their big day. Couples can exchange vows on the beach, by the pool’s sea-view terrace, or in the resort’s serene green Garden of the Senses. There’s also a selection of reception rooms and venues to match the size and needs of the wedding party. Couples can live large and upgrade to an Aqua Club Room where they’ll receive elevated service, premium brands drinks, appetizers and the services of a VIP’s concierge
Couples staying a minimum of four nights at the adults-only Le Blanc Spa Resort can receive a complimentary wedding. This is an attractive offer, with such inclusions as special butler service on the day of the wedding, a special breakfast in bed the morning after the ceremony, as well as two Le Blanc Signature bathrobes. These are the kinds of offers that can change at the drop of a hat, so definitely check to confirm details and restrictions. Le Blanc Spa Resort is all-inclusive, and as its name implies, puts a premium on the quality of its spa services. The resort has been awarded coveted AAA Five Diamond Award status. Couples should request one of the ocean-view rooms, which also have a double whirlpool.
Destination weddings don’t necessarily have to break the bank. There are all-inclusive resorts in Cancun that come in at a lower price point. This makes sense in a lot of cases, since the bride and groom won’t be putting a financial hardship on their guests. Riu Palace Las Americas falls into this category. It’s an all-inclusive beachside resort with all the trimmings. While the food and beverage at Riu Palace Las Americas might not be world class and its décor in need of a touch-up, the atmosphere is high energy. Couples will have a choice of either a wedding gazebo ceremony or exchanging vows on the beach.
Another option is for couples to go the fully customized route by renting a villa (or villas) for the whole wedding party and guests. A good destination wedding planner can provide help in nailing down the details, such as securing the culinary team, entertainment and photographer. The villa option is a viable choice for couples wishing to marry with a minimum of friends and family in attendance.
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