Tag Archives: LOS CABOS

Top Wedding Resort Hacienda Encantada Highlights Getting Married in Cabo San Lucas This Fall

15 Oct

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Once travelers set foot at Top Wedding Resort Hacienda Encantada, they soon see exactly why so many travelers who visit the area find it to be such a romantic place. The resort is home to sweeping views, something that many who visit Mexico hope for. Using these as a romantic backdrop for wedding photos will create a lifetime of memories.

After their ceremony, many will want to stick around Cabo San Lucas for the honeymoon as well. Relaxing at any of the beautiful beaches in the area, especially Lover’s Beach will be the perfect place for newlyweds to celebrate their relationship for the first time ever as a married couple. There are many other beaches nearby as well, including the famous Medano Beach, where people watching and many delicious restaurants await.

After a day sightseeing around, come back to relax at Hacienda Encantada. Famous for providing the best place for travelers to unwind, and the holistic spa is a great place to do it. After the ceremony, every couple needs to take some time to just be. A sure way to beat the stress to spend time indulging in the luxury spa treatments available at a travelers fingertips. The Temezcal experience is one that many refer to as life changing, a ritual originating from Mexican tradition known to be cleansing, providing the ultimate relaxation. Following up with a couples massage or facial, Hacienda Encantada knows this honeymoon will be one to remember.

Hacienda Encantada knows those who are already married will have a wonderful time here as well. Hacienda Encantada shares the resort is also known for being a romantic place to plan other events than just weddings, so perhaps a future vow renewal or anniversary ceremony could be planned at the resort as well. This is a great option for all those wanting to share a special moment together in the near future. For more information on planning a ceremony in Cabo San Lucas with Hacienda Encantada, contact the resort today at; planner@haciendaencantada.com

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BODAS DESTINO LATINOAMERICA -DESTINATION WEDDINGS’ SITE- LAUNCHES. All the info you need to plan a dream destination wedding.

23 Dec

Destination Weddings on the Rise

Mexico City, Mexico December 20, 2014:  According to Yahoo Finance, destination weddings are on the rise.  They are up an estimated 20% due to sites like Instagram and Pinterest promoting exotic locations for brides. Bodas Destino Latinoamerica, which literally means “Destination Weddings Latinamerica”, is a promotion and wedding planning company, and is proud to offer fabulous events in wonderful locations for engaged couples who want a romantic destination wedding. Bodas Destino Latinoamerica services international clientele and provides plenty of lovely getaways.   Destination weddings to Mexico and other Latin American countries are increasing in popularity among international couples.  According to the Knot Market Intelligence 24% of couples in the United Sates are now choosing to have a destination wedding. Cancun CVB, also publishes that 30% of them are international weddings, with Mexico accounting for 24% of that number, which equates to about 25,000 couples annually, providing a truly memorable experience that is sure to be unforgettable, destination weddings are hard to top.  People from all over the world are traveling to Latin American locations to have the experience of a lifetime among beautiful landscape and unforgettable views.  Many people turn to Bodas Destino Latinoamerica to provide the best weddings in Mexico and Latin America.  For couples that are looking for special events, destination-wedding resources or planners, Bodas Destino Latinoamerica procures convenient planners, locales and other top professionals for couples. With access to the most breathtaking destinations and venues in Mexico and Latin America, part of its portfolio, guests will have the time of their lives.

Bodas Destino Latinoamerica has finally launched under the lead of Carmen Laborin, which will provide a fabulous addition to Bodas Destino Latinoamerica due to her experience with Mexican tourism and special interest travel from her work with the Mexican government, tourism & hospitality industries, which procured more destination weddings to Mexico.  Laborin, is also a member of the Association of Bridal consultants and Bodas Destino’s owner. Laborin was appointed “Rising Star 2012” among the top travel agent professionals who are 35 years old or under, by Vacation Agents and Agents@Home Magazines.   More services will be available due to the company’s new direction, and provides excellent promotional and consulting capabilities, along with brand recognition skills.  If you are looking for a destination wedding in Mexico or Latin America, Bodas Destino can help you throw your dream wedding, for Bodas Destino Latinoamerica is an ambassador for the top special events’ professionals and locales.

 

DREAM WEDDINGS. EXTRAORDINARY LOCATIONS.
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 The #1 Reference for locations and services for weddings and events, launches its online magazine.

 

DESTINATION WEDDINGS LATINAMERCA, launched on December 1st., 2014 the most comprehensive and attractive information platform in the world of weddings and events, as well as the direct link to the “Top Wedding Providers” or wedding vendors. This is a must for experts and current partners. A communication platform, which recommends everything needed to consider the integration of the most memorable in the world of weddings and romance moments; and only for firsthand experiences.

The launch of this online magazine, is great news for the events’ industry, for which is shared, is born from the expertise of prominent members of the industry, who have high sensitivity and knowledge within this highly specialized segments; as they are the romance travel and destination weddings ones.

DESTINATION WEDDINGS LATINOAMERICA, is a comprehensive and modern site, where the newest trends in event design, fashion, travel romance will be communicated; among other recommendations, the most extensive network of providers for planning and organizing a wedding. On this platform, new entrepreneurs will also find strategic partners that strengthen, reaching proposals for greater impact in creating unforgettable moments for its clients.

There are 4 main areas that make up this Online Magazine:

  • Locations Galleries: destinations, hotels and venues featured.
  • “Inspiration” articles: dreamy ideas, including ‘Real Weddings’ references
  • “Expert Zone” articles on specific themes suchas a budgeting, site inspections, protocol, etc., and including a form to send us your ‘Q & A’s’ which our experts will reply to.
  • Database of outstanding wedding vendors.

The launch event was held on December 1, 2014, at 17:00 hrs. in the renovated space that belongs to the Hotel Camino Real Polanco “TOY GARDEN”. The event gathered more than 150 trade guests and the most important figures of the Travel, Weddings and Special Events’’ industries from various cities of origin  Mexico.

In addition to communicating the launch of BODAS DESTINO LATINOAMERICA, a experts’ panel was held: Dagyi Rivera, Director of New Projects for Latin America ABC Bridal Consultants, the largest  Association of consultants and suppliers to the industry’s and most recognized in the world; author of “WOW QUE BODA: Secrets of a Wedding Planner for a memorable wedding,” Lucrecia Islas, who is a textile designer, fashion/color specialist, designer and owner of Butterfly Events Linens, Tony Yarto, Founder and Director of entrepreneurial ecosystem Incubatour. Creator and leader of Latour Turespacio -set Group of companies dedicated to the promotion of tourism and Jorge Hernandez Delgado, former President of the AMAV, the National Association of Travel Agencies in Mexico, and current President of the Confederation of Latin American Tourism Organizations (COTAL). This panel was moderated by Carmen Laborin, former Director of Weddings and Romance Meetings Industry for the Mexico Tourism Board and current Consultant for the Weddings and Romance segment as well as Managing Partner of Bodas Destino Latinoamerica. In this panel topics covered related to: “Destination Weddings today… And tomorrow: Trends and challenges in the industry by 2015 “.

 

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In 2014: Destination Weddings on the Rise, particularly for Mexico.

13 Jan

 

Destination Weddings on the Rise

Mexico City, Mexico. January 12, 2013:  According to Yahoo Finance, destination weddings are on the rise.  They are up an estimated 20% due to sites like Instagram and Pinterest promoting exotic locations for brides. Bodas Destino, which literally means “Destination Weddings”, is a promotion and wedding planning company, and is proud to offer fabulous events in wonderful locations for engaged couples who want a romantic destination wedding. Bodas Destino services international clientele and provides plenty of lovely getaways.   Destination weddings to Mexico and other Latin American countries are increasing in popularity among international couples.  According to the Knot Market Intelligence 24% of couples in the United Sates are now choosing to have a destination wedding. Cancun CVB, also publishes that 30% of them are international weddings, with Mexico accounting for 24% of that number, which equates to about 25,000 couples annually, providing a truly memorable experience that is sure to be unforgettable, destination weddings are hard to top.  People from all over the world are traveling to Latin American locations to have the experience of a lifetime among beautiful landscape and unforgettable views.  Many people turn to Bodas Destino to provide the best weddings in Mexico and Latin America.  For couples that are looking for special events, destination-wedding resources or planners, Bodas Destino procures convenient planners, locales and other top professionals for couples. With access to the most breathtaking destinations and venues in Mexico and Latin America, part of its portfolio, guests will have the time of their lives.

Noe Ariza founded Bodas Destino in 2012. Ariza formerly worked as Commercial Director for the well-known Nuestra Boda magazine.  A partnership was recently secured with Carmen Laborin, which will provide a fabulous addition to Bodas Destino due to his experience with Mexican tourism and special interest travel from her work with the Mexican government, tourism & hospitality industries, which procured more destination weddings to Mexico.  Ariza and Laborin are both members of the Association of Bridal consultants and Bodas Destino’s partners. Laborin was appointed “Rising Star 2012” among the top travel agent professionals who are 35 years old or under, by Vacation Agents and Agents@Home Magazines.   More services will be available due to the addition, and she provides excellent promotional and consulting capabilities, along with brand recognition skills.  If you are looking for a destination wedding in Mexico or Latin America, Bodas Destino can help you throw your dream wedding, for Bodas Destino is an ambassador for the top special events’ professionals and locales.

 

FOR CONTACT: Bodas Destino

Phone: +52 (55) 8421-9565

Email: hi@bodasdestino.com

Twitter: @Bodasdestino

Facebook: BodasDestino

 

Beach Pink in Riviera Maya BY HUMBERTO CASTILLA PHOTOGRAPHER

 
Wedding by Carmen Laborin. Photo by: Humberto Castilla

 

ZANKYOU MAGAZINE: El amor y los rituales sagrados de la Boda Shamanica Maya

20 Nov

I’ve been asked to collaborate with ZANKYOU (Gee I so love their name!) a fabulous worldwide wedding registry, wedding website provider and super fun magazine with a number of useful and current articles on all weddings-related topics. One of their best features is that it provides brides & grooms free personal -and easy to use- website builder to publish and share with their loved one the main aspects about their upcoming wedding.

I’ve featured my first article on something I’ve suddenly been hearing and people commenting a lot about lately, and that is the MAYAN culture, with all the end of the world buzz (not happening like that by the way, at least not according to our savvy Mayans) but mostly because of people trying to go “back to basics” when it comes to marrying the one they love, putting aside more and more the formalities of the traditional ceremonies in the quest of authenticity and more meaningful exchanges of vows and commitments. For that and with the help of some very kind guides and friends I’ve written this first collaboration named “El amor y los rituales sagrados de la Boda Shamanica Maya” (How your Spanish knowledge these days by the way?).

Ok, while my articles are currently in Spanish on ZANKYOU MEXICO, I found that my article could easily be translated into english language VIA GOOGLE URL TRANSLATE (what a tool uh!?) and so I’ve come to have a second version of my article right HERE for you, may you want to check it out. It is on LOVE AND SACRED MAYAN SHAMANIC RITUALS for non-traditional or spiritual wedding celebrations. I really hope you like it, and if so please share your comments and click like for me would you 🙂

My next article in ZANKYOU MEXICO is about the great destination of LOS CABOS Baja Sur, Mexico. If you have any suggestions on topics you would like me to talk about, please let me know what it is, as I’d love to write more for you and the topics of your interest.

Hope you like my article on ZANKYOU.

Love,

Carmen

Mexico’s official website has a revamped design and content including a Destination Weddings’ micro site

9 Jul

The Mexico Tourism Board is the organization entrusted to coordinate, design and develop the national and international strategies for tourism promotion for Mexico, specifically the one responsible of promoting the numerous incredible destinations and activities that Mexico has to offer, as well as Mexico’s many natural and cultural locales. For this matter and looking into way of spreading the good news and all the wealth that Mexico has to offer for first time visitor and for long time travelers alike, the tourism board has today re launched its website on a new and more friendly platform, with revised and more useful content and social networking capabilities so we can all share the best of Mexico’s to the world, including the amazing exotic locales that the country offers for destination weddings’ groups or other special celebrations.

A dedicated weddings micro site style, is part of the revamped Visit Mexico site with an impressive amount of information including destination weddings destination profiles, Mexico specialists & wedding planners directory, frequently asked questions, photographer directory, honeymoon travel advise, etc. Make sure you check out the new Mexico Weddings website: http://www.visitmexico.com/en_us/VisitMexico30/Weddings__Romance

In 2011 Mexico had a record breaking year for tourism, with 23.4 million international travelers visiting our destinations; which was historically Mexico’s best year for international tourism. In 2012 already about 4.9 million international tourists have visited Mexico in the first five months of 2012 representing a 5% increase year on year.

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR GUIDANCE ON DESTINATION WEDDINGS IN MEXICO, check out the new Mexico Weddings website or for specifics you can e-mail: weddings@visitmexico.com . Be our guest. Marry Mexico.

Mexico Weddings: Frequently Asked Questions

4 Jun

On this time that I’ve worked on the hotel business, weddings and tourism, I’ve heard in numerous occasions a series of questions related to destination weddings, from both agents and prospect couples’ looking into tying the knot on a destination wedding type of celebration, and specifically interested in our beautiful country Mexico.

For that, hoping you would ran into this, I’ve gathered some FAQ’s and responded them mostly myself and some with the help of  a couple of my favorite industry partners, hoping you would not only find of use but enjoy reading. 

 MEXICO DESTINATION WEDDINGS FAQ’S

By Carmen Laborin.

As far as romance travel there are thousands of gorgeous places to visit, what about Mexico sets it apart for a destination wedding? Or for a honeymoon? The appeal we can’t deny, so can’t we deny the accessibility from the US to any of our amazing spots. In Mexico, there is a vast array of romantic activities, service providers ready to meet everyone’s expectations, truly and creative professionals to partners up with, not to mention Hollywood-like backdrops for any affair the country has to offer.  And regarding settings and activities, we truly have everything -from beach getaways to rich and unique cultural experiences– all couched in romantic themes.

What specifically sets apart Mexico from other locations is primarily year round fabulous weather and value for money, meeting today’s couples need’ and about choosing their venue; in Mexico we pride ourselves on complying with that very straight forward offer, along with the beauty of the country’s exotic locales, all of them ready for “picture perfect moments”: Pacific sunsets, mountains in colonial heartland, tropical sexiness on eastern jungle. Colonial cities, historic haciendas, adventure spots; in Mexico you can find it all: Beach, centuries’ old churches, mosques, underground caves, ballrooms, historical Buildings, dream parks, wineries, vineyards, country clubs, museums, galleries… you name it.

Must mention also wedding can be 100% customizable, Mexico is ideal for non-traditional, exotic or non-cookie cutter weddings, some ideas include Mayan or Pehispanic symbolic ceremonies, traditional hacienda, yatch or even underwater weddings just to mention a few.

Having decades of experience in the destination wedding industry, the country also offers knowledgeable wedding specialists to work with, creative event production as well as a number of cultural, adventure and social activities for your group to enjoy or together as a newlywed couple, ready to live many “first-time” experiences, classes, dances, dishes, rituals…  There are plenty of reasons why more and more couple’s are finding themselves marrying south of the border, as it has been said: so close to home, yet far from ordinary.

***From DESTINATION I DO MAGAZINE “Learning from the Experts” series***

Considering the top reasons Mexico is recommended for destination weddings, honeymoons, or romantic travel, what are the activities couples can experience while abroad? While in Mexico, there are hundreds of activities there to do. If at a beach destination, there are several options including water sports, snorkeling, scuba diving, river rafting, fishing and site seeing. 

 Mexico also has more spas than any other country in the world, other than the U.S. Since plenty of to do’s are better when in company there are outstanding cooking schools and very gourmet and sexy classes, latin & cumbia dance lessons, golf lessons, photographic excursion, genuine market tours, golf, followed by horseback riding lessons at the same property, volunteering, sunbathing in one of the Mexican islands, moon light dining and stars’ watching, and one of the most up and coming activities mezcal and tequila tastings at actual functional distilleries, be it trough the Tequila Route (at any of its numerous factories) or maybe a more boutique mezcal refinery house in Mexico’s heartland, gallery touring or contemporary Mexican art class, archeological sites visits, etc.

Activities abound, and folklore accompanies couples every step of the way during their romance travel in Mexico: welcoming smiles, perfect weather, tequila or “aguas frescas”, a wealth of colorful food options of the freshest ingredients, live music, flowers, live music and strangers that become friends.

***From DESTINATION I DO MAGAZINE “Learning from the Experts” series***

What is the number one misconception about Mexico to address? There are many misconceptions about Mexico, and many times one small issue can be blown out of proportions. Sometimes misconceptions rise just as a lack of proper information, in our case very much related to geography… yes geography. For that important to understand our country, a friendly neighboring country for the most part misunderstood. Mexico is a vast country, roughly the size of Western Europe with over 2,500 municipalities (the equivalent of counties in the United States), has about 111 million inhabitants, on 760,000 sq. miles.

Only in 2011, our beautiful country received 22.6 million international travelers.  Mexico has a rich cultural history, exemplified by myriad sites and ancient cities in addition to its gastronomy – a UN declared, world heritage cuisine.

As seen in the campaign that Mexico has used in promotion, it is about discovering or re-discovering Mexico, “THE PLACE YOU TOUGHT YOU KNEW”, the campaign showcases amazing places and stores that you would never even think existed. Some of these “treasures” are summarized in: 37 World Heritage Sites, Cuisine as World Heritage (2010), 40 Magical Towns, 3,000 years of history, + 40,000 archaeological sites, Over 62 indigenous groups and dialects, 14 AAA – 5 diamond hotels, 623,000 hotel rooms, 50 world class golf courses, First place in cruise ship arrivals, 174 natural protected areas, 4 World Heritage natural areas, Number 2 in luxury travel and First place in SPAS, and country with most number of spas besides USA.

***From DESTINATION I DO MAGAZINE “Learning from the Experts” series***

So, what exactly is a Destination Wedding?  When a couple decides that they want to exchange their vows and celebrate their love in a dream location that is not either the place of  birth or the place of current residence and there’ s travel involved, they are deciding on a Destination Wedding.

It might be just the two of you (AKA “eloping”), or you might include a group of friends and family. The average destination Wedding group has about 50 guests in the party. It’s an appealing option if you want to do something unique, secure a smaller guest list, find an excuse for a mini vacation, hold the wedding at a place equally convenient for far-flung family, or just to get away!. The entire wedding party will travel to the destination and enjoy a long weekend – or an entire week – and be on vacation mode while enjoying themselves and celebrating along the wedding events.

Around a 23% of weddings from North American couples are now Destination Weddings. Locales of choice are often beaches and tropical areas but more and more we are seeing people choosing for example a 16 or 17th. century colonial town for a perfect backdrop. 

Why plan a Destination Wedding?  There are many reasons to choose a destination wedding. Many couples look to a destination wedding as a way to have a unique and memorable wedding experience. Often, when looking at a guest list, many people will have to travel from far away states or countries. A destination wedding allows them to travel with a purpose somewhere exotic and fabulous, where they can also enjoy a relaxing vacation; as opposed to asking guests to book a flight and hotel in a less exciting hometown. Some couples are in love with the destination, and want to spend the most special day of their lives in their idea of paradise. More couples decide upon a destination wedding as they are from different areas of the country, and do not want to decide against one hometown for another, so they opt to go to a location that will, from now on, be somewhere special to each of them. One of the most common reasons to choose a destination wedding is to save money. Destination Weddings often allow couples to save upwards of $20,000 versus a traditional wedding!

***This great Q&A, provided by www.destinationweddings.com DW specialists***

Why have a destination wedding in Mexico? Mexico is the top 1 international country for a destination wedding, getting into this place not only for its natural beauty and milliard of perfect scenarios for picture perfect weddings, but for: accessibility on first place, secondly comes hospitality & value for money on third.

 How do we know if a Destination wedding right for us and our Guests?  For many reasons –from budget, to fun, to memorabilia- a destination wedding is right for many engaged couples, for the celebration is about them, and what they want and not about what everybody else’s think your wedding should be like. For many modern and multicultural couples this is very convenient, as well for those whose guests’ are all over the country and would still need to travel to attend, or if celebrating one of the partner’s second nuptials.

On the other hand, to consider that certain people – family or close friends-, without whom you would not have your wedding, it is advised to do an informal “poll” to these guests to see if attending your Destination Wedding is feasible for them.

How far in advance should I plan my destination wedding?  This really varies with the destination. One major factor is how many guests are going to be invited. For a traditional wedding a month or two is acceptable notice for “Save the Date” cards. Destination Weddings however involve travel arrangements, and therefore should be sent out at least 4-6 months in advance. This is to allow the guests to properly budget and plan for the trip, and to make sure that they are able to obtain reservations.

It also may vary from location to location and according to your groups needs in size and services projected. We suggest you consider holiday dates and seasonally for the booking period because tourism locations would be high in demand and it might impact the wedding budget. Usually the further away from the wedding date or off peak date selections the better it is for a good availability and group rate negation.

Selecting your destination and venue with one year – 10 months is preferable if you have exact dates in mind already, but considering Mexico’s flexibility you can plan a wedding in no time, if you didn’t had much…  A week? You got it.

 ***Part of this great Q&A, provided by www.destinationweddings.com the DW specialists***

 Cruise Weddings. For those couples that want to enjoy a cruise and venture off shore on Mexican land for a fun destination wedding, can definitely have it all: a beautiful ceremony arranged at the port of call for them and their group if they plan on having guests. You can get married at the same day that you arrive in Mexico, be it by the Caribbean Sea, the Pacific, the gulf of Mexico or the Sea of Cortez.

You can have an amazing seaside ceremony and a fun cocktail or reception ashore. The many local destination wedding specialists and DMC’s can help arrange what is to make sure your symbolic wedding is unforgettable.

What if we just want to renew our vows? That’s a superb idea as well! All you would need is a marriage officer. All other details relating to your special moment can be arranged at your discretion with the destination of choice on site coordinator’.

Do you know if airlines offer group discounts for weddings? You’re in luck a number of Airlines such as AEROMEXICO –Mexico’s premier airline- for example, has a Weddings Aeropass, with discounted flight rates and special perks for the couple as VIP lounge access on Salon Premier, flying in complimentary business class, a 20% discount on their first year anniversary trip among others, you can visit their website or call them at: 1.800.237.6639. American Airlines also has a “Wedding Event Travel discount program you can check out for your wedding guests.

Some other airlines such as a Delta, although not having a specific “wedding deal”  for your party, does offer some room for negotiation: “When your travel plans involve 10 or more passengers on the same flight, Delta Air Lines can easily accommodate your group needs. Group discounts are offered; discounts vary. Net fares may be offered in some markets…”

Many other airlines offer some sort of group deal, but so do specialized companies such as www.destinationweddings.com for example, who work with major tour operators to secure the best deals for wedding group clients. Considering the do more than a thousand weddings a year worldwide, they do have an important buying power that usually translates into benefits for your wedding group.

Is there an online photo gallery of different weddings that have been celebrated in Mexico so we can get some visual reference?  Of course, you can see some amazing photos of destination weddings in Mexico in our image Gallery as follows: (LINK TO: LIGA EN WEB DE GALERIA DE LAS FOTOS INSTITUCIONALES INTEGRADAS POR LOS DIFERENTES FOTOGRAFOS).

Many destinations and their resorts have other galleries that you can explore, we suggest that your visit the local DESTINATIONS VISITORS AND CONVENTIONS’ official websites to learn more about the specific locations.

With a destination wedding some of my guest might not be able to attend; can you advise on ways to work around this? First of all, we advise you to give them as much time in advance as possible, so they can no only save the date but work out their travel plans and arrangements accordingly, as any vacation, travel takes some time and resources and need to be planned. The more time the better position they’re in, even in some cases with travel agents offering payment plans for their travels so it’s easy on their pocket and everyone can enjoy.

 How about the folks who can’t attend our destination wedding? Another thing to consider is to hire a webcam service for the ceremony or even the party for those who won’t be able to accompany you, so they would enjoy the wedding of your dreams in real time, and share your special day with guests who are unable to attend. Many resorts have professional service providers that offer this service.

Also you can try and negotiate with your photographer or have one friend in charge of making at least some of the main wedding pictures available following your main events so they can be quickly posted on an online album and family and friends abroad can see them.

Do I need to bring vendors with me to the location of choice for my wedding? NO. Although that’s a very personal decision we suggest working with any of Mexico’s reputable local vendors who have the experience of the customs, locations and resources to make the magic happen. You can get help to find the best vendors with eh help of Mexico specialists, through the Mexico Tourism Board wedding department, local wedding planners as the ones listed on this website as TOP WEDDING PLANNERS “resources” or with your resorts coordinators.

 Or, you could download the files below to have access to the wedding catalogues of the top 12 wedding destination locations in Mexico. This is a jumpstart for any dream wedding to come true. These bilingual ‘Wedding Planner Guides’ for Mexico’s most popular wedding destinations are filled with detailed contacts for hotels, local planners, venues, florists, stylists, photographers, etc. The works!. 

MERIDA 

MORELIA 

OAXACA 

SAN MIGUEL DE ALLENDE 

GUANAJUATO 

LOS CABOS 

PUERTO VALLARTA 

RIVIERA NAYARIT 

ACAPULCO 

CANCUN 

COZUMEL 

RIVIERA MAYA.       

 

I’ve been asked this questions many times “Who Pays for Destination Wedding Accommodations?” are we obliged to pay for our guests stays? There is a general consensus among wedding etiquette specialists that the marrying couple is under no obligation to pay for any of their guests accommodations, regardless of where the wedding is taking place.  This would be true regardless if the wedding was to be at a local venue or at an international locale such as in Mexico for example. 

It is however, very gracious when the couple makes a thoughtful selection of the host venue with their guests in mind so they can all manage to stay together in the same resorts and to have a good experience during those days, while having all guest feel as they are part of the group, rather than having to stay elsewhere because of unaffordable host hotel’s rates.  In some cases, bride and groom (or their parents, depending who is paying for the wedding) will offer to pay for some of the additional nights’ stays of some of their dearest guests or in-laws, or co-pay the stay of a few special guests who’s because of current situations wouldn’t have made it otherwise without their support.

The wedding attendants are responsible for their own travel expenses, such as airfare and all the other personal expenses.

Are same-sex weddings allowed in Mexico? Although many states in the United States voted to outlaw gay marriage, there are many places now where LGTB couples can get married or obtain civil unions. In Mexico there are two places where same-sex couples can get legally married or enter in some kind of legally recognized partnership, and these are the states of Coahuila & Mexico City, which allow legal same-sex unions. Mexico City allows same-sex couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage since March 2010, including the right to adopt children. By law, marriages entered into in Mexico City must be recognized elsewhere in the nation

Will I need a wedding consultant to handle the ceremony at my destination wedding location?
Depending on the ceremony details, it is recommended that you work with someone at the location to help finalize the details. Many resorts and hotels have on-site wedding coordinators, who maintain reputable local vendor lists, and can help organize your big day.

Most importantly the consideration of a wedding consultant be it local or from your hometown, will depend on the amount of time you’ll have to put into the research and planning of your destination wedding. If you don’t have the time or patience, of feel qualified to do so (to research the legal requirements that go along with a destination wedding, the vendors in that area, officiant options, where to stay, etc) it is then advised that you rely on the specialist to help you, at the end of the day, this is once in a lifetime event and you want it to be perfect. If you’re investing so much time, effort and money on such a milestone celebration, why not trust a wedding planner to help you out. Weddings is what they do best, they have a wealth of experience and know most of the vendors like the palm of their hands, considering they hire them regularly they also develop more loyalty and responsiveness from them than many of us would ever get individually.

Is there a fee for the coordination services provided at the resorts?  Some hotels or wedding venues would provide this service for free, however. Some do not. Travel agents can also act as coordinators, but the fact that can arrange wedding group travel plans doesn’t make them necessarily qualified to plan wedding event details. So make sure you know well in advance, what are the roles of each of the specialists you’re working with are, so there’s no room for error.

In the case of some travel agents/planners and wedding consultants may base their fee on a percentage scale– and/or offer a flat rate. Some may provide packages, while others may offer their services à la carte. As mentioned the coordination service provided by the resorts usually have no fees, and a specialist would usually be assigned to assist you with the planning and the special day, for them to guide you through the entire experience. Do remember however that these coordinators are hired by the resorts, and they are to act on the resort’s best interests and not necessarily although their offer their best, they won’t necessarily push for the best negotiations in your behalf, for that and for the fact the resort coordinator many time oversee many events taking place around your event dates as well might have a heavier workload that won’t allow her/him to response in such as prompt manner as if had been hired independently by you for that matter.

Are there dedicated wedding planners on resorts sites in Mexico? Can they be reached by email?  Nowadays is very common for all major resorts & hotels in Mexico to have a dedicated wedding coordinator on site. Most time they can be reached through the resort’s group department, but regardless a simple contact with Reservations department in any case would be happy to redirect you to the person that can help you with information, to schedule a site inspection visit, start your destination wedding planning process, etc. Yes, most likely they can be reached by e-mail, photo, skype, etc.

 How can we confirm our wedding date? Usually the resorts will provide with a form to fill out with more detail, and that is needed to check and confirm availability. In most cases the wedding will only be considered confirmed only when you receive a written communication stating so and some down payment to secure.

 Is there only one type of wedding ceremony? No there are many types of ceremonies, religious, symbolic or spiritual and civil or legal to name a few.

 What is the difference between legal (civil), religious and symbolic ceremonies? Only a civil ceremony is legally recognized. A religious ceremony has no legal bearing and does not replace in any way the binding legal civil marriage. A symbolic ceremony do not either have a religious or legal validation. A symbolic ceremony is performed by a Non denominational minister, shamans or other officiants and is pretty much adapted to what you as a couple wants. The bride and groom will receive a symbolic marriage not legally valid.

On the other hand, a Catholic ceremony is only performed by a priest (please note that Catholic ceremonies cannot be performed outside the church). Church weddings may accompany the civil service, but the marriage is not legal without the civil ceremony. As a result, many couples in Mexico have two wedding services: civil and church. The marriage vows that a couple repeats during a civil ceremony include several important statements.

It’s important to note the fact that about 72% of foreign couples marrying in Mexico opt for a symbolic or spiritual wedding for which the couple might only need: themselves and the officiant, being a minister -non denominational, Christian- shaman, etc. This option is very common, the couple would just make an appointment at their local courthouse (in US for example) for a quick & easy legal ceremony, sometimes prior sometimes on their return from the destination wedding, with this option, they can not only save some money on paperwork preparation and lab tests. In many cases the GUESTS of a DW can’t really tell the difference between a legal or symbolic ceremony, but the couple would definitely know. Symbolic celebrations are able to be personalized, versus the civil ceremony where you can’t.

For religious ceremonies what documents are necessary from your house of worship at home?/What is required in regard to marital counseling? Pre Cana- is that something that can be done here? If you’re looking to have a catholic wedding, all paperwork and preparation such as the pre-cana must be arranged at your local parish in the US and then communication between the two churches (US & MEX) must be established –and can be done with the help of local or hotel coordinator-. The parish in US must validate the preparation, paperwork and permissions ready, so a sign off form the local parish will be needed. This is only of course regarding catholic wedding. No pre-cana or other alike marital counseling needed if the ceremony was to be legal or better yet, if it was symbolic only. Learn more on the BILINGUAL WEDDINGS’ CATALOGUE.

If they are NOT married in a Catholic Church what are the requirements? A symbolic or spiritual wedding might only need: the couple and the officiant, being a minister -non denominational, Christian- shaman, etc.

 What are the requirements to get LEGALLY married in Mexico:

  • Valid passport
  • Tourist Cards (blue sheets that you receive at the airport)
  • Apostille certified birth certificates for Bride & Groom (see below)
  • If applicable, final Record of Divorce
  • If applicable, Death Certificate
  • Blood test & health certificate and provided by a Mexican doctor.
  • Bride & Groom must arrive 4 days business days prior to the ceremony (Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays do not count).
  • 4 witnesses.
  • * Please note that some requirements vary depending on city and state*

So, witnesses are required?  Yes, four witnesses are required and if foreign as well must present passports and tourist cards (blue sheet received at the airport at time of arrival to Mexico), or in some cases witnesses can be provided by the hotel if needed.

 What is an Apostille document, why do I need it and where do I get it? Apostille is a French word which means a certification. It is commonly used in English to refer to the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents.

Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention. (courtesy of Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostille)

I was divorced less than one year ago. Can I have my civil ceremony  in Mexico? Unfortunately no. If you have been divorced you will need to wait at least one year before remarrying by civil law, and you must bring a copy of your divorce decree. But you can have definitely a beautiful symbolic wedding by all means.

Will the judge perform the ceremony if all of our documents are not in order? Are there any exceptions? No, there are no exceptions. All documents must be presented, and they must be in order for the ceremony to take place. If not, there is no legal ceremony.

So, is a blood test really mandatory and if so, what diseases does it check for? Yes, to be considered valid the test must be taken in Mexico and should not be taken more than 15 days prior to the ceremony. It is for “disclosure” purposes to both parties that are gathering in marriage. The blood will be tested for HIV, RPR (sexually transmitted diseases) and blood type. The results will be ready in 24 hours together with a certificate of the blood test. Usually, upon arrival, your wedding coordinator sets the appointment for the next morning for is required to have the blood test taken on an empty stomach. The professional laboratory and its’ doctor will meet you at the resorts and take the blood test either in your room or in the coordinator’s office and it shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to be done. To learn more, you can read the BILINGUAL WEDDINGS’ CATALOGUE.

Can I have a doctor perform the test in my country and take the results to the resort? No, the test must be taken in Mexico in order to be valid, no exceptions.

What is the latest time that we can arrive at the location for it to count toward the “business day” requirement for civil “legal” weddings requirements? Arrival day does not count, nor do weekends or Holidays. You must arrive either 2-4 full business days prior to the event date; it varies from location to location.

How long the ceremony does takes? The ceremonies usually last no more than 20 minutes if they are legal. If it’s a symbolic ceremony it may vary slightly, since it can be more flexible, so the time will depend on the elements or rituals you want to incorporate into it.

Do we need to send any documentation prior to arrival? Usually copies of all required documentation are required to be scanned and sent in to the resorts or coordinator for validation purposes and then verified in originals upon arrival.

How do I get the final marriage license? Usually it’s the wedding coordinator will provided the copy of the license to you immediately after the ceremony. The translated, final license –that is valid as legal internationally (recognized as valid in the U.S.) for example- would be mailed to you within 1.5-4 months from the wedding date.

If my name is different from the passport and birth certificate will this present problem? Yes, in order for the documents to be finalized and legal in Mexico, there must be proof for different names in order to get married (i.e. divorce, birth certificates, etc). The wedding coordinator will be able to explain in further detail.

“I’m concerned with rumors that “some people’s weddings that are supposed to be LEGAL are not”. So I must say there are clear differences of symbolic and legal weddings. For instance a symbolic wedding with ministers, shamans, or us “ordained” ministers-officiants are not legal marriages in Mexico. Legal marriages in Mexico are only performed by a JUDGE or minister of peace form the Mexican REGISTRO CIVIL. For this to happen very specific paperwork (translated into Spanish) and a medical lab test performed in Mexico prior to the event are required, a number of witnesses and some documentation paperwork signature are required prior (can be e-mailed in preparation) to the ceremony.  Then after the ceremony, in order for the marriage license expedited to be valid in US it has to be translated and stamped by a public notary in Mexico and once done, THAT is a legal marriage. Do not believe “the rumors” as anyone would definitely know when a ceremony is legal or symbolic. Maybe the guest won’t be able to tell so much, but you as the couple would definitely know, for the officiants of either one of them are always very clear about this, in order to avoid situations like the one mentioned, not to mention the type of paperwork required –if any-for it to happen makes the whole difference.

Are ceremonies performed in English or Spanish? Most ceremonies are performed in Spanish with an English translator. Some judges speak English, and many ministers do, however, it’s difficult to guarantee which official will perform the ceremony although most likely the local coordinator can confirm which ministers or spiritual officiant would perform your wedding. Ministers are fluent in English and are able to perform symbolic ceremonies in either language in some areas including French.

What if we want a ceremony that honors a particular religion; can someone of that faith be provided? Not on all cases but feel free to bring your own official of that religion.

Is there someone who can handle the legal details for us and will guide us through the process?  Yes, the wedding coordinators deal directly with the local officials to coordinate the legalized wedding process.

I don’t speak any Spanish. Will I have a problem? No, English is spoken quite extensively throughout the area by businesses dealing with tourists. Most precisely anyone in a group coordination position at a resort of choice will be English speaking, as will many of the one taking care of your groups. The level of proficiency will of course depend on the location and hotel of choice. However, you may become frustrated if you expect everyone to speak fluent English or to understand you, so be patient and explain yourself in as much detail as possible so there’ no room for loss in translation. Remember, you are guests of a native Spanish speaking country, which always goes above and beyond your request to make your visit the most pleasant.

What travel documents do I need in order to travel to Mexico? You must have a valid passport to enter. In case you don’t have a valid passport issued, you can learn more or apply for a US passport.

Passport requisite is required to enter Mexico, Canada and the USA regardless of your nationality.   If you are a single parent, parent traveling alone with children, or parents with children are bearing a different last name.  You will require a signed, notarized letter from the other parent consenting to the child leaving your home country and possibly additional documentation.  Check with your travel agent, airline or US & Mexican Embassies for current document requirements long before flight time:
Mexican Embassy in USA
Mexican Embassy in Canada
Mexican Embassy in the UK

Can I bring into the country things bought for my wedding in the US? You may freely bring your personal luggage and a variety of exempt goods that vary according to the route by which you enter the country. Only when the total expense of the purchases being imported to Mexico and quantities, are beyond the normal personal use parameters, the objects might be subject to revision and must be stated in the mandatory customs declaration to be delivered on entrance to the country.

If the objects brought into Mexico, are for a different use than personal it may be subject to tax paying. It’s advised to bring the original invoices of the goods that you may bring into Mexico, in case there’s a need to declare them in customs.

There’s an “Manual of Tourism Entry” for Mexico you can download where you can find the necessary information to visit Mexico, whether by land, in your own vehicle, by sea, or by air, whether in a commercial airline or on board a private plane, where there are also described some of the regulations for the goods that are allowed/forbidden to bring into Mexico (please refer to pages 4 and 5).

I hope the above infromation is of use to you and you find it  conforting to learn about this questions, that are more common that you would think.

If I can be of further help, please let me know.

Love always. Best,

 

Carmen

P.S. This article or informative purposes only. Content might change without previous notice.  

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Photos by: http://www.rodrigodelriolozano.com

So what do Peter Greenberg & Criss Angel have in common?

21 Sep

Let’s start with what a hectic day it was yesterday, September the 20th. Not only the day went by magically as if only seconds have passed by, but was so full of news and exciting happenings!!

First of all I find out that my darling beau CRISS ANGEL the ‘Mindfreak’ illusionist just engaged to Sandra her 21 y.o. girlfriend for four years’ in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Was a bit disappointed at first, for on one of my few but wild dreams, is I’d meet him and eventually you know give place to a possibility of falling in love, hey as an illusionist he is, I imagine it would be the ultimate rush to fall in love for a man like him, and bring to the relationship all kinds of trickery and have it be filled with all sorts of surprises, but guess now we would never know the type of fun it would be to marry me… Oh well.

Anyways that who broke the news to us was Vegas DeLuxe journalist Robin Leach and he walked us trough the proposal soirée that actually took place at The One and Only Palmilla resort in Los Cabos, he writes “It started just as a romantic sunset dinner on the beach close to the crashing waves. They walked along rose petals that had been scattered on the sand to an intimate table for two with a guitarist playing a discreet distance away. They stayed barefoot when they got to the table he’d arranged surrounded by a circle of flaming torches… At the beginning, it just looked like a romantic holiday dinner, but at dessert there were two hearts made from chocolate and cookies, and that’s where he’d hidden the ring to surprise her.” Gee, as you can see true romance is not only for common people like you and I and celebrities or not we can all feel the love well deep inside our hearts, particularly while enjoying the nice warm breeze, watching the sunset, zipping some fine wine  on any of Mexican beaches, made with love perfect for romance. I know love is expressed easier while in Mexico .

About the love, a really sweet ‘thing’ they did as soon as the couple celebrate their engagement -and that which Sandra insisted on- was paying a visit to a local orphanage there, which looks after 30 children, so they did and with all the trimmings, that is, the recently engaged couple trekked to a store and they loaded up minivans and four flatbed trucks with food and toiletries to give to the Casa Hogar orphans in Baja, and that ladies & gentleman is what I call being happy, thankful and caring, a great way to kick start a new stage on their lives. Oh yeah!.

Anyways, back to our initial ‘thing’ here, who I did met about to be 4 years ago was Peter Greenberg at a travel & Tourism even t in Mexico City, where I participated representing the State of Yucatan, where I used t olive then. Well, Greenberg happens to be Travel Editor for CBS News, and appears on The Early Show, CBS Evening News, and across many CBS broadcast platforms

And after having run into each other a few times before, and particularly in the past year while at the Mexico Tourism Board, yesterday let me tell you was a very special occasion, not only we met we greet, but along came the president, oh yes, I did I mentioned Peter, sort of ‘joint-ad-ventured’ with Mexico President Felipe Calderon into Greenberg’s latest “Royal Tour”.  Yesterday begin a very special day a very VIP list was invited to New York’s Guggenheim Museum to attend the private launch of MEXICO: THE ROYAL TOUR.

This “Royal Tour” which is to air on PBS’s network on Thursday September 22nd, 2011, and which is intended to  have producer and host Peter Greenberg, showcasing Mexico in a way ‘no visitor has ever seen the country before’ and yes, that is correct, for this time the show will be hosted and guided by no less than the same President of Mexico, a tour that couldn’t have been more personal, the President even took Greenberg to meet his family –and we mean mom, brothers and sisters- at this hometown in Morelia, Michoacan, they sat down for coffee at their living room and chatted, nothing like this I’ve seen before when it comes to featuring a president’s life on this what’s like a sneak peek into a very special family vacation, so I guess he will eventually face a lot of criticism, but then again, that always happens, and since now is the time to focus on what it’s important, so they did, and the well portrayed some of the Mexico -my home country- really is, and in this case what a better example of hospitality, a heartfelt— through the eyes of its leader.

Mexico’s Ministry of Tourism Secretaria Gloria Guevara hosted along with COO of Mexico Tourism Board Rodolfo Lopez Negrete welcomed everyone to witness the truthfulness & quality of the show we had among the VIP guest list the first lady Margarita Zavala; Mexico’s Ambassador in USA, Consul General of Mexico in NY, Ambassador of Mexico and UN representative, Mexico’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, joined by State Governors of Chiapas & Quintana Roo, Mexico, among other public affairs & tourism personalities. Truly outstanding was the attendance of Emilio Azcarraga for example who’s President of Televisa Group (largest TV network in Mexico), Juan Beckham, Casa Cuervo’s President (Largest Tequila company in the world), Kirk Kinsell, Intercontinental Hotels Group President, Matthew Upchurch, Virtuoso, John De Nhysschen, President for AUDI, Edward Bastian, Delta Airlines President David Scowsill, President & CEO of  WTTC, Neal Shapiro PBS / WNET President, Catherine Greteman, CEO for NTA, Sam Gilliland CEO of Sabre Holdings, Terry Dale President USTOA, etc. Here the list’s has got to stop since there were almost 300 handpicked guests on this very impressive list to tough to name all. Amazing experience was to be surrounded by some of Mexico’s fan with most influence on the world of travel & tourism.

So, in this trip that PBS and Peter are taking us in, led by President Calderón we have access to extraordinary locations, landmarks and amazing cultural immersions. In one hour, we will see a 5 day packed experience starting in Los Pinos (the Mexican White House), then Morelia in Michoacán, with a  top at the “Santuario de las Mariposas” (butterflies’ sanctuary) regal home to Monarch butterflies, out again to explore the legendary ruins of lost civilizations, seek out their descendants and find the ancient mysteries these sites have hidden for generations in Palenque & magical Chiapas. From soaring across the skies in a hot air balloon for a bird’s-eye view of Teotihuacan, to whale watching in Baja California, to rappelling stories into a seemingly bottomless pit, the world’s foremost travel journalist uncovers the essence of this captivating and complex nation with the President as his guide. Did we mention also, the visit to great Chichen Itza? or Calakmul in Campeche? Better be prepared, this isn’t for the beach, book & lounge traveler, but the world traveler… They say it is “this is the real Mexico of The Royal Tour”. You want to find out for yourself what is this all buzz about?

Ah, so the question was: what do Peter Greenberg and Criss Angel have in have in common? Well, one response would be: one does magic and another one takes us into close to magical places, one an illusionist and another one as a travel journalist, but hey isn’t; it obvious!?… They all LOVE MEXICO! And they both made my day yesterday, September 21st. Oh yeah! 

 

There you go.

Until next, just love.

 

Carmen

 

Photos: by Robert Landau , SolCaboFotexMX/TVT & Carmen Laborin.

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