Tag Archives: TRAVEL

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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You’re invited! Read the latest adventures on my new blog “PRETTY CHICK FINDINGS”

14 Mar

How about you check out my new blog and Facebook page to learn about a new & super fun project I’m working on related to travel, tourism, romance, people, food & pretty things around the world.

Telling stories has always been my passion, but doing it via a blog -so exposed- and also in English language represents an exciting challenge… which I’m totally happy to undertake!

PRETTY CHICK FINDINGS COM prettychickfindings social

I’ve posted my first interview in PEOPLE section of my new blog “PRETTY CHICK FINDINGS“. Hope you enjoy it:

Marta Looz: amazing woman, philanthropist, Kabbalah interpreter, author, tarologist, theory of color specialist, life guide.

Thanks for the love.

Be awesome,

Carmen

P.S. Would you please like me on FB? https://www.facebook.com/PrettyChickFindings

AMERICAN AIRLINES READY TO WORK WITH WEDDING GROUPS WITH AMAZING SPECIAL RATES

9 Jul

American Airlines is ready to provide wedding parties and guests a group rate for their special events’ travels through their American Airlines Group & Meeting Travel. 

Together, American Airlines, American Eagle@ and AmericanConnection@ serve more than 250 cities in 40 countries, and with our oneworld alliance partners, we can arrange group travel discounts to more than 690 destination. Being Mexico one of their top international destinations, what better way to take off to an exotic destination wedding for your dreams, than in a familiar American airline?.

To find out more about American Airlines Group & Meeting Travel, call 1-800-545-8193 for wedding group’s discounted rates. http://www.aa.com

 

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

MEXICO’S WEDDING rituals and traditions

24 May

MEXICO’S WEDDING rituals and traditions

Carmen Laborin, Mexico Tourism Board.

 

Mexico has been for long a preferred destination for Romance and romance-related travel. With a number of picture perfect locations that make the perfect scenery for anyone’s wedding movie, the country’s exotic locales, accessibility, romantic atmosphere and favorable climate are only a few of the reasons why more and more couple’s are finding themselves marrying south of the border.

Having decades of experience in the destination wedding industry, the country offers knowledgeable wedding specialists, creative event production and out-of-this-world culinary offerings. With a number of cultural, adventure and social activities, a wedding in Mexico is even the perfect excuse for a guilt-free mini-vacation! What truly sets Mexico apart as a prime wedding location is the great attention to detail placed on weddings. This is primarily due to the importance of marriage in Mexican culture, which ensures that every wedding in Mexico is only of the highest quality.

With Mexico’s people being such passionate and for the most part of traditional religious fervor, celebration such as weddings in Mexico may differ to marriages in other cultures, and we thought it would be fun to share some of the most interesting to-dos’ that relate to a traditional Mexican wedding party and that traditionally as well, usually involves: close family and friends –not meaning few but many-, some sort of ethnic food, music and religious customs, in a row of festivities of great symbolism. In Mexico we celebrate with honor when people commit to Love.

I read once that “Watching a traditional Mexican boda is a bit like studying the history of the country over the past seven centuries. Rituals, customs & traditions combined from the Spanish, Aztec, Native American, & Anglo-American cultures are found throughout the wedding” and it really made sense to me. Possible having taken rituals for granted, I needed to take a break and recall some of my experiences on the number of wedding I’ve taken part.

The people of Mexico love to throw parties & weddings are one of the most important celebrations and a perfect occasion to host a fantastic event. While we hope to have a fiesta that our family and friends swill never forget, we try to be very respectful of tradition.

It all starts with the beloved couple, falling in love and “deciding” to marry. That’s just the very beginning…

 

“LA PEDIDA” OR ‘Father’s Approval’

In traditional Mexican families, the father is very much the head of the household. He has the final say in allowing a couple to date and at time of wedding proposal to officially “approve” their daughter to marry and be “given in marriage”. “Pedir” means to request/to demand. If it is an extended family, the grandfather also has input. The fiancée and his family go to the bride’s household to execute this formalism to ask for her hand in marriage as a sign of respect to them, and also so the two families can meet if they haven’t yet or to get to know each other more closely as they will be related shortly trough the union of their children.

“Rural Mexican families tend to follow traditional dating customs more closely than those in the larger cities” was cited. Exposure to other cultures such as the American for example has influenced the younger generation, giving a more relaxed view on dating practices, however the majority follow along the marriage traditions still.

Once granted the permission to marry the bride, the families are able to discuss as well the best dates for the weddings to take place.

Who pays what

Mexican weddings can be expensive and some affairs could be on easily a reunion of 300-400 people. Is typical that the father of the bride, will pay for wedding expenses incurred, this is for the more traditional weddings. In more rural wedding the padrinos, friends & family consistent of a big portion of the whole town will help with the expenses and bring in food, music, beverages in a way to support the new bride & groom and make sure everyone has the best time, you would think than in smaller towns, pretty much EVERYONE’S INVITED.

In urban center and more modern couples, those who have been on their own for sometime would sometime receive the support of both sides, the families of bride & groom, and doesn’t necessarily mean that they would pay for all. More and more we are seeing the couple will pay for some portion of the wedding. On the higher end of the social structure the more the parents pay, the more humble the couple, the less their parents are left with this responsibility, and in many cases that has to do with new generations having more and better opportunities and resources.

Madrinas y Padrinos

In Mexico, the couple selects those who would be the “mentors” to the couple throughout the engagement and marriage. They are usually people who have played an important role in the lives of the bride and groom or their families, they usually sing as witnesses as well on their civil union. Sometimes in most traditional households or towns, the “Padrinos” help the bride and groom pay for parts of the weddings, sort of “sponsors” of one or another aspects of the wedding, they would also take part of the church services as guest of honor near the couple.

Those selected as “padrinos” or godfathers are given the nickname of “compadres” and for that involves the families or friends in the close system of “compadrazgo”, and gift-exchanging.

Wedding Attire

Latina brides have a wide variety of options for their vestido de novia or wedding dress. While some brides chose a traditional wedding. Also popular as Spanish heritage is the mantilla style veil instead of the regular veil.

Depending on the area of Mexico you’re from and the type of upbringing, the customs for your wedding could differ enormously from one another… for that the wedding gowns can also vary from a simple cotton attire to a very elaborate silk or velvet embroidered one.

For example there’s a tradition where the bride sews three ribbons—yellow, blue, & red—into her lingerie for good luck. The ribbons are meant to ensure the availability of food, money, & passion in the years to come and yes, this isn’t visible but it’s a part of the traditions and preparations, in more modern families, she would only wear a blue colored garter (as in something blue).

In Oaxaca State, wedding dresses are always very personal, with lace, embroidery. In the south of the state they can be made of velvet with flowers embroidered, and a curious sort of white colored open hat called resplandor that gives a frame to the face.

In the state of Chiapas for example, the Chiapanecan textile is known because of its symbolic meaning, and is related to the soul. This symbolism reveals itself in the designs, traditional costumes or the dreams of the locals. Typically the designs reflect the power of the nature and the creation, that is a way of expression of their perceptions and beliefs. For that, each ethnic group has got its own representing design, and therefore these textiles are believed to preserve the identity of their community.The most used fabrics are cotton and wool, and are elaborated in their cloth and a sort of belt loom. In this region the textiles are used principally for ceremonies, rituals and in the daily life. For example, a typical wedding dress from Zinacantán, an area in Chiapas, is that made of cotton strings and goose feathers. In the pre-hispanic period these feather symbolized wealth, power, fertility and beauty. Because Zinacantán is characterized by the production of flowers , the main designs of this community are flowers and animals.

In southeastern areas of Mexico such as in Yucatan, there’s a common dress used by locals that is fresh and beautiful, consisting of a long straight skirt and long straight blouse in light cotton fabric with embroidered square neck, which for wedding attire is white on white, the flowers embroidered are hand stitched and this type of dress is called a Huipil (pronounced “ee-pill”).

Besides the classical suit or tux, some grooms may choose to wear a “guayabera’, a light, short-sleeved shirt perfect for tropical temperature. The shirt style is about 200 years old. It is a very detailed shirt, which includes embroidered panels or pleats sewn close together vertically. The design covers both the front and back. There are many styles and designs, on e of the most luxurious ones and perfect for weddings would be the one design called “presidecial” (“presidential”). It is also the shirt of choice for Mexican beach weddings. A popular color is white, but other colors can be worn at less formal weddings.

 

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(Photo credits: Paulina Ulloa, Antonio Saucedo, Jorge Tinajero, Karen Elwell, Ever Lopez, Chistopher Photo & Diana Alvarez).

Processional

Our cathedrals, churches ad parishes, are evidence of the town’s culture and heritage, with ideal architecture and scenery for wedding ceremonies. The use of our town’s icons for weddings for a truly unique experience for the brides… The bride participates in a processional with her parents and family from their home to the cathedral, as does the groom towards the place of the ceremony, asi if for the whole town to see and the parents to feel proud of their marrying daughter or son.

WEDDING CEREMONY – Catholic

Mexican weddings are full of customs and rituals that are steeped in Mexican history and the beliefs of the Roman Catholic Church. Many traditions still practiced in Mexican weddings date back as far as seven centuries. Weddings are almost always held in a Roman Catholic Church, are very spiritual and involve a full mass, where the couple is considered married for eternity. The “Novia y el Novio” (bride & groom) and their attendants stand or kneel at the Church’s alter.

Family and Godparents “padrinos and madrinas” play prominent roles in the ceremony. During the liturgy godparents may present them with gifts of a prayer book, rosary and kneeling pillow.

SYMBOLS OF MARRIAGE IN MEXICO

El Lazo

The “Lazo” is a sort of tied rope which can be made from something as simple as a ribbon, to something as ornate as a rosary – either beaded or jeweled, silver filigree, crystals, satin or wreath of orange blossoms, fertility symbols- to symbolically join the bride and groom . It is placed around the necks of the couple – in a figure 8- after they have exchanged their vows to represent their linked future together; the joining of two lives. It’s also called a “UNITY LACE”. Usually, family of the bride & groom, padrinos or best friends of the couple are the ones responsible for “lassoing” the Bride and Groom together. Tradition requires the couple to wear the lasso for the remainder of the service. The lasso is a traditional rope, either beaded or jeweled (or both, in some cases) that is placed around the couple as they say their vows. The rope is intended to symbolize the statement of union and togetherness that the couple is making. The lasso tends to be limited to religious ceremonies.

In some of the more spiritual ceremonies of the many that can be performed in Mexico, at some more traditional Maya Rituals even, a lazo is also used, only this is made with natural elements like flowers or sisal twine, of coursed the ritual varies from areas of Mexico and specific indigenous groups to perform it.

An “ofrenda” or offering is usually made from the bride to the Virgin of Guadalupe at the church when in a Catholic ceremony, and so she kneels and prays in thanks and leaves a flower bouquet at the virgin’s icon altar at the very end of the ceremony before the procession out of the church. In a Mayan ceremony some shamans allow the bride and groom to also make an offering of a bouquet of flor de mayo (frangipani) to the ceiba tree, the sacred tree of the Maya, which joins together the heavens and the netherworld.

 Las Arras

In a tradition dating back to ancient Rome, it is customary for the groom to present the bride with coins during the ceremony. The ritual of the 13 gold coins originated in Spain, where the number represents Jesus & the twelve apostles. The gift of the coins contained most of times in an ornate box or gift tray, and that are blessed by the priest in Catholic ceremonies are meant to represent the groom’s commitment to support his wife throughout their life together & her acceptance symbolizes her promise to take care of him. The groom would pour the 13 blessed coins into his bride’s hand and then gives her a box in which to place them for safekeeping.

…AND MORE PROCESSIONALS

In the more conservative or colonial towns, once the religious ceremony is completed and the couple if officially married, together they begin a journey to the location where the wedding reception will take place, accompanied by live musicians (often mariachis or the municipal band), with all of their family and friends following behind them, and a large part of the town joining them during that processional in celebration.

This sort of “wedding parade” what would resemble a “Callejoneada”, in Mexican-Spanish tradition is where the bride and groom walk the streets most often accompanied with a “burro” a tequila or wine bottle carrying donkey alongside the wedding group, so it’s guaranteed that the group will have they drinks poured at all times during the walk to the site, at the same time the enjoy amazing festive music, dance and toast to the Mariachi or “estudiantina” music.

This is an amazing tradition where the whole town comes out of their homes to celebrate and have fun with the newlyweds before they get to the reception with their guests.

THE WEDDING RECEPTION

Mexico is definitely a party town, so pretty much any occasion is a good excuse to throw a party, but most important because of the importance of marriage in latin culture, this is supposed to be THE PARTY. Traditionally, they will go on until the wee hours of the morning, sometimes even long enough to see the sun come up the next day! Music, food and beverages are very important elements of these celebrations.

The traditions at the reception:

“Lanzar el Ramo” means to “To throw the bouquet”. Halfway during the celebration, a brief pause is made and the MC calls all the single ladies (your girls and older ladies included) to the dance floor and gathers around the bride and dance. At some point after a bit of tease the girlfriends friends, she tosses the bouquet either blindfold or standing on her back so it’s unknown who the recipient of the flowers would be. It’s supposed that that who catches it is the following to get married.

“Tirar la liga”. In US the garters toss. While the bride wears the traditional blue gather during the Wedding, the groom makes an appearance at the dance floor as well surrounded by the man of the party and stand around on a circle while he removes his bride’s garter – while she’s sitting in the middle of the circle- then once in a heroic moment of furor for him and the friends, they grab him and play around with him, on the dance floor and dance in a way to fun music recalling the “luchadores” (from lucha libre, wrestlers) or something else like a more humoristic march, which you often hear during a funeral, is played while the groom may be lifted by all the man invited, which symbolizes the “end of its life”. At the point where fun has been ad and music stops and he’s supposed to throw it without looking to one of the friend gathered, then who gets it is supposed to be the one to marry next. At the end of this is typical that the lady who gets the bouquet and the man who gets the gather have to dance to one song together in front of the whole party, then the rest of the party comes back to the dance floor and the party continues.

The Mexican traditions have evolved with the passing of time, combining ancestral Mayan and Aztec rituals, Spanish customs, and modern wedding trends. The food, music, dresses, and even customs vary from family to family. But one thing is true: Mexicans believe on the solidity and importance of marriage. And as I once read, “these sentiments combined with beautiful traditions form unforgettable weddings”

Many Mexican celebrations from festivals to weddings typically include the display of fireworks.

Music

Music, in Mexican weddings, take part pretty much on every stage of the celebration. Solos, duets, trios, bands, there’s always some sort of music ensembles surrounding every event

The traditional music is definitely Mariachi, which is fantastic to enjoy because is versatile, it can be either upbeat to encourage dancing or more subdued as a passionate or romantic serenade. Mariachi s will often play the recessional after the ceremony, & in some weddings they will play at the end of the reception when it’s almost time either to leave or for the “trasnochados menu” to be served, alongside with a shot of tequila. The members of a mariachi band, in general, play guitars, violins & trumpets. The bands often dress as Mexican “Charro” which is a very formal wear. For weddings, they may dress in a gala charro suit on black and silver or white instead. When performing at weddings, mariachis add a festive air to the reception.

The Marimba is a traditional instrument with a very upbeat sound, used to give a unique flavor to local events as well, and this is a more traditional instrument. It’s also the State of Chiapas for example icon related to such, her unlike any other places the marimba s played at once by at least two people. This instrument that is so fine tuned can be as smooth or as festive playing, as talented the musicians are.

In Mexico, live musical groups here are very diverse, and although they do vary from region to region, they all are very well-suited to provide lively entertainment.

Other regional band style for example in San Luis Potosi or Queretaro State area is the “Huapango” which on indigenous Nahuatl language means “on the dance floor” their sounds are a fun country style to dance to and they are basically cords’ instruments in different shapes and styles of guitars mostly.

The Dances

Some more modest and traditional celebrations would have the “MONEY DANCE” where the guests take turns dancing up to the bride & groom & pinning or putting money on their clothes, which allows the couple to spend a few moments with each of their guests.

“La Vibora de la Mar”. Or the “sea snake”. The wedding guests sing this song and dance hand holding in a circle first then around the couple and then ducking under a bridge formed by the bride & groom standing in chairs in front of each other.

In Mexico, parties are always about dancing. People actually are surprised with some western parties where people rather like to talk instead of having a good dance! Ths is particularly true in Oaxaca state. Oaxaca is famous for its bands. Each village has at least one band and most villages have several.

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(Photo credits: Paulina Ulloa, Antonio Saucedo, Jorge Tinajero, Karen Elwell, Ever Lopez, Chistopher Photo & Diana Alvarez).

THE FOOD & BEVERAGES

Food

In most traditional towns, the wedding menu may include: chicken or pork dishes, spicy rice, beans, & tortillas. In most common weddings a beef or chicken menu with a side or potato and salad is most likely. But menus can get as fancy as the budget allows, with the Mexican culinary creativity and ingredients wedding menus can become the center of many celebrations.

In weddings and social events in the Huasteca area, a large tamale called Zacahuilis is cooked overnight in a ground hole and then shared between 50 to 150 people. It is made of corn flour, butter, ground chiles and pork meat.

Some traditional Mexican wedding cakes are often rum-soaked fruitcakes filled with bits of pineapple, pecans, or coconut. The “3 leches” cake is typical of all Mexico, but in Oaxaca for example, they prefer a normal cake that is more “dry” considering it has to stand for many hours before being consumed, .when in some typical weddings, more than 500 guests is considered “normal”.

Also another cake not to be forgotten, is the local favorite Pastel de Almendra (almond cake), everybody’s grandmother says that she has the best recipe… There are also traditional almond sweets that are given out as favors at weddings, these can be made in all shapes and colors, and are very good!

Many dessert tables combine sweet and savory, like peanuts with chile, and sweet/tart tamarind-pulp candies.

Drinks

Mexico’s famous fresh fruit waters, are a delicacy and many time hd as a refreshment upon arrival to the reception venue: horchata, tamarindo, chilacayota, zapote negro, Jamaica, tuna, etc.

One thing that is curious of the customs of Oaxaca, is that in the villages, before you get started with the banquet, you may receive a large bowl of hot chocolate chocolate (always prepared with water- never with milk) and a large piece of bread called pan de yema.

Tequila, rum, Whisky, vodka & beer are usually had in weddings, in many cases most traditional parties in typical towns would have beer and their local spirits instead (Mezcal, Xcanbentun, Bacanora, Posh, etc).

Posh, for example, is a strong alcoholic spirit brewed from cane, made in the indigenous Tzotzil communities and it is used as a spiritual drink during religious celebrations. They brew it in different tastes and made in that way it is called ‘aguardiente’ as well. The Tzotzil people drink it to be able to enter their spiritual world. But nowadays it is consumed as a strong liqueur as well.

THE ‘TORNA BODA’

The ‘tornaboda’ is still celebrated in various neighborhoods. It refers to the ‘after party’. They keep on celebrating untilr very early hours, sometimes even long enough to see the sun come up the next day! For these celebrations, there must definitely be a “levanta muertos menu” at 3 or 4 in the morning (literally, “get-up the dead” menu), for those who want to keep on partying, and also for those who have partied too much and need sustenance. In Yucatán, it is traditional to serve our “cochinita pibil” (annatto-marinated pork) either in tacos or in “tortas”, together with cold beer at that hour of the morning.

Depending on the region you’re at, the menu and customs vary, for example if in Queretaro, thee “trasnochados menu” (an after hours menu) consists of gorditas made in the region of cheese or combined with pork meat, and they are delicious. In Mexico City for example “tacos de canasta”, which literally translates into “basket” tacos, these are more tellingly called tacos al vapor, since they are “steamed,” or tacos sudados, since their texture is consequently “sweaty.” Long hours in sweltering conditions allow the taco fillings to soak the tortillas, adding a glistening appeal. In other regions this menu would be the infamous “chilaquiles” which is a corn tortilla based dish. The tortillas are sliced up, sauteed in a red or green tomato & chilies sauce, dressed with cheese, onion, and sour cream a favorite is also the “Pozole” (traditional Mexican soup). These are great comfort food choices and an aid to ease the pain of a hangover the next day.

If you read trought all of the above it’s maybe time for you to attend one of our infamouse mexican weddings. It isnt even that hard to get invited, just ask, we will be happy to have you.

 Sources: eHow.com, pashweddings.com & wedding planners: Chiapas DMC, Gisele Pérez-Moreno, Paula Balderas, Guadalupe Alvarez, Gaby Sanchez, Christine Baker.

MEXICO MAKES MAGICAL DESTINATION WEDDINGS’ MEMORIES FOR ANY COUPLE & OFFERS SPECIALISTS A NUMBER OF VIP ROMANCE FAMILIARIZATION TRIPS IN 2012

23 Mar

NEW YORK, March 22nd. 2012 – Destination Weddings Meet the Sensitive Needs of Today’s Couples, and for that reason Mexico invites travel agents and wedding planners to their 2012 familiarization trips so they can experience first hand.

While most couples on their honeymooners head south for Mexico’s perfect beaches and pristine waters, that’s not all there is to see and do. With decades of experience in wedding and honeymoon planning, Mexico wants to woo the world as its new capital of romance! Exotic cities, luxurious spas, rich traditions, vibrant history, friendly locals and a multitude of bonding experiences, make the allure of Mexico hard to resist when it comes to L-O-V-E. And some of the world’s most popular celebrities are taking notice. Mexico has already had success in attracting several high-profile stars to its gorgeous locales for romantic honeymoon getaways. In fact, US Magazine declared Cabo San Lucas and Punta Mita as two of its “A-List Honeymoon Destinations,” for hosting couples such as actress Hilary Duff and hockey player beau Mike Comrie, as well as reality starlet Khloe Kardashian and L.A. Laker hubby Lamar Odom. It’s no surprise that Mexico was the only destination mentioned twice on the list, because when it comes to honeymoons, romance and weddings, Mexico’s got skills.

The country’s exotic locales, accessibility, romantic atmosphere and favorable climate are only a few of the reasons why more and more couple’s are finding themselves marrying south of the border. Having decades of experience in the destination wedding industry, the country offers knowledgeable wedding specialists to partner up with, creative event production and out-of-this-world culinary offerings. Not to forget, that with a number of cultural, adventure and social activities, a wedding in Mexico is the perfect excuse for a guilt-free mini-vacation! What truly sets Mexico apart as a prime wedding location is the great attention to detail placed on weddings. This is primarily due to the importance of marriage in Mexican culture, which ensures that every wedding in Mexico is only of the highest quality.

On top of that, destination weddings are “a profitable match for agents” says Travel Market Report, and Mexico is the number one locale for creating unforgettable destination weddings memories for anyone’s clients. For that reason, the Mexico Tourism Board, along with a number of local VCB’s and their Secretaries of Tourism in Mexico, have come together to invite qualified TRAVEL AGENTS & DESTINATION WEDDING SPECIALISTS from USA or Canada to participate on any or all of their “2012 VIP ROMANCE FAMILIARIZATION TRIPS” scheduled on several dates ranging from April 30th., to November 7th., 2012, and covering 9 cities and beaches of Mexico that have romance product of excellence.

As a semi-hosted buyer program, the destinations aim to bring top wedding planners or related travel specialists to their magical destinations in an effort to showcase their locales as the perfect location for honeymoons, weddings & special events. The primary goal this trip is to increase their visibility and its premiere facilities and services, as well as strengthen the relationships with travel industry partners for an amazing opportunity to learn about the beauty, folklore, traditions and modernity of colonial jewels of Mexico, unparalleled in beauty & value, as you know, there’s nothing better like living the experiences firsthand.

2012 ROMANCE & WEDDINGS RELATED FAM TRIPS PARTICIPANT DESTINATIONS’:

LOS CABOS DESTINATION WEDDINGS’ SUMMIT

(4 days/3 nights) 30 April – May 3rd. 2012 . Open to 20-30 guests.

Cities of origin: Dallas, Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, San Diego and Seattle (AIRPORT: SJD / Los Cabos International Airport).

CONTACT:  Paloma Palacios / info@visitloscabos.org

Los Cabos, located at the tip of the 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, is home to award-winning hotels and resorts, championship golf courses, rejuvenating spas, world-class sport fishing and much more. With a unique landscape of dramatic desert and white sand beaches, Los Cabos is an exotic escape within easy reach. Couples looking for the perfect place to get married and/or have their honeymoons need not look farther than the intimate and breath-taking location of Los Cabos. Warm breezes, star-filled nights, and endless beauty are the perfect combination for a romantic and luxurious wedding or honeymoon for lovebirds seeking a memorable experience. It’s Time2SayIDo!  www.Time2Cabo.com

*NOTES: Special flight rates might be offered for this destination with AA or The Los Cabos Hotel Association, might be able to reimburse qualified attends up to 250 USD per person, as travel aid.

PUERTO VALLARTA

(4 days/3 nights) May 22-25th., 2012 / Open to 20 guests

Cities of origin: Anywhere US & Canada (AIRPORT: PVR / Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport).

CONTACT: Ana Regla / ana@visitpuertovallarta.com

Puerto Vallarta is a place full of fantastic food, culture, natural beauty and romance. The cobblestone streets, charming colonial architecture and lush landscape make Puerto Vallarta a unique location for your destination wedding, vow renewal or romantic getaway.

Puerto Vallarta is a popular choice among couples planning destination weddings because of its picturesque views, beautiful flora, clear-blue waters and magnificent mountains. Have your ceremony at sunset on one of Puerto Vallarta´s pristine beaches or exchange vows with a view of the mountains

*NOTES: Special flight rates might be offered for this destination.

CANCUN & COZUMEL (5 days/4 nights) June 18-22nd., 2012 / Open to 20 guests

18-20 CANCUN / 20-22 COZUMEL.

Cities of origin: Anywhere US & Canada (AIRPORT:  CUN / Cancun International Airport)

CONTACT: Rocío González Jonguitud / rgonzalez@cancun.travel

Cancun is the perfect setting for love, pleasure, passion and experiencing unforgettable moments. It is a magical place where you can be in harmony with nature while enjoying all the comforts of a large city set in the lush jungle. Cozumel, a dreamy caribbean island setting, fun day trip excur­sions, good restaurants and duty free shopping. For Cancun product guide, click HERE.

CHIAPAS (5 days/4 nights)  July, 4-8th., 2012 / Open to 20 guests

Cities of origin:  Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Houston, Dallas (AIRPORT: TGZ Angel Albino Corzo International Airport )

CONTACT: Patricia Castellanos / pcastellanos@destinochiapas.com

Chiapas is a great place to discover just how much more Mexico has besides beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Chiapas has beautiful colonial cities, vibrant indigenous culture, fascinating archaeological sites, and incredible natural beauty, from rain forests to waterfalls.  San Cristóbal the former state’s capital, where you’re being hosted, has gorgeous architecture, fascinating museums, and exquisite restaurants and bars.

QUERETARO (4 days/3 nights)  august, 21-24th., 2012 / Open to 20 guests

Cities of origin: Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles. (AIRPORT: QRO Querétaro International Airport)

CONTACT: Graciela Gorraez / ggorraez@queretaro.gob.mx

Querétaro is a cultural and historic state recognized, more than once, as World Heritage. It is a natural paradise for finding adventures and discovering ancient traditions. It is an artistic, fun, safe, and romantic place. We invite you to meet the splendor of México.

RIVIERA NAYARIT (5 days/4 nights) September 18-22, 2012 / Open to 10 guests

Cities of origin: Anywhere US & Canada (AIRPORT: PVR / Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport).

CONTACT:  Richard Zarkin / rzarkin@rivieranayarit.com

Riviera Nayarit is an exciting and wondrous adventure; here you’ll have the best experience upon your arrival. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Western Sierra Madre Mountains, a stunning treasure awaits you — Riviera Nayarit, a tropical wonder whose coastline stretches for almost 200 miles, and whose southern border unfolds just 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport.

This destination provides a backdrop of intense skies, emerald mountains, abundant vegetation and endless beautiful golden beaches for an unforgettable celebration experience. In every beach, in every little town, the lush vegetation, the extraordinary animal species and the beauty of nature will leave you totally awed. Nayarit’s coastline winds north through the municipalities of Banderas Bay, Compostela, San Blas, Santiago and Tecuala

MERIDA (5 days/4 nights)  October 7-11, 2012 / Open to 20 guests

Cities of origin: Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles. (AIRPORT: MID)

CONTACT: Rosa Elena Vermont / rosa.vermont@yucatan.gob.mx

Merida, in Yucatan state is a perfect fusion of past and present, It is a constant dance of colors, aromas, sounds, flavors, textures… It is a never ending mosaic of prodigies to be discovered. Due to their status as a multi-cultural state and vibrant cosmopolitan city, Yucatan and Merida have become some of the trendiest places in Mexico. Luxury, exclusiveness and comfort, show themselves in their luxurious properties of finest style and care as if born for hospitality.

Their motto is to smile and make their visitors smile. The hospitality, the warmth of their locals and their singularity, sets them apart, and pride them into sharing it with their visitors, who easily become friends.  To know Yucatan is a unique experience, always different. Yucatan it’s said to be a “Land of Universal Wonders”

IXTAPA (4 days/3 nights)  November, 4-7th., 2012 / Open to 10 guests

Cities of origin: Los Angeles Calgary, Houston, Phoenix, Vancouver, Chicago, Toronto, Denver & Minneapolis. (AIRPORT: ZIH Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport ).

CONTACT: Guillermina Camarena / guille.camarena@visitiz.com

Ixtapa, Zihuatanejo, is a dual offering of deluxe resorts and vil­lage charm; romantic tropical bay setting, good water sports and golf, very relaxed pace.

During the VIP ROMANCE FAMILIARIZATION TRIP, participants will enjoy a number of activities, site inspections, as well as some social events at properties, to be presented on an ITINERARY from each destination, with a fantastic program they have come up with for your enjoyment and convenience. This will be sent to you on expression of interest with them.

Complimentary registration for this VIP ROMANCE FAMILIARIZATION TRIP includes:  

  • 3-4 nights’ accommodations in a top hotels & resorts. Individual rooming.
  • All meals on program at destinations
  • Airport transfers to/from the destinations and hotels as well as TO/FROM tours, activities.
  • Planned social & recreational activities on program.
  • Attendee certificate from local VBC office as a destination expert.

***The local destinations have arranged with hoteliers & local vendors on additional incentives, which will be confirmed during the main destination presentation, for those attendees that close a wedding group within the next 45 days of the familiarization trip***

Interested planners and romance travel consultants willing to attend may direct their inquiries or RSVP’S directly the representatives for the participant destinations.  We suggest as early as possible, and no later than 1.5 months before each of the familiarization trips’ dates, since it’s a wonderful educational opportunity to be treated into Mexico’s premier destinations, spaces are limited.  Confirmations will be then confirmed directly with you, by each of the destinations based on those guests that fit the agent/wedding planner criteria, on first come first serve basis.

Aeromexico and American Airlines premier Mexico partner with a large number of daily direct connections from USA to Mexico tourist destinations will be offering discounted rates for agents attendant these Mexico familiarization trips.

Please allow MEXICO the opportunity to HAVE YOU AS GUEST OF HONOUR on our Fam Trips designed for you to experience all that these magical Mexican locations have to offer as wedding destinations for your clients’ memories for life.

Look forward ot seeing you soon in Mexico.

 

Carmen Laborin

 

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain

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FOR MORE INFORMATION OR GUIDANCE ON DESTINATION WEDDINGS IN MEXICO, PLEASE E-MAIL: weddings@visitmexico.com.

About the Mexico Tourism Board. The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico’s tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB functions as an executive agency of Mexico’s Tourism Secretariat, with autonomous management and the broad participation of the private sector. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America.

www.visitmexico.com

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