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5 Practical Tips For Planning Your Destination Wedding In Mexico

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5 Practical Tips For Planning Your Destination Wedding In Mexico

I am not at all surprised that you have chosen to get married in Mexico. After all, it’s one of the top wedding destinations on the planet. There are plenty friendly people who speak English plus fabulous coastlines on the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with stunning beaches stretching 6,000 miles. The weather in Mexico is usually more than pleasant – Cancun has an average temperature of 82°F (28° C). You are spoilt for choice when you consider places like Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco. They are all prime destinations for getting married in Mexico.

The place is right but how on earth do you start planning it all? You want this occasion to be the most memorable one of your life. Your guests should leave with happy memories of a wonderful celebration in a gorgeous location. Here are 5 practical tips for planning this special event.

1. Wedding planner pros and cons

Many of the hotels at destination weddings venues already have a wedding planner or coordinator as part of the package. There are many advantages to this. You can leave lots of the nitty gritty details to them and they know the vendors and often can get great discounts. They have all the details about catering, photographers, florists, and also the hirers of any equipment that may be needed for the entertainment. They also know about things that you may just have forgotten to plan. You will be saved from all the hassle of invoices, contracts, and bank payments while enjoying the real anticipation and excitement of the event.

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There are a few cons to also consider. There is the extra cost, of course, and you may have a limited budget. Wedding planners can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000. You may feel a little detached from the whole thing as this is the happiest day in your life. You will also feel less in control.

As you are going to get married in Mexico, a wedding planning service offered by the hotel or another agency is the best option. It means that you will not have to deal with troublesome details, especially as you don’t live in Mexico!

2. Travel arrangements

The best thing to do is to plan a week or weekend away as a romantic break at your destination wedding venue several months before the event.

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Whether you have a wedding planner or not, this is a great way to taste the food and wines or ask for different table settings. You will get a real feel for the hotel, the atmosphere, and the staff. If you are doing everything yourself, you will have to write a to-do list with appointments to see all the vendors and hirers.

Once the date is set, you need to give your guests plenty of time to book flights and take advantage of any discounts at the hotel of your choice. I know some wedding planners who recommend that you give people a minimum notice of four months. Google now have launched a great app called Destinations on Google to help you find flights — all with a tap and slide on your smartphone.

3. Legal questions to consider

Just in case you didn’t know, religious wedding ceremonies in Mexico are not considered valid for legal purposes. You have to go the civil route. Another possibility is to organize a simple registry office or religious wedding in your own country so that there are no legal hassles. Then you can all go off to Mexico for the big bash and have a symbolic ceremony there.

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There is no legal requirement to be resident in Mexico before you marry there, but arriving a few days before the event to make sure all the documents are in order is wise. You do not need a special visa either to get married – a simple tourist visa is sufficient.

The other great advantage Mexico has is that there is no legal requirement to be resident in the country before the event. There is also good news in that according to the British Embassy website in Mexico, your marriage will be recognized in the UK and does not need to be registered when you are back home. In regard to US citizens, a civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes.

4. Getting the documents you will need

If you still want the actual ceremony in Mexico to be legal and you are a UK citizen, then you need to know that certain documents are needed to make your marriage perfectly legal. Make sure to ask the wedding planner if they have all these covered. These will include your birth certificates and a death certificate of an ex-spouse or divorce decree, if applicable. Divorcees should note that you have to wait at least a year before re-marrying in Mexico.

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It will probably be your job to get all of these documents before you leave. If you are in doubt, you can check out the UK Foreign Office legalization website.

Don’t forget that you will need to have 4 witnesses at your official ceremony, so make sure that all their passports are valid.

5. Health requirements

The only requirement on the health front is that the authorities need blood tests results (for HIV, syphilis, and blood type) in Spanish before the ceremony takes place. There is no point in bringing your own blood test analysis from the UK or USA as these will not be accepted. You can arrange for these to be done in your hotel, so it’s not a big deal. It may cost up to $250. Some Mexican states also require chest x-rays.

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Now that you have read what exactly is involved in getting married in Mexico, you can decide what is the best way to plan it all. Rest assured that it will be an unforgettable experience!

Featured photo credit: Carlos Mendoza Lima/Flickr via flickr.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on January 13, 2022

10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

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10 Cheap And Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

A honeymoon is important.  The wedding is over.  The months, or even years, of stress and planning are finally over.  It’s time for the two of you to relax, settle in, and start enjoying your time together as you embark on your first journey as a family.

To make the most of this time for the least amount of money, it’s important to focus on what you want out of a honeymoon.  This isn’t your typical list of touristy honeymoon locations everyone goes to.  Rather, it’s a list of cheap honeymoon experiences a couple can enjoy together, regardless of where it’s at.

1. Camping

A week long camping trip is a fantastic way to see how you mesh together as a couple.  You’re put in a low impact “survival” situation where it’s just the 2 of you and nature.  You have a chance to see how your new spouse handles themselves when left with the basics of life.  There are amazing national parks all over the United States where you can camp for a week for $20-30, disconnect from technology, and enjoy some of the natural wonders our nation has to offer.

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2. Staycation

You don’t have to go anywhere for a honeymoon.  In fact, the tradition of taking a honeymoon vacation is a relatively new one.  Prior to the 19th century, a honeymoon involved staying home together for a month to get to know each other physically.  Think of how blissful it could be to take a full month off work, disconnect from the outside world, and focus entirely on projects together.  You may not be wowing your friends and family with pictures of some exotic location, but they’ll be envious of your escape from the rat race nonetheless.

3. Island Getaway

People tend to overspend on their honeymoon vacations to Hawaii, Tahiti, etc.  Going to these places doesn’t have to be expensive.  You don’t need to stay in a 5 star resort when you’re on a Best Western budget.  You’re there to be in the atmosphere of the island, not a hotel room. Book a cheap flight and sleep in a hotel alternative, on the beach or in your car.  It’s the view in paradise that really matters.

4. Fancy Resort

Book an expensive resort, spa, or retreat in the city you live in.  While this may seem counterintuitive as a cheap destination, when you consider your savings on airfare and other travel costs, you can afford to be treated like royalty within your own city limits.  If you book a honeymoon package, you’ll end up with a lot of free amenities and extra attention.  There’s no need to fly halfway across the world to live the good life.

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5. Road Trip

The journey is often more fulfilling than the actual destination.  If you fly out to some exotic locale, you’ll be stuck on a plane for 8-30 hours.  Rent a luxury car, pick a handful of places you each have always wanted to visit, and go on an adventure.  You can keep food costs down by packing your own snacks, but it’s always a good idea to sample the local delicacies wherever you go, even if it’s only a few states over.

6. Charter a Boat

If the ocean is your thing, a week-long cruise can cost you $1500-$3000 per person, depending on the destination.  You also have to factor in travel costs to and from the cruise, alcohol, souvenirs, and on-shore excursions.  You’ll also be surrounded by people.  For the same price (and often much cheaper), you can charter your own boat and enjoy the experience in private.

7. Las Vegas/Atlantic City

If gambling is your thing, these are the places to do it.  Which one you choose depends on your preference, budget, and proximity.  The way to make this vacation cheaper is to gamble smart.  Stay away from low odd tables (i.e craps, roulette) and read up on the MIT blackjack strategies to beat the house.  If you do it right, you can win enough for a free trip (and gain a valuable team skill in the process).

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8. Themed Retreats

There are weeklong retreats all over the world where you can fully immerse yourselves as a couple into a hobby you’re both passionate about.  Go on a yoga/meditation retreat, a ranch, a vineyard/farm, a backpacking adventure, treasure hunt, or whatever you’re into.

9. Working Honeymoon

Your honeymoon doesn’t have to be a vacation.  For a truly memorable experience, dedicate a week to a charity or volunteer organization.  You can drive out to a campground to help restore it in the offseason.  Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer to help out your local animal shelter, plant trees, help the homeless, etc.  Use the time to do something together as a couple that will fulfill you spiritually while contributing to the community.  Just because you’re on a honeymoon doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

10. Festivals, Fairs & Special Events

Every city, state, and country has festivals, fairs, and special events.  Find one you’re interested in.  If you time your wedding right, your honeymoon can be a trip to one of these festivals.  Burning Man, SXSW, Bonnaroo, the Renaissance Fair, regional harvest festivals, Mardi Gras, New Years Eve in Times Square, a movie premiere, or whatever you’re into.  If you plan your honeymoon at the right time in the right place, the possibilities are endless.

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Featured photo credit: Josue Michel via unsplash.com

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