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Have you thought about having your wedding here in beautiful Puerto Vallarta? If so, do you know where to even begin? What to look for? This is definitely a very special occasion, so you want to get every detail right and with the least amount of hurdles. We talked to the experts to get their best recommendations for those lovebirds considering tying the knot in this romantic paradise as a destination wedding.
Choosing the venue
This is perhaps the most important aspect of your planning process. There are a lot of elements to consider when picking out a venue. It needs to be big enough to accommodate all of your guests. It also needs to be in close proximity or have lodging included for you, the wedding party and the guests.
Whittle down your guest list
Before committing to firm numbers with your venue and your caterer, reduce your list as much as possible. Along with your partner, make three lists: those who HAVE to be there, those you WANT to be there, and those you’d LIKE to be there, and then concentrate on the first two categories. Try to estimate your guests’ travel costs and determine how doable it is for them to actually make the trip.
Confirm the date
Wedding planners want to make the best out of your special occasion, so they prefer at least 6-12 months in advance notice. “We suggest that you run a trial balloon invitation out to your closest friends and family members with some potential dates and just say “in Puerto Vallarta.” Then, armed with the date that works the best for all the key people, you can send us looking for the venue(s) that will accommodate your expected number of guests and that meet all the other criteria that you’re looking for”, local gay wedding planner Robert Schley says.
Link lodging and the venue
This can be a way to save money, even to the point of helping to finance the cost of your event. You might think that you could only do this by booking into a big hotel, but that’s not necessarily always the case. It is also recommended a “buyout” of a boutique hotel or a private luxury villa as your wedding venue and lodging for key people while booking the rest of the guests in a nearby hotel or other villas.
Take care of your guests! It’s not all about you
It is your responsibility to help take care of your guests throughout their stay in Mexico. They are traveling all the way here to accompany you on this romantic tropical adventure so the least you can do is to offer them a good time! Take into consideration any physical limitations, food allergies, dietary restrictions, lodging proximity to the venue, town, etc. It’s important to think about the entire experience, not just the day of the wedding.
Do NOT do a DIY destination wedding
Rather, leave it to the experts. Big hotels and resorts have their planners or get an independent one. But whatever you do, get someone to do the dirty work for you.
Get the food right
Make sure that you’ve tasted everything that’s going to be served, and make sure that the caterer has a great reputation and lots of recommendations from previous weddings. Getting the food right is much more important than any fancy decorations. After all, you can’t eat the decorations!
Pre-event site visit
It is highly recommended to visit Vallarta early in your planning process in order to physically experience the venue before you decide on it. You also should taste the food and beverages that will be served.
Don’t feel limited to using a big resort
Everyone has different taste. Some prefer to have their event at a big, comfortable and popular resort, and others might want a more intimate and cozy gathering. It’s up to you to decide what you want and then go from there.
Shop the packages
A variety of gay-friendly hotels offer LGBT destination wedding packages, which include all the necessary elements for a complete wedding.
Photo credit: Diana Flores