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The Pros and Cons of Planning a Destination Wedding in Mexico

Keep these insider tips in mind when planning a destination wedding in Mexico.

Wedding rings sit atop a pile of sand on the beach
Destination Brides |

When it comes to destination weddings, Mexico is a popular choice for couples looking to tie the knot in a beautiful and exotic location. The sun, the sea, and the sand are just what many couples are looking for when planning their weddings. Mexico offers all that in addition to best-in-class resorts with beautiful and unique venues. 

If you’re thinking about having your wedding in Mexico, there are a few things you need to consider before making your decision. By weighing the pros and cons, you can make an informed decision about whether or not getting married in Mexico is right for you.

Photo of a sandy beach in Cancun next to a photo of El Arco rock formation in Cabo

Two Unique Areas of Mexico to Choose From

Before getting to pros and cons, it’s important to note that Mexico has two completely different, but equally romantic and beautiful areas to have an an amazing destination wedding:

  1. Caribbean Side
  2. Pacific Side

The Caribbean Side

The Caribbean side of Mexico is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, along the Caribbean Sea, and is the most popular area of Mexico for any type of travel. This is where Cancun, Riviera Maya, and many of the other popular travel spots are located.

Everything mentioned above will be available to you on the Caribbean side of Mexico, including white sand beaches and the ability to enjoy the Caribbean Sea if you or your group love getting in the water.

The Pacific Side

The Pacific Side of Mexico is of course located along the Pacific Ocean and was originally best known for travel spots such as the classic city of Acapulco, but now the hottest new spots to have a destination wedding in Mexico are Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta.

Located at the end of the Baja Coast, Los Cabos is home to luxury resorts, amazing foodie experiences, championship golf, yoga retreats, movie star getaways, and authentic cultural experiences. The beaches are wide and beautiful here as well, but darker sand than the Caribbean side, and are not usually swimmable due to the ocean currents and riptides.

One of the most popular vacation destinations, Puerto Vallarta is known for its stunning landscape, friendly people, beautiful marine life, and so much more.

Which Part of Mexico is Best For Your Destination Wedding?

The hardest decision you’ll have to make when planning a destination wedding in Mexico is which part of Mexico is best for your wedding vision and which resort or wedding venue will give you the wedding vision you are looking for. That’s where having the assistance of a destination wedding designer can come in handy.

Tabletop with passport, hat, and miniature plane

Pro: Easy Access from the US

For the most part, Mexico is easily accessible to U.S. citizens and offers plenty of daily flight options. This allows for ease of travel for you and your wedding guests as well as ensures that if there are flight delays or cancellations there will be several flight options available for backup.

Of course, since Mexico has different regions you’ll need to know how accessible your destination is from the area where you and your guests will travel from. For example, there are no direct flights from Orlando to Cabo San Lucas, so a destination wedding couple traveling between those locations should prepare for layovers.

If a couple from Seattle wants to wed in Tulum, they can take a direct flight to Cancun in 6 hours, but it’s an additional 2 hours to get to Tulum from the airport. When you factor in the time difference, time spent at airports, etc. this easily turns into a full day of travel.

The best way to ensure the location you choose will provide a stress-free travel experience for you and your guests is to work with a destination wedding specialist. Your specialist will have extensive knowledge of the regions and logistical experience with planning group travel to create a seamless trip.

Aerial Shot of a Swimming Pool at a Resort in Mexico

Pro: Plenty of Incredible Resort Options And Venues to Choose From

Whether you are heading to Cabo, Puerto Vallarta, or the Cancun/Riviera Maya area, you will have more than enough choices of resorts and wedding venues to host your wedding celebration. With the myriad of options available, you’ll also have your pick of luxury, chic, modern, or authentic resorts with lively, quiet, active, or pampering atmospheres. From boutique resorts with intimate settings to mega resorts with Vegas-style shows, Mexico truly offers something for every wedding group.

Destination wedding couple leaving church in Mexico while showered with rose petals

Pro: Lots of Incredible Wedding Venue Options

In addition to these great resort options, if you want or need to get married in a chapel, you can find Catholic and Protestant chapels — such as the chapel pictured at TRS Coral in Costa Mujeres — with stunning architecture and picturesque views of the ocean. You will also have an array of choices for private rooftops with unobstructed views where you not only can say “I Do,” but also dance the night away under a canopy of stars. And don’t forget you can also find stunning beaches set amidst beautiful skies at sunset, infinity pools with overwater platforms, secret tropical gardens, and more.

Close-up of a waiter pouring wine into a glass

Pro: Amazing Value of Luxury & Service For The Price

If you are looking for incredible luxury and service for the money, Mexico will get you the most bang for your buck when it comes to the level of luxury and service you receive for the price. Part of the reason is that Mexico is just miles ahead of other destinations when it comes to hospitality and tourism. A quote from a travel insider pretty much sums it up like this: “In most places if your drink spills, a waiter will come right away to clean it up. In Mexico, the wait staff will see the glass on the edge of the table, and come to put it back in a safer spot.”

White and natural wood destination wedding setup on the beach

Pro: Wedding Package Value for Price

The same is true for wedding packages. Your destination wedding budget goes so much further in Mexico You’ll be amazed at the celebration you can plan that will be a day you and your guests will never forget.

Archeological ruins by the ocean in Tulum, Mexico

Pro: Endless Excursions, Activities, & Cultural Experiences

Regardless of what part of Mexico you head to, you’ll have your pick of awesome experiences at your fingertips. Historical ruins, underground caverns, artistic cities, waterfalls, mountains, whale watching, snorkeling, nightlife, shopping, golf, catamaran cruises, day trips to nearby islands, you name it. There is something for everyone to enjoy in Mexico.

Nurse prepares a woman for a blood test

Con: Legal Wedding Requirements

Each State in Mexico has different requirements for your wedding in Mexico to be legal, but you can expect bloodwork, translation of documents, witnesses, and 3 to 4 days of residency.

If you don’t need to have a legal destination wedding, then you and your fiancé can get married legally in the states (basically at the courthouse) and then you will do a symbolic wedding in Mexico for your destination wedding ceremony. No one will know but you, and it will save you from jumping through a lot of hoops.

Closeup of seaweed on a beach with sunset in the background

Con: Seaweed Issues in Cancun/Riviera Maya

With Cancun and Riviera Maya being the most popular locations in Mexico to host a destination wedding, it’s important to mention this “con.” Over the last few years, environmental factors have caused an increase in the seaweed that floats into the waters and on the shore. It is impossible to predict when there could be a lot of seaweed or not as much because it can come and go at any time of the year.

While resorts are continually cleaning up the seaweed, it does affect the beauty and clarity of the water. So If you are planning a beach wedding or want perfectly clear water, this area of Mexico may not be the best option for you.

If water color is extremely important to you, the Pacific side of Mexico is best, along the Baja Peninsula, such as Cabo San Lucas or the artistic, colorful, and lush Puerto Vallarta. Cabo’s water is a beautiful bright blue, and there are numerous excellent resort options available for your wedding there as well. The only negative is that a majority of the beaches in Cabo, though beautiful, are not swimmable, due to strong currents and waves.

Puerto Vallarta’s water is a stunning blue green surrounded by a lush and tropical jungle and mountains. Puerto Vallarta offers really unique wedding venues like private off-shore islands that are ideal for an oceanfront celebration.


With so many amazing wedding venues and resorts, cultural activities, and numerous excursions you can do as a group, Mexico offers so many more pros than cons. Mexico oozes fun and romance when it comes to weddings. It’s no wonder that thousands of couples travel to Mexico every year to say “I do” in an exotic locale.

If you’ve been trying to plan your destination wedding, but feel lost, you’ve come to the right place. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our destination wedding specialists to get all the help you need and more.

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