Destination weddings are becoming increasingly more popular, and for good reason. Who wouldn’t want to get married on the beautiful beaches of Mexico or the Italian Riviera, are we right?! We recently chatted with fashion and lifestyle influencer Ashley Torres of Everyday Pursuits to find out more about her Pinterest-worthy wedding in Los Cabos, Mexico.
“Andy (the groom) and I had no strong feelings towards one place or area in particular,” explains Ashley. “He’s from Miami and I’m from LA – both our families still live in our perspective hometowns and we have friends all over the country. We went into the process very open. After some major hunting on The Venue Report and serious sticker shock at the cost of wedding venues in pretty much any big city in the US (or gorgeous wine country), we became more and more open to the idea of doing a destination wedding. For a six hour event in the States, we could have a three day extravaganza elsewhere, and since many of our guests have to travel anyway it kind of seems like a no brainer.”
In fact, the bride and groom planned their destination wedding in less than five months! “We ended up planning our wedding in four and half months because of the weather and the fact that I didn’t want to wait a whole year and half to get married. I cannot recommend ACRE enough; it’s the most stunning venue with incredible food, hospitality, and more.”
Here are a few of Ashley’s best tips when it comes to planning your big day south of the border.
Consider the time of year.
“I’ve heard a few conflicting reports but can attest to the fact that I was there in October, December and March of this past year and strongly believe that November through April are the best months (to have a wedding in Mexico),” explains Ashley. “After April you’re really getting close to summer and the temperatures and humidity rise. In late summer and early fall you may risk getting caught in a rain storm!”
Understand and accept that there WILL be bugs.
Bugs, unfortunately, are inevitable in Mexico. “There’s definitely mosquitos. ACRE has bug spray on the property if any guests need to use some and I got pretty bitten up on my back (because it was totally open) but nowhere else. And from talking to my guests most people faired okay with a few bites here and there (if they didn’t wear bug spray).”
And then there’s the issue of Zika. Chances are if you’re thinking of having a wedding in Mexico you’ve had some potential guests express concerns about Zika. “This is such a personal decision, however, many reports show that Zika cases have gone down significantly in Los Cabos over the past year and the numbers are pretty on par with Miami,” tells Ashley. “Additionally, getting tested for Zika upon returning to the US is a roughly a $28 test. We had a few couples opt out of attending our wedding because of Zika and I will say we were super bummed and upset about it. Again, it’s such a personal decision and I can’t judge but I will say that we had two guests who did attend, test negative for Zika after they got back, and are now trying to have a baby less than 5 months later. To each their own!”
Remember that air conditioning might not be an option.
Ashley brought up an excellent point about air conditioning in terms of not just comfort while you sleep but also the getting ready process for both the bride and bridesmaids. “Keep this in mind as you plan your first look, photos, down time, and outfit changes, etc.”
Consider a wedding planner.
Ashley comments that she doesn’t think it’s absolutely essential but having someone who lives and works in the country where your wedding will be is beyond helpful. “If you were to have a very simple wedding with limited vendors and rentals then you could 100% plan a wedding at ACRE without a planner or day-of-coordinator. For a larger wedding that has more complexities, I personally don’t know how it’s possible to plan on your own, especially in a foreign country. And I was VERY involved in my planning process, plus I work from home and have a flexible schedule. Aside from the planning and prep, there are so many day-of things happening behind the scenes to ensure the day runs smoothly. Our planner was a godsend. I have so much more to say about wedding planners (dedicated post coming later) and have NOTHING but praises for ours – Amy Abbott – in case you’re in the market for one.”
Don’t forget about transportation.
Not everyone is adept at getting around in a foreign country and, as Ashley points out, it might be a nice gesture to provide transportation as a thank you to guests for traveling. “We bused our guests to ACRE for wedding day and the Sunday pool party in sprinter vans. In the grand scheme of things it was the most efficient and reliable option, plus we wanted to provide transportation for everyone as a thank you for coming all the way to Mexico. On wedding day each hotel had a specific pick up time to transport people to the ceremony and vans started running again at 9pm until midnight to take people home. Remember, there’s no Uber in Los Cabos (yet!).”
What are some of your Mexico wedding tips?
Make sure to follow Ashley on Instagram at @EverydayPursuits!
Photography: Gina and Ryan Photography