With more than 7,000 miles of coastline from the tropical Caribbean to the shimmering Pacific, Mexico is a delightful destination for a wedding by the shores of the sea. The challenge for couples isn’t so much finding a gorgeous setting for being joined together with “El Lazo”—the symbolic rope laid around the neck of the bride and groom to symbolize their new unity—as choosing from Mexico’s myriad of fabulous and romantic beachfront resorts.
If you want to be in the middle of the action on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, The Ritz-Carlton, Cancun is located in this popular destination’s hotel zone and an easy reach from Cancun’s international airport—a big plus for destination wedding guests. Couples can wed on the beach or in the elegant Fountain Courtyard, and foodies will love integrating a Chef’s Table dinner or cooking class at the resort’s Culinary Center into their wedding weekend. Work on your mixed doubles game at the resort’s tennis center, relax in a private beach villa, or share a drink prepared by the Coconut Boy—all unique aspects of The Ritz-Carlton experience.
Looking for a more low-key Cancun affair? The adults-only, all-inclusive Le Blanc Spa Resort will pamper you with a honeymoon suite featuring an oceanview double whirlpool bath, unlimited golf on a Jack Nicklaus-designed course and a ceremony and reception in the resort’s Zen garden or on the beach. Le Blanc is a true spa resort, offering a modern take on ancient Greco-Roman hydrotherapy rituals and Vichy showers, as well as a wide range of body treatments (try the four-handed, Mayan-inspired Kukulcan massage) and customized spa-bar services.
The Mayakoba resort complex is a world unto itself, an oasis of luxury and privacy on the Riviera Maya. The 401-room Fairmont Mayakoba is an elegant setting for a larger destination wedding, but couples can also find quiet moments together by booking a treatment in a treetop suite at the Willow Stream Spa or lingering in a casita tucked away amid lush forests and quiet lagoons.
An impressive art and antiques collection is on display at the Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita, a 98-suite Riviera Maya boutique resort where every wedding gets undivided attention: Whether you buy out the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning property or not, only one wedding per day is permitted. You can start your weekend with welcome cocktails on the resort’s catamaran, plan a girls’ day at the Thalasso Center & Spa, and incorporate Mayan traditions into a ceremony held on the beach, pier or gardens.
One of the Leading Hotels of the World, the Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has amazing amenities nestled between Banderas Bay (just south of Puerto Vallarta) and the Sierra Madre Mountains on Mexico’s Pacific coast, including a 65,000-square-foot spa offering a staggering sixty different types of treatments, including a hydrotherapy ritual perfect for calming those pre-wedding jitters. Depending on the size of your wedding you can exchange vows in the spacious and uber-luxe Presidential Suite, on the owner’s 54-foot yacht, or on the balcony of the four-star Frida restaurant, renowned for its Mexican fine dining.
A private hilltop wedding chapel sets the stage for a traditional Mexican wedding at the One&Only Palmilla, but those with more modern tastes can opt for the extravagant elegance of an affair beside the resort’s Agua Pool. From dedicated wedding coordinators to private butlers, the emphasis here is on service and attention to detail. Want a cigar roller or a fire dancer to entertain your wedding guests? No hay problema.
Located at the tip of Punta Ballena (“Whale Point”) and surrounded by two private beaches overlooking the Sea of Cortez, Esperanza, An Auberge Resort can customize your wedding ceremony with special touches like luces de amor lanterns to release into the sky, a private bonfire, and spa and culinary experiences for you and your wedding party. Executive Chef Gonzalo Cerda will help you design the menu for an intimate dinner on Esperanza’s private beach, accompanied by fireworks and the music of a mariachi band.
Another Pacific coast resort, Las Alamandas, is surrounded by a 1,500-acre nature preserve and has four private beaches and a variety of secluded lagoons, meaning your wedding here can be as far from prying eyes as you’d like. The resort, a favorite hideaway for Hollywood A-listers, has seven luxury villas accommodating a maximum of forty-two guests, making it ideal for buyouts for smaller destination weddings. Charter a flight for your group and you’ll feel like royalty from the moment you touch down at the resort’s private airstrip.
> Written by Bob Curley
Location: One&Only Palmilla, Los Cabos, Mexico; Photography: Chris+Lynn Photographers British, Columbia, Canada