When I got engaged I was living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, so naturally, I planned a Puerto Vallarta wedding on the beach, and my husband and I did it all on our own.
We had both decided that we would plan the wedding together and do everything ourselves in order to save money (and we saved a ton). It ended up being the most perfect, simplest, dreamiest wedding ever!
Everything was done legally for the country of Mexico. There was no “symbolic” wedding without the legal part, this was the real deal.
It was on my favorite beach, Conchas Chinas, at the end of the day before sunset. The beach setup was super simple, we had an arch and about 20 chairs with a little flower décor, and that’s it!
After the ceremony, we took some group photos, then sent everyone over to this hill-top restaurant for dinner and we met there after we took some couple photos. Dinner was simple but elegant, and the restaurant had an amazing view!
Since Puerto Vallarta was where we met and lived at the time, we had a huge advantage. My husband was a local and native Spanish speaker, so he was able to handle the communication with the government to make sure the legal parts were taken care of.
I, on the other hand, do not speak Spanish, just the bare minimum to get me around town. But, Puerto Vallarta is one of those cities where most people speak English, so I didn’t have too much of a hard time planning the other parts of the wedding.
We had so much fun planning our wedding, and I would recommend this over using a wedding planner. It made the entire experience more meaningful, and we were able to enjoy our big day knowing that it all came together by our own doing. It was quite a bonding experience for us.
I would love for every couple to have their dream wedding, wherever it is, and if it is in beautiful Puerto Vallarta, even better.
If you want to plan a Puerto Vallarta wedding, or anywhere else in Mexico, I have 5 tips to help you get started.
5 Tips for Planning a Puerto Vallarta Wedding on Your Own
1. Know the legal requirements
This is obvious, but the most important tip of all! If you only plan to have a symbolic ceremony, then you don’t need to worry about this. If you want your Puerto Vallarta wedding to be legal, you need to take care of several things first.
Before you start any planning or booking anything, reach out to the specific state government where you plan to get married. You must be sure you are able to meet all of the requirements in your preferred timeframe.
You have to go to the doctor for blood tests, give witness ID’s, translate legal documents, and take a marriage class. Make sure you know all of the requirements first!
2. Commit to not using a wedding planner
Before we decided to plan everything ourselves I had reached out to several wedding planners. All of which wanted to charge us three times what it would cost for us to just do it ourselves. They are making a killing!
Some wedding planners offer assistance for only certain parts of the wedding. My opinion is that if you are going to plan it, just plan the whole thing on your own. It might be hard to hand over control of only certain things, plus I just feel like it is a waste of money. Use that money towards something else you want to have at the wedding.
3. Contact the resort where you plan to stay
If you don’t know where to find vendors, you can start by contacting the resort where you plan to stay. They have contacts that might be able to help with flowers and a photographer. We actually found ours through local resorts.
They can also recommend great restaurant options for you to hold a reception, bakeries for your cake, and nightclubs if you want to have an after-party. The resorts have connections, so use them!
If you think you might want to have your wedding on a resort instead of a local beach that is totally possible too! I guarantee most of them plan weddings and you can probably get a decent deal on a wedding bundle. Plus, a designated wedding planner is provided in the cost.
4. Understand that business is conducted differently
You may understand all of the legalities in your own country, but you are doing business in a completely different country now. They might have requirements that you just don’t understand. It is what it is and you have to accept that fact.
You will also have to accept that the process might take a little bit longer than you would think. In my experience, things operate a little slower in Puerto Vallarta. You have to learn to be patient.
This is when knowing the legal requirements becomes crucial. Know exactly what needs to be done when so there are no delays in processing. Stay organized so you can be on top of things.
5. Just don’t stress about it
One of the main reasons people plan a destination wedding is to reduce the stress of planning a huge wedding at home. Or in my case, the reason I wanted to have a small local beach wedding is that I didn’t want to deal with hundreds of people, and thousands of dollars.
A lot of people choose this option to make things easier, simpler, and cheaper. Try not to stress so much because most likely everything will work out in the end if you let it. If you worry about every single little thing, that’s when things go wrong.
Enjoy your experience, let things flow how they need to and don’t be a bridezilla!
My Puerto Vallarta wedding was perfect because I let it be. I didn’t stress too much about the details, I was very easy-going, and even though it may not have been the perfect wedding in someone else’s eyes, it was perfect for me.
I hope I have inspired you to take the leap and start planning your wedding! Tell me all about it!
If you have any questions about planning your Puerto Vallarta wedding, don’t be afraid to reach out to me!
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