Cancun Destination Wedding
at the Fiesta Americana Condesa Hotel
Have you ever wondered how to plan a destination wedding? Last March I had the incredible opportunity to join Belen and Elie in Cancun, Mexico for their destination wedding at the Fiesta American Condesa. With guests from all over the world, they planned a two-day event filled with activities!
The day prior to the wedding, we explored the surrounding islands of Cancun on a catamaran. We were welcomed with drinks, had music on, and snorkeled in the ocean. This wasn’t my first experience photographing a wedding where guests came together the day prior. In my experience, it makes the celebration all the more memorable.
Read below on why Belen and Elie chose to plan a destination wedding, why they decided Cancun and important wedding planning tips.
From Belen and Elie
Why did you decide to have a destination wedding?
My husband and I are originally from other countries so we had clear from the beginning that ours would have to be a destination wedding. All the family would have to travel the same and spend the same money. No favoritism.
How did you decide about the location?
We wanted to be a place that meant something to us. We chose a place where we visited before for my birthday and where we talked about marriage for the first time. We had an amazing time and thought it would be perfect to share the same with family and friends.
How would you describe your wedding day? What was your favorite moment?
I guess like everyone else, I would describe our wedding as magical, we had a lot of special moments like my first look with my dad or our first dance as wife and husband but our favorite moment was on the dance floor, seeing all our friends and family dancing together as they knew each other for a long time. We were happy to see everyone was having fun.
A destination wedding can be stressful because you know people are making a big effort to join you, time from work and money and you are telling them where they have to spend that so you want everyone to have fun and get their money and time worth, so looking at them having fun was the best present ever!
Tips when planning a destination wedding
Did you visit the venue before?
We did on another trip before getting engaged. I think it was easier this way because we knew how the location was and we checked in person the service before. There’s a lot of uncertainty when you plan a destination wedding so choosing a place you were before, helps planing and staying calm.
What was your planning process like? Where did you start?
In our case, we contacted the hotel directly and they sent a catalog with all the wedding packages to pick. We had a wedding planner included (most of the hotels that offer wedding does) so she guided us on the process. I also think it’s important to have a wedding planner for a destination wedding. A person that can check things for you and help you to decide because she has experience planning weddings in that place.
Any wedding planning tips you’d like to share?
I’d recommend choosing a place that can accommodate all or most of your guests. Most of them travel for more than the wedding day (for the weekend or even a week like on our case) so having everyone staying at the same hotel gave us a stress-free week, we could get lunch with a group, dinner with other group and drinks with another one without leaving the place. We were able to spend time with everyone.
Also, this is a good idea because all the wedding party will meet each other before the celebration making the celebration even more special since everyone comes together as a big group of family and friends, and one big day turned into a big week of celebration and sharing, so even when the wedding day goes so fast, you have many more memories from the before and after days.
Another tip is choosing a place where the guest can entertain themselves so you don’t have to be directing them all the time. We planned one activity together and the rest of the time they made their own plans. Having all the group together in one place also helps in this case because they have more people around to have fun with.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
I don’t think I’d have changed anything on the wedding day but maybe if we did it all over again, we’d stay a couple of days more at the hotel after the guests left, to enjoy and relax as newlyweds.
Venue, Hotel, Catering and wedding planning: Fiesta Americana Condesa