Saturday, November 28, 2015

Create an Affordable Beach Wedding in Mexico: Tips and Ideas

Can you believe these pictures are from wedding that costs half the price of an average USA or Canadian wedding? Jennie and Colin are savvy money savers who know how to travel and have good fiesta! They were married in La MarToca wedding venue in Puerto Vallarta on November 10, 2015. It was a beautiful wedding. Looks like they spent 25,000USD.  Their lovely reception was not that expensive, yet it was perfectly executed. It was a fun, chic and classy fiesta. A fun classy wedding can be made for about 13,000USD for 50 guests with great photography and all (see pictures here). That is the key to a wedding on the beach that is affordable: Perfect planning with good quality vendors who are not expensive. Email for details

We take great pride in our team of service providers. Wherever you decide to have your wedding please do not mistake the planning as being an easy concept. Or, just because you throw great parties at home do not think you are a destination wedding planner! It is not just finding people on-line and hiring them; We have now what we consider a great team; However, it does not just happen. We went through much trial and error to select the best vendors for an affordable price. After many weddings we have selected our top vendors and our team. We also blackballed many more.

Selecting great and the best vendors on-line is usually pretty easy:  Most of the time you can just hire the most expensive ones and you probably have some of the best, if not the best. However, most people cannot afford the most expensive vendors. They then tend to hire mediocre or cheap services and end up ruining their wedding because they thought they could save 200 dollars on a DJ but the DJ they hired shows up late! Or the catering team they saw on-line cooked the food the day before and did not have proper warmers and the chicken is under 165F and salmonella ensues and the whole party has 2 days of bad stomach aches instead of 2 days of fun times in the pool and touring the bay!

How can you have a great wedding and not break the bank? Hire a professional planner or full planning venue! I know it sounds counterintuitive but it works. What we did as a company to ensure great service and vendors is that we selected the best value vendors. Not necessarily the most expensive. Which means, I suggest you select the ones who provide top quality services without the premium cost of being famous! That is the key to an affordable yet high quality wedding. 

So, maybe you will not have the budget 5,000 dollar cocktail lounge and elegant chic LED decorations. But you do have 1,500USD. We can find those not on-line vendors because we are local and know the system and who is reliable. Can we hire the expensive ones as well? Of course, that is easy. Just give us the money. Anyone can be great if you have 30,000 dollars to spend on 50 guests. The good planners make a 11,000 dollar wedding for 60 guests look and feel like a 30,000 dollar wedding! That is what a professional and a great planning team does for you.

So, wherever you decide to get married make sure you hire a professional to hire your team. You should pay a good wedding planner at least an average fee if not more. I would not go below average price for a planner. Usually if they are good then their whole crew is good. If I were a bride on-line shopping I would go with a planner who charges about 2,000 USD flat fee. Then you will most likely have a good team of service providers who work with her. 

If your planner is cheap that is dangerous because this means they either will charge you on commissions and hidden fees or they are just desperate. Either is not favorable. So it sounds counterintuitive but a cheap or affordable wedding can only be achieved if you hire a top planner or service provider. They will know who to hire in order to make it affordable but fun, classy and with great services. Who do you think knows more people who can hook you up? At least in  work that way. We adjust to your budget but do not hire cheap vendors. We simply tell our great vendors our price budget and limit and find a way to make it affordable. We may not have top sofa quality but we will have the best we can afford! Does this make sense? In other words, an inexpensive wedding does not signify cheap furniture and cheap food. it just means we go with a budget friendly classy menu. our chef is the same we will just serve pork or chicken instead of lobster and jumbo shrimp. Simple and classy is still fun and amazing for your guests!

Happy planning!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Entertain Your Mexico Wedding Guests with Fiestas and Siestas!

So we all know you have a wedding day planned for your Mexico destination wedding, but do you have other activities planned like fiestas and siestas? You must have a 4 or 5 day itinerary planned for your lovely guests if they are coming to your destination wedding. You know they are not just here for the wedding day! So what to do with the other 3 or 4 or up to 6 days? Well, let me help you with some ideas or email for other questions:

Arrival Evening: Welcome drinks set up at the condos or hotel you are staying in. Preferably away from the place of your actual ceremony. In our case our venue is not attached to condos or hotel so if you have a private wedding venue like ours, then you re on a roll already. If you are in a hotel then you m ay want to arrange another place that is not where the ceremony will be held.

Day 2: Fishing and Spa day. I like this day. I like to send the guys on a fishing or diving trip and the girls to a day at the SPA. Specially if final touches are needed before the wedding :)
Evening I let the people have a siesta. Maybe regroup later for night cap and walking around town.

Day 3: Rehearsal Dinner. This evening or day tour is for those who are specially close to you. Many times it is all the guests. But that is up to you. You may have a special dinner at a nice restaurant or a tour for all with ATVs. This is really up to you. The idea is for all to bond before the wedding reception and really "break the ice". So I like the boat tour or the ATV tour for this. But if you want to be traditional you may have a rehearsal dinner at a local restaurant. I suggest something not on the beach since the wedding reception will be on the beach.

Wedding Day: It is time to fiesta for real! I strongly suggest not to have any heavy activities planned for the guests on this day in the morning. Just ask them to relax and prepare. Don't let them get too much sun or eat anything out of the ordinary. You want to avoid any sudden illness or unneccesary emergencies such as a broken foot from the rock diving or whatever. This day is what you have been working, planning and investing your hard earned money on so protect it! have a great fiesta until 1AM or longer! That is the beauty of a private beach wedding venue.

Hangover Day: Many couples and guests fly out the next day. That is rough! I suggest flying out a day after this hangover day. For those who are lucky and can stay an extra day get the Micheladas con Camaron flowing immediately! This concoction of beer and Bloody-Mary mix with cocktail sauces and Shrimp will put you right back into play. I suggest a nice hangover trip with comfortable rides and be in the water a lot; Like a pool or ocean dip area. Once you cure yourself with Micheladas you will be ready for your siesta and your trip the next day!

That my amigos, is how you do fiestas and siestas in your Puerto Vallarta wedding vacation.

Thank You for your comments and patronage!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

How to Deal With a Hurricane On Your Beach Wedding Day

Today we touch upon the number one fear of many beach-wedding brides: And no, it is not a drunk uncle doing the running man to Vanilla Ice. No, it is not the lights going out; You can have a candle light dinner and it is very romantic... Or is it the embarrasing toast by your groomsmen? No. So what is the number one fear of an outdoor wedding on the beach? Rain pouring down hard, and even worse, a hurricane! That is the biggest fear of a tropical wedding. So, what do we do about this natural party-pooper?

The best thing to do is avoid the rainy season entirely and hurricane susceptible zones. That is why it is so important and such an advantage to have your wedding in an area like Puerto Vallarta that has the best and most predictable weather as possible. Puerto Vallarta, Bucerias and any towns inside the Bay of Banderas are virtually Hurricane-proof for 8 months out of the year, from late November until early July, it is guaranteed that no hurricanes can form and come into the bay. Now August, September and October and maybe very early November are the "wet season" and those are the months and dates you may be surprised with a heavy shower or worse, a hurricane during your stay. Although hurricanes are very unlikely in Puerto Vallarta. Our last one was 2001. Even so, I suggest to increase your chances of perfect weather by avoiding these seasons and dates as much as possible. The further away your wedding is from the Summer the better your "cool and dry weather" will be. Besides, the temperature is perfect in Winter months so that is another plus! Email me for a chart of best weather! James at

Now that was easy right? But what if you have a set date for your destination wedding and it must be in the summer or early fall? Well, we have some options for how to plan for a rainy day. A hurricane is another matter of course. When planning a wedding in "Wet Season" you should prepare about 2,000 dollars for the event day in case you may need a tent and extra transportations and incidentals. Do not rent a tent unless you need it. What we do is have a back-up plan with a deposit for a stand-by tent, this way you can access it in case you need it, but not spend the entire rental fee unless you are for sure going to have rain. So you pay for example 200 dollars just in case instead of 1,000usd. So you may lose 200 dollars but you have a tent on standby. Or you can risk it and not rent it at all but if it shows rain, many other brides may have planned accordingly and you may be the one with no tent. Also, you can just plan to have the tent all along. Actually many couples have a tent even in perfect weather. So it is up to you. I personally do not like tents. It is too hot and humid under there! Please, If you want more of my opinions,email James at :)

OK so what if there is a hurricane? In this case in our venue I give the bride the option to change the date at no cost. However, if the couple MUST have the wedding during that trip or they were already in Vallarta area and the hurricane just caught everyone off guard then we can find a location that is inside or rent the tent. In our Bay of Banderas, it is very difficult for a hurricane to come into the mountaineous bay. So mostly we worry about rain from the hurricane which may last up to 3 days before or after the hurricane passes close by. Obviously if the hurricane is coming directly towards us and on the actual day of the wedding, we simply have to cancel. We of course will change the date for you. This is our policy but I do not know what is typical of other wedding venues in Mexico. I assume they would work with you but please verify.

Here are some other USA style tips!

OK, so to avoid the risk or rain and/or hurricane, do not have your wedding in July, August, September or October if possible. If not possible, then you need to prepare and have a plan B ready with your wedding planner in Puerto Vallarta. As explained above, there are many possible factors that put fear in a bride, but a hurricane or rain is easily avoidable if well planned. And, even if you do have some rain or hurricane, with a good plan B it will be less scary than someone dropping your wedding cake on the way to the party or the photographer dropping his camera in the pool after your ceremony adn losing all the pictures forever! All these things can and have happened by the way!

Have a great wedding planning day! Email me with your questions please:

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Como Hacer Una Boda en Playa en Puerto Vallarta

Para poder realizar una propuesta o presupuesto para su boda en la playa, ya sea en Puerto Vallarta o en cualquier jardin privado de las costas de Mexico, necesitan saber unas claves escenciales como lo son: Su presupuesto, su numero de invitados y su fecha ideal y alternas. 

Al tener estos tres parametros escenciales podran organizarse bien y agilizar su tramite con los prestadores de servicios de bodas. En el caso de jardines privados no necesitan saber de los hoteles o sus tarifas, puesto que los hoteles serian punto y aparte de la ecuacion. Por ende, tendran mucha libertad sus invitados y ustedes de poder escoger cada quien lo que mas les guste y convenga en cuanto al alojamiento. Es sugerible darle a sus invitados 3 opciones para alojamiento; Uno de alto nivel, uno de nivel normal comercial y uno economico; Y asi, cada quien que escoja y ustedes se liberan del estres de fungir como agente de viajes. Ah, ademas recuerden que mucha gente tendra amigos con condominios o casas de playa propias. Ahora sobre los tres temas principales, antes de contactar a un jardin en playa en Vallarta o Bucerias o Cancun o Cabo... bueno, donde sea vaya, usen la regla de tres: Presupuesto, numero garantizado de invitados y fecha equivalen a una buena y pronta cotizacion!

Sin presupuesto no podran avanzar muy lejos, se necesita saber que tipo de boda quieren y pueden pagar, asi el coordinador o proveedor sabra inmendiatamente que tipo de servicios ofrecer y asi se ahorraran ustedes muchos correos y perdida de tiempo. Hay bodas de 100 personas de 150,000 pesos y bodas de 100 personas de 1,500,000 pesos. Una boda bonita y completa de calidad media, debe de costar unos 3,000 pesos por persona para unas 100 personas. Claro que entre mas invitados pues sera el costo menor por persona. Pero el promedio en costo por persona en las bodas en playa son de 3,000 pesos por persona. Esto incluye ceremonia, pista y DJ, barra, banquete y mobiliario y gerencia y personal y otras cositas y decoraciones. Y de ahi puede ser mas o puede ser menos, segun la calidad de los servicios y decoraciones y numero de servicios que quieran agregar y por supuesto el horario.

El segundo factor importante es el del numero de invitados. Es muy importante que no comiencen a calcular ningun presupuesto sin tener el numero real de invitados. O sea, ya filtrado del primo del primo que no has visto desde la primaria. Digo, si no importa el presupuesto adelante, inviten a todos y paguen por todos. Pero ni todos los invitados asisten y ninguna pareja que yo conozca me ha dicho que no importa el presupuesto. Asi que recomiendo que corten al maximo el numero de invitados y solo cuenten con los que saben que van a asistir; por eso se llama garantia y no hay devolucion si no se presentan!

El tercer factor que es sumamente importante para cotizar una boda es saber su fecha preferida y tener una alterna. La unica excusa para no tener una fecha definida antes de cotizar, seria el que no les importa la fecha; Por ejemplo, que no sea obligatorio que sea en sabado. La fecha y fecha alterna determinan los costos de muchos proveedores y obviamente influyen en el precio.

Saludos y suerte con su gran boda en jardin con playa. Ya sea en Martoca, Jardin para bodas en playa en Puerto Vallarta, o cualquier otro que deseen. Incluso villas. Sin embargo villas tipicamente obligan a rentar su alojamiento. En fin, cada quien escoge ya sea hotel, villa o jardin privado, su boda sera de lo mejor siempre y cuando sea en familia y con buenos amigos y ambiente!