Friday, November 18, 2016

Puerto Vallarta Weddings: What to do before and After Your Big Day

Dear Amigos Mios:
Puerto Vallarta is more than just beaches. Keep that in mind.
You are all set with your date and location and services with a company such as Martoca Beach & Garden Weddings, or your hotel of choice for your wedding. You also have your wedding plans well on the way. Now you need to plan the before and after wedding activities. Let me help you.

In our venue's case, the weddings are not in a hotel since we are a private wedding venue. So our weddings in Martoca already are a nice distraction for guests who were in the hotel for a few days already. We are int the North side of the bay. Most hotels are in the center of the bay in Nuevo or Puerto Vallarta. So to come to the wedding in Martoca beach, well, that is a "tour" in itself for your guests. But, depending on your budget, you may want to do a rehearsal dinner, or a day trip for guests and even a day after hangover cure day. So let's explore some options that I think your guests will love and enhance the entire vacay-wedding experience for all.

    Welcome them with a Mariachi band. Or also for the day tour.
  • Welcome Fiesta: After guests arrive and change into beach clothes, welcome your guests in your villa or hotel or venue of choice with a trio or Tropical musicians and some cocktails and tapas to set the tone. Let them know the itinerary for the week and maybe have a swag bag for them with maps and a custom T-shirt or hats etc.
Go for day tour to the rivers in mountains and have lunch
  • Day tour before wedding: A day or two before the wedding, depends on your length of stay, you may have a tour planned for the guests. I have seen two ways of doing this. A girls day and a guys day separately or all together in one tour. 
  • For the gals: Of course, the Spa is a fave. You can go to a Spa in Yelapa area where secluded beaches and no cars are allowed. Fun and very relaxing and spiritual. Or other Spas in the area. Or you can do half shopping day and half Spa day. 
ATV tour up to mountains only 20 minutes from Vallarta

  • For the boys: Guys love to do deep sea fishing or ATVs or any activity that allows for legal drinking and driving like golf. It is up to you. There are many activities all around the bay that can entertain a large group of guys. 
Whale watching tours
  • Day trip for all: If you just want to all hang out together then choose an activity that everyone can enjoy. For example, charter a sail catamaran or watch to go around the bay for about 2,500USD for 40 guests with food and drinks for 3 hours. Or have a day trip to a beach town away from the hotel. Arrange transportation and go with a tour guide or go all together to an organized tour such as those provided by Vallarta Adventures.
Charters are fun. 40 or so guests for about 2,500USD
  • Walk-thru/rehearsal: The day before the wedding most couples have a dinner party after the walk-thru. The walk thru is very simple. Sometimes it is not even needed because you may have done it before in your site visit. Beach weddings are casual. So it is a fun relaxed vibe. Hence why you may not even need an actual rehearsal. Anyway, once you do the walk-thru, you take everyone to dinner somewhere fun. 
Rehearsal dinner can be in a local joint like this on beach
  • Rehearsal Dinner: If you only have 4 days total then you may want to do the day tour in the morning and the rehearsal dinner at sunset. I recommend a sunset dinner. It should be in a place that is different from the wedding venue. By this I mean, if your wedding or hotel is in beach "x" then have the rehearsal dinner in beach "y". Or even better, if you are having your wedding on the beach, then have your rehearsal dinner on a roof top like Barcelona restaurant, or a mountain side. That is the beauty of Vallarta area. We have mountains views and ocean and cliffs. So you can have a totally different experience for your guests all in one or two days! They can see their hotel beach in the morning, another beach or an island during their day tour and a completely different view on a mountain top or a roof top for dinner. And if you are getting married away from the resort
    Roof-top pool area for rehearsal dinner or chill day.
    in a private wedding venue like Martoca, then they will have that new experience as well thenext day. Three or four totally different locations and towns in one or two days; Now that is a great vacay-wedding hosting plan!
North side of the bay. Punta Mita golf course.
  • Chill Day after wedding: After the wedding: A relaxing and cure-hangover day is in order. A golf day or we can arrange for a DJ and have some house or chill music and have a Bloody Mary brunch catered to your villa with local seafood. Or host it in a beach/garden venue like Martoca (photographed here by Elizabeth Medina) with pools and garden for example (only if your wedding was somewhere else). We do not recommend having the chill day or the rehearsal dinner in the same place the wedding was held. Double dipping is a no-no. Unless you are in a villa then maybe wedding and day after is in the same place.

These are some ideas I have organized with my team for our couples. Sometimes the budget is not large enough for so many parties or events, so you can just make them less lavish but still have the activities. Just in a smaller scale within your resort, or in a local beach restaurant. If I had to choose one activity, I would have every one go to a tour together. It is just so fun. And you know someone will provide entertainment for all to talk about all day, by rolling over the ATV, or flipping the sail boat. Someone will get too drunk and dance with the MC of the tour or do something fun and silly. Bonding works. It is just full of possible classic moments that will bond and make your trip just that much more special and memorable.

Have fun and enjoy your once in a lifetime opportunity with your family and friends. It will never come again!-James. 
Email me if you want more free advice on your Vallarta-Nayarit wedding amigos.