According to the World Tourism Organization, 16% of US couples have a destination wedding and spend an average of $93,000 (2008). And the Travel Industry Association of the Americas (2007) has found that the number of American couples who choose a destination wedding has increased by 400% over the past ten years. In the case of Mexico, destination weddings represent a value of 2.4 billion dollars and in the next 5 years it is expected to reach a total of 18 billion dollars.
WHY IS MEXICO THE TOP DESTINATION FOR WEDDINGS & HONEYMOONS
Mexico’s proximity to the United States has made it the number one international destination for Americans in general and so many Mexico’s visitors are repeat guests, it’s no surprise that they choose Mexico as the setting for such a monumental date in their lives. With a mixture of cultural and beach destinations as well as economic incentives, Mexico is the ultimate destination for weddings, honeymoons, bachelor/bachelorette getaways and more.
Another advantage of having your wedding is Mexico is the Zero VAT or tax laws on all events, meaning you would not have to pay taxes on any expenses incurred by you or your guests while in your wedding.
CELEBRITY WEDDINGS - Mexico’s hotels and resorts often offer guests secluded and private locations, that is why they have become a hot spot of celebrity weddings. Giants quarterback Eli Manning wed his longtime girlfriend in a private ceremony this past April in Cabo San Lucas and singer Seal married model Heidi Klum in Puerto Vallarta where Freddie Prinze, Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar also held their private family-only ceremony.
BEACH WEDDINGS - For those looking to have a romantic and sun-filled experience, look no further than Mexico’s beaches. Destinations such as Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo, Huatulco, Riviera Maya, Cancun, Progreso and Veracruz offer a flawless combination of warm breezes, endless natural beauty in every direction and a star-filled backdrop to your ceremony or intimate and picturesque nights.
COLONIAL CITIES - Mexico is home to many colonial cities and the association Tesoros de Mexico (Mexico’s Treasures) can help you select some of the country’s most unique hotels to host your destination wedding or honeymoon. For example, the Pueblo Mágico (Magic Town) of Patzcuaro, in the state of Michoacán, has a 17th Century church where you can hold your private ceremony and the city has many restaurants and bars for guests to visit or for you to have romantic dinners.
Another popular wedding destination is the town of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008, in the state of Guanajuato where you can hold your wedding at the famous pink church. The city’s amazing infrastructure has the capacity to host your guests and keep them entertained at all times.
UNUSUAL WEDDINGS - For those seeking to stray from traditional ceremonies, Mexico offers a number of opportunities. Couples have been getting married underwater in Cancun and the Riviera Maya for years, while others take advantage of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic cultures with Mayan themed weddings complete with exotic locations in the jungles.
WHAT YOU NEED TO GET MARRIED - In order to be legally married, couples must take part in a ten-minute civil ceremony and provide documents, such as copies of passports, as well as blood tests taken within 15 days of the date of marriage and notarized by a doctor in Mexico. If divorced or widowed, a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate (with a minimum lapse of one year) is required. Most resorts/wedding planners assist couples with all the necessary paperwork and require that the happy couple be in Mexico three working days prior to the wedding to ensure all legal requirements have been met.
Some couples prefer to have just the religious ceremony in Mexico, bypassing the civil ceremony and red tape. Keep in mind that the couple must then have a civil ceremony performed in their own country in order for the marriage to be legal.