A few years ago, my husband and I had the most incredible wedding in Puerto Vallarta where more than 100 of our friends and family joined us for a celebration.
It all started a year earlier when we decided to look into the benefits of having a destination wedding. We live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and since my husband id from Chile we struggled with the idea of getting married here and not having many of our friends and family present. If they were to come to the U.S. they would have to go to Uncle Samâ€™s embassy in Chile to get a Visa, throw down a lot of money for a round trip flight, book an expensive hotel in the City, and figure out how to get around in another language. We started to think that the only thing from Chile that we would enjoy on my wedding day would be the wine.
In addition, the cost of doing our wedding here in the Bay Area started to scare me as well. When we began to compare prices for different venues, it seemed like they were trying to sell you the place as opposed to rent it to you for a day.
As a result we started to explore the possibility of looking into a destination wedding. Our options here in the U.S. werenâ€™t looking great, and we started to realize that for the same price we would pay to sweat like pigs at my wifeâ€™s uncleâ€™s ranch in Stockton, we could actually have an oceanfront luxury villa wedding. And it didnâ€™t stop there. When I told our friends from Chile that we were thinking of getting hitched in paradise, they talked about joining us for the big day. They started to realize that it was also a great opportunity to take a week of vacation. For our American attendees, about 60 of them, the idea sounded good as well. Many of our friends and family here are used to travel to another state for a wedding, so traveling two hours to Mexico wasnâ€™t a big deal.
Our Journey to the big date
We began our plans for the big day by deciding on the venue. We had in mind that approximately 100 people were going to attend. At first we thought that the only option for that amount of people was doing it at a hotel. However, we thought if we were going to do something different, letâ€™s really make it unique! We began to look at the possibility of celebrating our wedding at a villa. We realized then many of the villas for rent in Puerto Vallarta had the capacity to accommodate that many people (and in many cases, more). After looking at different options we decided that Casa Azul Profundo, a beautiful villa that overlooks the serene Bay in the Mismaloya area was our best shot. This house in nothing short of spectacular!
Once we secured the place, finding a wedding coordinator was our next mission. There were a lot of U.S.-based, destination wedding coordinators, but we thought that nobody could help us better to organize a wedding than a local coordinator. We wanted someone with local knowledge, with the capacity to give us several options for each type of amenity we needed, at a price that locals would pay, amigo. With a great recommendation we found DMC VALLARTA . The owner, Viviana Curel, was very helpful from the beginning. We contacted her about seven months before the wedding and explained to her what we wanted in terms of decoration, food, ambience, etc. We decided that every two weeks she was going to contact us to discuss alternatives so we could keep moving forward. For a period of 3-4 months we spoke every couple of weeks with her and we always felt like we were making significant progress. Two months before the wedding we had everything in place, including the chef, the menu, the drinks (including a barman), decoration, a DJ, a mariachi band, etc.
As the date approached and we knew exactly who was coming, we started to help our guests to find their accommodations. Since we were staying at the Villa where the event was taking place, renting other villas in the area was the most popular option among our guests as well. The comfort and privacy associated with staying at a villa sounded very attractive to most of them, not to mention that it was a better option in terms of price as well. We were able to get them villas at discounted rates; Casa Valparaiso and Villa los Arcos, 2 neighbor villas, were the most popular options. Other gusts stayed at local hotels and condos in the vicinity.
Time went by very fast and the big date soon came!
Iâ€™ll come back to this post soon with Part II, to give you details about the whole week of experiences from our destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta!