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This DIY bride needs venue recommendations for Spring 2014 cabo wedding!

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My wedding date is set for July 2015 at the Hacienda Cocina Y Cantina (HCyC). I always thought I can do it all myself. Not for a destination wedding! Vendors in Cabo especially take weeks to respond to you, since it's one of the most popular destinations in Mexico, and they sometimes are not consistent with their prices, contracts. It's better to have someone down there batting for you, making sure your vendors respond promptly and will make sure your day goes smoothly without any extra stress for you! Keep it fun!!


I highly recommend Christina Mattos at Cabo Beach Weddings for a third party wedding coordinator (WC).


She was a fraction of the cost of other WCs. ($1000, $200 deposit). She was super patient when I had my first surge of "to do items" to check off. Mostly, find a venue, set a reasonable budget for 100 guests. The info about vendors alone was worth $1000!


However, she also negotiates her special rate with the vendors she trusts, and gives you several options to chose from. You kind of have to prioritize what is most important to you... the view? The DJ? The flowers? Hair and Makeup? Best experience for your guests? Otherwise it will get very expensive, very quickly. She also handles everything from signing the contract to keeping on top of vendors on day of to picking up afterwards and making sure you get everything back to your hotel when you just want to party more after your reception!


She let me change several times from having a hotel package wedding (like Pueblo Bonito), to a restaurant like Sunset di Mona Lisa (SDML) or HCyC to a private Villa, back to a restauant. We still can get our deposit back up to 90 days prior to the wedding! It's not too late to switch, LOL.


So we booked the HCyC. I'm going to try to address as many of the issues I saw on this thread, keep in mind we are going to our site visit this Christmas 2014, so I haven't seen it in person. I am only working off my planning experience which has taken a massive break for about 6 months.


We chose the HCyC mostly because of the beach front view and the location. The SDML is without a doubt the most beautiful view in Cabo. However like others said, you have to rent private transportation to get there from hotels, which gets expensive for a lot of guests. And they can't really accommodate more than 50 guests. The menu looks amazing too!


HCyC has a gorgeous view on a normally busy beach. Since we are having a sunset wedding, most people will be gone from the beach at that time. Christina informed me that there might be a few lookers, but I am not too concerned about it. My photographer can photoshop out 1 or 2 people no problem. Same with buoys.. no big deal.


My FI insisted we get married in the sand. Not on a terrace overlooking the beach. I let him have his way. ;-) So we will have a quick 15 min beach ceremony, then a cocktail hour with apps on the lower La Cima Terrace, then reception plated dinner on the upper La Cima Terrace, and dancing on the lower La Cima Terrace. I also loved their wedding website, it is very informative and we'll built. (My FI is a software engineer, so we take good interfaces very seriously).


We expect 75-100 guests. If we go over 100 guests, we may have to re-strategize completely. You do have to do a buy out at $20K for the entire restaurant for more than 150. Yikes. Right now we are at $7500 for food and beverage min, and $1800 for the La Cima Terrace $900 to use the beach. Still much cheaper than anything in California where venue alone, no chairs or tables will be over $10K.


There are not many venues that can accommodate 150+ guests. And it has been difficult to try to get than many people there... although it's a strong possibility we will reach 100, maybe go over.


You can NOT bring your own alcohol. This was a major bummer for me since we love wine and we live near Napa Valley.


The HCyC does have 60 brown chivari chairs and 10 tables (I believe) with beige cushions @ and beige linens. We will rent more. Type of chairs, tables and linens is definitely not something I think guests will remember. You do have the option to do rectangle or round tables. I love the look of the rectangle tables, but our families insisted round or 8 person square was better for conversation.


Susana @ HCyC has been an absolute pleasure to work with, very professional, prompt and informative. It's sad to have to point that out, but not all vendor contacts have been easy to work with. Even if you have your third party wedding coordinator being the middle man.


HCyC us also super close to the hotels in the area near the marina. Ideally I would like our guests to be able to walk across the street to get to the wedding, and also be in walking distance to restaurants in the area. I'm not looking at All Inclusive (AI), since most guests seemed not too into it and it's $100 more per night for AI. We are doing site visits at the Bahia Hotel, Cabo Villas, and the Hacienda Encanta

da which is further away from the marina. I'm looking strictly at price point $150-200/ night, proximity to HCyC, awesome pool, and looks modern and clean. Will have to update on customer service and activities later after we visit in December.


HCyC also has a few different options for food and bev. I can email those if you want them for this year, prices usually go up every year. My FI hates buffet, so it was plated or family style only. We went with plated. I think we'll have seabass, steak, veggie pasta option and a child's meal (under 8). Again, will depend on December trip.


I think thats all I can think of regarding venue... it's a big decision, it helps to have someone (wedding coordinator) to discuss it with when your FI and MOH are tapped out. Lol. I'm fortunate enough to have a man who is excited about wedding planning (mostly). Let me know if you want to discuss flowers, DJ, photographer, hair and makeup, OOT bags, guest list, etc.


I am one of those brides who is super dooper prepared and tells my WC how I think I want it, then do some research and bring it back to her a few times. If you are a bride that wants so me one else make your special day happen without thinking about every detail, I am confident Christina can do it too! Keep it fun, good luck! Hope this helped!



Hi Ash984,   Hacienda Cocina is a great venue and I can give you a lot of info!  The contact person there, Susana, was really great.  Basically there are 3 different areas to have your reception in:   1) The restaurant.  This requires a buy-out with a minimum consumption of $20,000k.  This obviously doesn't make sense unless you have at least 100 guests.  This is way out of our budget but there was a wedding the day we went that was doing this and it looked awesome.  If you do the buyout you get to have this awesome little cocktail area too and this awesome bar area/palapa type thing for your dance floor.    2) The beach front area.  This is a small area that is designed to hold about 45 ppl but she said it can go up to 70ppl.  The minimum consumption is something like $2500 plus a $250 site fee (these numbers are ballpark of what I remember her saying--not exact).  This area would be awesome bc it's directly on the beach.   3) A terraced area in the back.  This area overlooks the pool and holds a lot more people.  The price is something like $5,000 minimum consumption with a $600 site fee.  Another great area.   The ceremony would be held on the beach and there is a grassy area between the beach and pool where you do the cocktail hour.  The only thing I don't like about this venue is that the beach area is close to the hustle and bustle of Medano Beach.  It's not close enough that you can hear the noise or anything but in pictures it would be nearly impossible to avoid having other big hotels and stuff in the background.  You could shoot towards the ocean but at this beach there are a line of buoys in the water that I think make wedding shots not look as nice as if you had a clean ocean in the back.  I realize many people won't care at all about this but for whatever reason, it's a deal breaker for me.  If you aren't as picky about this sort of thing I think this is a trily fabulous venue.  We also aren't going with Hacienda Cocina because you have to bring in all the rentals (chairs, linens, etc) and we are trying to avoid doing too much of that.    Oh another great thing is that Susana said that at the end of the night, she is willing to print out 2 receipts: one for how any drinks were actually consumed and one for the open bar price and she will charge you whichever is less.  That is a great perk!  That way if people don't drink as much as you anticipate you can save money.


I can confirm a lot of this info as well. The La Cima Terrace I think you are referring to is now $7500 min food and beverage consumption + $1800 fee. It goes up every year, so if you want to book in 2016, I recommend putting down deposit asap!


Thanks for the info regarding the open bar! That's news to me!


I was told they have 60 brown chivari chairs and 10 tables if you want to use them. You can always rent more. Unless you do the buyout. :)


The La Cima Terrace does overlook the pool as well as the beach, and it requires more lighting which you can do on your own, or DJ can provide it.

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@@MattyTrinh, We just did a site visit 3 weeks ago and my FI loved it there. We've been to cabo a few times and since we went about a week after the airport opened the beach was pretty lonely so we didn't get the feel of too many "looky-loos" but its a pretty busy beach. HCyC is at the end so I don't think it'll be that busy during sunset. the view is amazing as well!!! in the past, I've stayed at the Bahia hotel and haven't had any negative issues with them. the food is delicious there and its a pretty small hotel. we didn't pick HCyC cause we're doing the AI option but this was one of our top picks if we didn't go the AI route. You'll love it!

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@Mention, fantastic, thanks! I'm a little concerned the Bahia may not have enough rooms for our wedding party. I asked our guests to RSVP by November 30th, with hopes I will have them all by end of year. So far, we are over 100 guests! I think the Bahia has something like 65 rooms? It would be neat to have our own private hotel though. We will have to see...


The Bahia and HCYC are walking distance (in heels) from each other, correct? Thanks again for your help!!

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@AmorDeMiVida  Hello!  I've actually been doing terrible with my research.  My fiance and I are planning to make a trip out to Cabo in February.  I really want to do some site visits and see how it looks since the devastating hurricane that they had.  I may push back our date a bit.  Have you decided on a venue?

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@@jazzzy23 We have decided on the Riu Palace.  I am working with Teresa Stauring from Vacations for Less, Inc (she is a TA who specializes in Cabo DWs).  She was able to provide me with rate information on the resorts I was interested in.  She has been great  and is very responsive to all my emails and calls.

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@ Sierra123, I think I do from 2014, PM me your email? I don't think I can upload attachments yet.


The only drawback to SDML is that they can't accomodate groups larger than 50 well. They don't have a big terrace other than what you see in the epic sunset pics. If you have a larger party I highly recommend my venue. Hacienda Cocina y Cantina. Closer to downtown, amazing food, amazing service, great view of the arches on Medano beach.


I also highly recommend a third party wedding planner.. we used Cabo Beach Weddings. Everything operates a little differently in Mexico. If you have someone doing all the research for you, it makes it way more fun. Vendors can take weeks to get back to you if they don't know you.


Check out my highlights video. :)


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@@Matty04, thank you so much for your quick reply :) :) I will PM you my email.


We are planning a small wedding. One of the reasons we decided on a destination wedding was to cut down on the guest list, and make it more intimate. It will just be our family and closest friends. We are expecting 40-50 people.


I love the pictures of SDML. I also looked at pictures from Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, it is also incredibly beautiful. The only thing I was concerned about was the privacy aspect. I couldn't tell if people would be walking down the beach right during the reception. Was this a problem for your wedding? That is one of the reasons I wanted to avoid resort weddings, kind of takes away from the moment when strangers are watching your wedding.


Good to know about using Cabo Beach Weddings for a wedding planner. I think we will also probably use a wedding planner, handy to have someone local with the connections to the vendors!

P.S... @@Matty04.... your wedding looks like it was beautiful :) Thanks for sharing!!

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