This post originally appeared in the May 13, 2023 edition of Eater Travel, a bi-weekly stream from Eater staff about navigating places where food is the main attraction. subscribe now.
Eater got married this week. And while her colleagues write about how to have the ultimate restaurant wedding and even filed an elopement complaint, her husband and I recently chose a different path. We were long distance for 3 years. He lived in Chicago and I lived in New York City. So, to be fair, we decided to choose a location where all our guests could travel without emptying their bank accounts along the way. And after the pandemic, we figured people were looking for an excuse to vacation. So who wouldn’t I schedule for them? Call it selflessness, or just mutual benefit.
As a social media manager, I tend to use calendars, lists, and planners to keep things very organized. My job hinged on deadlines and a lot of research, and planning my wedding was no exception. After making countless to-do lists and weddings abroad he worked remotely with his coordinator for almost a year, and spent months googling “destination wedding must-haves”, this is me. is what I learned. Fulfilling a dream of an out-of-state wedding.
Wants, Needs, and In-between
We knew that having a destination wedding would significantly reduce yes attendance, but this was a downside we could tolerate. TRUE If you want to be there, do your best to be there.Giving gifts to all guests also helped More than 18 months notice on your wedding day. But we had in mind that everything has a cost, both for ourselves and our loved ones. We ended up getting married in Playa del Carmen, Mexico over President’s Day weekend. Most people had next Monday off. It’s February and I thought I’d invite my closest friends and family out of the snowy Chicago and into the perfect weather to dance and party. There are many all-inclusive resorts in Mexico. So while some people might be put off by the price at first, when I explained that my booking included transportation to and from the airport, as well as unlimited food and drink for the entire day, it was game on . changer. Realistically she sent 200 invitations expecting only 60 confirmations. In the end, 140 spectators gathered.
However, these people may need to be reminded that: Others may have opinions about what should and should not be done at a wedding. remember that it is your wedding. Smile, say thank you, and make sure you and your partner are a team every step of the way. For us, we’ve always wanted three things: an open bar, a beach, and a grand celebration, a wedding atmosphere. We didn’t want it to be too formal or too traditional. And it got some attention, but we stood firm. Being able to focus on those three things narrowed down the small wedding decisions I had to make in the end (like if I wanted a charger for dinner). and We were able to give the coordinator enough direction to realize our vision.
It’s kind of like going with the flow.
Wedding planning and stress seem to go hand in hand. Stress is inevitable in the process of planning your big day, but it’s important to manage expectations. Frankly: things can get very expensive. Many venues only sell a la carte, but her husband and I wanted to find a place that did it all under the same roof.After doing a lot of research, we decided to go with this Blue Benado Wedding. We discussed having our wedding at the hotel we were staying at, but the resort didn’t give us the privacy we had envisioned for President’s Day weekend. Who wants to see tourists in the background of their wedding photos?
Blue Venado offers a private beach just 20 minutes from our resort and was basically a one stop for all our needs. I was a little apprehensive about doing everything remotely, but the all-in package made it easy to book all the vendors, from live DJs to florists to videographers and photographers. After all, they provided it. Instead of researching more about who to book in a city we’ve only been to twice, the wedding team was able to guide us and give us peace of mind with every decision we make. If I needed a makeup artist recommendation they let me know. Need a customized sign? They can do it. It’s like they took our vision board and brought it to life. Most importantly, they had one more thing we couldn’t compromise on. It’s in-house catering with really good food.
No winner without a good dinner
Other than the open bar and beach view, what we couldn’t skimp on is the good food. Wedding food can get a bad reputation and be neglected, but it was very important to us that the food we were served was something that people talked about in a positive way.
As for the tasting, I wanted to try everything. From whether or not to have “easy” hors d’oeuvres like empanadas, to buffet-style spreads or carefully calculated courses, there were plenty of opinions and just as many choices. Therefore, to preserve our own sanity, We ditched comments about what we “should” doand figured it out ourselves.
There was no curated menu or all-themed dinner spread that you often see on TikTok. We kept notepads and scores next to everything we ate. My parents were also present at the tasting, and the decision was almost unanimous. For cocktail hour, I chose ceviche in a spoon (perfect for a bite!), pulled pork mini sandwiches, Veracruz mini empanadas, taco nachos, and arrachera with chimichurri tapas. Of course, there was also a bar serving massive amounts of Paloma, mango margaritas and guava moscow mules. For the appetizer, I was worried about whether to choose salmon carpaccio or kataifi shrimp. We finally chose the prawns paired with a crispy and tangy tomato sauce. But the entree was like an early honeymoon. Between sweet and tender pork ribs with corn and cauliflower and ribeye with grilled vegetables, we decided to go off the menu and offer our guests the classic combination of surf and turf. Juicy ribeye steak and grilled lobster, paired with mashed potatoes and fried plantains, were the real stars.All of Food gave us energy (for dancing) and satiety (for drinks!).
Do you say “I will” twice?
Like many large weddings (remember a group of 140 people!), a travel wedding can be stressful. But with the right amount of research, support, flexibility, and willpower, they are doable. The best part of the whole experience was Share memories with your closest family and friends In a beautiful place that will forever hold a special place in our hearts. Every time Mexico is mentioned in conversation with the attendees, they bring up our wedding. And those memories more than justified the expense.
Are you stressed out? yes. What is it that her husband and I want to do over and over again? absolutely.