I’ve been privileged to work in the 3 main tourist attractions in Mexico for weddings – Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos. I thought it might help to know what the real difference is between these 3 very beautiful, but very different locations.
Cancun is on the furthest east of Mexico that you can be. What really took me by surprise was just the massiveness of the space. Everything was so spread out and you couldn’t see any of the resorts from the main highway – all blocked by trees. My impression was that Cancun would be a great place to get married if you were really into staying at a resort and just staying there. The beaches were undeniably as beautiful as the pictures everyone posts and the water was calm and warm. The wedding we designed was held at a villa in Soliman Bay and what I learned about the experience was that it is VERY VERY windy in Soliman Bay. The coordinator told me it would be but I will admit to being completely blown away (no pun intended) by how windy it really was. On the other hand, it was absolutely gorgeous. I loved how the water met up to the beach and you just felt like it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began.
Soliman Bay views
My favorite location in Cancun was Cozumel. My crew and I all piled into an old VW bug and drove across the island to the other side and hung out at some beautiful coves. I’ve lived in Mexico for 9 years but this was the first time I had that movie feeling of being in an old Mexican quaint town by the beach, laid back, relaxing and just plain fun. I would go back there in a heart beat.
I’ve lived the longest and have designed and created the most events in Puerto Vallarta, so it’s my own backyard, so to speak :). I think Vallarta is amazing – it has an old town quality and feel but the Malecon (or boardwalk) is full of fun clubs and classy restaurants and yet just a few minutes away, you are surrounded by green jungle and amazing foliage. On Sundays there is live music in the square and you can go and watch the older crowd dance to “Danzon” which is an old style of dance (similar to watching older couples dance the waltz – but not so formal). Afterwards, the speakers come out and salsa, cumbia and merengue is started up and the younger crowd joins in.
While Vallarta does have some really beautiful resorts (Dreams Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta and Villa del Palmar Flamingos being three of my favorites), I think Vallarta has some fabulous and affordable villas, like the one pictured below at a villa called Casa Quetzal which has amazing views of Vallarta and the ocean but in a very hacienda, rustic setting.
CABO SAN LUCAS/SAN JOSE DEL CABO
I will admit that when I first came to Cabo I thought “holy cow, this place is ugly”;). I had never seen so much cactus in all my life. Of course, coming from the lush foliage of Vallarta, the stark contrast of desert was very… well, stark! But it didn’t take me long to come to love how the starkness of the dessert meets up with the incredibly blue ocean. If I thought Vallarta had beautiful resorts and villas, Cabos has completely blown me away – like the wedding pictured below which was held at Vista Ballena close to Sheraton. Absolutely incredible villa!
While Cabos has a night life much smaller than Vallarta or Cancun, it is definitely a thriving, jumping night life and the close proximity of all the clubs makes club hopping a lot of fun. I like sitting at the Hard Rock cafe, enjoying a brew and a burger and watching everyone down below all dressed up… or not – haha ready for a night out of fun. Plaza Paraiso is on the Marina in Cabo San Lucas and has a small Malecon which is also full of yummy restaurants and hopping places “to be.” I do think that Cabo has a nice mix of providing resorts which are far from the downtown night life yet the night life is still very accessible if you just want a night out on the town.
Cabo San Lucas Vista Ballena
We do have Aussies getting married in Mexico – like Kris & Luke pictured down below. I think Mexico is a fun place to get away, experience a different culture, eat some amazing Mexican food, enjoy our Mariachis and Trios which dot the night scape in a tropical setting – or if tropical isn’t for you, try the beaches and the views in Cabo San Lucas where the stark desert meets the amazing blue ocean and the stars shine so brightly outside of town :).
Ms Gingham says: Now that’s what I call a beach wedding! Love the little aisle decorations stuck in the sand! Great post Mishka and hope to hear more from you soon!
About Mishka Designs: I love all things weddings, all things love, all things family and all things joy inspired :). I see way too much misinformation about destination weddings and, in particular, about weddings in Mexico and I am particularly interested in truly informing brides about wazzup here in Mexico – the real scoop – about choosing between a hotel, a villa or a private venue.