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8 Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding

I’m getting married, again, to the same man! Five years after our 2007 wedding, my husband, Mario, and I are renewing our vows in his hometown of Guanajuato, Mexico.

Our first wedding was at the oceanfront Grand Baja Resort in Puerto Nuevo, Mexico with nearly 100 guests. This time all of his family will be there to celebrate with us in true estilo mexicano. Here are my tips for making your destination wedding a success.

1. Choose the destination carefully

Consider the distance, your budget and your guests’ needs when choosing a locale. Will it be added fun or extra hassle? For us, the decision was easy. Mario grew up in Guanajuato, plus we know and love the culture.

2. Give guests time to make travel plans

We sent out a save-the-date email 14 months in advance. Don’t assume your guests won’t travel. Even a high school friend who has been serving in Afghanistan will be making the trek.

3. Create a wedding website

A wedding website is simple to create and is a great way to keep your guests up-to-date with all the vitals. Try mywedding.com or ewedding.com.

4. Make travel easier

Provide your guests with information on airports, accomodations and estimated costs. Our out-of-town guests will fly through Tijuana, so we will provide details on crossing the border and dealing with immigration.

5. Make a map

Guanajuato is a maze-like city filled with winding streets and alleys. We want to point out some of our go-to spots, including a favorite taco stand on the side of a 16th-century church. Consider including: cafés, restaurants, spas, tourist attractions, a pharmacy, and a grocery store.

6. Plan activities

Keep guests entertained, but don’t plan every minute. We are arranging a callejoneada, or night parade, where musicians will guide the group through the streets while singing, dancing, and sharing local myths.

7. Get help From Local Experts

If you don’t know your destination well, or don’t speak the language, find someone who does. A travel agent or wedding coordinator can suggest reputable vendors and make you aware of regional customs.

8. Embrace the culture

In Mexico, things might not start on time and the decor might not be what I would pick stateside, but part of the destination wedding adventure is learning to dive in and enjoy!

– Gloria Tebelman

[box title=”Photography by Chris Humphreys”][nggallery id=316][/box]

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