A Clever Cozumel WeddingWords by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of The Willetts Photography
Valeria and Freddy took their guests into account when it came time to decide what to do for their destination wedding. “We wanted out friends and family to have a magnificent experience in a tropical location,” says the couple. “We chose to do a combination of a family cruise and destination wedding in order to make it enjoyable for all. We also wanted to be different and have a unique experience.”
While some family members and friends ultimately weren’t able to attend, as is typical of destination weddings, overall the idea of a cruise and destination wedding was well received. “Our family and friends were largely very positive and loved the idea of a wedding that combined a vacation and family reunion,” says the couple.
Valeria and Freddy initially considered Bermuda as their chosen destination, but ultimately decided on Cozumel, Mexico. “Our wedding planner was super helpful and took charge in interviewing the hotel venues and even arranged a tasting of meals and desserts at every hotel,” explains Valeria. “She was very intelligent and had an eye for detail.”
While the couple describes the overall destination wedding planning process as “stressful,” they were quick to mention what a difference hiring a wedding planner makes. These two lovebirds booked a cruise with their nearest and dearest and then selected a hotel in Cozumel at which to host their actual ceremony and reception.
Since booking a cruise can be more complicated than just booking a hotel room, the couple gave their guests some guidance. “Our wedding guests all booked their travel through Royal Caribbean or through vacationstogo.com,” says the bride. “We have been on several cruises and always had a pleasant experience with both companies.”
Thankfully, some guests were able to make a compromise in attending the couple’s wedding. “Some guests chose to fly in if they had limited time off of work and stayed at the hotel,” says the bride. Another area the couple had to get creative was in dealing with the language barrier. While it did cause some issues at times, the couple relied on their wedding planner and contact at the hotel who both spoke English.
Despite describing the overall planning process as stressful, Valeria and Freddy have no regrets and know that opting for a cruise and destination wedding was the way to go. One point they were sure to make was that going the route they did allowed their guests to relax and enjoy a beautiful destination. When asked what advice she had for other brides planning their own destination wedding, this is what Valeria advised:
“Expect to pay…more than the quoted prices, hidden costs always add up. Also, pray for sunny days and it helps to have extras of everything. Spend your money on a great wedding planner, a great photographer and excellent music – they’re very important. Lastly, have more enough food and drinks.”
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