Copy of Jillian and Yader - Mexico Blog

Real Mexico Wedding at Blue Venado


November 11, 2022
Words by Kristi Blane
Photos courtesy of Ana Lozano Photography

New Englanders, Jillian and Yader, pictured their dream wedding on the beach with total a Caribbean feel. When the couple did their research, they stumbled upon a gem of a venue in Riviera Maya: Blue Venado. Besides being set by the blue waters of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, Blue Venado provided Jillian and Yader with a fantastic planner in Miguel Huizar. Beyond offering stellar vendor recommendations, Miguel referred to the couple’s wedding vision Pinterest board to ensure he delivered them the wedding of their dreams! Get all the details and insight into this Mexico real wedding directly from Jillian and Yader themselves (see below).

aisle leading to arch on the beach

Q: Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
A: The idea of a destination wedding kept getting thrown around because we are big travelers and we really wanted a Caribbean tropical vibe. We looked at a lot of venues here in New England and nothing was feeling quite right and we actually started to get discouraged. The idea of a destination wedding started to become more and more of a possibility when we saw what kinds of weddings were being done in Mexico. One day while were talking about if we could really pull off a wedding in Mexico, a monarch butterfly flew right by us- it was a sign! We found Blue Venado, checked with our friends and family to make sure they’d be up for it, and made the decision quickly. Everything fell into place after that.

How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them?
A: We chose Blue Venado because their weddings were stunning, and they had such a detailed Instagram page, so we had a very strong picture of what the wedding could be like. We also wanted to choose an off-resort venue because we wanted guests to be able to choose where to stay and so we could party until late (2 am)! One issue we had was figuring out transportation for guests because people were staying in so many different places. We solved it by providing transportation for guests staying at our resort both ways and offering transportation back for all guests. The biggest issue in planning was not being able to go down for a tasting, but we got recommendations from other couples through Facebook groups. Turned out to be the best wedding food we’d ever had!

What helped you the most in the planning process?
A: Social media helped us the most! We communicated with our planner, Miguel, mostly through WhatsApp and Zoom. Miguel had us make a Pinterest board for him to get the vibe we wanted, and we loved that he would message us pictures and ideas through WhatsApp. It was the easiest and most relaxing way to make wedding decisions! Instagram helped us get an idea of what other couples did, and helped us feel confident that Blue Venado would execute our vision. Facebook groups for Cancun destination weddings helped massively with travel advice and gave us a sense of what to expect. The Facebook group for Blue Venado brides helped us pick our meals since we didn’t go for a tasting!

Did you include any do-it-yourself projects in your wedding/reception? If so, please describe them.
A: One thing we did ourselves was adding meditation to our ceremony! Our officiant was so excited about the idea, and it really helped us ground ourselves in that moment so we could truly enjoy it. We also commissioned a friend to help us create a unique guest book. She painted the venue, and then we had guests sign the space around the painting. Now it is a beautiful piece of art in our home! In terms of other DIY projects, I (Jillian) thought I would do tons of DIY projects for the wedding, but I quickly realized I did not want to do any of that and I just wanted to enjoy my wedding! I also was super impressed by the design and décor at Blue Venado I put my total trust in them. Anything I made would have not been nearly as phenomenal as what they do! It was a real treat to not plan something myself for once.

Q: What were the travel logistics like for your guests? Did you run into any issues and how did you resolve them?
A: We used a travel agent for our room block at The Fives Beach Resort as well as airport transportation. Guests who stayed elsewhere figured out their own travel. The only issue we had was with guests who are less tech-savvy since the most efficient communication was through email or WhatsApp. In those cases, we had another guest help them and be in charge of their bookings. We made it clear that we would provide transportation for anyone staying with us at The Fives, so guests who stayed elsewhere knew it was their responsibility to book their own travel. Anyone who wasn’t comfortable booking their own travel took advantage of staying with us at The Fives.

Do you feel you spent more or less money by choosing to do a destination wedding?
A: We absolutely spent less money choosing to have our wedding in Mexico. The cost of the wedding, plus of the travel, hotel stays, and our “minimoon” in Tulum after our wedding was still under what we would have spent for a one-day wedding at home. Coming from New England where everything is more expensive, we got way more value from our destination wedding.

How do you think your wedding would have been different had you not held it away from home?
A: If we had not had a destination wedding, more guests would have been able to attend so we would have had more people attend our wedding. It was hard to not have everyone there that we wanted to be there. However, a wedding back home would have only been one day, and we got to have a big family & friend vacation on top of our wedding! We also would not have had the Caribbean tropical vibe that we wanted, and we definitely don’t think the food would have been as delicious, and we wouldn’t have had as much gorgeous décor and extras like our churro cart and photo booth.

Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
A: Our advice would be to pick a venue you fully trust, so you can truly enjoy your wedding! Weddings are always stressful, then add travel and group travel on top of it- there is enough stress to go around! Don’t make more work for yourself than you have to. Even if you are someone who loves to be in charge, there is such freedom in letting go. Also, think about what is important to you as a couple and invest your money there. Ignore the idea of what “should be done” and make choices that reflect what means the most to you!

Vendors: Photographer: Ana Lozano Photography; Wedding Planner: Miguel Huizar; Venue: Blue Venado; Florist: Style Me Events; Stationery: Minted; Hair & Makeup: Sara Tamargo; Gown Designer: Rebecca Ingram; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Studio Suits; Decor: Style Me Events

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