As if Mexico wasn’t already one of the most popular spots in the world for destination weddings, things are about to get a little hotter. Destination weddings in Mexico are increasing at a rate of 20 percent per year, so you can be sure that 2014 will be another big year for couples looking to spend dollars to tie the knot south of the border.
The Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau is reporting a 20 percent increase in the number of destination weddings in 2013 over 2012. But looking ahead into next year, trends show that the romance client is looking to shake things up a bit. Many couples are now opting for non-traditional ceremonies held outside of religions institutions. Given Mexico’s prime beach locale, this is an easy fit.
In Cancun, Esencia Estate is embracing the new trends and putting together ways for travelers to craft their own Mexican weddings. Esencia Estate offers guests an authentic cultural immersion wedding, officiated by a Mayan shaman and bringing guests closer to the natural elements. Clients looking for an intimate wedding, between 50 and 120 people, will also feel at home at Esencia, which has just 29 rooms and can coordinate a buyout. The foodie trend is also catching on at Esencia, especially in terms of its wedding menus. Chef Noe Bernardo works with couples to customize menus and options, from welcome Mexican-style barbeques to ceviche and taco bars.
No stranger to destination weddings, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts makes wedding planning easy for agents and clients. Earlier this year, Iberostar launched a new program featuring three wedding packages available at all its hotels and destinations in Mexico, along with Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. These wedding packages include either all or a combination of wedding services, minister and legal fees, venue set-up and ceremony items (such as champagne toasts), flowers, music, cocktail hour, reception dinner, an Iberostar gift (such as 10 percent discount on spa services for wedding guests), upgrades and post wedding treats. Clients will receive exclusive attention during the day of their wedding, as Iberostar hotels only book one wedding per day, per hotel. Couples can also choose an à la carte wedding where they opt from a variety of items that are priced separately. The minimum price for this is $750.
Paradisus Cancun will host the 2014 Romance Travel Forum. Organized by Specialty Travel Forums, a division of Travel Show Marketing Group, the even focused on destination weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways will offer opportunities for travel professionals to learn how they can grow their business within these niche categories. The forum will be held Monday May 12 through Tuesday May 15. The forum will consist of in-depth training, one-to-one supplier partner meetings, interactive supplier roundtable discussions, networking functions, site inspections and more.
New to Cancun is the buzzed-about NIZUC Resort & Spa, which began accepting guests earlier this year. The resort has 29 acres and 274 suites and villas. Signature categories include the 29 Garden Pool Villas, including the Presidential Suite Villa and Nizuc Villa; 44 Ocean Suites; and 201 Residence Suites. Outdoor features in the suites feature private pools, outdoor gardens, decks and more. In terms of celebrating a wedding, the resort has a variety of ceremony, cocktail and reception areas, including NIZUC Beach, the Reef Beach, main pool, pool deck, A-Kan Terrace, La Punta Grill & Lounge and the Havana Lounge Terrace. There are three types of ceremony options from which betrothed couples can choose. There is the Symbolic Ceremony, a Mayan Ceremony and a Civil Ceremony. Guests also have a choice of hors d’oeuvres, menu and bar options. Enhancements range from floral centerpieces to a mariachi band to fireworks.
Do your clients want something over the top? Travel Impressions and Palace Resorts are offering a group buyout program and Isla Mujeres Palace. Included in the program are ferry transportation to the resort, a welcome cocktail party on the beach, 24-hour room service, nightly entertainment, and tickets to Garrafon Natural Reef Park.