I’ve been married for a little over a year and half… but somehow it feels way longer than that! Honestly, the best thing we ever did was say “F it” and get married in Mexico. I never pictured my wedding as an over the top, 300 person, black tie affair. As a kid, I always pictured myself getting married on a beach somewhere. I’m not a fancy-shmancy kind of person, so I wanted my wedding to be cool and casual.
When Clay and I got engaged we initially decided to get married in Atlanta. Once I got quotes from venues and wrote out a guest list… I was so in over my head. The wedding in Atlanta probably would have cost over $75,000 (which may be small to some, but that was big to me!) and our guest list would have come in over 350 people. All I thought about at that time was that this was nothing I wanted or cared for. This kind of wedding was not my dream. I remember calling my Dad one night super upset and asked him point blank, “How about Clay and I get married in Mexico with 60 of our closest friends and family?”. He said yes, Clay said yes… and so I began to plan the wedding I always wanted!
Resort website: PUEBLO BONITO SUNSET BEACH
We got married April 14th and the weather could not have been more perfect. We arrived the Tuesday before the wedding and the wind was pretty strong and it was around 70 degrees. Through the week it warmed up and the wind disappeared. Thank God. It was a perfect weekend. Super sunny, high 70’s and not a cloud in the sky. Be aware that Cabo can get a little cold so check your dates/weather before you book! Also watch out for hurricane season as well. We went after spring break was over and right before high season hit so it wasn’t crowded with tourists. I’d say it was the perfect time of year to get married in Cabo!
WHAT IS A WEDDING PACKAGE AND WHAT DOES IT INCLUDE?
Planning a destination wedding can be easier or harder than planning one in the US/your hometown… It really boils down to whatever way you choose to look at it. When booking a wedding at a resort overseas, you will more than likely be set up with a wedding package and all that entails. In our wedding package there was a long list of things included…
Upgraded suite for the week for the bride and groom:
The suite was super spacious and accommodated Clay, Landon and I just fine. We also had a big outdoor private patio and hot tub, which I loved. The only thing I hated was that all the guests were on opposite sides of the resort. The property also had large 4-6 bedroom houses that I wish I would have booked for everyone, just so that we were closer together.
Food/wedding cake and bar tab were fully included:
I thought this was pretty awesome since the bar tab is typically the most expensive thing about a wedding. It’s an all-inclusive resort so this is why all of this was included. I did a buffet style dinner with open tables. I prefer this than a sit down dinner because then you can walk around and mingle and not feel like you’re stuck in a chair for hours talking to the same 4 people. I personalized the menu with mostly mexican food, tacos, meat, fresh fruit, salad, sushi and a dessert table. From what I can remember, the food was great. There was something for everyone and I have no complaints here. The cake on the other hand, was not fabulous. But who eats the cake anyways? It was decorated in fresh flowers but was very sub-par. You’ll get multiple options for the bar, I think I did the international one because it had the most options.
Basic table-scape options/chairs/lighting/ceremony decor:
This is definitely where you will spend the most money since the basic decor options given to you are pretty ugly lol. I ended up sending tons of pictures to my wedding planner for tablescape, lighting, dance floor, and the ceremony decor. Although I sent her a ton of pictures, she still didn’t get anything exact… but i’ll talk more about my incompetent wedding planner below. It think this is the good and the bad thing about planning a wedding overseas. There is no way to make sure everything is “exactly” what you want it to look like. The resort gives you limited options and you kind of just have to work with what you’ve got and hope for the best. I was not a bridezilla and I say that because I kind of just gave up trying to make things “perfect”. I understood what my options were and that was that. I was just happy to be getting married by the ocean. For every mistake made and every detail that wasn’t there, the atmosphere of being in Mexico made up for it! I fully blame every mistake and forgotten detail on my wedding planner, Ferenanda. She was the worst.
Different options for what location (on the resort property) to have your ceremony and reception:
You’ll get a list of options to choose from and pick according to atmosphere and how many guests you have. I loved my ceremony location, the “lovers meadow”… but hated my reception location, “sunset deck”. I recommend going with the “skypool” for your reception if you have over 80 people. I wish I had done mine there since it is totally private and much larger of a location. It was $10,000 extra if you do not have more than 80 guests so I opted against it. Looking back, I wish we had spent the extra buck. The sunset deck was so small and I felt like we were squished into “too small” of an area. There was hardly room to walk around. Plus, there were still kids swimming in the pool next to us lol! It was blocked off, but the pool was still open? I don’t know what the deal was but that bothered me. Nonetheless, we still had a damn good time, trust me.
A wedding planner included in the price of the package:
Ok here we go… the wedding planner is the key ingredient in planning a functioning beautiful wedding and mine disappointed in every way possible. My tip would be not to use the planner given to you by the resort. Yes, it’s free but don’t do it! There are companies out there (in Cabo) that are wedding planners and can work through the resort to plan everything. You can also probably ask the resort what wedding planning companies they work with. At the end of the day I think it’s totally necessary to hire someone else other than the planner given to by Pueblo Bonito. From the beginning of planning our wedding, it started off on a sour note. She never responded to my emails for weeks at a time and when I called the resort she was always “in a meeting”. She never once called me back. In fact, I never heard her voice until meeting her a few days before our wedding. So unprofessional and annoying. She forgot so many details about the wedding itself. The flowers were wrong, the plates, the table cloths, the utensils. All were wrong. The lighting package I paid for was also wrong. The dance floor was wrong and there were items on the menu that were absent. Bottom line, she forgot a lot and did not fulfill my wishes. I ended up going on yelp afterwards and saw so many bad reviews specifically about “Fernanda Briones”. She sucked. You have been warned!
Photographer/Videographer (list of about 5 to chose from) that also come free with the package:
This is another touchy subject I hate talking about. Photography and videography was something that was super important to me but also something that was super pricey. At first I wanted to fly someone in from the US to shoot my wedding, but quickly realized it was going to be too expensive. I wish we had spent the money on this one because I was so horribly disappointed by my photographer. His name was Daniel. Not sure of his last name, I forget. First off, it took him about 5 months to get the wedding photos to me, which is an incredibly long time! Secondly, he just sucked as a photographer/videographer/ and editor. Our wedding video is the most laughable thing I have ever seen. It’s cheesy, poorly put together and lacked creativity. It looked like he just threw some clips together and put some top 100’s music over the whole thing. It’s awful and no one will ever see it. Third, he hardly got any photos of anyone. None of mine or Clay’s family was photographed and everything was lacking authenticity. It was super posed and cringy. He did however take plenty of tequila shots (on the job) and shot lots of drunk dance floor pictures. Bottom line, bring your own photographer you trust and love. Creative vision is so important to me and my wedding photos are disappointing.
A list of DJ’s/bands provided to you:
I really didn’t trust a band in a different country I knew nothing about.. so I went with a DJ. As much as I would have loved a band, the options provided just looked like total trash. I’m not saying the DJ was horrible.. but he wasn’t great. He wouldn’t let anyone request songs and had a sour face on all night long. I also made a playlist for him to follow… but he did not follow it and went on his own path. Rude. Do your research and pick someone better than mine. (Forgot his name).
There were other things included but I honestly don’t remember everything! I’ll add more later on if I remember anything else.
We decided to set up private shuttles/cars for all our guests since the ride from the airport to the resort is about an hour. You can set up shuttles through Pueblo Bonito and they will send their cars to get your guests. (Be sure to ask your guest for their flight info btw!) They will have a list of names and will only accept the names that are on the list. This made things easier for everyone. It’s definitely not something you need to do, but I found it to be necessary. It was a bit pricey, just fyi!
SHOULD WE PAY FOR OUR GUESTS ROOMS?
This is something I researched a lot before planning this wedding. I knew it was a pricey plane ticket and resort and I understood if some people could not afford it. We also are so young and most of our friends just got their jobs and were living on their own. Life is expensive and I understood that. I don’t think there is any right or wrong way to go about this. My dad ended up paying for 4 rooms for my bridesmaids to share and that’s it. Everyone else was on their own. My Dad of course also paid for Clay and I, my brothers expenses and also his own. Like I said, whatever works best for you, do just that. Chances are everyone will want to come to Cabo regardless and will spend the money to get there! Pretty much everyone we invited, minus a handful of people, were able to make it!
** Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach is a HUGE property. If you stay here you will travel through the resort by golf cart. There’s tons of different restaurants and pools (some better than others) all across the property and different things to keep you busy during the day. It’s super family friendly with kids everywhere so be aware of that. They have a sister property (Pueblo Bonito Pacifica) that is adult only if you don’t have kids. I would have loved to do our wedding there but obviously we wanted Landon included in the wedding! If you stay at Pueblo Bonito, you are also free to visit any of the other sister properties for free. It’s all-inclusive so you can eat/drink freely at the other properties. Pacifica has a great spa (I hear) and also a golf course that Clay played on while we were there ($400+ a round fyi).
** Your wedding planner will send you your marriage certificate to you once you are back home. Or you can pick it up after your wedding is over. Be aware that the wedding planners office is closed Sunday and you cannot pick it up then. This stressed me out and it took our wedding planner a few weeks to get it to us.
THE BOOZE CRUISE: Thursday Night
One of the best things we planned for the weekend was a private booze cruise on a large boat on Thursday night for the wedding party. Holy. Shit. This was so fun (a little too fun lol). We booked it through the resort and then took a car to the dock 20 minutes away. I think it cost about $1500. They charge by the head and we had about 25 people. They had an open bar full of plenty of beer, margaritas and tequila. There was also a fajita dinner for everyone on the boat. It was a blast and I’m so glad we did that. Although, at the end of our trip, the captain went around to everyone and demanded a tip. Which in my opinion was super sleazy and rude since my Dad had already paid prior to our trip. We were all so drunk by the end and they obviously knew they could take advantage of us. Regardless, it was still a great time. If you do this, just be careful and get everything in writing/ stand your ground!
THE REHEARSAL DINNER: Friday Night
It was important to me that our guests didn’t feel like they had a strict schedule to rely on. I wanted this to be fun and breezy so we decided to just hangout Friday by the pool with all our friends. Great decision. I wanted this to be somewhat of a vacation for everyone. I think it’s annoying when theres too much planned during the wedding weekend.nThat night we had the rehearsal dinner on the beach. If you have your wedding here, you need to do this. They had a sound system we hooked up music to and a microphone for toasts. It was beautiful. They had pretty lights and tables set up around a buffet style dinner. We did a personalized menu mostly of Mexican food. It was delicious. They also carve out a big round couch out of sand and put a bonfire in the middle. At the end of the night they brought out s’mores to roast. There was an open bar also with tons of options. This was such a fun night! We all got to watch the sunset and it was so casual and perfect. We all dropped our shoes on the daybeds and went barefoot all night. It was the absolute best.
THE WEDDING DAY: Saturday
Once we woke up, I started the day by getting my nails done with all my bridesmaids in the resort spa. Not the best manicure of my life, but great quality time with my girls! Clay decided to play golf with his buddies. Clay didn’t start till later than expected and the game ran super long. Ladies, don’t let your man play golf the day of your wedding lol it’s just not a good idea. The day went along smoothly but there obviously was just not enough time in the day to get a golf game done, let alone a $400 one. My recommendation is to just hangout by the pool and have a good time with your guests. I think I already voiced all my opinions about the wedding itself (above). The ceremony was so gorgeous, it was in a garden right above the beach and you could see and hear the waves in the background. Although, there’s one thing that irked me. Right after our vows and right before the “I do’s” we had to signature and initial a million documents?? LOL. We were all cracking up because it took the romance away from the whole thing. We went from spilling our hearts to each other/crying to signing documents for 5 minutes. They even had to call up our witnesses to sign. I’m laughing just even thinking about it because WTF?? Is that normal for a Mexico wedding? I think we were supposed to sign those beforehand but my wedding planner dropped the ball (not surprised). SO just be aware of that detail going into your ceremony. Other than this, this was one of the most fun nights of my life.
DO I RECOMMEND A WEDDING AT PUEBLO BONITO IN CABO SAN LUCAS?
Yes! Yes! Yes! Even though not everything was what I imagined it would be, it did not matter one bit. I would have been happy getting married in a t-shirt. I truly think the ambiance of Mexico and being outside under the sun, moon and stars makes all the details less important. I had the man I loved and all my friends and family with me… and to me, that’s all that really matters. If you get married here, you will not regret it. It’s a beautiful resort and a gorgeous city. 1000000% recommend. I hope all this information is helpful to those of you looking to get married in Cabo! I can’t wait to visit again one day and reminisce about this incredible week full of love.