Perfect wedding planning begins with choosing that special place for your big event. You want the location to be grand, emotional and unforgettable. One that will come to mind for decades to come, every time you flash back to that special day. Now close your eyes and think - Cabo. Merely whisper the magic words “Cabo San Lucas,” and one hears - “How cool,” “How romantic” and “Awesome” in response.
You don’t have to settle for a cold empty hall with beige walls for your celebration. If you want your special day to be truly memorable, then take time to think outside the wedding cake, lest you end up saying- “I do” in a Holiday Inn banquet room.
Will your treasured memories be of a tropical beachside paradise or father's Elks Lodge recreation room? Imagine warm sea breezes blowing gently through your hair during the procession. Then walking barefoot in the sand in your wedding clothes along the waters edge after the ceremony. Fantasies for some couples, but a priceless experience for those fortunate enough to have discovered Los Cabos.
San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas are only a few hours away from the USA by air. Los Cabos has wedding services second to none except perhaps Las Vegas and Hawaii. But that’s only because those places had a fifty-year head start on Cabo. Seriously though, getting married in Vegas is embarrassing to the family, and Hawaiian weddings used to be affordable until our dear friends from the orient overran the place.
Mexican marriage laws are accommodating to foreigners and wedding planners are available to make things run smoothly. A wedding ceremony is a highly visual affair. A ritual held among towering palms, desert fragrances and azure seas is what wedding albums are made of. Add amenities like fine restaurants, spa treatments, incredible surfing, and perfectly mixed margaritas and you get the picture.
The locale should be one that all will remember and treasure for its inspirational setting. My generation rejected their parent’s traditional church shindigs. We opted instead for long hair, country dresses, patched Levis, and tramping through cow pastures wearing army boots in search of some kind of New-Age nirvana.
Today, couples wed in Cabo, to escape convention. They want to enjoy the magic of Mexico, its beauty, people, and culture. Some want to catch marlin, or play a few rounds of golf before, during and after the wedding.
The counter-culturist or budget minded, need not fear as one can still get married on a deserted beach in Baja Sur. Just head north from Cabo on the Pacific side of the peninsula or east from San Jose del Cabo and you’ll discovers scores of isolated beaches where the only footprints in the sand will be yours. A good bet in Los Cabos is Chileno beach located midway between Cabo and San Jose del Cabo. It has restrooms…. Parking is accessible via a short walk under a canopy of trees leading to a sheltering grove of palms on a beautiful beach. On weekdays the playa is nearly deserted. On summer weekends the place can resemble a Mexican Coney Island full of families and vendors selling everything from tacos and corn-on-the-cob, to silver jewelry. Best to make your wedding a weekday event unless you want the whole town to celebrate with you.
On the opposite end of the wedding venue spectrum are the Las Ventanas Al Paraiso and the One and Only Palmilla Resort hotels. If money is no problema, and you plan on getting married only once, and don’t mind paying for it the rest of your life, then these places are just the ticket. Both hotels are famous for hosting the rich and famous. Oprah, Travolta and friends party at Palmilla. At Las Ventanas one can rub elbows with dot.com billionaires in the bar.
These hotels have armies of attendants resplendent in costumes ranging from gate- keepers in safari jackets topped and pith helmets, to hostesses modeling ball-fringed straw hats and designer peasant dresses. The Palmilla hotel sports a Jack Nicklaus Signature (public) golf course, casitas, condos and luxury ocean front villa rentals for your guests. There’s also a quaint wedding chapel and 3,000 square foot ballroom.
Las Ventanas has a spa, fitness center, two tennis courts and wonderful room rates that your wonderful spouse can wonder about when given the bill. Rooms cost $475 US up to $4,500 per night. But these numbers grow exponentially when you add 13% tax plus another 15% service charge. That comes to $608. per night for the least expensive room.
There are other less expensive seaside hotels in Los Cabos, but those two offer more privacy and exclusivity than run-of-the-mill institutional abodes such as the Westin, Hilton or an All-Inclusive such as the Presidente. When you say your vows, who wants hundreds of strangers in the bar looking on?
If you are becoming desperate by now to have a Cabo wedding but unwilling to mortgage your future for it, and unable to handle the logistics of a do-it-yourself beach wedding, then consider the Cabo Surf Hotel in San Jose del Cabo. This private beachside boutique hotel is located on prime ocean property around the bend from the aforementioned Palmilla hotel, but miles away from it in price.
The Cabo Surf Hotel can host wedding groups of up to one hundred and offers wedding planning, plush accommodations, and first class dining at sane prices. Majestic palms frame vistas of a world-class surf break offshore. Maui comes close, but no Cuban cigar. It’s just more expensive and harder to get to.
On the beach is surf legend Mike Doyle’s surf school where your whole party can learn how to stand up on a surfboard and dance on waves. You can have your wedding on the hotels grassy green lawn next to the infinity pool overlooking the surf break, or barefoot it on the sandy beach.
The hotel's 7 Seas Restaurant is located on a palapa covered dining terrace overlooking the bay. It’s an enchanting location for a wedding rehearsal meal or dinner party. Travel guides note it for its casual elegance and fine menu that features entrees ranging from Kobe beef in cabernet sauce to fresh Baja lobster and other tantalizing seafood dishes. The chef and hotel staff can handle your event catering needs.
Cabo Surf Hotel has twenty-two rooms and a penthouse that sleeps eight. If a villa with a Jacuzzi on the balcony overlooking the moonlit sea doesn’t inspire your wedding night-you’ve probably been married too long already. A new spa features all the popular treatments including hot rocks, herbal and seaweed wraps. A special spa treatment for couples includes a whirlpool hydro-therapy and massage that will remove those aches and pains you acquired from surfing, golfing or celebrating that nuptial night.
The hotel’s wedding planner can handle all those important details like: Legal docs, ceremony set-up, flowers, photographer and even the brides make-over. Ministers and music are available al gusto. Memories are gratis. Just bring your sweetheart and checkbook.
Getting there: Many airlines have direct flights from major US cities and Canada to San Jose del Cabo international airport (SJD). Depending on season and distance, airfare can run $250 to $550 r/t. from the USA. Direct flights take from three to five hours from major points in the USA. A current passport is necessary. Mexican visas are provided on the plane by the airline.
Staying there: Cabo Surf Hotel: Acapulquito Beach, Km. 28 Transp. Hwy. San Jose del Cabo. Major credit cards accepted. Rates: $250 to $550 plus 13% tax and $7 a night service charge. For reservations call: (From the USA) 858 964-5117 Local:142-2666 www.cabosurfhotel.com
One & Only Palmilla: Km. 27.5 Transp. San Jose del Cabo. Major credit cards accepted. Rates: $475 to $2,000 per night. Plus 13% tax and 15% service charge. (624) 146-7000 www.oneandonlypalmilla.com
Las Ventanas Al Paraiso: Km. 19.5 Transp., Cabo San Lucas (624) 144-0300
Rates: $475 US to $4,500 per night. Plus 13% tax and 15% service charge.
Major credit cards accepted. www.lasventanas.com
Writer David Mandich was married five years ago in Cabo and would do it all over again if his wife would just give him a divorce. Visit his webpage at: www.davidmandich.com.
Article by: David Mandich - January 10, 2007
CABO SAN LUCAS WEDDINGS | LOS CABOS WEDDING SERVICES