Wedding Destination Overview & Requirements

    Here is a look at some of the most popular wedding destinations and the wedding requirements for each.

    Congratulations!

    You're engaged and you've decided to celebrate your special day in paradise with your family & friends.
    But which paradise should you choose?

    Below is some information about the most popular destinations and the general wedding requirements for each, to help you decide.
    Most couples opt to do a Symbolic Ceremony in destination for simplicity and to skip the extra hassle a legal ceremony entails.
    They ususally have a private - sometimes secret - civil ceremony at home first.
    The advantages of getting legally married at home (before or after your destination wedding) is that there is no need for blood tests or original birth certificates, no translating documents - it's less complicated & cheaper.

    What qualifies resorts for my Top Destination Weddings All-Inclusive Resorts lists?
    The best all-inclusive resorts for destination weddings & groups in general are the ones that include extra perks:
    - Unlimited a la carte dining with no reservations required (this is the perk groups love & request the most!)
    - 24 Hour Room Service
    - Pool & Beach Wait Service
    - Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort

    DISCLOSURE:  The information provided on this page is not meant as legal advice. It is simply basic information to get you started & show you that there are different options for legalizing your marriage when you are planning a destination wedding. 
    You can also consult the destination's consulate or embassy in Canada as well as your destination’s tourism board for more information on specific requirements.


    Mexico Legal Wedding Requirements

    Mexico Consular Office Toronto: (416) 368-2875
    In addition to valid passports & tourist cards, you can expect to provide certified copies of your birth certificates, divorce or death certificates (if applicable) and have blood tests taken on-site at the resort. You must complete an application in person and have two witnesses over the age of 18 with their ID as well. All documents must be legalized and translated into Spanish by an official translator. Plan to arrive at least three business days before the ceremony.

    Mexico is one of my most requested wedding destinations. The biggest reasons for this are that direct flights are available from most major Canadian cities and they are the 'best bang for your buck' (nice resorts with excellent food & friendly service) when it comes to all-inclusive properties.

    Regions of Mexico

    Cancun
    White sand beaches and trendy nightlife - where Mayan culture shines on every corner. Cancun may have earned its reputation as a party hotspot, but there’s more to this bustling resort town than meets the eye. Situated on the second largest reef in the world, the Maya Reef draws divers from all over the world with its underwater gardens and warm, clear waters. Cancun is also home to a number of cenotes, or underwater caves. Surrounded by the breathtaking Caribbean Sea, soft coral sands, and the striking shade of blue that emerges from its crystal-clear waters, a visit to Cancun will make you wonder if you are in a dream.

    aerial photo of white buildings

    Flights - direct from most major Canadian cities from November to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Secrets The Vine, Hyatt Zilara Cancun, Sun Palace, TRS Coral
    Multi-Generational - Reflect Cancun, Hyatt Ziva Cancun, Beach Palace, Moon Palace Cancun, The Grand at Moon Palace, Dreams Vista Cancun, Dreams Natura Riviera Cancun
    Best of Both Worlds - Dreams Playa Mujeres (familes) & Secrets Playa Mujeres (adult-only) are side-by-side and adults guests of Dreams have access to Secrets

    Riviera Maya
    This sprawling stretch of Caribbean coastline on the Yucatan Peninsula is known for its brightly lit reef waters and white sand shores. Riviera Maya is comprised of a number of smaller resort towns and villages, including Tulum, Akumal, Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, each with their own vibe. If you want to enjoy the sun, the waves, the reefs, the cenotes and some Mayan culture, Rivera Maya awaits you. 


    Flights - direct to Cancun from most major Canadian cities from November to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Secrets Capri, Secrets Maroma, Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, El Dorado Maroma, Breathless Riviera Cancun, Valentin Imperial Maya
    Multi-Generational - Hard Rock Riviera Maya, Hotel Xcaret, Now Sapphire, Dreams Riviera Cancun, Dreams Tulum, Hilton Playa Del Carmen, Panama Jack Playa Del Carmen
    Best of Both Worlds - Grand Palladium Kantenah, Colonial & White Sand (families) and TRS Yucatan (adult-only) share the same complex and TRS guests have full access to the the other 3 sections.

    Isla Mujeres
    Once a sleepy fishing village, Isla Mujeres has been “discovered” by tourists, but still maintains much of its small-town charm and laid-back attitude. The island has plenty to offer visitors, both on land and in the water. Whether you’re a scuba enthusiast eager to dive through the Underwater Sculpture Museum or want to watch baby sea turtles hatch on a secluded beach, there is no end to the adventurous possibilities. The island is surrounded by reef waters, so snorkeling, diving, and kayaking are all popular outings. On land, be sure to rent a golf cart for a day to explore the island and visit El Centro, where local artisans craft handmade gifts and souvenirs.

    Luftbild der Isla Mujeres in Mexiko | dronepicr | Flickr

    Flights - direct to Cancun from most major Canadian cities from November to April
    The island is a short 20 minute ferry ride from Cancun

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Privilege Aluxes, Isla Mujeres Palace
    Multi-Generational - Zoetry Villa Rolandi

    Cozumel
    Off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Cozumel sits in clear, warm Caribbean waters. Cozumel provides a haven for scuba lovers, with numerous reefs to explore, including Palancar Reef—a national park filled with colorful fish, eels and turtles. Cozumel is home to the only pearl farm in the Caribbean and has two dolphin sanctuaries. Cozumel also is home to fascinating ruins at the site of San Gervasio.

    three coconut trees on brown sand near body of water during daytime

    Flights - direct to Cancun or with a connection in Toronto to Cozumel from most major Canadian cities from November to April
    The island is a 40 minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Secrets Aura Cozumel
    Multi-Generational - Cozumel Palace, Sunscape Sabor Cozumel, Iberostar Cozumel

    Puerto Vallarta/Riviera Nayarit
    One of Mexico’s highest-rated resort towns, Puerto Vallarta is nestled against the Pacific Ocean with stunning bay and mountain views. Puerto Vallarta exudes traditional Mexican charm, with plenty to do both in town and on the water. Snorkeling, diving and kayaking are worthwhile excursions, as humpback whale and dolphin sightings are common. In the nearby tropical jungle, you can also try more adventurous outings, like bungee jumping and zip lining through the forest canopy. In town, stroll the boardwalks to watch artists craft sculptures outside.

    Sunset, Sailboat, Puerto Vallarta

    Flights - direct to Puerto Vallarta from most major Canadian cities from November to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Casa Velas, Villa Premiere Hotel & Spa
    Multi-Generational - Reflect Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta, Hard Rock Vallarta, Hyatt Ziva Puerto Vallarta, Grand Palladium Vallarta, Iberostar Punta Mita
    Best of Both Worlds - Now Amber (familes) & Secrets Vallarta Bay (adult-only) are side-by-side and adults guests of Now can take advantage of the Sip, Savor, See program to enjoy dinner at Secrets

    Huatulco
    With warm weather all year round, it’s no surprise that Huatulco has attracted so many travelers, especially with its undisturbed stretches of nature and eco-friendly adventures. Both on land and in the water, there are plenty of opportunities to see why Huatulco was awarded the Green Globe Certification for commitment to environmental protection. Especially popular are zip-lining expeditions through the jungle, along with bird watching, rafting, kayaking and fishing. Huatulco’s urban center, La Crucecita, is a great place to enjoy downtime between your outdoor adventures.


    Flights - direct to Huatulco from most major Canadian cities from November to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Secrets Huatulco
    Multi-Generational - Dreams Huatulco, Barcelo Huatulco, Las Brisas Huatulco, Camino Real Zaashila

    Ixtapa
    Ixtapa is a planned resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast. Well-known for fishing charters and high-end golf courses, Ixtapa epitomizes quiet and unassuming luxury. Sailing is a popular excursion in Ixtapa, so a sunset dinner cruise might be a great way to explore the bay and spot whales and dolphins. Or, take a ferry boat to Ixtapa Island, a wildlife reserve and snorkeling hotspot. The area is also home to the archeological site of Xihuacan with ruins dating back centuries. 

    File:Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, Guerrero (33253392196).jpg - Wikimedia ...

    Flights - direct to Ixtapa from most major Canadian cities from December to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Multi-Generational - Sunscape Dorado Pacifico, Barcelo Ixtapa, Azul Ixtapa Beach Resort, Azul Ixtapa Grand All Suites

    Los Cabos
    Los Cabos includes Cabo San Lucas (more commercialized & glitzy) and San Jose del Cabo (a traditional Mexican town) and the 32km corridor in between them. Cabo has a prolific marine life, making it a natural hub for fisherman and water sport enthusiasts. Because it was planned as a vacation town, it provides top-rate amenities and services, along with some of the country’s best spas. A Cabo vacation is not complete without a trip to El Arco, a stunning natural rock formation that juts into the harbor just offshore.

    brown rock formation on sea during daytime

    Flights - direct to Los Cabos from most major Canadian cities from November to April

    Top Destination Wedding All-Inclusive Resorts:
    Adult-Only - Breathless Cabo San Lucas, Le Blanc Los Cabos, Secrets Puerto Los Cabos
    Multi-Generational - Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos, Dreams Los Cabos, Reflect Krystal Grand Los Cabos, Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos
    Best of Both Worlds - Riu Santa Fe (families), Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas (families) & Riu Palace Baja Calfornia (adult-only) are part of the same complex with guests of the Palaces having access to Santa Fe.