A year after Mexican officials in Quintana Roo announced that same-sex couples were allowed to marry in the municipality, the Riviera Maya has become a top honeymoon destination for LGBT couples according to the popular site About.com. Same-sex marriage are performed without restriction in Mexico City as well as in Nayarit home of the Riviera Nayarit, also known as Nuevo Vallarta.
“Mexico is the ideal destination for LGBT couples, with Puerto Vallarta our number-one destination for couples staying at Secrets Resorts, Now Amber, and Dreams resorts,” says Shelly Davis sales manager of AM properties. You’ll also find comfort that Secrets properties are Tag Approved® gay-friendly properties. “All our properties are quite welcoming and prepared to do the same-sex wedding ceremonies,” says Davis.
“We’re experiencing a surge of LGBT weddings in Mexico,” agrees Teresa Stauring, from Beverly Hills California, and travel agency owner. Since August 2010, same sex marriages in 31 states in Mexico are legally performed. Teresa adds she tells her clients Mexico is very accessible for LGBT couples wanting to have a destination wedding, and generally very welcoming to the LGBT community. Besides the recent legalization by many states, Mexico has always been a popular destination for same-sex symbolic weddings, specially Puerto Vallarta.
Here are some tips for couples wanting a same-sex wedding in Mexico.
1. Last thing you need is to experience discrimination during your wedding, so begin by choosing an LGBT-friendly-destination. Obvious places to begin is places where same-sex marriage is legal, but also consider a wedding destination with a large LGBT community, such as Puerto Vallarta, and the Riviera Maya.
2. Plan with an experience travel agent in the US and work with and hire a local planner to help you with all requirements and paperwork, as well as to assist you with local red tape. Note many Mexican properties have on-site coordinators familiar with everything there’s to know about destination weddings. It is also important to note that many couples prefer to have legal marriage in states in the US which recognize them, and then follow with a symbolic wedding and honeymoon at a same-sex friendly hotel in Mexico.
3. All weddings same-sex or not are unique, so don’t be afraid to express your unique love on your ceremony and reception. Make things happen, work with your on-site coordinator, take a resort wedding package and make it your own. Do you want a two-themed-grooms’ cake instead of traditional white-one? demand it, and you’ll have it. All special details are usually just a phone call away, with full-time wedding coordinator teams in Mexican resorts.
4. When reserving destination wedding venues, ask the resort management if the hotel-staff is truly LGBT-friendly. For you and your wedding guests, it’s important to have a pleasant accepting ambiance. You may consider traveling with key vendors such as photographers or officiates for your ceremony, this way your not worried with finding local talented vendors; check with your hotel coordinator and tourism board if special permits are required; some places, such as photographers need to have temporary working permits to shoot on your wedding day.
5. Make an effort to take good care of your wedding guests, after all they are traveling far away to celebrate your special day. Have a welcome cocktail event, schedule tours and activities- this helps brake the ice with guests, which helps for a fun-filled celebration on your wedding day, have welcome bags in room on check-in, provide a one-place to book all necessary reservations for the wedding trip. This way they’ll benefit from negotiated travel rates.