Why We Are Getting Married in Oaxaca, Mexico

Why We Are Getting Married in Oaxaca, Mexico

Getting Married in Oaxaca Mexico
For those who follow me on social media, many of you know that I got engaged to Tim last Christmas. And that we’re having a destination wedding and are getting married in Oaxaca, Mexico of all places!

But it’s strange that I haven’t really talked about it on the blog, since I’ve reported on most of our major relationship milestones, from celebrating our one year anniversary in India, to the completion of our six-month backpacking trip, to moving to Vietnam together.

I’ve always dreamed of a destination wedding. Being an avid traveler, a destination wedding encapsulates my love of travel, but even on a deeper level, celebrates so poignantly that love is one of life’s greatest adventures. So why not make the wedding itself an act of adventure? From an economic standpoint too, destination weddingswhen planned wellcan be cheaper for the bride and groom, especially those who are self-financing.

Which brings me to explaining to my family and friends, Why Mexico?

It’s true. My fiancé and I have no ties to Mexico. We’re both from the United States and live on opposite coasts. But on top of the fact that a destination wedding solved deciding between one hometown or another, what deterred us from ever wanting to get married in the USA is that the average cost of a US wedding* in 2017 was $37,000, which was not something we wanted, especially for a few hours in a rented tent. Long before Oaxaca was even on my radar, I had my heart set on a grand ol’ New Orleans wedding complete with a second-line brass band parade and beignet buffet. This was way before I knew the pricetag on NOLA weddings is on the higher end of the national average* and that I am gluten-free. And gluten-free beignets just don’t sound fun for a woman enjoying what should be the most fun day of her life.

So when we were first discussing destination potentials, we had to be pragmatic about affordability and accessibility. I also wanted a less-than-ordinary choice in terms of culture, history, and food. So we threw around Banff, Lisbon, Vancouver, The Dominican Republic, and even a possible return to Asia. But nothing made more sense than going to Mexico, which is only a 5-hour plane ride from both Massachusetts and California. What could be more symbolic than getting married at our halfway point?

Oaxaca City Centro Hotel why are a getting married in oaxaca, mexico destination wedding

A sneak peek at our venue and where are we are getting married

Oaxaca City Centro Hotel why are a getting married in oaxaca, mexico destination wedding

The entire hotel is painted in a hot Oaxacan pink and is located in the historic center

destination wedding dresses uk

Wedding-themed “papel picado,” decorative Mexican handicrafts

Besides being our middle point, here this is also why we opted for Mexico:

  1. 1.Cost – The average flight from a number of destinations North America to Mexico City are less than $500 round trip and accommodations start as low as $20 per night. On the wedding front, service providers (ie. caterers, photographers, florists) are much cheaper due to different standards of living.
  2. 2.As good as the Philippines – Mexican weddings share similar traditions with Filipino weddings . One of these traditions is the exchange of 13 gold coins (arras) from the groom to the bride as a pledge to support and trust her. Getting married in Mexico is probably the closest thing to getting married in the Philippines without having to travel to the Philippines.

Mexico is The Ideal Destination Wedding Location

In this day and age, as an American living in this political climate, it’s hard to see beyond the Trump-era narrative of Mexico as a country riddled with violence and crime, reduced to tacos and tequila at its best. And prior to December 2017 (the month Tim proposed), I had little knowledge of the country outside of Cancun, so Oaxaca was definitely a left field choice. But when you think about the Mexico marketed to tourists and not the dark myth that shrouds the country when it comes to political rhetoric, the picture you’re left with is this gorgeous paradise where the sun doesn’t stop shining, home to one of the seven new world wonders as well as four Michelin-rated restaurants, beaches and deserts, mountains and jungles… what more could someone want? Mexico is an ideal destination, not only for blushing brides, but also for travelers looking to capitalize on their vacations without breaking the bank.

why are a getting married in oaxaca, mexico destination wedding

The famous Oaxaca sign right in front of El Zocalo, the central plaza.

Out of all 31 states in Mexico, Oaxaca spoke to us the most. Oaxaca is known as the culinary and cultural capital of Mexico. It’s a less-popular destination wedding choice for foreign couples, but we wanted something different, somewhere authentic that didn’t feel “manufactured” for foreigners. Over the last 5 years, I’ve spotted dozens of articles about Oaxaca in prominent travel magazines and it continues to be touted as the next big “it” destination. And unknowingly so, our Oaxacan wedding ends up fulfilling all the things I wanted from my dream New Orleans wedding. Oaxaca also has its own version of a second-line parade, called a calenda; has the same colorfully painted colonial facades; and my visions of a courtyard ceremony like the ones in the French Quarter are happening too. As big proponents of travel as a means of education, we wanted to introduce our family and friends to the Mexico that we fell in love with: a welcoming, colorful, and vibrant country.

I am thrilled that I am able to bring everyone along on our wedding journey and am so thankful to all the people who have supported Tim and I thus far. For more real-time updates on our destination wedding planning, follow us on Instagram and Facebook!

👉 How do you feel about our destination wedding location? If you were to get married somewhere other than you or your spouse’s hometown, where would you get married? Share your destination wedding ideas in the comments below!

Millette Pulido is a Bay Area-based, Boston-bred Filipina who loves to vagabond. At 29, the former expat has traded in her nomadic ways for a semi-grounded life in San Jose, CA. These days, she's focusing on balancing travel with a full-time job, all while planning her 2019 destination wedding in Oaxaca, Mexico. She lives for good times, good food, and good peeps. Find out her #wheretonext on Instagram @thenextsomewhere.


  1. Frances

    10 September

    I WOULD LOVE A DESTINATION WEDDING. Might need to find a boyf first though hahaha. So excited to watch your love story play out!

    • Izzy Pulido

      13 September

      HAHAHAH YOU WILL HAVE ONE! Although no lie, I really want to go to a Scottish wedding cause the last one you featured on your insta stories looked so, soo fun!!! 😀 😀 😀

  2. AJ

    13 September

    Love the photos! I really hope that we can make it and enjoy some mezcal and mole with you two!

    • Izzy Pulido

      13 September

      I hope you will too! And if you have any Mexican traditions that you think are musts in this wedding, I would love all the input <3

  3. Arielle

    13 September

    Can’t wait to celebrate you and Tim! <3 Now I can answer Tom's question of "why Mexico?"

  4. Kristina

    8 November


    I recently stumbled upon your page while planning my own destination wedding – my fiancé and I are looking at Oaxaca as well, so I’m thrilled to be able to watch your planning unfold! It can feel so daunting to plan a wedding abroad, I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on the pros and cons you’ve encountered thus far! Also, are you planning to hire a wedding planner/coordinator to help since it is a destination wedding?

    • Izzy Pulido

      15 November

      Hi Kristina! Sorry for not getting back to you sooner!!! I just had family visiting this weekend to help me find my wedding dress and needless to say, still catching up on the backlog 😛 That is amazing!!! I’m 9 months out from our wedding date and on Nov.30, my mom and I are headed to Oaxaca (my second time, her first) to do some catering tastings, decor finding, and flowers and DJ scouting! Honestly, there are some stresses like our hotel coordinator is being super slow with the code for our hotel but we found a great wedding planner and I can’t say it enough that you and your fiance should go to all the hotels yourself! It was really great to see all our venues in person! I am gonna do a full-on blog post hopefully by May next year to outline all our expenses and vendors! When do you plan on getting married?

  5. Bridget

    11 January

    Hi, I am currently researching for the best local planner since I will be planning from NYC. Do you have recommendation(s)? Thank you!

    • Izzy Pulido

      6 March

      Hi Bridget! Sorry this took me so long to get back to you. I’m working with a talented event planner named Gisele and she runs the website Equis-O Events: Great price compared to most wedding planners in the city and she is so professional and kind. Tell her that Izzy recommended you and best of luck amor! Do you know when/where you’ll be getting married yet?

  6. Savannah

    10 February

    Hi There!! This is awesome! I’m heading down to Oaxaca at the end of the month to do some wedding planning stuff with my fiance. We’re planning our wedding from NYC, and I can’t be happier to have the wedding of my dreams in Oaxaca.

    • Izzy Pulido

      11 February

      Awww, I am so happy that you are a fellow Oaxaca bride!!! I’m so happy that you’re going on a wedding trip soon with your fiance, that was one of my favorite trips of all time! You’ll be thinking back on how much you had a hand in wedding plans and developments. Do you have a coordinator yet? I can refer you to mine, she’s a sweetheart and has been in the business for a long time!

      • Savannah

        17 February

        That would be amazing, I would love a recommendation!

  7. Alondra Mercado

    25 February

    WOW! I’m so happy I found this! I studied abroad in Oaxaca last semester and fell in love with the culture and how the celebrate. I am Mexican but not from Oaxaca, after a long consideration, we decided we would like to get married in Oaxaca. Do you have any recommendations for a wedding planner? I’m sure I can ask my local friends, but want to see if maybe the one you are working with can be easier to work with since I am a foreigner as well. Thank you! & wish you so much luck!!

    • Izzy Pulido

      6 March

      OMG so jealous you got to study abroad in Oaxaca!!! 😀 😀 😀 Yes, I LOVE my wedding planner. Her name is Gisele and she runs the website Equis-O Events: Great price compared to most wedding planners in the city and she is so professional and kind. Tell her that Izzy recommended you and best of luck amor! Do you know when/where you’ll be getting married yet? 😀

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