Getting Married in Oaxaca Mexico

Find out why we chose Oaxaca, Mexico as a destination wedding location out of all the places in the world!

From from celebrating our one year anniversary in India, to the completion of our six-month backpacking trip, to moving to Vietnam together, Tim and I have had our fair share of adventures. But our biggest adventure yet is walking down the aisle!

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.

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Check out the photo essay of our destination wedding here.

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

Our “pretty in pink” venue was the perfect backdrop for our festive celebration!

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Wedding-themed “papel picado,” decorative Mexican handicrafts

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

  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. 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

Oaxaca might feel like 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!

Filipina-American Millette Stambaugh is a thirty-something former expat who has traded her nomadic ways for Philadelphia living. Corporate worker by day, content creator by night, Millette specializes in visual storytelling and joyful journeys and wants to help others find their "next somewheres." Follow her escapades on Instagram, Youtube, and Tiktok @thenextsomewhere.


  • September 10, 2018

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

  • AJ

    September 13, 2018

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

  • Arielle

    September 13, 2018

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

  • Kristina

    November 8, 2018


    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?

  • Bridget

    January 11, 2019

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

  • Savannah

    February 10, 2019

    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.

      • Savannah

        February 17, 2019

        That would be amazing, I would love a recommendation!

  • Alondra Mercado

    February 25, 2019

    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!!

  • Jocelyn Hernandez

    November 29, 2019

    Hey Izzie!! I just saw your post and loved it!! My sister is heading to Oaxaca this month to plan her wedding and is low key freaking out. She has found some great locations but worries about things being overpriced. She is having a November/December 2020 Wedding and was wondering if you had any advice with locating vendors and prices. I see that you hired a wedding coordinator and was wondering how much they charge?

  • Michelle

    January 6, 2020

    Did you guys do a religious ceremony? Thinking about getting married in a catholic church there 😀

  • June 30, 2020

    I am in love!!! Did you utilize a wedding planner? If so, do you mind sharing their info? I’m planning a wedding in Oaxaca as well!


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