Why We Are 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 weddings—when planned well—can 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?
Besides being our middle point, here this is also why we opted for Mexico:
- 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.
- 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.
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!
I WOULD LOVE A DESTINATION WEDDING. Might need to find a boyf first though hahaha. So excited to watch your love story play out!
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!!! 😀 😀 😀
Love the photos! I really hope that we can make it and enjoy some mezcal and mole with you two!
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
Can’t wait to celebrate you and Tim! <3 Now I can answer Tom's question of "why Mexico?"
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?
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?
Hi, I am currently researching for the best local planner since I will be planning from NYC. Do you have recommendation(s)? Thank you!
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: https://www.equis-o.com/. 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?
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.
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!
That would be amazing, I would love a recommendation!
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!!
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: https://www.equis-o.com/. 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? 😀
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?
Hello Jocelyn! Thank you for your support in reading this post! I actually just released the photo essay of our wedding and listed my vendors at the bottom of the page: https://thenextsomewhere.com/2019/11/03/destination-wedding-in-oaxaca/. I am drafting up an in-depth wedding planning in Oaxaca post come January if she can wait, as it’ll detail everything step by step, including cost comparisons. Also,. as someone who really supports full transparency, I was honestly really displeased with my wedding coordinator. She did a very poor job for what we paid so that’s that. BUT! I am also starting my own wedding planning business and would love to take your sister on as a client, so let’s talk! My email is [email protected] 🙂
Did you guys do a religious ceremony? Thinking about getting married in a catholic church there 😀
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!