The perfect way to say I do: a wedding in the Riviera Maya

Filed under: Things to Do - by Louise Hennessy

Having never been a fan of extravagant events, this invite sounded like a dream.

Weddings in the Riviera Maya tend to focus on a beach ceremony in some way or another, often combined with a luxurious hotel reception and the works. What is certain however, is that every taste is catered for. When people come from far and wide to get hitched here, the common desire tends to be the backdrop of glistening turquoise water behind the loved-up couple.

This particular ceremony was to be held at a pretty eco boutique hotel in Xpu-Ha, the only indications being a dress code of white or soft colours, setting the scene for an evening of simplicity and elegance. Ultimately, every time we remembered the upcoming event, it was hard not to make the Cheshire-cat grin and do a little dance on the spot; then again, who doesn’t love an excuse to get dressed up, weep with happiness at the vows, and dance for hours in the warm evening breeze?

So what made it that so very special?

Seeing the seating area prior to dusk, with vintage-style ivory tables sheltered by a “roof” of delicate strings of fairy lights, was perfect in itself. However, it was only following the exchange of vows at sun fall, that we realized just how carefully thought out the reception area really was. Overlooking a rocky cove meant that we would be accompanied by the crashing of waves all evening, and a breeze to cool us down after all that dancing; but the whole event still managed to remain just out of reach of any sea spray.  True, for someone who had painstakingly curled their hair, it was never going to end well, but we wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

As for the food, well, we can safely say we were lost for words. Barbequed rib-eye steaks, seafood salads, gigantic barbecued king prawns, the perfect token guacamole…and the list only began there. The (only) problem with a gourmet buffet is that it can become quite stressful, as you want to eat a bit of everything before you get full, and not miss a thing. And once we had caught a glimpse of the fully-stocked dessert table (complete with a mouth-watering bailey’s soufflé) it only caused more anguish!

As we gazed around the tables during the evening, the contented look on everyone’s faces confirmed just how lovely the whole occasion really was. It was genuinely hard to think of a better way to spend a Friday evening, and all under the light of the moon, with the view of twinkling lights out to sea.

At one point, we got the feeling the DJ was trying to get people to go off to bed with those end-of-the-party classics that are impossible to dance to; alas, we were totally mistaken. 1:30am and what appeared? A new buffet! This time however, it was a selection of chilaquiles (tortilla chips smothered in salsa, sour cream and other ingredients), pozole (a delish soup with huge ears of corn along with chicken or pork), and other warm, comforting (perhaps hangover preventing) food. We had never experienced this at any other wedding in our lives, but were informed that Mexican events occasionally offer the amazing “hangover buffet”. We are currently campaigning for it to be made compulsory and international…

Our verdict…?

What better way, or place, could there possibly be, to say I do…?

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