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Pros and Cons of Hotel Weddings in Puerto Vallarta

Wondering whether a private venue or hotel venue is the best fit for your Puerto Vallarta wedding?  You, my friend, are not alone in this conundrum. 

There is often not a simple answer to the common debate of private vs hotel. There are, however, a few things to know in order to evaluate your priorities within the context of each venue option. Then you can determine what works best for you.

A beautiful NUevo Vallarta Mexico hotel is home to a destination wedding group.
Photo by Jorge Kick

The Advantages + Challenges: Hotel Venues

You’ll learn all about the pros (+) and challenges (-) of hotel wedding venues to help you decide if a hotel wedding is right for you!

Convenience +

This is the most obvious advantage to a hotel wedding, and it has absolute merit.  Guests retain a level of independence and are able to pop down to the celebration at the last moment. They can also pop back up to their rooms for a quick shoe change, to freshen up, to use their private restroom, if desired, and to depart the celebration at any time.

Minimal or No Space Fees +

Most hotels offer a variety of spaces – from sandy beachfronts to spacious gardens to pretty patios.  The majority of these possible venue spaces are available to you for free or for a minimal cost when lodged at the hotel. 

Exceptions do occur, so make sure to ask about space costs when considering a venue.

The bride and her bridesmaids look out over the balcony at this beautiful hotel in Nuevo Vallarta Mexico, home to a destination wedding group.

Back Up +

Back up space, back up staff, back up everything.  Well, maybe not everything, but I’m referring to an overall sense of support in the case that something goes unpredictably wrong. 

A hotel is prepared to service hundreds of people in varying situations 24-hours a day.  This means there is on-site security, multiple first aid kits, large covered indoor spaces, extra veggies in the fridge, bellboys at the ring of, well, a bell.  You name it. 

Don’t get me wrong.  These resources are not all at your wild whim simply because you are the bride. In the case of a true emergency, though, the infrastructure of a hotel can provide valuable support in executing solutions.

The groom poses with hotel guests enjoying the whirlpool before this Puerto Vallarta Mexico destination wedding.
Photo by Elizabeth Lloyd

Noise Regulations + / –

The topic of party end time can shift between pro and con depending on the individual resort and its regulations.  When common areas are utilized as a wedding venue, curfews are often enforced quite strictly as noise levels can be a nuisance to other hotel guests. 

In Puerto Vallarta, the noise restriction at hotels is most commonly set at 11pm.  There are a couple hotels that call the party as early as 10:30pm and just a few with areas far enough away from hotel guests that the party can extend later into the night.

The bride and bridesmaids walk into the hotel lobby on their way to the Puerto Vallarta Mexico destination wedding ceremony
Photo by The Uttkes

Food Quality + / –

Foodies and all cuisine-lovers, take this advice to heart.  If considering a wedding at a hotel, ALWAYS request a food tasting to experience the quality and presentation of the meal you serve to guests.  While you may be pleasantly surprised at certain hotels, others will leave you wishing for street tacos rather than the “gourmet” plate in front of you. 

If food is a wedding priority, make sure that you understand and are comfortable with the dining experience the hotel offers. 

If you are unable to make a trip for a tasting and food is a high priority, request photos of the plate presentation and even ask for a reference to speak to another couple (or two) about their experience. 

The beach lounge area set beneath the hotel tower at this Puerto Vallarta Mexico destination wedding
Photo by Jillian Mitchell

Customization + / –

Hotels have a bad rap for cookie-cutter wedding packages. Many hotel planners coordinate hundreds of weddings a year which means, quite frankly, that they are simply unable to customize every single detail of every single wedding. Thus the infamous “package.”

As the wedding customization culture grew over the last decade, hotels have needed to shift slightly to accommodate. While it won’t happen at every hotel, and you most likely won’t get every t crossed and every i dotted like you would with a private planner, hotel planners are now much more in-tune with helping couples semi-customize, so don’t be afraid to ask!

If you are interested in a highly-elevated wedding design but prefer the event take place at a hotel for the convenience, hire a private wedding planner (like me!) who works well at the venue.

External Vendor Fees

Most hotels require couples to utilize a specific list of vendors for their weddings.  A deviation from the vendor list results in a hefty fee paid to the hotel in order to provide access to a “non-authorized” vendor. 

While there are a few hotels that are an exception and allow you to contract your own vendors, ensure that you understand all vendor policies before signing a wedding contract with a hotel to avoid any misunderstandings during the planning.

The bride walks down the aisle as hotel guests look on at this Puerto Vallarta Mexico destination wedding

Privacy

This may very well be the biggest disadvantage couples face when selecting a hotel venue. While a few hotels have completely private spaces, the majority use common areas within guest view for wedding events.

Choosing a hotel means sacrificing privacy. Period. As a bride, you will walk through hotel hallways in your dress on the way to the ceremony. You will have onlookers (even if peeking from around a palm tree) when you say I Do. For some couples, the idea of uninvited observers is a nightmare, for others, it’s part of the experience.

Guests attend a beach ceremony at a Puerto Vallarta Mexico destination wedding

If this doesn’t sit well with you, ask questions about what measures the hotel takes to protect your celebration. Many will place PRIVATE EVENT signs in the area. Often times a security guard will stand at the event entrance to provide additional support.

Mentally prepare yourself for a few curious stragglers trying to catch a wedding peek. Don’t allow them to become your focus or distract from the people who are actually there to celebrate you!

Questions?

Are you considering a wedding at a hotel? What other questions do you have about hotel wedding venues? 

Love Kristin

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They nailed it!

Kristin and her team are truly amazing. We were a bit concerned on how the planning process would go for...

Large wooden tables with greenery and pampas grass with among candles and glassware for a destination wedding reception in mexico

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2020-04-24T14:59:02+00:00

Amy Lynn Miles

Large wooden tables with greenery and pampas grass with among candles and glassware for a destination wedding reception in mexico
Kristin and her team are truly amazing. We were a bit concerned on how the planning process would go for a destination wedding but the entire planning process was organized, easy, and stress free. It was the wedding of our dreams!

Kristin was our single most important choice.

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Beautiful bride in white dress with sweetheart neckline stands on the beach with her bridesmaids and holds moody wedding bouquets at her destination wedding in Sayulita, Mexico
Reflecting on the magnificence of all Kristin accomplished for our wedding, we settled on "she's a miracle."  Kristin was our single most important choice, and with her, we created a magical celebration that exceeded all of our expectations.

Kristin exceeded our wildest wedding dreams.

Kristin and her team pour their hearts and souls into everything they do and they exceeded our wildest wedding dreams.

Bride and groom stand hugging each other with palm trees behind them at their destination wedding in Punta Mita, Mexico

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Bride and groom stand hugging each other with palm trees behind them at their destination wedding in Punta Mita, Mexico
Kristin and her team pour their hearts and souls into everything they do and they exceeded our wildest wedding dreams.

Kristin really has vision!

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Bride and groom pose with their wedding party holding moody bouquets at their destination wedding in Punta Mita, Mexico
There are not enough words to describe how amazing Kristin and her team are. From the moment I inquired about working with the Dazzlign Details down to the very last second of our wedding, Kristin really went out of her way to make sure everything was perfect. I tend to be extremely picky and from the beginning of the planning process, it seemed like Kristin could read my mind and ask me about a detail of the wedding before I even had to worry about it. She’s extremely organized and maps out a full planning timeline so you know exactly what needs to get taken care of by when so you’re not pulling your hair out (I will admit we fell behind schedule due to busy work schedules but Kristin was very good about sending us gentle reminders to stick to the agenda and we’re so grateful for it as it saved us loads of stress as we inched closer to the day of the wedding) a week before the wedding trying to scramble to finish up last-minute details. Besides being extremely organized and always two steps ahead of you, Kristin really has a vision for how to put the perfect wedding together based on your tastes. I always felt like I couldn’t put a cohesive vision together based on the jumbled thoughts I had in my head of my “perfect wedding.” But with her help, she pieced all of my random ideas together into the most beautiful wedding that my husband and I could’ve possibly imagined. All of our guests raved that this was one of the best weddings they’ve been to and we have Kristin to thank for it. The food/drink was amazing, the service was great, and the decor/ambiance was exactly what I had imagined. We’re so...

Kristin and team are phenomenal!

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Bride and groom exit their ceremony after the kiss at their destination wedding in Punta Mita, Mexico
Look no further! Kristin and team are phenomenal! If you are searching for the perfect wedding planner....stop right now! You've found her! Kristin is the absolute best, and made all of our wedding dreams come true. From the food, to the decor, the ambiance, the flowers, etc. everything turned out exactly as we hoped and imagined. We had so many friends and family tell us that our wedding was one of the best they had ever been to! Kristin did not disappoint in the flawless execution of our big day. I am an extremely organized planner myself, and throughout the entire process she was amazing to work with. Kristin was amazing with communication, in providing recommendations,  ongoing guidance and advice.  I actually miss her already and wish we could redo the wedding! She is absolutely amazing at what she does. Long story short, we were beyond happy with our wedding, loved every single moment, and can not recommend Kristin more highly!! She is hands down the most wonderful wedding planner and truly dazzling!!!
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