Picking a venue is important for any wedding but this is especially true for a destination wedding. Not only did we want to ensure we picked a beautiful venue for our wedding, we also wanted to make sure the location would be within our budget.
While we both wanted an intimate wedding, having our closest friends and family celebrate our union with us was of utmost importance so we decided to go with a November date (we began the planning process in January so that would give ample time for people to take time off, save up, etc.) That also meant we had to immediately nix the idea of getting married in Tahiti - asking our friends and family to spend approximately $3K each was not something we were comfortable with.
We started looking at locations in the Caribbean and found Jamaica, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic to have very good resorts within our budget. We decide not to go with Jamaica because we wanted to ensure our guests would be able to leave the resort as they please and not have to worry about their safety. Nothing against Jamaica, but safety first. I was partial towards the Dominican Republic, more specifically Punta Cana, but our travel agent advised against it. The majority of our guests would be our age and would therefore get easily bored just sitting around the resort. The resorts we looked at in Punta Cana, while beautiful, are a bit secluded. Mexico was actually my last choice since both of us have been there to party with friends in our single days. I just didn't want to get married at the same place we partied. Luckily for us, neither of us had ever been to the Mayan Riviera. Perfect. We decided not to look at resorts in Cancun since people mostly go there to party. Playa del Carmen seemed to fit the bill - it was only 30 minutes from the airport and not as party centric as Cancun. The location was pegged... not to pick a resort!