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A great place to Elope?


LJC
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My sister has been engaged for about 13 months and has not been able to plan her dream wedding. She is a performer and she is engaged to well known writer and between them and my large family they have a guest list of almost 450 people. My family is pretty fortunate and has means but there is a budget to conform to. Any way my sister has planned three different types of weddings ranging from Capitale (on Bowery in NYC) to a beach wedding on Fire Island and none of them have worked out, either due to price, logistics or availability and capacity. So... she is now thinking of eloping with about 40-50 guests and Mexico seems to be the target destination. Could anyone recommend a resort or really anti-resort that could accommodate this size group. We have been focused on Playa del Carmen. Being as we are coming from the east coast I think Cabo is out and I think the east coast of Mexico is preferable. Needless to say the commercial charm of places like Cancun is wasted on us so places that are off the beaten track, exclusive, romantic, private, secluded are desired.

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Thanks!

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That's not an elopement; it's called a destination wedding. I actually know a number of weddings that started out as secret elopements with just the bride and groom or that also included one bridesmaid and one groomsman that ended up turning into a destination wedding.

I agree that you're going to have to go with one of the more exclusive resorts. Maybe a place like Maroma? You could do Playa as well, and just have guests stay as different hotels that are within walking distance of the wedding site. I know a couple who got married in Zihuatanejo who did that.

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My Family is a bit strange but we considered my wedding in Caracas (at my wife’s home) to be a destination wedding because we had over 250 guests (120 of them gringos). Since neither my sister nor her fiancé is Mexican and they are only planning to invite 10% of the guest list (and still throw a party in NYC for the rest of bunch); we are calling it an "elopement".

Where in Zihuatanejo did your friends get married? Was it on the beach?

Right now my sister is focusing on the resorts but I was hoping I could help her find a seaside estate that we could rent for a few days - a week. Does anybody know of one?

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If you want to go to the Mayan Riviera, there is no better upscale resort than the Royal Hideaway. Royal Hideaway Trust me. Service and food to die for. The food is way higher than your typical resort food and it's all ala carte menu. We've stayed here 4 times. It is a smaller resort with about 250 rooms.

Secrets Capri is about half way between Cancun and Playa and is brand new. It was designed to give RH a run for it's money, and in fact stole a lot of their ideas.

The only draw to this one is that there may still be some construction going on depending on when you go. The Capri opened it's doors in Sept. I haven't been to this one, but I've been to the Secret's in the Dominican, and it was pretty good. I'm not sure how big this resort is.

Secrets Capri

The RIU Palace would be a third runner in this category but is correspondingly cheaper. RIU Palace The RIU's food is decent, but not outstanding, and there is a lot less choice. We've stayed here once. It's a much larger resort with about 430 rooms

Both the RH and the RIU are in the gated community of Playacar. Extremely safe, beautiful and Playa town is 5 minutes away.

Jaymes (yoohoo, Jaymes) may be able to help you with advice on a seaside resort.

Edited by Marlene (log)

Marlene

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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I don't know if you will find a place that can accommodate the whole party but my favorite place is the area around Akumal, south of Playa del Carmen. There are usually houses (villas) for rent (some of them quite spectacular) and many of the hotels have casitas. We were in a private house but I did check out several places. Check out the Akumal web site. I really want to get one of the bungalows at a place like Club Akumal Caribe and hang out for a week with the kids. The place is to die for. Really laid back but some neat bars and restaurants. The water and the snorkeling is spectacular. The pictures don't do it justice. We had a great time spending most of a day at Xel-Ha. If you go early in the morning when it is just opening, you avoid the bus-loads. The place is really well done.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Getting married in a foreign country is not so easy as it sounds. There is a fairly daunting pile of paperwork, legal documentation, etc., to wade through.

I'd suggest that you or your sister peruse this website lovetripper.com for information. For one thing, they maintain a very comprehensive and updated list of wedding planners.

I emailed the one for Cozumel and heard right back.

That's where I think I'd start, if I were you.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Last March I spent some time at Xpu-Ha Palace which is about 20 minutes south of Playa and absolutely loved it. Unlike the othe Palace properties, it doesn't have the big resort feel at all. I know that they offer wedding packages too. I remember that there was a fairly secluded spot next to one of the cenote where they held the wedding ceremonies. I wrote up some details of my trip here.

Most women don't seem to know how much flour to use so it gets so thick you have to chop it off the plate with a knife and it tastes like wallpaper paste....Just why cream sauce is bitched up so often is an all-time mytery to me, because it's so easy to make and can be used as the basis for such a variety of really delicious food.

- Victor Bergeron, Trader Vic's Book of Food & Drink, 1946

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LJC, I asked them and they hired a wedding planner named Isabel Pais

(weddings1@prodigy.net.mx) who does a lot of Zihua destination weddings. They were married at La Casa Que Canta, which is gorgeous of course. There seem to be many alternatives in Zihua, including getting married on La Ropa beach.

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I agree that you're probably better off searching the east coast of Mexico rather than the west, for logistics purposes. Although as other posters have mentioned, Zihuatanejo & PV both are lovely and romantic. There's information on all of these places at that lovetripper.com I mentioned earlier.

But have they considered Belize?

There are gorgeous mountain lodges up in the high jungles. Francis Ford Coppola's Blancaneaux in the Cayo District is absolutely fabulous.

Francis Ford Coppola's Blancaneaux Lodge, Belize

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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There are a few other choices:

in Mexico City, the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Plaza Mayor,

in Puebla, the Cathedral on the Zocalo,

in Tonanzintla, Puebla, the Nuestra Senora de Tonanzintla, interior hand-crafted in local indigenous labor, with "pagan" motifs.

or

in Cholula, in Nuestra Senora de los Remedios on top of the world's largest pyramid (by footprint & by volume).

If you want small, discreet, and very old, the Church of Nuestra Senora de Xiloxostla, in Xiloxostla, Tlaxcala - it is a late 16th and early 17th century Franciscan church, with an almost Byzantine decor.

Theabroma

Sharon Peters aka "theabroma"

The lunatics have overtaken the asylum

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There are a few other choices:

in Mexico City, the Metropolitan Cathedral on the Plaza Mayor,

in Puebla, the Cathedral on the Zocalo,

in Tonanzintla, Puebla, the Nuestra Senora de Tonanzintla, interior hand-crafted in local indigenous labor, with "pagan" motifs.

or

in Cholula, in Nuestra Senora de los Remedios on top of the world's largest pyramid (by footprint & by volume).

If you want small, discreet, and very old, the Church of Nuestra Senora de Xiloxostla, in Xiloxostla, Tlaxcala - it is a late 16th and early 17th century Franciscan church, with an almost Byzantine decor.

Theabroma

However.

The last time I checked, it's extremely unlikely that you can be married in a Mexican church, almost all of which are Catholic, unless you are Catholic. In which case, you have to have paperwork from your own parish priest documenting that you are a Catholic in good standing, haven't been married before, had the sacraments (baptism, confirmation), counseling, etc.

Things may have changed, but I doubt it.

Obviously if you and your fiance are Catholics in good standing, that won't present much of a roadblock -- just a little more paperwork to deal with.

But if you're not, I'd forget about the quaint, beautiful, old Mexican church option. Just won't work.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Both my sister and her fiancé are jewish so I guess the church is out.

theabroma:

Although the locations you described sound wonderful, private and charming, my sis is really looking for beachy places. Are there any that you can think of that might also fit the other criterion?

Once again, thanx!

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theabroma:

Although the locations you described sound wonderful, private and charming...

Boy, I'll say. And, Thea, I've hardcopied your list and put it into my travel folder "wish list" of places I want to visit sometime really soon.

Thanks. :rolleyes:

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Both my sister and her fiancé are jewish...

There are quite a few Jews in Mexico. The nation, although obviously overwhelmingly Catholic, is said to treat its Jewish community well. The Jewish community in Mexico owes much of its existance to Jews fleeing persecution elsewhere. Diego Rivera was Jewish, and said that much of the inspiration for his art was rooted in his religion.

Unfortunately, should your sister wish to marry in a temple, the majority of Mexico's Jews are in Mexico City, and Puebla, neither of which have a beach.

There is also an active Jewish congregation in Cancun. I don't know whether or not they have a synagogue there, though, but there are several tour companies that specialize in Jewish travel, and would be happy to tell your sister about wedding facilities, kosher hotels & caterers, etc.

I didn't specifically check for that information, but lovetripper.com seems very comprehensive and may well have some information, too.

Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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