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Huatulco Wedding - Edgar and Amanda Lescas

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My husband and I got married in Huatulco on May 30, 2004. We got married on Tangolunda Bay, at the Hotel Gala. As any bride will tell you, it was the most wonderful and perfect day of our lives.

Edgar and Amanda Lescas
We choose Huatulco for many reasons. On a personal note, I met my husband four years ago while studying Spanish in Oaxaca City. As I now live in Oaxaca City with him, it was convenient for us and his family to have the wedding in Huatulco. But I also loved the idea of having our wedding in a somewhat remote location, a real Mexican town, where I knew that my family and friends would most likely never get to if it were not for our wedding. Huatulco is a great vacation spot for those who want to experience the real Mexico, but at the same time want to be comfortable traveling outside of their comfort zone. When you decide to have a destination wedding, I think it is so important to make sure your guests will enjoy themselves so that the bride and groom can relax and enjoy themselves as well. The people of Huatulco are wonderful and even with the language barrier; all of our guests were extremely impressed with the way they were treated by all those they came in contact with.

When we originally started planning our wedding, we had our hearts set on Casa del Mar. Casa del Mar is a small, romantic and gorgeous hotel overlooking the Tangolunda Bay. I still think a wedding there would be amazing. The infinity pool blends into the ocean background and all rooms have a large balcony overlooking the bay. This hotel would be great for a wedding with less than 20 or 25 people mostly because the pool is smaller. When we started looking at prices, we realized that the prices were equal to those of the Gala hotel next door. Seeing as though the Gala resort is all inclusive, it seemed the better option to us. Knowing that our guests would be paying high airline prices coming from Minneapolis, it was nice to know that their food and drink would be included with their hotel rate. The Gala is also a beautiful hotel with so much to offer. The Gala resort has water sports and activities, a kids club, pools and swim up bar, nightly theatre and a disco. The food is also great, they have several buffets and also two sit down restaurants. Their Mexican restaurant is wonderful!

Most of our guests arrived a few days before the ceremony. We had welcome baskets for each guest with some traditional Oaxaca crafts that the hotel bellboys placed in each room for us. The night before the wedding we had a small rehearsal and reserved tables in the Italian restaurant at the hotel to honor those that were part of our ceremony.

Wedding ceremony
We had our actual wedding ceremony on the beach. The Gala does an amazing job of setting up the ceremony. They dress all the chairs on the beach with white linen and line the walkway with potted plants. The florist we hired made a flowered arch for us to walk under. We hired the trio the hotel recommended and I would recommend them over and over again. They charged $100 dollars to play at the ceremony and it was beautiful. They do not play the traditional wedding songs, but do play some amazing songs that really help set the mood for the ceremony. Our wedding was at 7 pm. For those getting married on the beach, I strongly suggest to either get married early in the morning or later in the evening. The sun in Huatulco is very strong and for your comfort and those of your guests you do not want it beating down on you during the ceremony. The perfect time is between 5 and 7 pm, depending on the time of year. Before the wedding, I had no idea what type of gown I would wear. I was worried about being too hot, but when the time came the heat was the last thing on my mind. I ended up getting a strapless open back, chiffon dress. My groom wore black slacks and a short sleeved white linen shirt. We decided a tux or even light colored suit would be way too uncomfortable. The groomsmen wore the same as my husband and the bridesmaids wore short strapless dresses. We all wore flip flops.

One important note about the wedding ceremony in Mexico. You will have to be legally wed by a justice of peace. That means your ceremony will be very formal and short. Basically the rights of marriage will be read to you and then you will sign some papers along with your witnesses and that's it! No ring exchange, no vows, etc. If you want more, ask! We had our own program made up and along with the legal ceremony, my sister in law and aunt did a reading, we had unity candles lit, and did the Mexican lazo ceremony. The hotel and judge were very accommodating. If you have ideas or what something read, talk to the hotel and bring it with you when you get there.

[In response to my questions about the justice of the peace and what documentation is required, Amanda adds the following -Tom: "The Justice of Peace was provided by the hotel. I am fairly certain that any hotel package will provide you with that. As far as documents, mine were sightly different because I am living in Mexico and married a Mexican man. I THINK, the documents required are certified birth certificate with certified translation, blood tests and medical certificates for both, translated, proof of legal standing in country--the tourist visa, passport, or identification... and I think that is all? But like I said, I am not positive. The three witnesses need to provide passports and cannot be members of your family."]

The Gala set up this fruit display in front of the patio where the post ceremony toast was held.

Amanda and mom on the beach.

After the ceremony we had a toast on an outdoor deck overlooking the ocean. The Gala did a great job with this. It was dark by then and they had the area decorated with white lights and mango margaritas ready for everyone. This and the trio playing in the background was incredible. This was our favorite touch provided by the hotel. The Gala charged, at the time of our wedding, $950 dollars for the ceremony, ceremony set up, bride and groom's flowers, judge, and toast. We paid an additional $100 for the trio and an additional $250 dollars on more flowers for our wedding party, archway, and table decorations. We used the florist and hairstylist recommended by the hotel which were both okay. The hairstylist came to the hotel the morning of the ceremony and did my hair as well as others in the wedding party. The wedding coordinate we used, Elsa Del Puerto, is no longer in charge of weddings but I understand the woman who is now is very good.

We did opt to have a private reception and dance. This was an additional cost, which we decided was worth it. The dinner was held in a private banquet room, which they decorated nicely. All the chairs and tables were dressed in white lines, although you can choose from different color schemes. We provided papel china, colorful paper typically strung in Mexican parties, that the Gala strung for us from the ceiling. There are many menus to choose from or you can opt for the buffet option. If you choose the buffet, it will be the same buffet offered by the hotel that same evening. We choose a menu and had wonderful soup and salad and chicken Parmesan. They did provide a small cake, which they decorated with fresh flower petals. The dinner cost, at the time of our wedding, $25 dollars per person. There is no additional charge to rent out the room. The waiters on staff were great and brought food and drinks all night to our guests. We also had a DJ, which is the hotel staff DJ, and he charges $25 dollars an hour. We brought our own CD's and he happily played them for us. The hotel was great. They set up a dance floor and the tables exactly how we wanted them and basically did anything we asked of them. Our reception went from the time we finished the ceremony until 1 am. It was a great time. Most of our guests then headed down to the hotel disco to spend the rest of their evening.

We had an amazing time. Most of our guests stayed in Huatulco for the week and we enjoyed spending time with everyone. A number of our guests went on the tour to the coffee plantation and loved it. We had guests go deep sea fishing and they brought their fish back to the Gala where the cook prepared a special dinner for us. Many rented the scooters outside the Gala and explored all the bays of Huatulco and the Crucecita. Others went golfing. Huatulco has so much to offer and we took advantage of all of it. All of our guests are talking about returning already!

Edgar and Amanda Lescas

The Lescas wedding party.

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