By Jerry Jones, November 2019 issue.
Photos courtesy of Marriott and Westin resorts
For many LGBTQ couples, a wedding in an exotic location or even one on the beach, was something they could dream about but never really afford.
The staff at two sister hotels in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, want you to know that your wedding dreams can come true, and they are looking to work with you and your budget. The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa and The Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta, sit about a mile apart from each other, and both have received LGBT certification by the Jalisco Tourism Secretariat and Talento Consultores; The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa is also TAG Approved, and TMR Out Now certified.
With the hotels operating under the Marriott International umbrella, they sit on beachfront property overlooking Banderas Bay and the Pacific, and each have ample space for just about any size wedding.
Marriott International, has long been recognized as a leader in the hotel industry on topics of diversity and inclusion, regularly scoring a 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index. The company also offers education and sales training to its associates to give them greater insight into what their guests might expect.
However, be warned that most of the American weddings performed at the hotels are symbolic in nature — the couples have gotten married before they left the USA. If you want a legal Mexican ceremony, the law requires that you be in the country at least four days prior to your wedding, and there are several other steps that you must take.
“Love is love has become our inspiration to coordinate wedding experience. We remember that this is not only the wedding day for the couple, it’s also the arrival of friends and family, setting up the right moments for networking and details that will long last memories of your special day” said. Areli Vega, wedding and special events manager, The Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort and Spa. “Our recently renovated resort offers amazing beachfront locations; it has become a preferred resort for Americans and Canadians. Some couples have marked their first walk together on white horses, others prefer the butterfly release, and of course we can always make the vow pronunciation a special surprise for your love one.”
Most of the weddings held at the hotels are done on the beach, and at sunset. Each hotel will only allow two weddings on the same day.
With wedding packages starting as low as $75 USD per person (no including food), each hotel has specialists who will work with LGBTQ couples to help make them feel comfortable and make lifetime memories.
“We have a lot option to offer with our packages, or we can personalize their wedding to meet their own needs,” said Denisse Montes De Oca, wedding and special events manager, The Westin Resort and Spa Puerto Vallarta. “We love to work with couples. And their location in the USA is not a problem. We work through email, telephone and FaceTime right up until the wedding.”
Planning for a wedding — especially one that is in a foreign country — can be a daunting experience. But, rest assured Montes De Oca said, the thousands of details will be expertly handled.
“Our certified wedding planners are trained to help,” she explained. “After completing demanding coursework, each Marriott Certified Wedding Planner is qualified to coordinate weddings of all types, including ethnic and military weddings. Relying on experience, training, tradition and old-fashioned intuition, Marriott Certified Wedding Planners can help you determine an overall vision for your wedding and help you execute each detail. That includes setting an event budget; deciding on a menu; arranging table settings; and finding florists, photographers, a band and other entertainment for the big day.”
Montes De Oca said she is often asked “when is the best time of year to have my wedding” and she said that the hotels can make any time of the year work.
“We have a huge annual pride celebration in Puerto Vallarta around Memorial Day,” She said. “That’s always a high interest time. But there are pros and cons to our different seasons. The summer months can be hotter and the later in the summer rain showers are typical. But both hotels are experienced and can make anything work to please the happy brides or grooms.”