When planning a Puerto Vallarta destination wedding, you have basically three choices for your wedding venue: a restaurant, an all-inclusive resort, and a private villa. There are positives and negatives to each different venue type.
If you choose to have your wedding at a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta, you will not doubt to choose one on the beach and have your ceremony out in the sand with the waves crashing nearby. While there will be “public beach-goers” around in the general vicinity, your wedding area will be well-indicated, and you should not fear interference from the public (but do plan for congratulations from strangers). Some Puerto Vallarta restaurants almost never charge any sort of venue fee to host your wedding. You can expect to pay for just your food, drinks, and the service. Be sure to ask the restaurant if will allow you to have loud music until late (some do not allow you to bring a DJ, only live musicians). If you get married at a restaurant, you also have the freedom to stay at whatever hotel you like in downtown Puerto Vallarta, close to all the action. If I were planning a destination wedding in Vallarta, a restaurant would be my personal choice because it is easily the most affordable, still beautiful, still on the beach, and gives you a lot more freedom to customize things to your liking.
If, like most Puerto Vallarta destination wedding brides, you choose to get married at an all-inclusive resort, you can expect lots of luxury, to be secluded from the bustle of the city, and a beautiful setting. If you have a particularly big group or are booking on short notice, a resort will probably be the only place that can accommodate all of your guests. If it’s not important that your guests stay at the same hotel, prepare to add transportation duties and expenses to your wedding to-do list. Because the bigger resorts do so many weddings, things generally run very smooth as they’ve got their wedding set-ups down to a science.
On the other hand, at an all-inclusive resort, you may get more of a standard wedding than you would have at a restaurant or villa. Expect to pay penalties of about $500 for bringing in an outside vendor if you do not want to work with the resort’s DJ or the resort’s photographer. An outside DJ plus a $500 penalty is often still several hundred dollars cheaper than the resort’s DJ, so buyer beware when you see the “free wedding” or “$999 wedding” offers from resorts. With all of their rules and restrictions, you will end up paying the same or more as you would have at another location.
The final venue choice for a Puerto Vallarta destination wedding is a private villa. Almost all of the wedding villas are located in the Conchas Chinas/Alta Vista area of town, or Punta Mita, which means that rather than being on the beach, most of them are up on the hill overlooking the bay. Most villas will be able to accommodate the average-sized destination wedding crowd (50 guests) during the event, but they would not be able to handle overnight lodging for the entire group. You can expect the cream of the crop best customer service of your life at Vallarta’s villas. You will definitely get what you pay for at the villa, so expect rooms to be several hundred dollars a night. If you want to relax in the tranquility and just melt away into your own personal heaven, you’re looking for a private villa. Be careful to get floor plans and videos of past weddings from the villa before booking as some of the villas are designed to be four tiny floors rather than one large floor (and you want to ensure your entire wedding group gets seated on one floor all in view of each other—nobody is around the corner, for instance).
Whether you choose a restaurant, resort, or villa, the important thing to remember is that Puerto Vallarta weddings are always amazing. So, you’ve already made the best decision in choosing Vallarta…the rest is just details!