I had the opportunity to go to Tulum, Mexico recently with my husband for a week to enjoy some tacos, tequila and fun in the sun. We decided on Tulum because we wanted to avoid crowds and all-inclusive resorts. We sought out nature, culture, and delicious food. Tulum was the absolutely perfect choice. We spent our days exploring Mayan ruins, Scuba diving in cenotes, riding bikes through the jungle to get handmade ice cream, eating our weight in tacos and exploring chic cocktail bars and eateries in the evening. It was a perfect vacation.

While planning my trip to Tulum, I had an alterior motive and that was to do a top to bottom search for beautiful wedding vistas, boutique hotels and eateries that would benefit my future clients. I was not disappointed in the slightest. Tulum is a fantastic destination for brides who want a boho chic destination wedding. It is a town full of laid back boutiques and eateries, chic wedding venues with beautiful views, stylish accents, romantic lighting and amazing food and drink. I visited several boutique hotels, restaurants, and public spaces to inquire about the wedding planning process.

I learned a lot about budgets, tentative guest counts, restrictions, accommodations and the list goes on and on. I’ll share with you a few key factors to consider before setting your heart on The Mayan Riviera’s hip outpost.

1. Wedding Size

Tulum is nothing like it’s sister cities of Playa Del Carmen and Cancun. Rather than being host to giant chain resorts and hotels, Tulum is home to eco-chic boutique hotels. Many of these hotels are quite small. Some hotels cater to as few as 16-30 overnight guests at a time while others can accommodate a more moderate amount of approximately 500 overnight guests. That being said, Tulum is absolutely not the place to have your 100 person beach wedding. Most venues suggest that the guest count be around 70 and some recommend it be as few as 30-40. While a small wedding is not for everyone, it certainly can make for an intimate and festive experience.

2. Budget

As with most destinations and couples, having a destination wedding will not necessarily save you money. You will have to pay for a vacation, a wedding and a honeymoon all rolled into one. While Tulum Central can be quite inexpensive, the heartbeat of Tulum’s touristy center is Boca Paila. Wedged between the jungle and the ocean, Boca Paila is a stretch of town that is host to chic eateries such as Hartwood or Gustavo’s, boutique hotels, vegan ice cream shops, eco-friendly clothing and so on. It is here that many tourists will spend most of their time and money. A stay at one of Tulum’s most well-rated hotels, Encantada starts at $379 inclusive of taxes and fees. While there are far cheaper options, most brides and grooms choose to stay or get married at one of these divinely chic locations. Expect to pay on average, $200/pp for food, drink, ceremony site and reception when planning your wedding.

3. Vendors

Getting married in a country you’ve either never been to, don’t speak the local language or visit sparingly can be a daunting experience. How do you select the right photographer? How do you know your flowers will go with your overall aesthetic. Some brides and grooms will rely on the help of the wedding manager at their chosen wedding venue. I spoke with several events and wedding managers and asked them what they felt the key to a successful destination wedding was. Their unanimous answer was: HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER! While the internet makes things much more accessible from afar, hiring a wedding planner who offers destination wedding planning can assure that you are not overlooking key logistics for the day of your wedding, rehearsal, arrival, post-wedding brunch, and so on.  You will also find the right vendors within your budget and aesthetic to achieve the perfect wedding day.

Now, who is ready to start planning their destination wedding in Tulum. Here at Lifestyle Maven Events, we love destination weddings as it combines our two passions of weddings and travel and we hope we get to be a part of your big day!