As a former bride who entertained 200-plus guests at a destination wedding, I can without reservation recommend the experience to other couples. I didn’t want mine to be just another Hilton banquet room party with rubbery chicken and a miniature steak. I wanted friends and family to mingle, dance and get drunk.
And that they did in Killaloe, Ireland.
If I could have orchestrated a second ceremony, however (Don’t get any ideas.), I would have done the beach wedding–an intimate affair at a Mexican vacation villathat could have doubled as a reception site. This Bucerias vacation home, like my husband, is the one.
Hacienda Camino al Mar, a seven-bedroom heaven of a house, doesn’t skimp on anything, from a staff to take care of cooking and cleaning to a saltwater pool. And look at the architecture. Designed by Puerto Vallarta Architect Arturo Ramos, it thrills with Spanish colonial rooms, outdoor living spaces, warm colors and arched doorways.
Exchange vows by the pool then party on the rooftop terrace.
And just so you’ll be prepared by the chorus of folks mumbling, “Why can’t you have your wedding at the Holiday Inn?,” tell them the villa is just 10 minutes away from Gustavo Diaz International Airport in Puerto Vallarta, the popular resort town that sports 345 days of sunshine a year. According to the property owner, it’s about 10 pesos (or $1) to cab to the digs.
As for the cost of the rental itself ($3,300 a week from April through November), that’s where mom and dad come in. Just keep that guest list to 16 total.
Valerie Moloney is your resident blogger and the Expansion Markets Editor for Citysearch.com, who oddly enough, feels panicked when asked, "What's the best place to eat in Chicago?" or her favorite, "It's my birthday. Where should we go with a party of six?" No stranger to travel--and traveling with kids--she is a young mom who ODs on the Internet when it comes to planning family trips or buying clothes. Here's hoping she finds you the vacation you deserve.