Get the Most Out of Your Baby Moon Vacation

Baby Moons have taken a much-needed spotlight when it comes to family vacations! It’s basically a vacation that you take while pregnant to enjoy before the baby arrives. Best to make it around 5-6 months otherwise you might not get the OK from your doctor ;).

Baby Moons have been especially popular here in Puerto Vallarta and since many are already on such a beautiful beach they take advantage of getting maternity photos taken.

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It doesn’t have to be a stressful session, you’re already in such a beautiful place! Just a few things you should prep so that your session goes off without a hitch!

Find a local photographer

Finding a photographer that already lives in the area will help you choose the best beach, time, light, and angles to make sure that you’re looking fabulous!

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Local photographers know the area best and can help you make the most out of your session without you having to stress on finding a location on Google maps, which let’s face it, is usually really outdated.

Pack easy, light, and flowy outfits

For baby moon portrait sessions, you don’t need much! Pack a couple of outfits that you already plan on wearing while on vacation that can also be used during the session.

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For example, a long maxi dress, cute swimsuit, and hat, a cover-up for a few beach swimsuit photos, and maybe a cute beach wrap.

Don’t add unnecessary weight to your luggage if you don’t need to. Just pack what you think could double for your vacation and for your session!

Bring small props for your session like these shoes. They don’t take up lots of luggage space and are a cute addition!

Bring small props for your session like these shoes. They don’t take up lots of luggage space and are a cute addition!

Book your session within the first 3 days

Most people who go to the beach on vacation will usually get some color, or sunburned, within the first couple of days after arriving.

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Book your session as early in your stay as possible so that you can get a little color without having to worry about getting too much sun and also so that you can get your session out of the way and you can enjoy the rest of your vacation without having your session looming over your activities.

Have your session at your hotel

If it’s at all possible, arrange to have your session at your hotel. This way, you don’t have to worry about transport, arranging taxis, having cash on hand, or anything that can cause you to feel stressed.

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Investigate if your hotel has a problem with letting a photographer onto the grounds. Some hotels might not want outside vendors to come into the hotel and there is a way to get around that. Just have your “friend” (the photographer) come pick you up or visit you at your hotel. Most of the time other hotels will allow friends or outside transport like Uber to pick up guests or come onto the grounds.

Go to reception and ask before hand. If they do allow photographers to come in, then great! Just set the time and date for your session.

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The great thing about having your session at your hotel is that most hotels have pools, beaches, and really nicely decorated rooms to make the most out of your session.

Take advantage of the manicured lawns, gardens, fountains, and beaches!

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And always have fun!

Both your vacation and session are supposed to be fun! Don’t stress too much about your bump, wardrobe, or anything else. I know that as a photographer, I’ve got you!

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You’ll feel great, fabulous, excited, and beautiful! I will help you with planning your session, finding the best location whether it’s at your hotel or somewhere else, and anything else you need either photo related or not!

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Let’s capture this amazingly unique and special moment for you and your family with a session.

Trust me, you won’t regret it!

GUEST POST | Covering all your bases in advanced for a beach wedding from an experienced wedding planner

Hi Friends! Today I have the pleasure of having James Barnes, a wedding planner expert, give us a few tips on planning your dream wedding at a beach location, like Puerto Vallarta. Read on to learn his helpful tips and make sure you share with a bride who is planning her beach dream wedding!


Many women dream about having their dream weddings on a beach, however, this also means that beach weddings are not like regular weddings. As such, brides who want to get married on the beach should think about some specific details when planning their beach wedding.

From my experience as a wedding planner, I can say that these weddings, and details, require timely planning and arrangement so that way, brides and grooms can avoid potential stress and mess. 

So, here’s what I suggest to my clients who want to get married on a beach. 

 Set the dress code

When it comes to traditional weddings, people already know what to wear. They either wear smart or semi-formal clothes. It’s known that no one comes to a traditional wedding reception dressed in shorts. 

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However, a beach wedding could cause some confusion for many guests. Some people might still think that they should wear a tuxedo or high heels and others might dress too informally and wear bikinis at your wedding reception. 

To settle any confusion, I recommend that you set a certain dress code so that you can inform your guests on what to wear and what is appropriate attire for your specific wedding. You can include these helpful  instructions in the invitation card, as well. It helps guests know how to arrive dressed properly for your wedding ceremony, cocktail, and reception.

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 Plan the cocktail hour

I have seen many different warm-up arrangements before the wedding ceremony as a wedding planner. Some couples don’t like to let their guests wait for too long. So, they don’t leave too much time for the cocktail hour. While others want their invitees to mingle and spend some time together before the ceremony. 

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I believe that your decision should take into account on the type of guests, location, and overall feel and look of your wedding.. However, I would always encourage my clients to plan a cocktail hour for a beach wedding to set the mood and allow guests to enjoy the sites and sounds of the beach you have chosen.

You can arrange so many beautiful fish hor d’oeuvre and drinks for such an occasion. Don’t forget the cocktails, of course!

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When your guests get into the right mood for the wedding, the wedding reception can begin. 

 Find the place for valuables

Organizing an outdoor wedding ceremony always raises some safety issues. The brides and grooms for whom I have planned beach weddings have expressed concerns over valuables. 

I have found that finding a secure place for valuables like purses, cameras, and other items guests have on hand with the venue manager. They can suggest or even have a special place for such things so nothing gets left or goes missing.

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For instance, if you’re going to have the ceremony at a beach bar, you can install a safe inside the bar. This is where you can keep the rings before the wedding. Also, your guests can leave some of their personal belongings there. 

Even then, you should find a trustworthy person who can stand by the safe during the ceremony. Hiring a professional security officer is another practical way to keep the eye on the valuables. 

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And if you’re organizing your beach wedding where you don’t know anyone, avoid leaving valuables in plain sight.

Ensure accommodation for the guests

Since most of us don’t live on the beach, organizing a beach wedding usually includes some travel. What’s more, it also includes providing proper accommodation for your guests. 

Having guests stay at the same place where the wedding is being held can be really convenient.

Having guests stay at the same place where the wedding is being held can be really convenient.

If possible, find a venue that also has rooms and suites for your invitees. That way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone (or a pebble from the beach). 

On the one hand, it’s convenient since all of the wedding activities will happen in the same place. I also know, in my experience, that many couples don’t like guests having to drive after the festivities or having to find transport to another location. This way, you and your guests are in the same location for the duration of your wedding.

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On the other, you might be able to negotiate lower prices for the venue and the accommodation. Many managers of venues are ready to modify their offers if you opt for the whole package. 

Arrange the post-wedding period 

Brides and grooms sometimes forget to plan the initial period after the wedding. This is an important thing to do because it takes some planning to cover all the bases here, as well. 

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For starters, set your honeymoon budget. Many couples use money from gifts for their honeymoons. My philosophy is somewhat different. I think that you should travel with the money that you already have so you’re not betting on a budget that you might not reach. The money from the wedding can then be used when you get back from your honeymoon.

Moreover, choose one or more places that you’d like to visit. Think about spending a few days with your best man and your maid of honor or even a group of friends. For instance, the Annex events complex has all sorts of wedding and post-wedding deals for their guests. 

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After that, you can continue your honeymoon and your journey alone, as a newly wedded couple. 

If possible, buy all the tickets in advance. Also, I think that you should be straightforward with your guests on this travel. So, let them know what expenses you’re going to cover and what they’ll pay alone. 

Conclusion 

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When I talk to my clients about a beach wedding, they see that it looks different in practice than on TV.  Since it includes several more features than a traditional wedding, it requires different planning, as well. 

What’s important is to inform all the guests in advance about the type of celebration, costs, accommodations, and general planning that guests will have to either pay for or arrange on their own.

Finally, you should decide before the wedding how and when you’ll travel after the ceremony. All these things will ensure that you organize your beach wedding in a relaxed and breezy way. 


Gust post author James Barnes is an experienced wedding organizer and blogger at theannexevents.com. He specialized in organizing outdoor wedding events. When he isn’t writing about weddings and marital life, David usually goes swimming or playing squash.

If you’re looking to be a guest post author, please email me at hello@jackielamas.com

Full Photo Cover Fine Art Albums

Photo albums have been around for a long time and as a kid, I remember we had a few in our house. To this day, my dad loves to bring out his photo albums stocked with yellowing prints of my grandmother and the generations that followed.

How great is it to see yourself and your family across generations through albums!

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Thankfully, albums have been gotten a much needed update and have now become these beautiful flush mount, lay-flat, works of art that can sit on your coffee table for all to enjoy time and time again.

You probably thought albums were only for weddings, but no, they are perfect for family portraits as well!

All of the albums that I offer come with a custom full photo cover and the title on the spine. Choose from smaller sizes like the 6x6 or premium in the 12x12 size.

Perfect when you can’t choose just one photo and want all of them!

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Why digitals aren't cutting it anymore

Here’s the thing, when digital came around in the photography world, it was new and cool and instant. It was something you could share out in the big world wide web and it seemed sooo cool.

But what can’t be ignored is that these portraits, they get stuck on a disc, USB, or sometimes don’t even get downloaded.

Old school film studios had it right: PRINT YOUR PHOTOS.

And it’s making a HUGE comeback.

And it’s been proven. Scientifically when you see your loved ones in photographs displayed in your home, it makes for a more unified and happy home.
Canvas gallery wraps pictured above

Canvas gallery wraps pictured above

This means that all that time you spent researching, scheduling, going to the session WORTH IT. It will mean that your family, your memories, are appreciated all through out your home and for generations to come.

Framed prints

Framed prints

We’ve all been there - researching, scheduling, going to the appointment, and then walking away having to do more work than we intended. And let me tell you, Costco printing doesn’t cut it either. Those lines you see in the engineer prints means it’s not top quality.

Which is my long way of saying that as of August 1, 2019 I am going to be offering a wide range of Legacy Photo Products that will bring your PHOTOS TO LIFE.

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They will hang in your home, they will sit on your desks perfectly framed and printed on the absolute best quality paper, or canvas, your choice!

I work with one of the top leading professional photography printing labs and because of that quality is of the highest rate. Be it albums, frames, prints, or canvases, your photos are Fine Art in your home. Your family, your loved ones, YOU are works of art.

And this means EVERYTHING.

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Waking up to photos of your children in the living room hung up happy, smiling, and playful is what I want. Seeing photos of your family splashing in the water or running across the sand framed and hung above your sofa is pure happiness.

And it’s been proven. Scientifically when you see your loved ones in photographs displayed in your home, it makes for a more unified and happy home.

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If you’ll like to get a sneak into the lookbook, shoot me an email at hello@jackielamas.com and I will send you a copy. Filled with beautiful legacy photo products to make your photos artwork in your home.

Because let’s face it: Your wall portraits make your house and home.

Walnut famed 20x24 prints in a set of three.

Walnut famed 20x24 prints in a set of three.

Tips for the best photo experience

Writing tips for you has been such a great way for me to prepare you for your next portrait / wedding experience!

Not all photographers are the same, not all have the same style, personality, or way of doing things and these tips are where I explain a little of my process, shooting style, and you can get an idea of what the experience will be like.

I love helping clients to feel very comfortable and since many of my clients come from different countries on vacation, it also serves as a way for them to get to know me a little better ;).

I’m doing a master post so that you can view and click through the different tip posts that I’ve written over the years. I hope that they help you!


My editing style

I have been a photographer for about 13 years. When I was first starting out, Photoshop was getting into mainstream photography, along with digital. This meant that people, myself included, were editing photos like it was going out of style.

And then, it went out of style.

Over editing photos is not something I do anymore. I stopped over processing photos about 4 years ago because I just felt like the smoothing of skin and over editing colors and adding filters was just TOO MUCH.

My editing style is pretty close to the original image! This is because it keeps the photo timeless.

My editing style is pretty close to the original image! This is because it keeps the photo timeless.

I also realized that filters are part of trends, and that means that when a trend goes out of style, that editing also goes out of style. And then you’re left with photos that are out of style.

Of course, to each their own. Each photographer has their own particular style and I’m not here to say that it’s wrong or out of date or anything, it just isn’t for me or my clients.

I like to stick to a nice elegant and timeless look with the photos that I create. I feel like editing this way means that your photos will never look dated or out of style.

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What do I do then? I color correct, bump up the warmth, take out blemishes, clean up the skin a bit and brighten and add contrast. It’s very minimal and takes me less time to edit which also means your photos get to you sooner.

Editing this way has revolutionized my time in front of the computer and lets me focus more on the creative part of my photography.

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I love letting my clients see exactly firsthand what they can expect to see when they get their final images. So, I’ve pulled together some before and after photos so you can see exactly how I edit the photos!

What do you think? What kind of look do you like to have for your photos?

What is the best time to schedule my beach portrait session

Beach portraits are wonderfully unique because of the location! The beaches here in Bucerias and Puerto Vallarta are breathtakingly beautiful and offer long stretches of beach and sunsets like no other.

However, because you’re on a beach there are a few things to consider when you’re having your portraits taken.

Sunset Golden Hour is the best time

The best time to schedule your session is about an hour to an hour and half before sunset. I’m sure that you’ve heard it as it’s the infamous “golden hour”. This is when the sun is going down, making it less harsh but giving it such a beautiful golden wash to the photos.

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The sun sets behind the beach here which makes any time between 11am and 4pm brutal to photograph in. The sun is still behind the water a bit however, the sand will reflect all of that light back onto you making it hard to see, often resulting in squinty or closed eyes.

Why start so early before sunset, isn’t it still too bright?

Having enough time to photograph your family fully is always the best bet. I want to make sure you have lots of photos that you can revisit time and time again. If we only photographed during sun set, we’d have only about 10 minutes to photograph your family.

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This way, we can also walk around, have fun, splash in the water, and get individual photos and candid photos of your family being themselves. It also gives me time to hang with you and get to know you better!

Don’t worry if we photograph at a different time than sunset!

Maybe you have a tour scheduled and won’t make it in time, or perhaps nap times have to be considered and I can definitely understand with my 2 year old!

Don’t worry, I got you covered. If we do photograph your session at a different time than sunset, we can still get absolutely stellar images that you’ll love for many years to come!

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The difference here is that there will be less posed photos and more interactive photos. This is because the sun is pretty bright any time after 9am and so rather than having you cringe and squint trying to look at the camera, I’ll have you play and interact with each other.

But don’t worry, if there is shade, we’ll definitely use it! If there isn’t, I’ll try and position you so that the sun isn’t so harsh.

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Keeping you comfortable while still photographing your family interacting make for the most emotive photos! These are my favorite type of photos to create!

Do what’s best for you and your family

Choosing the best time for your family is always the best way to schedule your session. I am comfortable and experienced in photographing at any time during the day so that you have the most beautiful photos of your family on vacation.

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So if we need to photograph at 10am because of a nap time, I’ve got you covered. After lunch time when tummies are full and every one has lots of energy, let’s do it.

The time that is best for you and your family is when I want to photograph you. This is a sure way to get the best expressions, energy, and have the most fun during a session that everyone will love!


Have you had a family vacation session before? Are you interested in scheduling your next session while in Puerto Vallarta? Contact me so I can send over all of the info and get your family photographed!



What you need to know about having your wedding in Puerto Vallarta

Are you ready for the mega huge post today? This is going to be a long one but I’ve gotten a few people asking me to help them with more info about having a destination wedding here in the Puerto Vallarta area.

I was thinking of putting all of this into a really nice PDF and sending it out into the world for all to have and share. But who am I kidding, that takes time and design and honestly, with a toddler and potty training and work, I just don’t have the time. Maybe in the future I’ll make a more comprehensive guide but for now, grab your coffee, tea, or whatever because this will be a long one!

Quick disclaimer: I’m only providing you with personal experience as a wedding photographer and by what I have noticed, learned, heard, and witnessed myself. So please leave a comment if I’ve gotten something wrong or am misinforming people! Other than that, enjoy!!!


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Okay, when it comes to destination weddings here in this area, there are really two main types of weddings to choose from. The first is having your wedding at a hotel. The second is having your wedding at a private location, be it a private villa, Airbnb home, or a specific wedding venue with no room accommodations.

I’m sure I’ll get some planners who will cringe at what I’ve just typed, but these are the two main options that I’ve personally photographed here in the area. Of course, you can always talk to a wedding planner or someone you know who can help you with more options if there are any.

Let’s dive into the hotel option.

Now, I don’t know much about the planning process since I usually show up to take photos, however, I do know that many hotels offer options where you can cut costs if you book a certain amount of rooms.

Photographed at  Sunset Plaza Resort , Puerto Vallarta

Photographed at Sunset Plaza Resort, Puerto Vallarta

Some include other upgrades and such, it just really depends on the hotel. There are hotels expanding a huge area, of which we’ll get into a little bit later, and so that can also determine what your wedding will look like.

Hotels have wedding coordinators that will help you to plan your wedding from afar. This is great because they have all of the options already set for you as far as linens, centerpieces, and food. They also have vendor lists where you can choose from your pick in dj, photographer, videographer, etc. Even Mariachis. These are people they have a long working relationship with and all of these vendors just know how things roll on the day of the event.

Photographed at  Costa Sur , Puerto Vallarta

Photographed at Costa Sur, Puerto Vallarta

However, you have to be watchful because sometimes the staff moves around or changes and this can leave some things by the wayside. But in my experience, every wedding I’ve photographed at a hotel always goes off without any problems! This is because no matter who is working your wedding, they all know how things work.

Another thing that the hotels have in their favor is that most have their own beach. This is especially important if you’re looking to have sunset photos or a ceremony on the sand.

Photographed at the  Hard Rock , Nuevo Vallarta

Photographed at the Hard Rock, Nuevo Vallarta

The best thing, but really this goes for any options, is that your guests will be able to book 3 days minimum at a hotel (which is the norm) and have a mini vacation. Or they can book the whole week and really go all out. Many hotels are all inclusive which also cuts down costs when you factor in food and other expenses. Essentially, you don’t even have to leave the resort.

And, depending on where you chose to have the wedding, if you’re closer or in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, everything like restaurants, nightlife, adventure, is literally walking distance. Or at least accessible close by, such as the tours to the Arcos or the famous hidden beach, Isla Marietas.

Taken at Sunset Plaza Resort, Puerto Vallarta

Taken at Sunset Plaza Resort, Puerto Vallarta

Word to the wise: Some hotels will charge you if you choose a vendor outside of the ones that they provide. This can include food, dj, or photographer. There is a loophole with photographers, as I have been known to use it ;). If you are serious about a destination wedding and would want to know the loophole, contact me and I’ll share the secret!

One con to hotel weddings: is that many have more than one wedding at a time. You may run into another bride or cross paths with other guests from another wedding. This isn’t really a problem but if you want exclusivity, private would be the better option. Or choosing a date that is not really popular.

Private destination wedding options

Ok, so the private options are very similar to a local wedding in your city. This means that you’re choosing the venue because you personally love the location or want something a little more exclusive and personalized.

This wedding was held at  Villa Paraiso , Puerto Vallarta coordination by  Beautiful Vallarta Weddings

This wedding was held at Villa Paraiso, Puerto Vallarta coordination by Beautiful Vallarta Weddings

For example, booking a private villa along the Conchas Chinas highway is very private and exclusive. You will be the only wedding there overlooking the ocean. It is not for large weddings, yet you will be able to enjoy your first dance around the pool, or if the villa has a private beach, on the sand.

Many villas have 6 or more rooms and can accomodate your family and closest guests. This can also lower the cost since you’re sharing the whole villa. Some have private wait staff and a chef. It all depends on the villa you choose, of which, there are many!

Another great advantage to going the private route, whether villa or at a private restaurant/venue, is that you are able to decorate as you wish! Have the centerpiece of your dreams, the dance floor you always envisioned, and catering the exact food you want your guests to enjoy.

Villa La Mansion,  Puerto Vallarta coordination and planning by  The Wedding Mexico

Villa La Mansion, Puerto Vallarta coordination and planning by The Wedding Mexico

However, your remaining guests will have to book a hotel nearby in order to attend and you’ll have to arrange transportation for them to arrive at the villa. This is where a wedding planner/coordinator comes in and can help exponentially with the logistics of your wedding day.

Not all private weddings have to be in a villa though, you also have the option of having your wedding at smaller wedding venues right on the beach. I’ve seen many rent an airbnb for the weekend and set up the ceremony right on the beach with the reception around the pool area or at a local restaurant. Definitely for smaller weddings with about 50 guests or less.

This wedding was held at  Le Kliff  in Puerto Vallarta. A small and intimate restaurant overlooking the ocean.

This wedding was held at Le Kliff in Puerto Vallarta. A small and intimate restaurant overlooking the ocean.

There are many venues that have beach front access and can provide catering for your wedding. These require more research on Google but they make for the most private and relaxed weddings.

For locations like Sayulita and San Pancho, including the town that I live in, Bucerias, the private home beachfront wedding is perfect. Some smaller bed and breakfast hotels can also accommodate your guests.

Hire a planner

As I said before, I would strongly advise that you get a local wedding planner to help you set up and create the most beautiful wedding of your dreams. They can help you from the most simple like renting chairs for the beach ceremony to hiring the best caterer in the area. Planners know their stuff and can really give you the best options depending on what you’re looking for.

Coordination by  The Wedding Mexico

Coordination by The Wedding Mexico

Planners also help you to set up meetings or get you in touch with vendors so that you can personally get a feel for who they are and how they work. And because they know that you are planning from afar, they are really great at moving things along and taking care of all the small details that arise during the planning process.

Honestly, they are worth gold and you’ll thank the stars that you hired someone to help you. Especially if you go the private route. Since you’ll have to essentially plan every single detail.

If you need referrals, email me and I’ll send you a list of planners that I have had the privilege of working with and are great people!

Best areas in Puerto Vallarta for weddings

Each hotel and venue is different and each of you are planning a different wedding. So rather than put the links to hotels and such, I think what serves you better is to get a better idea of the different areas in and around Puerto Vallarta so you can narrow down the look and feel of the wedding you are envisioning!

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You can choose the area that best speaks to your kind of wedding dream and you can start looking in those areas rather than searching the entire area and being overwhelmed.

Riviera Nayarita

The Riviera Nayarita is north of Puerto Vallarta. We’ll start here and work our way down. This area encompasses the following areas:

  • Punta Mita: This is semi private as it’s at the tip of the bay. It is also a little higher in pricing as far as I know. The most prominent hotels there are: St. Regis, the W, and Four Seasons. It also has lots of time shares and private villas inside of gated communities. There is one venue that I know of which sits on Destiladeras beach to the side of Punta Mita called Nahu’i. It’s absolutely gorgeous, private, and is used specifically for weddings.

  • Sayulita: This famous town is the epitome of surfer in the area. It is a little hippy mixed in with a little hipster. Lots of b&b’s and cool shops. It is what you would think of when in Mexico. Here there are lots of private options but definitely more options as far as accommodations for guests.

  • San Pancho: This is next to Sayulita and less famous and a bit more quiet. Lots of private options for weddings here and places to accommodate guests.

  • Bucerias: I love my little town! There are both hotel options and private options. Lots of private homes and condos with a beach front for weddings. It’s a small town but close enough to Puerto Vallarta so that you can get in a taxi, public transportation, or Uber and be there in less than 30 minutes. There are a couple of all inclusive hotels but mostly condos and homes for rent. There are plenty of restaurants and the beach is considered one of the cleanest in the entire area.

  • Nuevo Vallarta: This is closer to Puerto Vallarta’s airport but more secluded. There are many more hotel options here like the Hard Rock, The Grand Mayan, Vidanta Group, Marival, etc. It is modern and close to the marina as well. This is a great option for those who want to be a little removed from the hustle and bustle of a tourist town but still close enough to all the good stuff. You’ll also find big chain hotels that offer all inclusive and non all inclusive like the Marriot. Here you can rent condos as well to accommodate guests who want a different experience than staying at a hotel.

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Puerto Vallarta

Okay, so the zones in Puerto Vallarta include the following. All a little different depending on what you’re looking for.

  • Zona hotelera: This is the hotel zone. You will find a hotel probably every 10 steps, ha! But really this is the heart of Puerto Vallarta. Here you’ll be able to find a huge range of options from all inclusive, Airbnb, and large hotel chains. In this area, your options are pretty endless as far as price goes too. This area can accommodate any type, size, and budget for weddings. This area is also closer to the famous oceanside boardwalk and nightlife, restaurants, and shops.

  • Old Town/Barrio: This is the older part of Puerto Vallarta down by Los Muertos Beach and the huge spiral pier that is often seen online. Think of the historical district in your town and this is very similar. The buildings are a bit older, the streets a little more narrow, and lots of small shops and local restaurants mixed in with the modern. You’ll find lots of hotels and condo options here too.

  • Conchas Chinas: Going further south of Old Town, you’ll find yourself winding towards Conchas Chinas. This is probably my favorite area because of the jungle that surrounds both banks of the highway’s winding road. Lots of large hotel chains like the Hyatt, Costa Sur, Fiesta Americana, Grand Pelicanos, and more line the highway beachside. Here is where you’ll find all of the private villas too! I’ve photographed at a couple and they are absolutely beautiful!

  • Mismaloya: This is really the last point of the Puerto Vallarta map before going further south into another state. This is a rural town with private options like private homes. Really only one hotel, Hotel Barcelo, which sits at the bottom of the valley on a private beach. I believe it’s all inclusive. I’m not really sure of many more options but this is a great option for guests to stay at if you have your wedding at a private villa minutes down the road.

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Those are the main areas. Of course, if you research deeply into the area, there are lots of great options that I myself even aren’t aware of! But at least this can give you a bit more insight as to the areas and perhaps the look or feel you are going for for your wedding.

For example, if you want something more secluded out by the jungle with access to the beach, Conchas Chinas is perfect. If you’re looking for something closer to the boardwalk and nightlife and major points of interest, then the Hotel Zone is more for you. If you’re looking for something private but close enough to the city on the beach, maybe Sayulita and Bucerias are for you.

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By the way, Sayulita is not the same as Sayula. Different places. Just fyi when you’re doing your research.

Also, Nayarit and Jalisco are two different states but there is no problem going from one to the other. They are basically connected through tourism and so it’s not far nor a problem going either way.

Best time of the year to have your destination wedding

This should have been the first point because it can determine the entire outcome of your day! There is definitely a high season and a low season.

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High Season is between end of October to the end of May. These are the months after the rains and are usually the cooler months out of the year. Also, the most expensive as far as hotel pricing and hotels get booked really quickly.

If you are thinking of having your wedding during those months, plan at least a year in advanced as most venues and vendors will be booked.

Low season is between June and September. During these months it’s really hot and humid and rainy season begins around July. It rains every day which means you’ll have to speak with your venue about different options for your wedding.

Some hotels have indoor reception areas and some have tents for when the weather is not ideal. Ask before booking, you won’t want to be caught off guard if you book during rainy season and there is no indoor space or tent!

Can I still have a church wedding?

Of course! The process for church weddings is a bit different depending on which church you decide to get married in. I have photographed many Catholic ceremonies at churches that are both close to the wedding location and available to hold the wedding ceremony.

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Just like planning a wedding at home, it’s crucial to begin the process early, as in a year in advance because dates fill up pretty quickly and you may want to make sure you have the date and time the church can hold your ceremony available.

Having said that, I do know that Catholic churches also need some time for a transfer of the ceremony from the corresponding church to the new location which also takes time so just plan for that.


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That was a super long post but I hope that I covered most of the information! I get asked often about destination weddings and how to go about planning, having one, and other recommendations.

Puerto Vallarta is a top location for destination weddings in Mexico, and it truly is a one of kind experience to have your wedding set against the most beautiful backdrop of the pacific ocean. Even more magnificent during sunset ;).

Leave a comment below if you’ve had any experience with destination weddings, I’d love for more brides to have all the information out there available!