We arrived at the part of the story where words morph into numbers. Money is such a huge factor in any relationship, and as you read in Chapter 1: A Cross-Cultural Engagement, money conversations may become even more frequent during the wedding planning process as you determine your budget.
We often get asked the question, “How much does it cost to have a wedding in Mexico?” This question is very hard to answer considering one could plan a wedding on almost any type of budget. Since I don’t just want to say, “It depends” (the least gratifying answer), I will speak from our recent personal experience.
As discussed in Chapter 4: Venue Scouting, choosing your venue will be the first step in the wedding planning process and normally the most costly item. On average, wedding venues account for about 20% to 30% of the total wedding budget. However, in some cases, especially for destination weddings or in high-cost areas, the venue cost might be higher, reaching up to 50% or more of the total budget.
When searching for venues, our top three choices were Tierra Tropical Beach Club, Tonati Beach Club, and Terra Noble. Tierra Tropical Beach Club quoted us $245 USD per person for a 3-course meal and 6 hours of open bar plus a fee of $11,000 USD for privatizing the place if there were 30 to 49 people. With an expected guest list of 40 people, this would run us $9,800 for food and drinks plus $11,000 to rent the entire space for a total of $20,800 USD. Next, Tonati Beach Club quoted us $4,000 USD which included the venue, a buffet-style dinner and open bar for 40 people, and waiters and bartenders. Finally, Terra Noble quoted us $4,907 USD for the venue, furniture, and food for 40 people. In the end, we chose Terra Noble, however, we opted to arrange everything ourselves so we could select our furniture, decor, and chef. We paid $1,725 USD for the beautiful Terra Noble terrace and began building our wedding dream team.
We hired a furniture and tableware company recommended to us by Terra Noble called Mobiliario PV who had sent us a catalog full of different styles and price points. We chose the “Classic Wedding Package” including tables, chairs, silverware, tablecloth, and glasses for $1,322 USD. We could have spent a lot more considering all of the extra options they offered, such as a special table and chairs for the bride and groom and extravagant flower displays, however, all of the extras and frills just weren’t that important to us. We kept things simple, but it turned out to be elegant and beautiful.
We hired Massi from Cosmica Cocina to create a custom menu for our wedding, which he nailed right away. He crafted appetizers (dips and pita bread) followed by the main course (vegetarian lasagne and meat and potato casserole) and dessert (chocolate mouse). He also made tacos for the guests around 11 pm so everyone wouldn’t get too sauced with the open bar. Speaking of the bar, Massi brought two of his bartenders who crafted some of the most delicious tequila cocktails I’ve ever had. The grand total for food and drinks for 50 people: $2,330 USD.
We hired our team from Chas Studios to take photography and video with drone. Minerva, one of our company’s photographers, arrived in the afternoon to capture some shots of me and my friends getting ready in the bridal suite and of the reception setup. She stayed until around midnight after photographing the bouquet toss and dancing. I love Minerva. She is sweet, quiet, and blended into the party seamlessly. I only realized she was there twice when she needed to jump in and orchestrate a phenomenal photo opportunity, which I loved because it showed initiative when needed. The videographer and drone pilot were also very discreet, organizing a couple of shots for the video, but otherwise focusing on the candid moments. Now that I think about it, I didn’t even hear the drone once! For 6-hours of photography and video, the cost was $3,600 USD (as of this writing in 2023).
As you can see, the venue, table and decor, food and drink, and photography and video were our largest expenses. In my opinion, we got lucky with our venue. Terra Noble is such a beautiful and special place and the fact that they charge $1,725 to rent the entire space is a steal. I felt very grateful to our wedding team who put in a phenomenal amount of effort, and it felt special to work with people who had been in our social and professional circles for some time, such as Massi from our favorite local restaurant and Minerva from our photography team. But I was the most grateful for my husband Diego, who had taken the entire planning process into his own hands and pulled off such a stunning event. Thank you, my love!