There was just one important detail for us in choosing the right venue. We wanted it to feel open, light, and airy. We envisioned a long candlelit table on a wide-open beachfront, with Italian lights dangling above us. With this in mind, we gravitated toward an elegant beach club, especially considering Puerto Vallarta has so many. After some research, we made a shortlist with the following beachfront options:
Tierra Tropical is a beautiful beach club located in San Francisco (“San Pancho”), on the north end of the Banderas Bay. It is affiliated with La Patrona Polo Club located just north of the beach club and also serves as a stunning wedding venue. Tierra Tropical offers an elegant, open, and airy atmosphere, meeting all of our criteria. The restaurant is a charming open-air wooden a-frame building, complemented by a beautiful beachfront pool. Since we started the process only two months before our wedding date, Tierra Tropical was already booked for every weekend in 2023, having availability only on weekdays. Recognizing the importance of a weekend date for many of our friends with full-time jobs, we decided to continue our venue search…
Our alternative choice was Tonati Beach Club, another beautiful beach club located in the small fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. The club is a part of the Marriott chain which comes with its own rules and regulations. For example, we would have to shut the party down by an 11 pm curfew. This was a dealbreaker considering we wanted to take advantage of having everyone together for as long as possible. We entertained the idea of Sabal Beach Club and Mozzamare Beach Club, both upscale, elegant beach clubs located in Nuevo Vallarta but they also did not have available weekend dates.
So, we continued the search, this time turning to Airbnb. We found two beautiful options, an “Award Winning Beachfront Villa” in Marina Vallarta and “Hacienda Maria Elena Luxurious Villa” in Mismaloya. The Marina villa looked absolutely gorgeous, however, they had a 2-night minimum requirement and a 20-person capacity and we were expecting 40 guests. The Mismayola villa held high hopes as the owner, Mike, was super accommodating and flexible. He told me to look up Hacienda Maria Elena and contact him through the website, which is a great way to work directly with owners without all of the extra Airbnb fees. Since I was in Montreal during this time, Diego visited the venue and sent me videos. It was beautifully located in the middle of the jungle and had plenty of rooms, a pool, and a large dining area. The only drawback was the location. The Banderas Bay is huge, spanning 60km between some of the southern towns, in this case Mismaloya, and the northern point of the bay, around San Pancho. Considering many of our friends live in the northern region of the bay, this location wasn’t ideal.
So, again we continued the search. One day while Diego was eating at one of our favorite local restaurants, Cosmica Cocina, and talking to the chef who had become a friend of ours, they discussed Terra Noble as a venue option. Terra Noble is an art and healing center located in the highest part of the mountains in Downtown Puerto Vallarta. Diego and I had gone to yoga classes, cacao ceremonies, and a temazcal (Mexican sweat lodge ceremony) at the center, but it hadn’t crossed our minds as our wedding venue. But after visiting and talking to Victoria, the manager, it all seemed to align perfectly. Our November 25th date was open, they were remodeling the venue for the wedding season which meant it would look spectacular, it had the open and airy feel we envisioned, it was centrally located, and the managers were so accommodating with anything we needed. So, it was decided: we would have our wedding at Terra Noble!
It truly is a unique place. Firstly, it provides the best of both worlds: just a 5-minute drive north from downtown, yet perched atop a mountain amidst the jungle, creating a sense of complete seclusion and wilderness. Upon entering the venue, the terrace unfolds, offering a panoramic view of the entire Banderas Bay. You’re embraced by the jungle but experience an open and airy atmosphere thanks to the expansive views. While the venue itself is stunning, a significant advantage for us was the flexibility of the managers, Victoria and her partner. They accommodated our guest count and said we could stay for as long as we wanted. Moreover, their support with vendors has been invaluable. It’s fantastic that they have an existing relationship with the chef from our favorite local restaurant and connected us with their DJ and a supplier for furniture and decorations. Lastly, given its status as a holistic center, it aligned with the spiritual ceremony we always wanted.
I love it when everything falls into place. This experience has taught me to trust in the unfolding of events, not fixating on a seemingly perfect idea but remaining open to the possibility of something different. Ultimately, the unexpected can unveil itself as the ideal choice.