Tag - Weddings abroad

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Purple Pick: Mexico Honeymoons
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The ultimate beach wedding pictures?
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Getting married in Portugal, a bride’s guide

Purple Pick: Mexico Honeymoons

Mexico is a firm favourite of honeymooners – its chic credentials even stretch to being featured in the SATC movie (where Carrie spent her post-wedding ‘Mexicoma’). But why has this seemingly unromantic location become such a honeymoon hotspot?

Honeymoon

The secret to a great value honeymoon is not just being entertained, but engaging in activities that allow you to work and play together. Very much a diverse travel experience, Mexico honeymoons fully cater to this need.

In Cancun, couples can tour through ancient Mayan ruins and bask on the palm tree-dotted beaches; in Riviera Maya, they can learn how to salsa dance and some discover some top luxury resorts; in Los Cabos, adventurous couples can dabble in water sports, lavish retreats and romantic beaches, and in Acapulco, couples can enjoy the bustling nightlife, excellent dining scene and stunning landscapes. And that is without even mentioning the remote islands that offer completely secluded getaways.

Whichever area you choose, you can rest assured that Mexico honeymoons have all the required tools to make your post-wedding holiday extra special – the people are wonderful, the food varied and superb, and its storied history has left momentous architectural and cultural pawmarks throughout the land. Expect ancient temples, white beaches that are out of this world and a rich cultural smorgasbord that provides for honeymooners of all dispositions. The only question is… where to stay? That’s why we’ve put together this guide to gorgeous hotels for Mexico Honeymoons. Enjoy!

Mandarin Oriental, Riviera Maya

Situated on a heavenly stretch of the Yucatan coast, set within 36 acres of jungle, mangrove reserves and natural lagoons, this super-cool hideaway feels private and exclusive although not far from tourist hub, Cancun.

Each of the 128 ultra-luxe, minimally-decorated villas comes complete with its own secluded garden bathroom and some offer individual plunge pools. A haven for total privacy, it is no surprise that the Asian-inspired guest rooms have been frequented by stars including Sir Paul McCartney and Christian Louboutin himself.

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental sets a new standard of holistic well-being that embodies the riches of Mayan philosophy, intermingled with traditional Asian healing rituals. Spend an afternoon enjoying its special Mayan Tzolkin Ritual for a quintessential renewal experience, or take some time to explore the second largest barrier reef in the world, or perhaps head to the Mayan ruins close by in Tulum, Chichén Itza and Coba.

Banyan Tree Mayakoba

Also on the Yucatan Peninsula, the Banyan Tree Mayokoba, which opened in 2009, is a five-star resort of 132 villas, set amongst the mangroves. Each villa is completely hidden from the next, making it a firm favourite romantic escape of Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas – they can count on privacy when leaping out of bed and straight into the pool.

Aside from unparalleled luxury and a staff that brings a sense of Asian hospitality to the Mexican Caribbean, the resort’s Romance Manager is its real selling point. On hand to arrange one-off romantic experiences, whether it is a candlelit dinner on the beach, a private cruise at sunset or a couple’s spa treatment at your villa, the Romance Manager adds that little bit extra.

And with a seven-course tasting menu available from the Tamarind restaurant, Banyan Tree Mayakoba feels as if it were created just for honeymooners.

Las Alamandas

With the slogan ‘paradise found’, Las Alamandas, a luxury boutique hotel in Costalegre, forms its own lost world of seven sorbet-hued villas and 1,500 acres of unspoilt tropical bliss.

Each of the fuchsia and orange-coloured room has its own theme that incorporate a pleasing mix of designs, fabrics, and crafts, selected from all over Mexico, including Rattan sofas upholstered in canary yellow or shocking pink and Mexican folk art hand-painted artifacts.

The candlelit Oasis restaurant serves fresh and healthy cuisine including sushi, vegetables picked from their own garden and guacamole and huevos rancheros for breakfast, but any wish is the kitchen’s command. In fact, the hotel can organise almost anything. In response to anything you request, the staff will simply say, ‘Of course, this is your home.’ From horse riding and hiking to an ocean-side massage, this is the most relaxed you’ll ever be.

Rosewood San Miguel

Tucked away on a cobbled side street, the Rosewood San Miguel appears to be a beautiful old haçienda, although it is actually brand new. You’ll drive through real cowboy country to get there and be greeted with a margarita at the door, to aid your step into the past.

Situated in the enchanting artists’ village of San Miguel de Allende, a UNESCO World heritage site, the hotel is decorated with a fusion of traditional Mexican artwork and furniture, complemented by modern luxuries such as Frette linen and poolside cabanas.
The world-class Sense spa sanctuary follows a similar theme, offering a full range of therapies that integrate Mexican healing traditions and indigenous ingredients, with state-of-the-art facilities and an extensive treatment list.

The high altitude slows the pace, so fill your days with Pilates classes, Mexican cookery class or watch the sunset on a star-studded sky while enjoying amazing cocktails and moreish nibbles at The Luna Rooftop Tapas Bar.

Las Ventanas Al Paraiso

As its name implies, Las Ventanas is a window to paradise. Perched on the Baja California peninsula on the west coast of Mexico, the desert beach hideaway in Los Cabos mesmerises couples with huge suites, inspired cuisine and a fantastic spa that’s a sanctuary of renewal and revitalization.

The huge bedrooms all have a plunge pool and a wealth of famous fans (Kate Beckinsale honeymooned here and Jennifer Aniston is a regular).You will be greeted by an in-room tequila welcome and fresh fruit that’s replenished daily.

Las Ventanas offer some innovative honeymoon services, in fact, they have a whole ‘romance department’ dedicated to meeting your needs. Services include requesting a handwritten love letter that would be discovered amongst household bills telling your intended about a surprise getaway, an Aphrodisiac Dinner menu for private diners, salsa classes for two or even a message in a bottle to appear whilst bathing at the beach.

From a dinner by the sea to a movie for two on the beach, Las Ventanas makes romance happen.

Image via @ Aplomb

The ultimate beach wedding pictures?

We just love these, via Pinterest. Scroll down to be inspired.

Getting married in Portugal, a bride’s guide

Weddings abroad are becoming more and more popular. You can top up your tan before the big day, you’re surrounded by family and friends in a beautiful destination and it will usually cost you a fraction of a big wedding in the UK. Las Vegas, Sri Lanka, France and Spain are all popular choices. But, getting married in Portugal is something special!

We spoke with one bride, Deirdre who married hubby Barry in Albufeira, Portugal last year. From handling the heat in a wedding gown, to waterparks in the days before the ceremony, she gave Purple Travel the lowdown about getting married in Portugal.

Purple Travel: Why did you decide to go abroad to get married?

Deirdre: We decided to get hitched abroad for a couple of reasons mainly; we had been to a lot of weddings. Although each wedding was special they all followed the same format and tended to blend into each other a bit. Barry also works in a wedding band so he has seen so many weddings we decided we wanted to do something a little different and personalise our experience.

We both wanted somewhere where all our friends could really enjoy themselves and somewhere we could all hang out for a week instead of just a day. A place where young and old could enjoy themselves and make a holiday out of it. The weather was another big factor; we were hoping to find a place where the weather would be nice. Also we were on a budget so a wedding abroad seemed like a fantastic option.

Purple Travel: What was it about Albufeira that made you choose it? Did you have to make a few trips before you decided?

Deirdre: I had been on many family holidays to Albufeira so the place for me was very special and held a lot of very special memories for me. Albufeira is also a fantastic place for people to enjoy themselves on holiday. The weather is usually good, the people are very friendly, there are gorgeous beaches, the food is amazing and atmosphere is second to none. It’s a fantastic place for families as it is very child friendly and there is lots to do on the beaches, waterparks etc.

It is also a fabulous place for single people or couples as the nightlife is hopping. It seemed to have something for everyone and when we looked at it, it seemed like an ideal place for our friends and family to enjoy themselves at our wedding.

Purple Travel: Did hubby take any convincing about the idea?

Deirdre: I am very enthusiastic about Albufeira but brought Barry on a trip to Albufeira to show him what I meant. We had an amazing time and have never come home from a holiday so relaxed and unwound! We were sure at that stage it was what we wanted. While we were there we hooked up with Algarve Wedding Planners, two amazing girls Paula and Karina, who showed us many of the hotels and options for getting married in Portugal. It was fantastic after a few showings we found our perfect location.

Purple Travel: It sounds very romantic, where was the wedding itself?

Deirdre: The wedding itself was in the main church in the old town Albufeira followed by a reception in the Grande Real Santa Eulalia. The place was fabulous we had a rooftop cocktail reception overlooking the sea, we were then led to an outdoor balcony where tables were decorated fabulously, the food was to die for, atmosphere was fantastic and we had a beach down a few steps to take some nice photos.

Later on that evening we had a place called Le Club to have the night part of the wedding. Barry and his friends are musicians so it was great, they played music and that was followed by lots of dancing with an amazing playlist and D.J. The staff were fantastic, we danced until at least six, the bar stayed open and we were never told to leave. That’s the great thing about a foreign wedding; the regular opening hours and curfews don’t apply. That was another big plus for us.

 Purple Travel: How did you handle the heat on the day? In a wedding dress, we can only imagine it got a little toasty!?

Deirdre: Wearing a wedding dress in the heat is everything you would expect it to be, very hot and a little uncomfortable. I wasn’t one of those brides who didn’t want to get out of their dress. I couldn’t wait to get out of it! It was probably a bit too heavy so bear it in mind if you decide to get married abroad.

Purple Travel: Did you have local help, e.g. a wedding planner, hotel manager something like that?

Deirdre: As I said, we had a wedding planner, Algarve Wedding Planners. We really could not have done it without their help. They were fantastic! I looked online, wrote to them, told them the type of budget we had and asked what we could get for it. They wrote back with loads of options. We arranged to meet up with them when we were on holiday. After that we met them at home. They come over for a wedding fair every year and they bring lot of people to help with your wedding in Portugal. You name it, they can tell you about it, hotel managers, musicians, florists, makeup artists hairdressers etc. all with portfolios of their work. In one day we had booked hair, makeup, flowers, reception location, menu, music. It was super!

Purple Travel: Was there a lot of paperwork involved, e.g. did you need to sort out licences etc at home first?

Deirdre: There was lots of paperwork involved but there is lots of paperwork for any wedding. You needed to get all the same letters of freedom etc you need for home. I also remember that you needed a solicitor over in Portugal to translate documents but that was all set up by the wedding planners. They knew exactly what we needed to do so it was a relief having them for that part.

Purple Travel: So, would you recommend getting married abroad?

Deirdre: I absolutely would recommend a wedding abroad. We had such a memorably, magical day. I’m not great on organisation but having wedding planners there to make sure everything runs smoothly was fantastic. We had a great time but not only with the day but the whole lead up. Meeting up with friends and family on beaches, in pubs, for dinner, at water parks was so much fun. It can at times be stressful, it’s very hectic and there are so many people to meet and hang out with it can be exhausting but very, very exciting. The excitement of meeting your best friends, on a holiday before your big day is just unforgettable.

The day was perfect, the experience amazing, we would do it again in a heartbeat!

A huge thank you once again to Deirdre for her bride’s guide to getting married in Portugal. If you’re thinking of a wedding abroad, firstly, congratulations and why give Purple Travel a call to find out more on 0207 993 9228.

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