Where to wed in the South: Our top 5

airtransat By airtransat / 29 January 2020

Where to wed in the South: Our top 5

airtransat By airtransat

Article by Kate Yorga, Weddingbells

Whatever your celebration style, these five tropical hot spots provide stunning locales and unique customs to make your destination wedding extraordinary. 

RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO 

Tulum, mayan ruins, Mexico
Photo credits: Tommaso Lizzul

Who it’s perfect for

Couples who want to combine pristine beach time with exploring an exotic ancient civilization. Celebrity connection: Adam Levine married Behati Prinsloo in Mexico.

Local customs for your celebration

Have a traditional mariachi band instill romantic flavour with classic songs like “Amorcito Corazón” and “Amor, Amor, Amor” (which J.Lo has covered). To cool everyone down, offer barrels of agua fresca (non-alcoholic flavoured waters) infused with cinnamon, tamarind or lime, and a tequila-tasting bar with luxe brands only available in Mexico.

Fun fact

Riviera Maya hosts some of the world’s longest underground rivers. These subterranean streams are accessed via cenotes, stunning limestone surface sinkholes where you can swim and snorkel in the sparkling azure depths. 

LIBERIA, COSTA RICA 

Waterfall La Cangreja, Costa Rica
Photo credits: Nicholas Courtney

Who it’s perfect for

The lush rainforests and postcard-worthy beaches around Liberia will draw nature lovers. Celebrity connection: Kelly Rowland’s Costa Rican wedding to Tim Witherspoon.

Local customs for your celebration

Costa Rican men serenade their future bride before the ceremony, hire a brass band or ocarina (ancient flute) performer to play love songs at a pre-wedding affair. And most bars offer bocas (appetizers), perfect for your cocktail events: gallos (tortillas piled with meat, cheese or beans), ceviche, tamales and patacones (fried green plantains).

Fun fact

Costa Rica champions ecology. A quarter of the country is comprised of national parks and conservation areas boasting five per cent of the planet’s biodiversity (including a jungle fern named after Lady Gaga), countless wildlife and 10 per cent of the world’s butterfly population. A nature tour is a must! 

VARADERO & HAVANA, CUBA  

Old blue american car in front of Capitol in Havanna
Photo credits: Golero

Who it’s perfect for

The bride and groom who want to relax on gorgeous beaches and experience cool Cuban culture. Celebrity connection: Beyoncé and Jay-Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Cuba.

Local customs for your celebration

It’s not a proper Cuban wedding without their world-famous cigars – set up a lounge on the beach, complete with cigar sommeliers. Cuba is also famous for its son cubano music, the perfect opportunity to create a fun fiesta with seasoned island musicians.

Fun fact

It’s roughly a two-hour drive from Varadero’s beaches to the spectacular streets of Havana. Take a day trip by joining a tour or hiring a vintage 1950s car and driver, or stay overnight to fully savour Havana’s historic sites and energetic nightlife.

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA 

7 Mile beach of Negril, Jamaica
Photo credits: Jarnocan

Who it’s perfect for

This gorgeous tropical locale is for couples who want a chill vibe. Celebrity connection: Meghan Markle accompanied Prince Harry to his best friend’s Jamaican wedding.

Local customs for your celebration

Nothing shouts Jamaica louder than rum and reggae, including both at your reception means steeping the celebration in island tradition. Food is central to Jamaican culture, so pack the menu with local delicacies like jerk chicken, fried plantains and gizzada (individual tarts with a coconut filling).

Fun fact

An excursion to Blue Lagoon (the very one from the film) in neighbouring Port Antonio is a must – legend has it a soak in the lagoon has an aphrodisiacal effect. The mixing of fresh spring and salt water makes for perfect swimming temps and an incredible blue hue that changes with the sun’s position. 

PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 

Spike flower
Photo credits: Chansip Silarat

Who it’s perfect for

The Mr. & Mrs. who want to indulge with their crew in acres of white-sand beaches, sun and sea should go to Punta Cana. Celebrity connection: Kim Kardashian and Kanye West hosted a family vacation in the D.R.

Local customs for your celebration

Every tiny confectionary shop sells mini desserts, so sweeten your reception with dulce de leche, coconut and tropical fruit flavours. After your first twirl, have local dancers perform the merengue (which originated in the D.R.) and invite guests to join them in a quick lesson to get everyone on the dance floor.

Fun fact

Dominican amber and larimar are two stones found nowhere else in the world, consider including these in guests’ welcome bags, as wedding favours or as thank-you gifts for your attendants.

Tie the knot in one of our 34 South destinations. For more information and ideas on wedding planning, check out Weddingbells.

Cover photo : Vitor Pinto

The comments and contributions expressed are assumed only by the author. The recommendations, intentions or opinions expressed are not necessarily those of Transat AT Inc. or its affiliates. See terms of use of the Air Transat website.

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