Wedding Ceremonies

It is so very fun to get to pour over gorgeous weddings day in and day out. I seriously love my job. But what is even more fun is when one of those weddings happens to be someone near and dear and this wedding is just that. Not only is it so very cute and filled with Mexico goodness but it also is celebrating the love of my friend Erin and her husband Damien. These two are so sweet and have such a great love story, I am more than elated to get to share their special day with you readers. They celebrated in style at a gorgeous villa overlooking the beach and it was all captured by the lovely Michelle Turner. I know they say what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico but not this time. These images are meant to be shared. Enjoy and congrats Mr. and Mrs. Vanderburg! We wish you a lifetime of happiness.

Damien and I met on a sunny Sunday afternoon at a quaint San Diego outdoor cafe, called Cafe 976. I was reading and love the sun, so i kept moving tables to stay out of the shade. As the hours passed by, i moved about 5 tables, always moving towards Damien. After several hours, his was the only table left in the sun, and Damien asked me to join him…

Our coordinator incorporated this into our wedding night by transforming one of the rooms in the villa and recreating Cafe 976 as a flaming coffee bar that entertained guests with amazing tricks and delicious, intoxicating coffee drinks.
A few years later Damien secretly brought both of our families to San Diego. While I was under the impression he and I were on our way to see a matinee showing of “Fiddler on the Roof” we popped in for a quick lunch on another beautiful Sunday afternoon, back at the same cafe, same table and you know what happens next…There was no lunch or show, just a bouquet of hidden flowers and our families waiting at our favorite restaurant right next door where we began our celebration!

My mom and I flew down to Puerto Vallarta and met with Kristin from the Dazzling Details. We checked out several villas but I immediatly fell in love with Villa Celeste. Damien is a surfer and I knew he wanted to get married on the beach, I am a traveler who loves culture, so this villa was perfect! Cobblestone streets, tile roof, beautiful beach, it was perfect!

As guests arrived to the beach they took their shoes off and were greeted with mojitos while a spanish guitarist played. I really liked the idea of our friends and family surrounding us during the ceremony, so we had seats set up in a circle, it was so intimate, we were able to make eye contact with everyone there…so special! Our close friend performed the ceremony. One friend read the Dr. Seuss poem “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and another played the ukelele during our family filled sand ceremony with sands from 4 different beaches poured by 12 of us, again…so special! Incorporating the mexican Lasso tradition, our moms placed a lasso around the two of us to signify our unity and unconditional love. When the ceremony was over we set up a foot bath to rinse off before heading up to the villa at the end of a quaint cobblestone street.

Living in San Diego, we crossed the boarder to Tijuana often for a fun afternoon of tacos and margaritas. One of my favorite memories of doing this was taking a picture with one of the donkeys set up for us tourist. I thought it was only natural to have a donkey make an appearance at our wedding. And what better way to spend the cocktail hour? We had guests take their picture with the donkey and then we printed them out on a portable printer, popped them in cute frames and had them on the tables at brunch the next morning for guests to take home with them. Everyone had sooooo much fun! And the pictures turned out great! We had a marimba player to provide music while guests sipped cocktail, and munched on hourdurves. It was such a great way to start a FUN wedding! Damien choose his favorite surf spots as table names. During the cake cutting we surprised guests with a huge, beautiful fireworks display. Overall it was more of a wedding than we could have ever dreamed of!



Photography: Michelle Turner / Venue: Villa Celeste / Wedding Coordination: The Dazzling Details / Wedding Dress: Mikaella / Makeup: Alexis Jensen / Invitations: Erin Ever After /


Religious Ceremony

In Mexico a religious ceremony is possible only after a Mexican civil wedding. A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes worldwide. However, a religious wedding without a civil ceremony is not.


Religious Ceremony

In Mexico a religious ceremony is possible only after a Mexican civil wedding. A civil wedding in Mexico is fully valid for legal purposes worldwide. However, a religious wedding without a civil ceremony is not.

Thus while a religious marriage may be of both moral value and personal significance, it has no civil or legal standing. Some documentation is required, and you will need at least one to four months to reserve the church or chapel depending on the day of the week and time of year.

To be married in the church, you need to obtain many documents including one from your parish in your country of residence. Vallarta Weddings By Monique's Wedding Coordinators will provide you instructions and handle arrangements with the church upon reservation of your wedding date. There is no mass during the ceremony and it must be conducted inside a church. The church will provide a marriage certificate signed by the father of the "Parroquia"

Puerto Vallarta offers beautiful churches and chapels to celebrate such a meaningful event. Please be aware that religious (church) ceremonies in Mexico cannot be performed for people of different faiths.


SPIRITUAL (Vow-Renewal/Minister) Ceremony

This includes both non-legal committment and vow-renewal ceremonies.


CIVIL (legal) Ceremony

The only legal marriage in Mexico is through the civil ceremony performed by the Justice of the Peace of the Civil Registry Office.


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