Why Your Caribbean Destination Wedding Should be in Cozumel

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The same juicy features that make the tropical island of Cozumel such a popular vacation spot – and an awesome trip for couples – also make it a killer place to have a beautiful and fun Caribbean destination wedding. 

Cozumel island in Mexico has a wide variety of wedding venues and accommodation styles, an excellent array of food and drink venues, a top-notch service industry, and a fun and sexy culture that loves music, dancing, and romance. All this is wrapped up in a beautiful and safe Caribbean locale, perfect for your honeymoon, and a few extra vacation days for your family and friends. 

This is one destination wedding that your guests will be happy to be invited to, for sure.

Cozumel is a quaint and picturesque island located off the eastern coast of Mexico, known for lots of things, but perhaps nothing beats its warm weather, coastal beauty, and its beautiful blue and turquoise Caribbean waters.

It’s the perfect backdrop for a wedding and will also result in albums (and Instagram feeds) chock full of gorgeous photographs and videos of an event to remember.  

Cozumel also boasts a wide array of beautiful and affordable event locations and venues, whether you want a private Airbnb villa with a simple beach wedding or a seriously formal affair in a posh all-inclusive resort venue.

More and more wedding couples are choosing Cozumel for these benefits and because of its great range of fun and affordable wedding packages.

If you’re planning a destination wedding in Mexico or the Caribbean in general, then you should definitely consider Cozumel as one of your top locations. 

For more on what to expect in Cozumel, check out this info-packed introduction to the island

White chairs, a flowered arch, and a raked sand aisle with blue ocean backdrop at a wedding in Cozumel.
Wedding at Nachi Cocom in Cozumel

Best Reasons to Plan Your Destination Wedding in Cozumel

Here are the top reasons why (or why not) your Caribbean destination wedding in Mexico should be in Cozumel.

Beautiful Caribbean as the Backdrop to Your Wedding Photos

One of the best Cozumel marriage celebrations I’ve been to was a vow renewal ceremony that was on the relaxed and casual side. 

It was on the beach at sunset, followed by lots of barefoot dancing, a hired taco truck for snacks, and an incredible performance by local fire dancers who performed under the moonlight with the Caribbean sea as their backdrop. 

No. too. shabby. at all. 

It’s hard to beat Cozumel’s mother nature for special event decor, right? 

Beach wedding set up on the sand in Cozumel with white chairs, a white fabric 'aisle' and blue ocean background.

You can choose a daytime destination wedding or a sunset or nighttime celebration – either way, you know your setting and venue will be oozing with photogenic beauty and charm. 

(Instagram envy?  Check.) 

Amazing sunsets every night

On a similar note, as I often mention in other posts about fun and free things to do on the island, Cozumel’s daily sunsets are out of control, and no special reservations are needed. 

Whether your wedding ceremony location is on a white sand beach, or your wedding reception is held in a well-known west coast resort or a rooftop bar overlooking the ocean, what’s better than a technicolor sunset as a backdrop for weddings?

Sunset with oranges, yellows, and blues over the Cozumel waterfront.

Our nightly sunset will work in your favor 98.9% of the time and add to the romance and the scenery.

And don’t forget this for all the other days you’re in town!

The rehearsal dinner venues, your own free time (hopefully!), and so on – you can use the beauty of the island in your favor when picking out all of the various gatherings and family time. 

Cozumel Has a lot of Professional Wedding Planners

To make sure your big day goes just right, I would employ the help of a local, knowledgeable Mexican destination wedding specialist. 

A local wedding coordinator in Cozumel will be key to making sure all your questions are answered, and your personalized event planning needs are met before, during, and after the big day. 

There are several experienced and professional wedding coordinators here on the island, which just speaks to how many brides and grooms choose to get married here every year. 

A local event planning professional can help you with everything from what style of ceremony you want, to how to do any official paperwork, to the best local officiants.

Wedding planners on the island can also recommend and coordinate with the numerous Cozumel wedding venues, vendors, and resources to be found here – if you know where to look. Such as:

  • officiants (traditional, legal, Mayan ceremonies, etc.)
  • wedding photographers
  • wedding DJs and bands, including specialty Cozumel wedding entertainment like mariachis, dancers, fire-performers
  • hair stylists and make-up artists
  • wedding cake artists
  • florists
  • wedding favors
  • wedding party gifts
  • transportation options
  • vetted and reliable babysitters

Some Cozumel wedding planners are employed as part of the staff at some of the island’s larger and fancier resorts, while other freelance wedding planning professionals can work with you independently.

The latter might allow for more customization of the big day of your dreams, outside of any particular limitations of what a particular venue or package can accommodate. 

Bear in mind, though, sometimes full all-inclusive resort wedding packages in Cozumel can give you the most bang for your buck, overall, and probably cut down on some coordination stress by keeping logistics simplified. 

It’s well worth talking to a couple of experienced wedding planners here to get more information. 

It’s best to shop around and ask some questions first, so you can find someone who you feel comfortable with, who seems to share your style (and sense of humor, hopefully!), and who you can sense confidence that there won’t be many communication barriers or gaps in expectations.  

To get a feel for just a few of the local wedding pros, check out these informative web pages, for starters (and for some beautiful photos and good ideas): 

Cozumel Wedding Planner

Something Special Wedding & Event Planner

Cozumel Dream Wedding Makers

Magic Memories Weddings

These are some of the island’s most popular event and wedding planners, and there are more where that came from.

But don’t get overwhelmed. As one recent satisfied bride recently shared in a Facebook thread about weddings in Cozumel: “every one of them is good and has their own style and personality. Talk with a few and you’ll know who’s right for you and your special day.”

Cozumel’s Multiple AI Resorts with Wedding Packages

As mentioned above, many couples opt for an all-inclusive wedding package in the end, for various reasons.  

It may save time and organizational confusion to keep everything under one roof, so to speak, and it may even save money in terms of economies of scale. 

In addition, most of Cozumel’s resort hotels and adjacent beach clubs all have gorgeous landscaping, sparkling pools, and panoramic beach views, and separate areas to hold the ceremony and the reception.  

Northern Cozumel hotel pool view

There are lots of great resorts and hotels well-equipped for groups and special events, but a few well-known places always seem to stand out as popular choices: 

Popular Resorts for Cozumel Weddings:

El Presidente (Intercontinental) 

Hotel Melia

Hotel B

El Cozumeleño

Cozumel Palace

Casa del Mar Hotel & Dive Resort.  This is a popular choice for diving trips, but also for weddings as they own and operate both the beautiful Nachi Cocom Beach Club, and the new venue Del Mar Latino, both able to host beach-front weddings.

Nachi Cocom is a secluded spot for a private wedding on the beach, and also has a full bar and dining, a great staff, a huge dining/dancing area, and plenty of room for a band or DJ, and a totally unobstructed ocean view all day and night. 

Side note: The island is small, and if you’re having an all-inclusive wedding package, it won’t matter all that much if you opt for the Northern hotel zone or the Southern hotel zone.

If you’d like some more introductory info on the three main hotel areas in Cozumel before zeroing in on some cool resort or hotel choices for you and your family, take a look at this intro article on how to choose where to stay in Cozumel

Wedding reception table with Mexican-style cut paper flags that say "gracias" as party favors.
Customized guest party favors at a Cozumel wedding reception.

As you plan, don’t ever forget that your dream destination wedding is just that:  your dream. 

Not everyone envisions or even likes the all-inclusive vibe, no matter how nice, for example.

One bride’s dream is a casual beachy daytime vibe, while another envisions a formal evening gala affair. Both are right, and both can easily be accommodated here.

Cozumel’s Sophisticated Food Culture

Cozumel has plenty of delicious Mexican food, of course – but you and your wedding guests will find all kinds of cuisines for variety, sophisticated palates, and even picky eaters.  

The restaurant scene in Cozumel is also quite diverse and impressive and you’ll have many choices that are very suitable for a special occasion. 

From high-end surf and turf meals on the waterfront at Buccano’s, to chic and stylish rooftop dining at the popular new spot Sereno, and all kinds of High/Low choices in between.

There are also some seriously connoisseur-level coffee bars, specialty gourmet ingredient shops, small-batch tequila crafters, and amazing pastries and bakeries all over town.

And new places are opening up every week!   It’s honestly hard to keep up, and pretty hard to keep from eating ALL the food…

When you’re done here, please poke around our other articles on the site to get acquainted with just some of our excellent foodie choices for your whole stay, not just the wedding day, starting with these:  

Cozumel’s Restaurant Round-Up

Cozumel’s Best Tacos

Best Bars/Drinks in Cozumel

Those posts will help give you a taste of what to expect (see what I did there?), and again I stress that they include just some of the many delicious food and drink options you can try while you’re here.

Friendly and Top-Notch English-Speaking Services

There’s no doubt it would be hard to plan and coordinate a trip, a wedding, and all your guests in a foreign language.  But in Cozumel, there’s no need to worry.  

Most Cozumel wedding coordinators are bi-lingual and keep everything running smoothly and keep you informed in your own language so you always know what’s happening on your special day. 

Lots of hotels, guesthouses, boutiques, and great restaurants in town also have a majority of bi-lingual staff, and English is commonly spoken among taxi cab drivers, divemasters, waiters, and other staff in our many shops, bars, and cafes. 

(And even when it’s not, it won’t be long before someone helpful steps in and does some quick interpreting.)

If you and your guests plan on staying for extra days and taking advantage of some of Cozumel’s best-known attractions, like our world-class SCUBA diving, the island’s local Mayan ruins, a tour of one of the island’s many delicious chocolate purveyors, or even just a walk around and do some exploring downtown, you will easily get by with English, some rudimentary Spanish words, and lots of smiles and thank-yous (“gracias!”) 

All that said, I’m always in favor of people learning at least a few of the polite local greetings and basic vocabulary when I go somewhere I don’t speak the language.

It may help you in the airport, if you need directions or have special requests, and especially if you like to explore and do some authentic local shopping, discover the next best new taco joint, or – especially – to make some new amigos Cozumeleños (Cozumel friends). 

For a quick hit of Spanish vocabulary, consider setting aside 30-minutes a day for one week to learn the basics. See the end of this post for our deal on Skillshare’s 7-day free trial, where you can use the trial period to get through a good sampling of introductory Spanish classes for free. 

Fun and Unique Wedding Events and Entertainment

It’s not just the bride and groom who will remember such a cool and unique trip for years to come.

Family, friends, and all wedding guests will have the chance to experience the Cozumel you’re always telling them about (if you’re a frequent scuba diver here, or just love the place), or open themselves to a new place for the very first time. 

Festive Mexican dancers at a wedding in Cozumel Mexico.

As mentioned, I’ve been to several Cozumel weddings in my years here, from a simple (yet teary-eyed) civil wedding ceremony in the town hall, to a night-time bare-foot-on-the-beach vow renewal party, to moving ocean-front ceremonies followed by sunset happy hours, delicious sit-down dinners and hours of dancing.  

All were happy and sweet and wonderful.  

And yet each had some local touches that made the event special to the couple involved, and created memories you would never find anywhere else.

And let’s not forget that nearly every wedding here features a live Mariachi band at some point or another. And believe me, they’re usually coaxed into staying for many requested encores! 

Local Mariachi band at Cozumel beach wedding.
Cozumel Mariachi Band

(Trust me, definitely go for the wonderful local Mariachis – they’re romantic and fun, and they add so much to the overall “destination” environment of it all.)

Mexico, and especially Cozumel, loves love

She also LOVES a good party, and knows how to throw one! 

So a wedding party here?  Epic. You pretty much can’t go wrong.  

Affordable Caribbean Wedding in Cozumel

Granted, asking people (even family) to buy airline tickets can often make some destination weddings feel a bit…spendy. 

If you plan to have your Caribbean destination wedding in Cozumel, you’ll be surprised at how affordable the trip itself and the wedding packages can be.  Especially when compared to prices back home.

You’ll find lower hotel room rates, generally, and very reasonable costs on venues, bridal suites, food and drink packages, flowers, photography, guest transportation, and music – and even beautiful and elaborate custom wedding cakes. 

You can even shop with some local artisans to have custom wedding rings made here, arrange for some fun and/or fancy party favors, bridal party gifts, and other little touches that will let the memories linger. 

Caribbean destination weddings can be hugely expensive, but weddings in Cozumel often come in far under what a budget in the United States or Canada would be. We’re talking in the lower 4-figures, even with all of the above. 

All that, and getting married on the gorgeous island of Cozumel, too?  What’s not to love? 

Evening wedding reception against sunset backdrop in Cozumel.

It’s crucial to work out all the numbers, of course, but very many couples and their families have been pleasantly surprised.   

One couple I know was even able to buy airline tickets for certain family members, and treat for dinners, spa treatments, and other goodies during the festivities because they were saving SO much on their base ceremony and reception expenses. 

Cozumel is Much Safer than Cancun or Tulum 

The last thing you want to be concerned about on the run-up to your wedding day is safety.

Luckily, Cozumel is one of the safest places around, and definitely one of the safer destinations in Mexico.

First off, Cozumel is a small island off the coast, and therefore much easier to protect against the presence of violent crime especially associated with the drug trade in Mexico’s northern states, and now occasionally popping up in bigger mainland cities, like Cancun. 

When issuing their travel advisories, the state departments of the U.S. and Canada never list Cozumel as a specific place to avoid. 

When cautioning about Mexico, in fact, the state of Quintana Roo is considered safe, and when specific cautions do arise, they tend to be focused on Cancun, as it’s a bigger mainland city. 

Compared to Cancun, Playa del Carment, and even the rising popularity of boho-chic Tulum, Cozumel is the safest choice for a destination wedding in Mexico’s Riviera Maya area.

Geographically, Cozumel is physically separated from a lot of those issues – and it’s also pretty difficult to make a quick getaway when you need to travel by ferry!

The island is also strongly protected by the government, due to its great value as a tourism destination, one of the busiest cruise ship ports in the world, and a growing haven for lots of American, Canadian, Mexican, and European retirees. 

The municipality has a strong police presence, including local, state and federal police, as well as National Guardsmen, and Navy and Coast Guard centers.

For more on our high level of safety – and also some realistic information on our (low but not zero) crime rates, check out this post on safety, and this post on the many things Cozumel is known for among regulars (hint: safety and low crime is one of them). 

Is There Anything I Should Actually Be Concerned About? 

Managing Expectations 

Surrounding the many weddings I’ve gone to and/or been a part of…there’s always someone, right?

One or more guests or family members that seem…disagreeable? Disgruntled? Downright unable to go with the flow? 

Be realistic about your own dreams, but also about ability to handle the unknown, a potentially unfamiliar booking process, other peoples’ reactions or inability (or unwillingness) to attend, and so on. 

Destination weddings are truly awesome, and you’ll be starting your new life already full of unforgettable memories. 

Just make sure they’re the memories you want, and that you are the type that can roll with a few unexpected things along the way.

COVID-19?

Covid-19 in Cozumel has taken its toll, of course, but overall the numbers have been low and manageable, a good portion of the adult population is now vaccinated, and people here still use masks in shared spaces, practice a good degree of social distancing (“sana distancia,” in Spanish), and live a lot of their lives in pretty active outdoor settings with a lot of natural vitamin D. 

There are a TON of fun, pretty, and delicious indoor-outdoor restaurants and bars, here, in addition to beaches, dive boats, other outdoor excursions, and open-air plazas, parks, shopping, and so on.  

Covid-19 Testing to Leave Cozumel

As it stands, guests will need a Covid-19 test to get on their flight to return to the U.S. and other countries (*please double-check the current Covid-19 travel regulations of your home country and Mexico before booking anything). 

Most Cozumel hotels and guest houses have systems in place to help their guests schedule their tests at the appropriate time, and many have made arrangements for lodging if a guest happens to test positive at that point and is not able to fly.  

Positive Covid-19 exit tests have been extremely rare in Cozumel, but in an effort to allay travelers’ fears and comply with all protocols, it’s good to know that the hospitality professionals on the island have been specially trained on Covid-19 precautions. 

They are also aware of current international conditions and very able and eager to make it as easy as possible for guests to arrive, stay, and leave safely and conveniently. 

For a large group event like a wedding party, or perhaps if you or any of your guests decide to rent complete homes or apartments as an alternative to more traditional resorts, dive hotels, or the island’s many boutique hotels, you can also arrange for a group house-call to have the Covid-19 tests (Antigen or PCR) done where you are staying. 

I’ve used this service several times myself before visiting the U.S., and it was easy, bilingual, prompt, and I had my results emailed to me in an hour or two. 

To schedule house calls, you can search local social media pages, but to save you that time suck, the one that comes up the most – and the very one that I’ve used with great success – is the 24/7 Medical Service & House Calls Cozumel page (and not a bad idea to have this one bookmarked either way, just in case someone needs any medical assistance during your stay). 

I’ve also gotten tested for Covid-19 prior to flying to the U.S. at a couple of the local hospitals (also very easy and sometimes less expensive), or the super-efficient pop-up mobile Covid testing sites around Cozumel called Marko Test Zone – also super easy, very inexpensive, and emailed results within an hour. 

Guest Mobility or Tropical Heat?

Sometimes, wedding guests and members of the wedding party may be particularly sensitive to sun and heat, or a little less sure-footed when it comes to sand, uneven wooden decking, cobblestones, or other slightly unusual settings.  

This is not a deal-breaker! It can be managed pretty easily with some thought to timing, choice of venue, particular amenities arranged, etc.  

Just think it through a bit. If your grandmother uses a walker, or your uncle is prone to heatstroke, or simply cannot tolerate short periods of time without air-conditioning, it may be best to put those kinds of mobility, health, and comfort concerns first.   

Cozumel has nice breezy days, lots of air-conditioned cabs and event spaces, and most outdoor restaurants are well shaded and cooled with fans and natural breeze. But it can and does get very warm and humid here, and sometimes those temporary situations just can’t be helped.  

You can definitely find solutions to these items! I’m just suggesting to give it some thought and share your needs with your Cozumel wedding planner or hotel coordinator. 

Will You Have Your Destination Wedding in Cozumel?

Cozumel is one of the most charming and beautiful locations in the Mexican Caribbean and a relatively short and inexpensive flight from (especially) the United States and Canada.

If you are looking to get married on an exotic beach with your special one (and stay for a romantic honeymoon), then this very well might be the perfect place for you.  

And if you’re already a loyal Cozumel SCUBA diver?  Case closed! Done and done, right?

Just accept your fate, and start making the plans right now. And Bon Voyage!!


Crash Course Some Spanish Vocab!

Please and thank you go a long way, but having a little basic Spanish will make your Cozumel vacation that much easier and safer.

It’s great when shopping, scanning local menus, or asking for directions to your hotel!

Skillshare has a ton of classes to sample during their free 7-day intro to Skillshare offer and brush up on some basic words and expressions (and then you can cancel it, no strings.)

Rachel

Rachel runs and writes CozInfo.com when she's not diving, taking underwater photos, or trying a new local restaurant. After decades of project managing some mighty fine exhibition design projects in NYC, she took an adult gap year to pursue her divemaster training in Cozumel...and never made it back.