by Bonnie Chase, Bliss Events – Bliss Events is a full-service event planning and design firm – www.eventsbybliss.com – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tourism in Los Cabos has sustained a nearly 20% year over year growth since 2015, and remains one of the most returned to destinations on the world. Among the more than two million tourists who visit the area are thousands of couples who choose Los Cabos for their wedding destination. The growing number of weddings each year has wedding and event planners like myself busier than ever. Sure, this massive volume of destination weddings can easily be attributed to the ease of access (more and more airlines are adding direct routes to Los Cabos from major cities across the US and around the world), the beautiful landscape, the 340+ days of sunshine each year, the local flavors and culture, and the endless options for fun things to do. But a major reason that Los Cabos is host to so many weddings each year is because it offers so many options for venues, making it an ideal location for every wedding personality.
The hundreds of venue options in Los Cabos can be narrowed into a handful of categories that include resorts, beaches, private villas, restaurants, and farms. Join me, and I’ll take you on a little tour of each.
The most obvious place to get married is on a resort property. Just about every hotel in Cabo offers wedding venues (some of the larger properties offer up to 8 possible venues) and wedding packages. And while some couples prefer to plan and design their event from start to finish with a professional planner, others are relieved to choose a pre-planned package and call it a day. Whatever the approach, resort weddings are extremely popular. Los Cabos offers beautiful hacienda style all-inclusive resorts like Pueblo Bonito Sunset and Hacienda Encantada (among many others!), as well as endless European Hotels at any budget. Some of our favorites are The Cape, The Resort at Pedregal, Esperanza, and One & Only Palmilla.
Getting married on a resort can eliminate a lot of logistical planning because the couple and their guests are already right there on the property. Many Los Cabos hotels are also host to world class chefs, so the banquet menu offerings are just as impressive as those at premier restaurants and farms. There are so many resorts in Los Cabos, that couples can choose between endless architectural and design styles and have the luxury of options in both San Lucas and San Jose.
While many couples love the idea of spending the long wedding weekend together with their guests at a resort, others prefer the privacy and flexibility of a private villa. Cabo offers thousands of private villas, some of which were designed and built to be ideal wedding and event venues. Couples can book the villa for 3 or more nights, invite their closest friends and family to join them for the duration of the stay, and set up the rest of their guests at a nearby hotel. We love the wow-factor that a villa offers because guests at the hotel will not see any of the setup happening on the wedding day, and will experience the surprise when they walk in for the first time at the start of the event. The other major advantage of the villa wedding is the flexibility of being able to plan and design every detail from start to finish, and to contract any vendors. There is also the added advantage of a less expensive bar tab, but be careful; villas owners also typically charge a location fee if you are hosting a private event on their property, and they can range from $1500 – $10,000!
Private villas span from the rural East Cape, through San Jose and San Lucas, and all the way up the Pacific coast to Cerritos and Todos Santos. They also range is price and design to accommodate any budget and style. The possibilities are endless.
A fast-growing trend in Los Cabos is the Farm Wedding. The farm wedding is one way to achieve the wow-factor by transporting guests away from the beach resort to an entirely new and unexpected location. Farms are surprisingly versatile venues, and work well with simple rustic and whimsical designs, as well as elegant luxurious, and even modern event designs. Southern Baja offers three key options for your homespun farm wedding, all of which are located in the estuary of San Jose del Cabo, and all of which are jaw-dropping in their own unique way.
The first is Huerto Los Tamarindos, a 17-acre property that produces an abundance of organic vegetables, primarily tomatoes, with beautiful rustic event space for up to 400 guests. The kitchen at Los Tamarindos is housed in an original farm house that was built in 1888, and adds to the charm and old-world experience. The farm gets its name from the Tamarind trees that grow wild in the fertile soil. Everything grows so beautifully here, that one of the event spaces is completely covered with lush greenery, forming a private canopy of green farm goodness. This property is 100% organic, and the food is 100% fantastic.
The second farm, and newest wedding venue to crop up in Cabo is Acre. This trendy new 25-acre farm restaurant embraces a strong “Baja” energy (think Palm Springs meets Tulum). This property was designed and developed sustainably with the environment in mind. It currently offers a farm-to-table restaurant and bar, roof-top and mango grove event spaces, and a beautiful pool deck that screams ‘Sunday afternoon pool party’. The entire property is crawling with palm trees and other plant life, and makes a picture-perfect backdrop for a dream wedding, The latest draw to this tropical paradise are their open air treehouses. Yes, you read me right; tree houses! These adorable little bungalows are a luxury version of Swiss Family Robinson, and are available for the visitors who love the fresh air.
The final, and most famed of the farm wedding venues is Flora Farms. This gorgeous piece of paradise is a ten-acre organic farm that produces over 100 varieties of vegetables and herbs. They bake fresh artisan breads daily. The pizzas are produced with home-made dough and fresh-made mozzarella, and are cooked in the wood-fire oven. I could continue, but to understand the true quality of the food, you should experience it for yourself; it’s nothing less than extraordinary. And don’t even get me started on the bar, which serves fruit and vegetable infused specialty cocktails. While this explanation of their culinary prowess probably has your mouth watering, the real reason that so many couples love Flora Farms for their wedding are the picture-perfect event spaces, which offer a variety of backdrops and accommodate up to 400 guests. From mango groves and herb gardens to a fairytale farmhouse, Flora Farms is exquisite.
Los Cabos has been evolving in recent years to the kind of destination that has foodies flocking. In both San Lucas and San Jose, new restaurants are cropping up all the time (not to mention the famed eateries that have been open since Cabo became a destination). With so many culinary options, it’s hard to try them all in one vacation (a possible reason for why we have so many repeat visitors year after year). It’s especially hard to narrow the options when considering a restaurant for a wedding venue.
The many local and exotic cuisines, world-class award-winning chefs, and meticulously designed atmospheres offer engaged couples a lot of possibilities for wedding venues. Some of the more known restaurant venues include Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, Sunset da Mona Lisa, Pitahayas and of course the farm restaurants. These restaurants offer venues for ceremony and reception, extraordinary banquet menus, and gorgeous views.
In addition to these well-known places, Cabo also offers some less main stream, but perfectly charming restaurants, which are nestled into unexpected little pockets of town. More than that, there is no shortage of restaurants that are equipped to accommodate a large group for dinner, and work well for rehearsal dinners and welcome parties. Some of our favorites are Don Sanchez, La Lupita, and Sur Beach Club, but there are so many incredible options that I could go on and on with the list. Your wedding planner will have recommendations for the best restaurants to fit your style, your budget, and the size of your group.
No matter your choice for accommodations, the beach is always a possibility for your wedding venue. The Baja peninsula is sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, which essentially means hundreds of miles of beaches. There is something magical about the beaches of Los Cabos because they exist in a desert eco-system, and the joining of sea and dessert offers its own unique beauty.
A beach wedding is certainly one way to offer your guests a toes-in-the-sand experience, but be sure to consider factors like bathrooms and a power source. The remote beaches do not offer public restrooms, and portable ones will need to be brought in. Local vendors have portable restrooms that are extremely comfortable, and provide piped-in music and air conditioning, as well as running water. You’ll probably need to rent a generator to power your fancy portable bathroom, as well as your event lighting and music.
The coastline in Los Cabos is quickly filling in with new resorts and private homes, which will all offer their own beaches for private events. But sprinkled between hotels and houses are still a few public beaches, and with the proper permits are available for weddings and events. If you prefer the tranquility of a more untouched location, take a 40-minute drive in either direction and you’ll find yourself on a sprawling beach that has yet to be developed. Whatever you prefer, you can’t go wrong with the beach. It’s the vision that most often comes to mind when you hear the words “Los Cabos”.
The wide-range of venue possibilities in Baja truly has something for everyone. Couples who are planning more than one event on their wedding weekend will have the opportunity show their guests more of this beautiful place. And what better way to thank your guests for being a part of your big day than by taking them on a beautiful adventure of food and fun? I consider myself fortunate to have the opportunity to live and work in a place that offers so many possibilities.