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The Exotic Wedding You’ve Always Dreamed About

The Exotic Wedding You’ve Always Dreamed About

Wedding planners from Morocco & Mexico share their insights on the best destination weddings in both countries

It’s that time of the year again when every other weekend is taken up by a wedding. Be it in a church/mosque/synagogue/temple or in a City Hall, we bet the weddings you’ve been, as wonderful as they have probably been, may have started blending into each other a bit. We feel you.
  
So for all you lovebirds who are planning their very special day and looking for some inspiration, we’ve spoken to the top wedding planners in Mexico and Morocco for their best destination wedding advice and gifts ideas. Read on!

La Perle Events - Chic Marrakech Weddings

 

Born in Casablanca but brought up in Finland, Siham Rchidi started working in the beauty industry in France, before completing an MA in Luxury Events Management. After an internship at the Ritz in Paris, she decided to set up her own agency La Perle Events, which today organizes weddings and events all around the country.
 
“The idea to set up my own business had always been there, but I decided to go for it after I had to organize my own destination wedding in Marrakech. I had people coming from all over the world because I moved around so much growing up and my husband is half French and half Cameroonian. It was a challenge, but I loved it, and Maria of Party Maroc, who helped organize that, eventually became my trusted and wonderful business partner.”
 
Today, La Perle Events concentrates on intimate to medium-size weddings that mix celebrations with holiday relaxation, and appeal to a wide range of clients from all over the world, addressing the couple and guests’ every need. While ceremonies have got smaller in the last year and elopements are on the rise, Siham’s top destination wedding spot remains the enchanting Marrakech, with its mixture of culture, nature, and entertainment that caters to everyone’s tastes.
 
 

When it comes to destination weddings in Africa, Marrakech is a favorite, because of its cultural and historical richness and its boho-chic aesthetics, especially if you rely on an expert local planner like Siham who knows where to go and who to book.

Enthusiastic about furthering Moroccan heritage, but with a keen eye for modern decor, Siham enlists the help of local craftsmen and women to create a modern, sophisticated look that retains certain elements of traditional Moroccan architecture and aesthetics, using rugs, poufs, low tables, and canopies to design a bohemian chic event without unnecessary bling. Be it set in a riad or on a rooftop, the color palettes stay close to the heart of Marrakech’s pink and terracotta stones, creating a sense of warmth and magic.
“The best thing about my job is the look on people’s faces when they see what we’ve created for them. In destination weddings, the respective families often don’t even know each other. Facilitating that very important moment of sharing in a couple’s life is the best feeling in the world.”

Azul Berber - Your Perfect Desert Elopement

 
 
Spanish chemical engineer Anabel first had her heart stolen by Morocco on a holiday ten years ago. At the time, Anabel used to wake up every morning to the lack of light and stress of completing her Ph.D. in Sweden when her unexpected trip to Morocco spun her life in a completely new direction.
 
Enamored with the colors, smells, warmth, and people, Anabel opened a shop selling the rugs she had purchased during her travels. After four years of back and forth, she finally took the plunge and moved to Marrakech, where she set up her interior design business first, followed by her wedding & events planning later.
“During my first trip to Morocco I went to the desert, and I saw a local Amazigh nomad walking up the sand dunes wrapped in a beautiful blue djellaba. It was a revelation, it gave me a feeling of freedom I didn’t know I could experience. I called my brand Azul Berber after that moment of pure magic.”
 

Today, Anabel specializes in small, intimate weddings around Morocco, but her personal favorite is couples elopements in the Sahra desert, an experience that, if organized properly, can truly become the trip of a lifetime. Elopements are becoming increasingly popular amongst young couples who want to escape the stress of organizing big family events, and just want to enjoy each other’s company on this most special day.

Because each couple is different, Anabel doesn’t work with packages or quotes, rather she spends a lot of time talking to the couple to understand their needs, taste, and vision, before curating a comprehensive package that takes care of them from the moment they step off the plane to the moment they fly back again.
For Anabel, weddings and elopements are about creating beautiful, long-lasting memories, so she curates everything down to the tiniest detail, starting from a mood board, through the choice of artisanal décor which is sometimes even made bespoke, to the order in which experiences happen, taking the couples and guests through a crescendo of sensations that culminate in the desert elopement, led by local Berber guides.
 
“There’s magical energy in Morocco that people invariably are captured by, even though they didn’t expect it. Be it a candle-lit dinner on a medina rooftop, a relaxing afternoon in a peaceful riad, or seeing the desert for the first time in your life, there’s always something that captivates people and brings about tears of joy!”
 

Valentina Corro

 
The daughter of a wedding band leader, Valentina Corro spent her teenage years singing at weddings, and when after her Business Administration degree a fellow musician asked her to organize her wedding, she felt it was a natural progression from her upbringing and studies.
 
Several international certifications and weddings later, Valentina Corro is now one of Mexico’s top wedding planners, spearheading the industry towards continuous growth and helping to position Mexico high on the international destination wedding panorama.
 
Today, Valentina specializes in destination weddings for foreign couples or mixed Mexican couples, where at least one side of the family is coming from abroad, with all that it entails - language and cultural barriers and finding the perfect balance between a holiday and a wedding.
 
“I’m continuing my studies with a Master’s in Tourism because the two industries absolutely intersect when it comes to destination weddings. You need to organize the ceremony and reception, but also a couple of days of activities and exploration beforehand while keeping in mind everyone’s needs and expectations.”
 

Because of Mexico’s growing popularity with couples the world over, Valentina suggests some lesser-known locations that eschew away from the more touristic hotspots such as the Riviera Maya. Los Cabos in Baja California Sur and Riviera Nayarit are excellent alternatives to keep with the sandy beach and dreamy location vibes but do without the tourist overload, while Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca is a virgin beach sporting a few small boutique hotels, quiet beaches, and fresh local food that work a treat for couples elopements and small ceremonies.

For the more culture-oriented couples, Valentina suggests small villages such as Zacatecas, which will charm anyone with its pink cantera stone architecture. Pair that with a marching mariachi band, drinking mezcal on the streets, and your wedding pictures with the backdrop of the town’s cable car, and you’ve got a recipe for an ever-lasting memory.

Valentina’s top advice to couples is to let themselves be surprised by everything that Mexico has to offer and look beyond the traditional destinations and attractions. “It’s very important to have a conversation at the beginning to really understand what the couple’s vision for their big day is. We’ll be able to pair them to activities and destinations that they might not have thought of that better reflect their wishes.”

Casaos Conmigo

@casaosconmigo | http://www.casaosconmigo.com

Photos: @casaosconmigo I @valentinacorroweddingplanner

An accidental but passionate wedding planner, Lara Morato fell into the wedding planning industry when her fiancé’s job took her from her native Barcelona, Spain, to Santiago de Chile, where she found herself planning and executing her own destination wedding - before the term had even been invented.
Thanks to her background in high-end corporate events, Lara found she was an absolute natural at it and when she became busy with her newborn daughter and her husband’s job took them to Mexico, she decided to give up her demanding day job and set herself up with international certifications that would open her newborn business, Casaos Conmigo, up to the US and other international markets.
 
Today, Casaos Conmigo specializes in destination weddings, multicultural and LGBTQ+ weddings, celebrating love in all its forms and creating the experience of a lifetime for couples and guests alike.
 

Photos: @casaosconmigo I @valentinacorroweddingplanner

According to Lara, Mexico is one of the top spots for destination weddings on this side of the Atlantic, thanks to its culture of service, events, celebrations, and hosting. Anywhere you go in Mexico, you’ll find something to please couples, families, and guests of all ages and cultures: from the white sandy beaches of the Riviera Maya (Cancun, Tulum, Playa del Carmen), to the cultural heritage of places such as San Miguel de Allende, to the cosmopolitan buzz of Mexico City.

The Mexican capital in particular is fast becoming a hotspot for international couples who are attracted by the cultural potential, its multiculturality, its geographically advantageous location, and of course its amazing street food such as tamales, quesadillas, and tacos.

If planned properly, destination weddings in Mexico can really involve all your five senses. Beautiful locations to behold, delicious local food to taste, traditional music and dance to listen to, and of course the most stunning artisanal products to use as decorations.

“Because of Mexico’s culture of production and its wealth of artisanal crafts” Lara continues, “couples are able to actualize their dream wedding in all its parts: from the flowers to the reception design and decor to the architecture to the food… We have all the elements to put together a great party!”

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Lara’s top advice for couples looking into Mexico for their destination wedding is to do your research very well and make sure you pick the wedding planner you really click with. “Every couple, and therefore every wedding, is completely different. As a wedding planner you will end up spending 6 to 12 months in constant communication with the couple, sharing some very intimate and personal moments, so mutual trust and understanding are absolutely key.”

We bet if you were on the fence about getting married, you've made up your mind now, just to have an excuse to see all these beautiful places! Continue your inspiring journey with the recommendations below from our guest wedding planners for gifts ideas!"

 

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