Take the Plunge in Cabo

Weddings are a dream in Los Cabos.

By: Julee Binder

Getting married in paradise makes perfect sense to Cabo-based wedding planner, Sergio Morales. Couples can tie the knot at a luxurious resort in Cabo San Lucas for the same price as holding the wedding in their own hometown. “The obligated guests, the people you feel obligated to invite, they will stay at home because of the travel expenses,” he said. “That means you will have fewer guests, and the guests who do go will be real family and real friends.”

According to Patrick Sanchez, vice president of marketing for the Los Cabos Hotel Association, Cabo San Lucas is a great spot for a wedding. “It’s still a well-kept secret. We have the Sea of Cortez on one side, the Pacific Ocean on the other, with breathtaking mountain and desert terrain in between,” he said. “It’s an incredibly romantic and intimate setting.”

Between the beaches, the sunsets and the incredible views, locations for that special day are not hard to come by in this Baja resort. Couples exchange vows in private beach ceremonies, under palapas outside the big hotels, on decks at private villas, on the water via charter boats and even below the waves in scuba ceremonies.

Baja Weddings owner Coleen Fagan has done several underwater weddings. “Because the local minister is a certified diver, we coordinate weddings for couples that are also certified divers,” she said. “The judge performs the civil ceremony on the dock and then the couple and the minister dive into the Sea of Cortez and he writes their vows on a slate underwater.” If one or both of the couple is not a certified diver, they can become certified in three days while vacationing in Cabo.

Besides ceremony locations, Cabo also offers plenty of options for wedding-related events like rehearsal dinners, golf outings, spa retreats, fishing trips, dinner cruises and more.

“You have so many activities that are so diverse the spas, the golfing, the fishing,” said Sanchez. “Visitors can participate together or enjoy our little haven by themselves.”

For travel agents, a destination wedding in Cabo can be a very lucrative endeavor, with anywhere from 20 to 200 guests flying in from all over and requiring accommodations. Some agents may want to go the next step and work directly with a hotel or ceremony location, in tandem with local vendors to arrange the event. But for larger groups, a local wedding planner is a good choice.

“I Do” Celebrations! owner and wedding planner Debra Slagle strongly encourages agents to use planners simply because coordinating so many details from afar can be stressful. “With an experienced consultant, local knowledge and experience can save travel agents time and money and can offer clients a stress-free celebration,” she said.

Slagle also pointed out that many brides require much personal attention when planning their big day, perhaps even more attention than an agent is accustomed to providing. And when a second language and a foreign country are involved, communication can become complicated.

Once contacted by a couple or agent, coordinators begin making arrangements for both the legal and civil ceremonies, flowers, food, photography, related events and more. “We produce the ‘country club wedding’ in Cabo San Lucas,” said Mary Bragg, founder and owner of Weddings in Paradise (as well as area landmark Pancho’s Restaurant and Tequila Bar). Bragg began planning weddings over eight years ago, and along with her associates has arranged over 600 weddings in Cabo.

Most independent planners do not handle transportation to and from Baja, nor do they book lodgings. And according to Bragg, “When it comes to weddings, people are willing to spend a lot, not only on the actual ceremony but also on the accommodations. It’s a special occasion and they often want something very, very special,” she said.

Cabo wedding planners work with agents on a fairly consistent basis, paying referral fees based on the size of the wedding. The relationship between planner and agent can work the other way as well wedding planners refer business to agents when it comes to booking airfare and hotels.

“We had one agent that we sent many couples to because he did such a professional job and we liked working with him,” Bragg said. “We want to work with agents who are very responsive to the client. When people are coming for their wedding they expect service above all else.”

Bragg also stressed the importance of the agent-planner relationship, when planning an event. “We know which properties are flexible, which are easy to work with or are more appropriate for various clients,” said Bragg. "

Weddings in Paradise

Owner: Mary Bragg



Pays commissions depending on size and scope of event.

Perfect Events Cabo

Owner: Sergio Morales



Offers commissions on items such as the DJ, the flowers and the cost of providing the legal paperwork.

“I Do” Celebrations!

Owner: Debra Papera-Slagle, CWC

972-659-9533 - Dallas

011-52-624-105-0129 - Cabo San Lucas office



Pays commissions depending on size and scope of event.

Baja Weddings

Owner: Coleen Fagan



Pays 10 percent referral fee.

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