Wedding Vow Renewal in Mexico
Five years ago, we made the decision to return to the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar Resort, located in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. We thought about doing something extra special for this milestone. That’s when the idea to have a vow renewal in Mexico was hatched.
We’ve heard about wedding vow renewal ceremonies, but we did not know anyone who has actually done a vow renewal. We had many questions. How does one host vow renewal ceremony? Where do we begin?
We had a great experience getting married at the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar, so we reached out to the resort to see if they hosted vow renewal events. Fortunately, the resort host a variety of vow renewal ceremonies all the time.
The more we bounced around the idea, the more we liked it.
Hosting a small ceremony on the beach was the perfect compliment to our Mexico family vacation. And, it allowed our boys and parents to be involved. So we went for it!
About our Vow Renewal in Mexico
The planning process is easy. It’s similar to when we planned our wedding, so it felt familiar (it was also quite nostalgic!). The Iberostar Paraiso del Mar uses its wedding packages and revises them for the vow renewal ceremony. We decided that we wanted our ceremony to be short, simple and elegant.
The first step in the process is to choose your wedding package.
We went with the Star Package, which is the most basic option. For our ceremony, we chose the beach location, instead of the gazebo location (which is more private). When we were married 10 years ago we chose the gazebo option because we wanted the privacy. A downside for the beach ceremony is that there are lots of half naked people watching you.
We decided to do the ceremony at 5:00 PM because we didn’t want it to be too hot and we hoped for a nice sunset. It’s also a better time for photos.
What’s included in the Star Package
- On-site wedding specialist
- Minister, judge or priest
- Witnesses (if required)
- Setup of wedding venue (canopy, chairs and table with white linen)
- Cava toast after the ceremony
- Bride’s fresh floral bouquet and matching groom’s boutonnière
- Traditional white frosting cake decorated with fresh flowers
- Wedding dinner in a specialty restaurant (one hour and a half)
This applies for the first 10 people. There’s an additional charge of $20 per person after that.
Planning our Vow Renewal in Mexico
We were assigned a wedding coordinator to assist with the logistics. All of our communication pre-trip was via email. She was very helpful. We felt like we were in good hands.
When we arrived, we met with our coordinator a couple days before the ceremony and confirmed the plans for the ceremony. The meeting was less than one hour.
There are plenty of options available, like runners, bows, tiki torches, mariachi band, violinist and more. You can customize your ceremony to meet your expectations. Most requests can be accommodated.
You’ll also need to pick songs for the ceremony. A high-tech sound system is available and there’s a person dedicated to managing the mic and music. They had our songs pre-loaded and the coordinator made sure the right songs were played at the right time.
We opted for white linens and a simple décor. The standard flower options included gerber daisies or lilies. We chose white lilies for our flowers. You can see the set-up in the photos below.
The resort has an on-site photographer, Adventure Photos. We met with them and went over our simple needs. The photographer came out for about 30 minutes and we selected about 20 photos. They gave us the original files (some are included in this post) and we also had a nice hard-copy photo album created.
The ceremony was perfect. It was exactly what we hoped for.
Above – this is the small set-up on the beach with white linen.
One of the reasons we chose the Iberostar Paraiso del Mar for our wedding (10 years ago) was because they only do one wedding per day. That was important to us because we didn’t want to feel rushed and we didn’t want to compete with another wedding for time and attention.
While planning our vow renewal, we felt like the resort still follows this practice of only one ceremony a day (wedding or vow renewal). I’m not sure if this is still the case, so if this is important to you, you should confirm with the resort directly.
Sand Ceremony with our boys
An option that was offered to us by our wedding coordinator was a Sand Ceremony.
We were each given a bottle with a different colour sand (we had light blue, white, green and tan).
After we renewed our vows, we each poured a little sand in a little jar. The result was a colourful swirl of sand that was contributed by each of us (see photo below). It’s meant to represent our family bond.
This was a really nice way to involve our boys and it gave us something to take home to remember the day.
Each of us took turns pouring sand into this bottle.
This bottle of sand now sits on the mantle in our living room.
It’s a fun reminder about our wedding vow renewal in Mexico.
The unexpected surprise
When we were introduced to the minister, Cameron immediately recognized him. We asked him, “how long have you been doing ceremonies at this resort?”
His response was, “about 10 years now”.
“You married us 10 years ago!” we replied.
Imagine that! He is the minister who married us 10 years ago. What are the odds of that?
He was thrilled to learn he would be marrying us a second time. He was also happy to see that our union had produced two cute boys. We could tell this moment was equally special for him, too.
The vow renewal speech he prepared was incredibly heartwarming. If we’re being totally honest, we actually loved those words more than our actual wedding vows!
Cheers! At the end of the ceremony the adults had champagne and the boys had fresh lemonade. I’m pretty sure Connor drank three glasses of lemonade. He was bouncing off the walls.
Braydon was very excited to wear a tie. He wanted to wear this outfit every day.
Thankfully, we now have photos of our boys dressed up on the beach!
Who says you can’t make sand angels? Okay, maybe he had too much lemonade.
Braydon didn’t make it. He fell asleep and needed to be carried back to the room.
We appreciate the small details that the hotel provides. We had a nice welcome package, an oceanfront view, champagne upon arrival, stuffies for our boys and rose petals on our bed after the ceremony.
It is clear that the staff want to make the visit special. They were successful.
We had a fun vow renewal ceremony in Mexico and would highly recommend the experience. The planning process was easy and the hotel did a great job executing the plan. We didn’t have to worry about anything, which gave us more time to enjoy our family vacation.
If you’re considering a vow renewal, do it! You won’t regret it.
We’re thankful for the memories that were created on this trip. We will cherish these memories and look back on this experience with big smiles.
We wrote a resort review about this Mexico all-inclusive resort a few years ago – read the post here.
Here’s a short video about the resort – watch it here.