80625: Reader Mail: Marry in Mexico or Jamaica?

Dear Lovetripper,

I am obsessed with planning my destination wedding in Feb-April of 09 and the more I research (8-9 hours a day) the more unsure of myself I am becoming. I LOVE Mexico and was sure I was going to plan a wedding there (adult resort). Was looking at
*El Dorado Royale (Casita Suites category)
*El Dorado Seaside Suites *Occidental Royal Hideaway (the Hideaway Suite) *Excellence Riviera Cancun (honeymoon suite ocean view Excellence Club) *Secrets Capri Riviera (either an Oceanfront Junior Suite or the upgrade to the Governor One Bedroom Suite) I then became aware of Jamaica. I have been looking at Couples Swept Away (Beachfront verandah suites) or Couples Negril. Then I wonder what is the difference between Couples and Sandals. Sandals looks great! I am driving myself crazy! I want a great grounds resort, awesome pools, swim up bars, great attitude, great food. –S.P.

Dear S.P.,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! Selecting your destination just might be the toughest part of the whole process!

Mexico is a very popular destination for weddings and the hotels you mentioned are good choices. Weddings in Mexico are required, by law, to be performed in Spanish although your wedding coordinator at the resort will act as your translator if the two of you don’t speak Spanish. Also, you’ll need to obtain blood tests when you arrive in Mexico but the wedding planner can help with those arrangements as well.

Jamaica’s a great place for a wedding; regulations are simpler there (no blood tests!) We just returned from Couples last month; we stayed at Couples Swept Away and visited Couples Negril for the day. Both are excellent resorts. The difference between the two? Couples Swept Away is on the seven-mile stretch of beach in Negril so it’s very easy to walk along the beach and go off property to local beach bars, nightclubs, etc. Couples Swept Away has a huge sports complex on property with tennis, squash, racquetball, a spa, and also has more healthy drink/food options (although plenty of decadent ones as well!) Couples Negril doesn’t have the extensive sports options, is located on a great beach but not the main Negril Beach, and has a small clothing optional beach if that’s of interest.

We interviewed the wedding planner at Couples Swept Away and she’s a real pro; she can assist with any wedding plans you have. Also, each Couples resort offers several off-property excursions for no charge. We hopped a shuttle one evening to visit The Sands, a beach bar down on the cliffs of Negril; other excursions from Couples Swept Away take guests shopping or visit Margaritaville Negril.

Sandals properties are also very nice. One difference with the Sandals properties is that they offer transportation to other Sandals properties in the same town; for example, if you are staying at Sandals Montego Bay, you can hop the free shuttle and visit/play/dine at Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals Inn, both also in Montego Bay.

Both Couples and Sandals are all-inclusive properties with a long list of included activities and amenities. It’s a tough choice to make!

Best wishes, Paris and John

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