Say I Do, Your Way

[Jamil, with no exclamation mark pls] 

 

A wildly romantic, diverse landscape made for once-in-a-lifetime weddings.  

 

By Rachel Roe 

 

Enchanting jungle waterfalls, towering Maya temples, and secluded islands make Belize a highly sought out wedding destinationThrow in a myriad of flights, and itthe ideal choice for couples looking for that perfect package. 

According to The Knot 2017 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding in the United States costs almost US$35,000. Couples are now looking for a more budget friendly option. A destination wedding can fit the bill, with 30 percent to 40 percent lower costs than in the US.  

Not sure where or how to tie-the-knot in Belize? Here are my top suggestions. 

If you want to escape into nature 

Say I do” at  a private waterfall with a champagne toast 

walk down the aisle becomes more magical when it winds through a forest reserve in the Mountain Pine Ridge. Say your vows in front of a crystal clear, 100feet tall waterfall. Then stop for a once in a lifetime photograph on a traditional log bridge, deep in the jungle.  

If you want to be immersed in history 

Say “I do” at a Maya Archeological Site, with a traditional Maya Shaman’s blessing 

Start your big day by crossing a hand cranked drawbridge and entering the Xunantunich Maya SiteRecite your vows atop the same temples where Mayan royalty wed over 1,000 years agoBelize is the only place in the world where you can make this happen. During your ceremony, the spirits of the jungle will echo in your ears, while a traditional Mayan Shaman burns incense to bless your union. 

If you want a classic romance on the high seas 

Say “I do” on a vintage sailboat at a sunset 

Board your vintage sailboat from the heart of San Pedro, on Ambergris Caye. Your captain will be waiting with plenty of champagne and freshly prepared seafood ceviche. As you sail out onto the crystal water, you’ll be able to marry with the sun dipping into the Caribbean Sea. Photo opportunities are incredible on this once-in-a-lifetime journey.  

If you want to party like a local 

Say “I do” on a private beach with a Garifuna band  

If you’re looking for something more traditional, Belize is the perfect choice for a beach wedding. Unlike large tourist destinations, there are plenty of amazing local spots for a private party. An award winning local chef will prepare beachside cuisine, while your guests experience local music and dance right on the sand. Finish the night off with a custom bar and dessert display.  

If you want to be surrounded by the sea 

Say “I do” on a remote sandbar 

Looking for a sunset ceremony on a beach, with privacy and amazing photos? Belize offers incredible 360degree views of turquoise water, and you can say your vows with nothing else in sight. 

A handy Q&A 

Will my wedding be legal? 

Great news: weddings in Belize are recognized internationally. Couples must submit a wedding license applicationwhich the planner or hotel can help completeand remain in Belize for three full business days to complete the legal process. Your wedding planner can also apply for an expedited permit if you want to wed the same day.  

How do I pack my dress?  

recommend hand carrying your dress in a proper garment bag—most airlines will allow you to hang it up on the plane. Once you arrive at your hotel, take the dress out and hang it in the bathroom. The humidity will naturally release most wrinkles. A hand-held steamer can help with the rest.  

 

What about after the wedding?  

The best part about a destination wedding is the time you get to spend with friends and family outside of the wedding day. Most couples will organize a welcome activity, such as snorkeling, Maya Site tour, or cave tubingA rehearsal dinnerto which all guests are usually invited, is then hosted. After the wedding, friends and family can turn the trip into their own vacation. Belize is perfect for families, romance, and adventure. 

Where do I start?  

Start with learning a little more about our country. What type of wedding do you envision? Decide if you’ll be elopinghosting small gathering, or an allout party. Once you have those basics, finding a planner or hotel, and securing the details are easy. 

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