Saturday, April 20, 2024

Why are more Indian couples choosing to marry in Mexico?

In this exclusive interview with Mexico News Daily, Valentina Corro, a wedding planner who specializes in Indian weddings in Mexico, shares her insights into captivating Indian wedding traditions, the costs associated with hosting an Indian wedding in Mexico, and more. 

The colors of India and Mexico are remarkably similar. Imagine an Indian wedding taking place in Mexico: A golden explosion of colors, including yellows, bright pinks, and lots of orange, reminiscent of the cempasúchil flower used in the altars of the traditional Day of the Dead. Envision the traditional “Baraat” of Indian weddings, the procession of the groom with his family and friends, either on horseback or on an mounted on an amazing elephant, with the backdrop of the blue ocean in Cancún, the Ángel de Independencia, or the magical colonial streets of San Miguel de Allende behind. Every year, more and more Indian weddings are celebrated in Mexico, and it isn’t hard to see why.

What does a traditional Indian wedding ceremony look like?

Traditional Indian weddings typically take place over three days. They begin with a celebration known as the “Mehndi”, where the bride’s skin is painstakingly decorated with intricate henna paintings. Then, the couple are blessed during the “Haldi,” when yellow turmeric powder is thrown to bring luck to the marriage. This is followed by the “Sangeet,” a brightly colored festival of flavor and color that proceeds the Baraat.  

Finally, on the third day, the wedding ceremony itself takes place. The “Samskara” is a rite that represents sacred trust between the newly wedded couple.

When did you start seeing more people planning Indian weddings in Mexico? 

I have been a wedding planner for 13 years and I started specializing in destination weddings for foreigners in Mexico nine years ago, which led to my first Indian couple interested in getting married in Mexico City in 2018. 

For me, it was something very different, before this, Indian weddings had never been received in Mexico City. Cities like Cancún, Los Cabos and San Miguel de Allende have been recognized as destinations for Indian weddings for about 15 years. Now there is a new trend that started in 2018 — National Geographic mentioned Mexico City as the best destination to travel in 2019, and I think that triggered a boom, a trend in the destination.

What extraordinary experiences stand out in the Indian weddings you have planned in Mexico?

We have to get some elements for the ceremony that are very specific, like dried coconuts, banana leaves, different fruits and seeds, which can sometimes be a challenge to source, although we always do our best to comply with every request.

All couples are looking for new experiences, from finding a very original destination like Mexico City and the surrounding areas, to discovering original experiences that can make guests say “wow” — which is our biggest challenge. For one of our recent weddings, we took the bride and groom out in a helicopter.

What are the latest trends in international weddings or destination weddings in Mexico? 

I think that Mexico offers a higher level of hospitality and the trend is to have experiences that include different wedding days where the bride and groom can get to know better their guests and discover new experiences in the destination. These might include tourist attractions, a trip to Xochimilco or Teotihuacán before the wedding day; an icebreaker on a large terrace, in a skyscraper or in one of the many parks we have in the city. Then the main wedding day is celebrated, and afterward there is a brunch or some other tourist activity.  I think this trend is occurring all over Mexico, not just in Mexico City, and as long as there is a guide who can orient and help execute this multi-day experience with good logistics, I think Indian weddings in Mexico will be the trend for the next ten years. They will continue to take place in big venues, with big productions and” wow” effects, all across the country. I am very excited because I love to see people leaving Mexico and talking amazingly about it, people wanting to come back and invite others to come — that is great.

How much would you estimate an Indian wedding in Mexico cost vs the U.S. or India?

In Mexico, the cost of an Indian wedding is not necessarily less than in the U.S., but you can certainly get more for the same price. One big difference is that you can not get an amazing setting in the U.S., whereas in Mexico, you can find historical, archaeological and natural wonders to host your dream wedding ceremony. I advise starting planning for the wedding a year in advance because it is necessary to make two visits. The first visit should be to select the venues for the Haldi, Mehndi, Ceremony, Baraat, Sangeet and Reception. It is also important to choose the hotel that your guests will be staying in. The second visit should be to finalize important details such as the menu tastings and makeup trials, as well as the events for the days of the wedding. 

Many couples shared with MND that they were happy to see their money go 25-30% further by hosting their wedding in Mexico. And their guests were even happier to not only spend less on their travel and accommodations, but they got the added bonus of a Mexican vacation!

(Pipe Gaber)

What makes Mexico an ideal place to host your Indian wedding?

First, the similarity in the culture, and secondly the tourist attractions. Mexico’s cities offer completely different events, celebrations, and can really provide a complete wedding experience. In particular, Mexico City has world-class hotels like the St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Sofitel and Hyatt Regency, so it has the glamour that they are looking for. Indian couples are looking for a good travel experience, good logistics, more tourist attractions, great suppliers and wedding productions, but also extra glamour — particularly great hotels with outstanding hospitality across the board. All these points have contributed to an emerging trend of marrying in Mexico. The production values for this type of wedding, and the advantages that Mexico offers these couples are countless.

I think there is a great similarity between the cultures and that is why Indian couples have been very attracted: there is a familiarity in the food, the color, the folklore, the music, the way our people are, the hospitality, we feel very similar. We identify very much.

Ana Paula de la Torre is a Mexican journalist and collaborator of various media such as Milenio, Animal Político, Vice, Newsweek en Español, Televisa and Mexico News Daily.


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