Christmas is a magical time of year, so what better time to tie the knot? Christmas weddings are the perfect chance to show off your personality and show your guests the time of their lives. Here are Christmas wedding ideas to help turn your nuptials into a day that no one will ever forget.
1. Go Christmas boho with a winter floral crown.
It’s just too pretty! Not only do the red, white and silver look perfect together, but they’ll also work against most Christmas colour schemes.
2. Spread Christmas cheer in every corner.
A good table decoration is all in the details and, when your big day takes place during the most decoration-friendly time of the year, what’s the point in holding back?
Give your guests something to talk about during those awkward few minutes at at the tables. Ginger Ray have some super-cute tiny Christmas hats to stick on glasses and champagne flutes, and their straws with flags are pretty perfect, too.
3. Who needs fruit cake when you’ve got yule log?
Who doesn’t love a bit of yule log? It’s a Christmas classic and much more fun than traditional cake. For an extra festive twist, ask for chocolate orange filling.
4. Bring the outside, inside.
If you’ve been dreaming of the perfect winter scene for your festive nuptials, then go all-out inside.
5.Go lights mad at the reception.
There’s nothing like walking into a wedding reception to be greeted by a room full of tealights, fairy lights and candles. The softer light is ultra-flattering in photos (it covers a multitude of sins) and looks magical at Christmas.
6.Wear a dress straight out of a fairy tale.
Not content with making our wedding days feel like fairy tales, now there are tons of planners, dressmakers and companies willing to make them into actual fairy tales.
Not only is this Alfred Angelo dress too pretty for words, it’s also based on Elsa’s dress in Frozen. The dress was part of the Disney Fairy Tale Weddings collection by Alfred Angelo Collection, which debuted in October.
7.Recreate a Christmas market
Go as low-key or as big as your budget will allow… hire a German band, serve pretzels at the reception (perfect for lining your stomach) or even set up a stall outside giving out bratwurst, roast chestnuts and mulled wine.
8. Tiny festive food is filling and fun.
How about mini mince pies or gingerbread biscuits for canapes?
9. Have fun with festive nail art.
You and your bridemaids’ nails are the perfect place to inject some Christmas cheer. Seasonal nail art is subtle and is even suitable for flower girls to make them feel part of the dressing-up process.
10. Have children write their Christmas lists and mail them to Santa.
11. Forget the flowers altogether and try these pine cone bouquets.
12. And finally, a classic: welcome your evening guests with mulled wine.
Playa del Carmen is a fun beach town on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, part of the Riviera Maya. Smaller and less touristy than Cancun, it’s becoming a popular travel destination for people looking for travel experiences.
So what to do in Playa del Carmen? ...
1. Cenote Diving/Snorkeling.
Cenote is an underground cave filled with fresh water. The Yucatan has tons of them — sinkholes that open up into underground rivers with the clearest water you’ve ever seen.
If you have your PADI license, you can go scuba diving in these caves with a guide. Because there’s daylight near the entrance a more technical cave diving license isn’t required. Some good ones include : Cenote Dos Ojos, Cenote Azul, Garden of Eden, Gran Cenote, and more.
2. Visit Mayan Ruins.
The ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum are located South of Playa del Carmen in the town of Tulum. A must-visit if you’re in the area. Tulum was once a small but important port city for the Mayans. Along with impressive structures on the edge of a cliff, it has a beach below where you can swim too.
Because Tulum is so popular, it can be crowded unless you arrive early in the morning. Coba is another Mayan site near Playa del Carmen which sees less visitors. You can still climb the pyramid there too.
3. Swim With Sea Turtles.
Akumal is home to pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, untouched natural areas and hundreds of turtles who stay in the area because they are protected by the national authorities.
Akumal Bay is becoming more and more popular by the day due to the opportunity to swim alongside Green Turtles, Hawksbill Turtles and Loggerhead sea turtles in the wild.
To visit Akumal, the cheapest way is to take a colectivo taxi headed for Tulum from the stand located on Calle 2 Norte between Avenida 15 and 20 in Playa del Carmen.
4. Boat Trip To Cozumel.
Cozumel is a small island off the coast of Playa del Carmen known for it’s pristine beaches. Normally a stop for cruise ships, you can take a 45 minute ferry over on your own from Playa del Carmen.
An easy & cheap day trip is renting a scooter and driving it around the island where all the best beaches are. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can try hitchhiking around the island instead.
As long as there isn’t a cruise ship in port, you’ll have those white sand beaches to yourself. Plenty of stops on the way for lunch & photos. Jump on the last ferry back to Playa del Carmen around sunset.
The area's golf courses are picturesque and challenging. The most popular courses are the Golf Club Playacar, the Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya and El Camaleón Mayakoba Golf Club. Golf Club Playacar is praised for its well-kept grounds and exemplary service; Grand Coral wins favor with golfers thanks to its fair rates and beautiful design, though some say the greens could use a bit of improvement; and El Camaelón Mayakoba is heralded as a "gem" of a PGA course with well-manicured greens.
Green fees vary by course, but some offer twilight specials and golf packages for vacationers to save on rates. You'll find Golf Club Playacar in southern Playa del Carmen, Grand Coral Golf Riviera Maya in the center of town and El Camaleón Mayakoba at the northern end. For additional information on rates, opening times and more, visit the individual golf courses' websites.
Both experts and travelers say that Xcaret is a sort of Yucatán-style Disneyland, a large outdoor "eco-park" filled with an aviary, a dolphin aquarium, a turtle sanctuary and a beach perfect for swimming, diving or snorkeling.
The park also offers various excursions like dolphin interactions, stingray encounters, shark swims, snuba tours and speedboat rides. Stay the day at Xcaret then enjoy the evening events, which include performances exploring the area's Mayan past. Xcaret is home to a few dining venues as well.
7. La Quinta Avenida.
Playa del Carmen's main street, La Quinta Avenida, runs parallel to the shore and serves as a pedestrian walkway for travelers and locals. The avenue is lined with an assortment of restaurants, hotels, hostels, condominiums and bars, making it one of the best nightlife spots in the city.
High-class restaurants and local bars dominate the nightlife scene of La Quinta. There are plenty of souvenir shops. La Quinta Avenida begins at the intersection with Avenida Juárez and runs north about 4 miles north to the edge of the Grand Riviera Maya Golf Club.
8. Rio Secreto.
Often lauded as one of the best-kept secrets on the Yucatan Peninsula, Rio Secreto (or Secret River) is an underground river and collection of caves. The bright turquoise water contrasts with the caramel- and mocha-colored rock formations within the caves, which include stalactites and stalagmites. Visitors can swim in the river, climb through the caves and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.
Recent travelers said this adventure was the highlight of their trip to Playa del Carmen, noting that the tour was fascinating and that they learned a lot about the Mayans and the land's natural history. Many also said this is a great rainy day activity since most of the exploration occurs underground.
For vacationers that want direct beach access and ocean-view rooms, here are the best beachfront hotels to make your planning easier. Take a look at the best beach hotels in Playa del Carmen.
1. Grand Velas Riviera Maya
The Grand Velas -- set on over 80 acres of mangroves that meet a postcard-perfect beach of white sand and turquoise waters-- is one of Riviera Maya’s most sophisticated properties. It features 491 top-notch suites spread out in three different buildings (two family-friendly, one adults-only), all with their own stunning pool complexes, gyms, and restaurants. The property is so huge guests will need to take a three-minute shuttle ride from the farthest building to the beach, but the hotel’s spotless service, outstanding food, luxurious spa, and wonderful amenities make it a great pick for discerning (and well-heeled) travelers.
2. The Royal Hideaway Playacar
The Royal Hideaway is a member of exclusive hospitality consortium Leading Hotels of the World, and as such is one of the most luxurious properties in the area. It features upscale rooms with high-end amenities, a full-service spa with great treatments, several pools, and the best food around. The beautiful grounds, overall sophisticated vibe, adults-only policy, and beautiful beachfront location a short drive from shopping on Playa’s Fifth Avenue make it one of the most attractive options for couples in Playacar.
3. Hotel Esencia
The former estate of an Italian duchess, the ultra-luxurious Esencia oozes Mediterranean elegance and style. With just 29 rooms spread over 50 acres, the property feels intimate and exclusive, and shows a thorough attention to detail in everything from the services to the decor. Upscale, contemporary rooms are housed in two-story buildings set amid lush tropical grounds, and feature lots of high-end amenities, including pre-loaded iPods, Molton Brown toiletries, and in some, even private plunge pools. The gorgeous spa, excellent restaurant, and relaxing pools with ocean views are highlights.
4. Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun.
Located on the Riviera Maya, south of Cancun, the 412-room Secrets Maroma Beach Riviera Cancun is a romantic, adults-only all-inclusive resort, set on a private white-sand beach lined with sunbeds, cabanas, and palapas. In addition to the buffet, a wide range of high-quality dining options are available, including Japanese teppanyaki, French cuisine, a wine cellar with over 200 different vintages, and, for an extra charge, romantic dinners for two on the beach. A stunning destination-style spa offers couples' treatments in private outdoor cabanas on the beach. Rooms are large and tasteful, with four-poster canopy beds, separate sitting areas, and private balconies; ground floor rooms are swim-up suites.
5. Blue Diamond Riviera Maya by BlueBay.
Blue Diamond Riviera Maya by BlueBay is an excellent option for couples looking for a more intimate and luxurious all-inclusive option outside of the hustle of Cancun. The four-and-a-half pearl property is spread out over gorgeous grounds that are partially manicured and artistic and partially jungle-like and wild so the overall ambiance is natural and feels almost isolated. No kids allowed means the two swimming pools, sandy beach, and plethora of restaurants are generally quiet and relaxing. Adult-friendly facilities include a sleek spa (free access to use the steam room and pool), cigar lounge, and one of the best equippedgyms in Mexico. Suites and casitas come standard with private outdoor bathtubs and minibars stocked with free drinks.
6. Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda.
Paradisus Playa Del Carmen La Esmeralda is one of the best family-friendly, all-inclusive resorts on the Yucatan Peninsula. This luxury property is located directly on the Caribbean and includes access to a white sand beach. The swimming pool, with a pirate ship playground and a swim-up bar, makes it a popular spot among families and partiers. Even the most affordable rooms here include marble floors and sensory soaking tubs. Upgrading often means swim-up pools and/or kitchenettes.Restaurant and bar options include everything from a show cooking buffet, to Argentinian-style steaks, to burritos, to sushi. Vacationers that go all-out for the Family Concierge level rooms get access to private pools, a tricked out club lounge, and expedited service -- but those who don't book it have reported feeling like second-class citizens.
7. Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso.
The 310-room, luxury, all-inclusive Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso is a Las Vegas-style, adult-only resort on the Riviera Maya. The resort is part of the five-hotel Iberostar complex, and guests at this hotel may use the amenities at all five properties, some of which are family-friendly. The high-end experience starts with champagne upon arrival, and continues with premium liquor, fine dining, a full-service spa, and several pools, including one dedicated to tranquil relaxation. The opulent decor incorporates marble and mosaic floors, glass chandeliers, modern artwork, and artisan-crafted furnishings. The lush, landscaped grounds complete the picture. Rooms are large and upscale, with jetted tubs, glass shower stalls, and personalized minibars.
8.Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa.
This upscale 65-room boutique between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Morelos has a beautiful setting on a white-sand beach, amid a jungle preserve. Contemporary rooms are equipped with original artwork, furniture from the hotel’s own workshops,king beds and either a terrace or a balcony. The great amenities on offer, including three pools, upscale dining, a wonderful spa, and a gorgeous beach, make this a solid pick, but prices are quite steep; other luxury resorts in the area may offer better value.
9. El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel.
Located in central Playa del Carmen, the 57-apartment El Taj Oceanfront & Beachside Condos Hotel is really two adjacent luxury properties in one, sharing facilities and amenities. Two blocks from shopping mecca Fifth Avenue, El Taj is rightly considered one of the area’s best hotels, with a private beach and beach club, a spa, a large, modern gym, and several excellent restaurants, as well as gorgeous rooms, all with private balconies and full kitchens, and some with rooftop decks and private hot tubs. It's worth being aware, however, that many of the hotel's facilities (like the restaurants and gym) are a few minutes away from the hotel.
10. Rosewood Mayakoba.
Rosewood Mayakoba is a gorgeous, peaceful retreat within the resort community of Playa Del Carmen, set on a mile-long stretch of beach. Though it features an extensive children's program, the resort largely attracts couples with its serene atmosphere, upscale restaurants, and spa. The 128 suites feature attractive contemporary decor -- picture clean lines, white walls, and rich woods -- as well as high-tech amenities and private outdoor plunge pools. They have an open-air vibe, with many floor-to-ceiling windows, and the overwater lagoon suites have swim-up access. Plus, suites include freebies such as Wi-Fi, fresh fruit, and bottled water. Seaweed debris along the beach keeps the Rosewood from being flawless (although they diligently attempt to keep it clean by sending staffers to rake it away), but otherwise this hotel is top-notch -- for guests willing to pay top dollar.