When we were first invited as keynote speakers for the Congreso Latinoamericano de Bodas y Eventos in Mérida, Mexico, our first response was “You know we don’t speak Spanish.” It helped that 70% of the audience of 800 event professionals, wedding designers, and planners spoke English and we also had a translator. Attendees were from Guatemala, Belize, Peru, Brazil, Panama, Chile, and major Mexico cities including Mérida, Mexico City, and Puerta Vallarta just to name a few. We were met with so much enthusiasm by the attendees and we became fast friends, quickly being invited to their cities or countries to speak.
As much as we believe that trends evolve and become unique to us in the U.S., the reality that we discovered with our time in Mérida was that many of these trends are universal. Regardless of the language barrier, we were thrilled by the opportunity to present at this international conference and excited to learn more about the cultural differences in Latin American weddings.
Our biggest surprise could be summed up with the Welcome Event the night of our arrival. With video mapping, mixologists, beautiful tablescapes, stunning lounge furniture, and drones flying overhead, we discovered that the world gets smaller and smaller every year. Although the cultural differences seem to mostly surround the duration of the wedding celebration, certainly the components were very much the same.
If you think working a mid-western wedding takes a lot out of you, imagine the Latin American weddings that can often start in the morning, include lunch, dinner, late night snack, and yes, even breakfast the next morning. Add to that 400-600 of your closest friends and family and then you really have a celebration. There is certainly more of a European influence to their fashion choices, but all in all the events aren’t that different than our own.
Our involvement with the conference went well beyond our presentation and experiencing the amazing displays that were presented in the tradeshow. We had the chance to take a day-long tour to preview luxury accommodations available in and around Mérida. From elegant French-inspired colonial mansions to revitalized haciendas with imposing architectural settings, we enjoyed seeing the options available for the locals and destination wedding travelers alike. Our favorite features included beautiful gardens in small and cozy private haciendas and the private pools to cool off from the sweltering heat. We’d recommend going at a time other than the end of July, but what was nice was that there were very few tourists this time of the year.
Yucatán’s hospitality is second-to-none and we’re honored to have been asked to speak at Congreso Latinoamericano de Bodas y Eventos. Check out our picks for Mérida, Yucatán, must-sees.