Destination elopements are one of my FAVORITE ways for couples like you to get hitched. You get to travel to a beautiful location, marry the love of your life, and then roam and explore said location?? Sounds like the absolute dream to me!
In this blog, I’m breaking down all the ins and outs of eloping in Tulum, Mexico! I took a trip to Tulum not too long ago and it inspired me to work with more couples choosing this epic destination to get married. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let’s go over some elopement basics first!
What is an elopement? An elopement, in short, can be whatever the hell you want it to be. Typically, it’s a private wedding ceremony held without friends or family, sometimes in a location away from home. That’s the technical definition, but we most certainly don’t play by the rules here. You can elope in your backyard with your friends and family, you can hike to a mountain peak and elope with just the two of you, or you can fly to Tulum and make your tropical elopement dreams come true! It’s all up to you… no one else can make the rules for you here.
Why do couples choose to elope? There are tons of reasons why couples choose to have an intimate elopement vs a large wedding. Most of the time it has a lot to do with simply not wanting the stress of planning an elaborate event. Some couples are just more private by nature and want to reflect that in the way they choose to get married, ya know? And when you don’t have the large expense of paying for a gigantic wedding, you can use that money to exchange vows in a unique and scenic location.
Why should you elope in Tulum? Uhhh… more like why SHOULDN’T you elope in Tulum. The tropical vibes, the epic beaches, the warm weather… I’m having trouble coming up with any negatives for eloping at this Carribean destination. So that leads us perfectly into the meat of this blog, how to elope in Tulum, Mexico!
When should you elope in Tulum?
First off, we’ll talk about the weather in Tulum and when you should elope there! As you can guess, Tulum has a pretty tropical climate with warm and humid conditions year-round. The rainy season usually starts up in May and lasts until October, with Sept and Oct the absolute wettest months of the year (aka don’t get married during those months unless you want to get soaked!). In my professional (and researched) opinion, the best time to get married or elope in Tulum is between the months of November and April when the weather is gloriously dry and sunny! The temperatures during this time can range anywhere from 75°F to 85°F.
Are you inviting guests to your Tulum elopement?
We briefly covered this topic in the intro, but I have a few more things to say. Some couples feel guilty not inviting their friends and family because they’re worried people are going to get offended. While I totally understand your POV, at the end of the day, it’s YOUR elopement! If you and your partner seriously would rather it be just the two of you… that’s what should happen. Alternatively, if you can’t imagine getting married without your favorite people there… then that’s awesome too!
Keep in mind that the more people you invite, the more expensive your elopement is going to be. For my budget-conscious couples, having guests there might not feel worth it to you financially. And that’s allowed! You’ll also be responsible for arranging transportation & accommodations for your guests unless you’re hiring a destination elopement planner. If you’re trying to have the most stress-free elopement as humanly possible, elope just the two of you and then have a party back home to celebrate with your peeps. EVERYONE WINS!
Choosing the perfect Tulum elopement venue
Ah, yes, one of the most exciting parts about elopement planning. Tulum offers a variety of epic venues for elopements, including more traditional ones, beach locations, and jungle hideaways. Some of the more popular venues include:
16TULUM – I have personally stayed here and can tell you that it’s one of the best places on planet Earth. It’s actually a totally private villa so all of your guests can stay onsite with you! 12/10 recommend. All of the photos in this blog were taken at this villa!
A few venue selection tips:
Once you start looking at all the possibilities, things might get a tad overwhelming. You might be thinking “Gaahhh! How am I supposed to choose??” Well! First, think about your budget. Not all venues are priced the same, and some will be more expensive than others. If having an expensive venue isn’t on your priority list, then look for less expensive options!
Additionally, if you’re having guests, I would consider the accessibility factor. Research the distance from the main airport and transportation options for any given venue before making a decision! And lastly, don’t forget to choose a Tulum elopement venue that reflects your personal style and preferred atmosphere. Are you more of a laid-back beachy venue couple, or an upscale luxurious venue couple? Choose your location accordingly!
Outdoor Tulum elopement locations
So… you don’t wanna get married at a venue. You’d rather find an epic outdoor location that’s super rad and adventurous. I’M HERE FOR IT! Here are some of the top outdoor Tulum elopement locations.
Playa Paraiso: Palm trees?? White sand?? Crystal clear water?? Yes, yes, and yes. This spot has everything you could possibly want for the perfect beach elopement in Tulum. It’s more secluded and private compared to your next options, but there also isn’t as much to do nearby.
Tulum Beach: This beach is actually located in Tulum, whereas Playa Paraiso is located in the Riviera Maya (only 15 minutes away). This spot can get a little crowded during peak season, but that’s because it’s infamous for its super stunning shoreline and turquoise waters. There are also tons of bars, restaurants, cafes, and shops nearby!
Casa de las Olas: This is technically a hotel, but it’s right in the middle of a 1.3 million-acre biosphere, Sian Ka’an. Sooooo staying at Casa de las Osas means you can leave at any time and walk to a beautifully lush and tropical jungle elopement location? AND you can book a private tour of the biosphere if you’re feeling adventurous (which, you probably are).
Kin Toh Treehouse: This is a literal treehouse restaurant in the middle of the Mayan jungle. You can host your elopement here AND have some pretty great food while you’re at it. It’s a two-in-one!
Cenote Dos Ojos: This is one of the most popular cenotes on the Yucatan Peninsula. The crystal clear waters and dramatic rock formations make this a pretty memorable elopement location, especially if you want to go snorkeling afterward!
Gran Cenote: Located just a few kilometers from Tulum, Gran Cenote is one of the top diving spots in the entire Riviera Maya. It actually consists of several smaller cenotes along the jungle floor that are connected by wooden walkways. Um, yeah, that sounds cool as hell. I’ll meet you there!
Tulum Ruins: The ancient ruins of Tulum offer such a unique and especially historic backdrop for your elopement. With breathtaking views of the ocean and ancient Mayan architecture, you’ll have the most EPIC elopement photos to look back on!
Coba Ruins: The Coba ruins are situated deeeeep in the jungle, giving you a secluded and mystical setting for your elopement. There are TOWERING pyramids at the Coba Ruins as well as lush, tropical greenery!
Tips for selecting outdoor elopement locations in Tulum
When choosing your outdoor elopement location in Tulum, there are a few things to keep in mind! The first thing to consider is the lighting and atmosphere that the location provides depending on the time of day. Do you want a sunrise or sunset elopement? How will the scenery look during those times? Will you have plenty of time to travel and get there “on time”?
Additionally, you’ll need to think about the weather! Since it gets hot and humid in Tulum, so when you elope outdoors, you’ll need to plan accordingly so that something like heat stroke doesn’t become an issue ya know? And, of course, you’ll need to check to see if any of the outdoor elopement locations require permits to hold a wedding ceremony! This is something that I can totally help you with, too.
Booking your Tulum elopement vendors
Obviously, you’re going to need to book your elopement vendors, but it’s totally up to you which ones! Some couples want to go the real simple route and only hire a photographer and officiant. Others want the whole shebang! Here are some tips for researching and booking your Tulum elopement vendors.
Photographer: Hi, that’s me! Hiring a professional photographer is essential to capturing the special, weird, and in-between moments of your elopement. Choose a photographer that has experience shooting small weddings and elopements and who also has a portfolio that you love!! You also want to make sure you get along with them on a personal level since they’ll be with you… all day! I love having close relationships with my couples because that helps me get to know them and their story so much better. Which, in turn, helps me authentically document their elopement!
Planner: If you’re inviting guests, it’s highly recommended that you hire a destination wedding planner. Even if you aren’t having guests, a planner who is familiar with the area can provide expertise and location-specific information that you may not know otherwise! They can help with finding accommodations, booking extracurricular activities, and even getting you some pretty sick flight deals.
Officiant: To legally get married in Tulum, you must have a civil ceremony conducted by a Mexican judge. Howeverrrrrrr, you can also hire an officiant to perform a symbolic ceremony! Most destination wedding couples opt for getting legally married back home to avoid the headache of paperwork in a foreign country. Having a symbolic ceremony is definitely the simplest way to go.
Flowers and decor: Unless you already found a florist that you would die for and are willing to pay their travel fees, local is always best! Florists that are familiar with Tulum can provide native tropical flowers and foliage to create on-brand arrangements for you.
DIY decor options: Of course, you can totally create some DIY decor with natural elements in Tulum like shells and driftwood. This is a cool route if you’re already a DIY queen (and know what the heck you’re doing) and don’t need a ton of decor for something like reception tables!
How to legally elope in Tulum
Like I said before, having a symbolic ceremony is the simplest way to elope in Tulum. However, I’m here to give you all of your options!
Civil ceremony requirements: To have a legal wedding in Tulum, you must have a civil ceremony conducted by a Mexican judge or justice of the peace.
Documents required: Couples must provide several documents, including passports, tourist cards, and birth certificates. If applicable, you must also provide divorce or death certificates. And lastly, both parties have to undergo a pre-wedding blood test while in Mexico!
Symbolic ceremony requirements: Couples who do not want to go through the legal requirements of a civil ceremony can opt for a symbolic ceremony instead. A symbolic ceremony allows couples to have a personalized and non-legal ceremony without the legal requirements of a civil ceremony! You can hire a non-denominational minister or officiant to perform this type of ceremony in Tulum.
How to get around Tulum
Tulum offers several super convenient transportation options if you’re looking to explore the area! Which, if you’re traveling all the way here, you might as well do some adventuring. Taxis are readily available and are a great way to get around, but be sure to negotiate the fare beforehand to avoid overpaying. Biking is another popular (and eco-friendly!) option, with several bike rental shops in town offering pretty affordable rates. Biking is a great way to explore the town and the surrounding areas, and you can take your time to enjoy the sights at your own pace.
For couples looking for a bit more excitement, scooters are also available for rent in Tulum!! They can be a fun way to explore the area, but be sure to wear a helmet (safety first) and drive defensively. If you’re looking to venture a bit farther than bikes or scooters can get you, the ADO bus system provides affordable transportation to nearby towns and attractions. However, it can be crowded and slow at times, so be prepared for a bit of a wait! Not a great method if you’ve got somewhere to be at a certain time and are already in a rush.
Tips for getting around Tulum:
Plan ahead: Research transportation options and plan your route ahead of time to save time and avoid getting lost (although getting lost could make for a great story…)
Stay safe: Be cautious when using public transportation, and always keep an eye on your belongings to avoid theft.
Be respectful: When biking or driving, be mindful of pedestrians and respect the local traffic laws.
Enjoy the scenery: Tulum is a beautiful place, and getting around by bike or scooter can be a fun way to take in the sights and sounds of the area!
Ready to elope in Tulum?!
HECK YEAH, YOU ARE! Now that you know everything you need to elope in Tulum, it’s time to take the next step. To inquire with yours truly about tagging along and photographing your epic Tulum elopement, you can fill out my contact form and I’ll get back to ya soon!