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Rebeca Magana, originally from Mexico City and the owner of The Wedding Mexico, first came to the Sayulita area in February 2001. Like many people she knew, she found the area a beautiful place to live and decided to make Puerto Vallarta (just South of Sayulita) her home. Her dream to become a wedding planner began in 2004, and in 2009 became a reality!
When did you first become interested in wedding planning?
In 2004, I was at Nikki Beach in Puerto Vallarta when an elegant, yet casual woman got my attention. I didn’t know who she was, and later I saw her again, but this time she was in the middle of a wedding party. So, I asked who she was and what she was doing. She was the WEDDING PLANNER and I thought, “Wow, that job most be awesome!” So, I did some research, but there was not that much information at that time. I was also young and no experience at all. Anyway, I just left it at the time, but it was in my head ever since then.
So, how did you get your start in the wedding planning industry?
Well, I worked in the hotel industry - first in the food and beverage department and then I moved to groups and conventions, which was close to weddings, but not weddings yet. I even sold accommodations for weddings. Then I left the hotel and took over the groups and conventions department for a very nice restaurant, and I sold rehearsal dinners. But again, weddings just didn’t come my way. Finally I moved to another resort, this time as a groups’ manager. I did have weddings there and I was super excited, but when the time of planning started, I realized how difficult it was for me to deliver what my clients wanted because of the hotels restrictions. And how frustrating this was for my client, so that was the end for me as an employee there. I did like all of the logistics and planning, but I wanted to offer my clients the possibility of having the wedding of their dreams - not mine, not what the hotel allowed. So, I decided to go out on my own. It was scary at the beginning, but once again my vendors put me on the right path, helping me by recommending my services to friends and some of their clients. Since then I been doing wedding planning and getting to know people that always help me a better person and a better wedding planner.
What is it you like most about planning weddings in Sayulita?
I really like the vibe of the couples. They come to truly enjoy their wedding, they love our country, and they embrace our culture.
What services does The Wedding Mexico offer?
We assist our clients with the selection of the venue and all vendors. We provide reliable vendors for them to choose from, help them stay on budget, offer site inspection visits, food tasting, and flower trials. We coordinate the pre and post wedding events, if needed, and the day of the wedding we are there all day checking every detail. We take care of the agenda for the event and we make sure it all goes smoothly.
How would you describe your process of planning weddings?
I like to see how my clients work. A wedding is a very personal process and you cannot treat every couple the same. So, I try to accommodate myself to them. I start with the elements that have more urgency, such as the venue, photographer, and food, so that my clients have enough options to choose from. For the rest, we take our time to ensure every couple has a wedding that truly represent them.
What suggestions do you have for someone who wants to plan a destination wedding in Sayulita?
Come and check out all the possible venues, try the food, and ask for a flower trial. I know for a fact the quality of the services we have in Sayulita and Bahia de Banderas in general. But, for someone outside this area that is not familiar with the vendors, plus the regular stress that comes with wedding planning, it will provide peace of mind.
Do you work with a lot of local vendors? Any particular Sayulita vendors with which you generally work?
I work with vendors from all over the bay, as I like to give my clients options. I’m not tied to any particular vendors.
How do you help clients stay within budget?
I always advice on the things they don’t need to spend that much on or don’t need to spend anything on. If they are on a budget, there are things that won’t make a difference to their wedding, so they don’t have to spend on that. But also as a wedding planner, you get to know where you can twist your vendors’ arms a little bit to get something extra for your client.
Would you describe your favorite wedding you’ve planned?
It was a wedding of 54 people, very small, and I was worried because the couple never came to check out anything. She was from Canada and he was from Puebla, México. Their families didn’t speak both languages, so just imagine: 27 people just speaking English and 27 just Spanish. But, oh my goodness, it was so much fun! They danced all night together! It was an eight-hour party and they mingled like they understood each other. It truly showed how happy everyone was for this beautiful couple.
You’ve won several awards as a wedding planner with The Wedding Mexico. Will you tell me more about these awards?
I’m very proud of them because most of them I earned due to my clients - all the good words they said about my job and having all of them take the time to write a review. It really makes me very proud of what I do and I am very grateful for all the vendors that work with me because they truly make the difference on every event. It shows on those testimonials.