A new trend described as “micro weddings” is helping keep Yucatán’s “romance sector” afloat.
Weddings in Yucatán have historically been rather large affairs, with receptions hosting under 150 attendees usually being considered small.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of that. Local and international couples looking to get hitched in Yucatán have out of necessity embraced tiny wedding ceremonies and receptions, with only a handful of guests in attendance.
Though these smaller weddings mean smaller profit margins for wedding planners, caterers, and venues, most in the industry appear happy to accommodate any reasonable request.
“As professionals, it is our job to be flexible and adapt to our client’s needs,” said Pilar de Alba Fernández of the International Association of Destination Wedding Professionals, in an interview with Novedades de Yucatán.
During spring, event organizers thought their industry could be on track to return to normal, but those hopes were dashed when rising COVID-19 infections and deaths force Yucatán to reinstate previously softened restrictions.
Aside from restrictions limiting venue capacity, Yucatán’s controversial mobility restrictions mean that no event can go on after 11 p.m. This is in a state where wedding receptions traditionally go on well past sunrise.
“We had of course been hoping that things would get close to something resembling normal by summer, but this has not been the case. That being said, we have seen sales start to improve,” said Alaska Piña Montero, proprietor of Sazka, a lady’s formal wear boutique in the Gran Plaza.
Among of the most popular venue types for weddings are Yucatán’s many restored haciendas. These timeless estates built during the henequen boom of the 18th and 19th centuries serve as the ideal setting for elegant wedding receptions and ceremonies — as many have their own chapel.
Weddings on Yucatán’s beaches are another popular choice, as are ceremonies in Yucatán’s centuries-old churches.
But over the past few years, and even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the popularity of more exotic weddings has been on the rise. A good example is the small but growing trend of underwater ceremonies held in the Peninsulas sparkling cenotes.