While you can ultimately decide how you want your wedding day events to play out, I thought I’d share with you a typical order of events for a destination wedding in Belize.
Most ceremonies are performed at 4:00 p.m or even 4:30 p.m if it’s earlier in the year. Later in the rear, some photographers suggest starting your ceremony as early as 3:00 p.m or 3:30 pm. so the sunlight and sunset are perfect for your ceremony.
Ceremonies are mostly held on the beach of the venue you are staying at (sometimes beach house rentals have a venue fee depending on the size of the group but it’s very rare. Most hotels do not charge a venue fee if the wedding guests are staying at the resort or the resort is catering for the entire group). For more info about locations of your wedding in Belize, check out my Wedding Locations page.
This is the official walk down the aisle and usually begins with the parents, followed by the bridal party. The music changes for the bride’s entrance, who walks down the aisle with her father (or in some cases with both parents, alone or someone special to them). The groom generally enters on the side with the officiant and the best man & also the groomsmen, if they’re not escorting the bridesmaids.
The officiant will begin with a welcome and some standard “gathering words,” and will also introduce the couple.
(I’ve seen this being done lately by one of the parents of the couples).
While this part is optional, most couples select one or two readings for their ceremony. Christian ceremonies typically have three readings.
Charge to the Couple
This is a reminder of the significance of the vows you’re about to exchange and your duties and roles in marriage.
Exchange of Vows
The vows are the most significant part of the ceremony and you can either recite your own or follow a script that you choose with your officiant.
The rings symbolize the commitment between the couple and are usually exchanged while saying “With this ring, I thee wed.”
While this part is optional, modern couples like to incorporate traditions such as lighting a unity candle, pouring sand, or handfasting, to demonstrate their two families joining together.
Pronouncement of Marriage
The officiant declares the couple as officially married.
Your first kiss as a married couple! (Tip: Remember to hold it for a couple seconds so that the photographer can capture this magic moment.)
Any words that the officiant will say to officially end the ceremony.
The couple will walk down the aisle together, followed by the wedding party and parents.
Location of Your Reception in Belize
Locations of receptions depend on the couple’s choices and budget. Some couples like the idea of holding the reception at the same location as the ceremony others like the idea of having it at a restaurant. It all depends on the size of the group and the wedding couples budget! I mean, hey, if you can rent out Blue Water Grill or the whole Truck Stop for your wedding, go for it!
Events for Your Destination Belize Wedding
Cocktail Hour: Starts around 5:00p.m
While the bride and groom, family and wedding party are having formal photographs taken, have waiters serve your guests cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. This is especially a great idea for larger wedding parties (however since most destination weddings in Belize are small groups of very close relatives and friends it is also common that your photographer will try and get shots with the whole group so allow at least 20 minutes for this right after the ceremony).
Entrance, Toasts and First Dance Starts around 6:00 p.m
Usually, this begins when the wedding party is announced. Typically they are announced in the following order: groom’s parents, bride’s parents, flowergirl, and ring bearer, bridesmaids escorted by groomsmen, maid/ matron of honor escorted by the best man and finally the bride and groom.
- First Dance: Bride and Groom
- Dinner is served or announced for buffet style
- Cake cutting and special dances are done after dinner around 7:00 pm
- The bride and groom cut cake
- Special dances in order: bride and groom’s first dance (only if it wasn’t done in hour 2)
- Bride with her father, then the groom with his mother, and wedding party dance.
- Bouquet toss
- Garter toss
- The dance party begins
- Closing Song is played and bride and groom’s grand exit
Like I said before, it really all depends on what you want. I’ve had a few where there really was no order of anything the group just wanted to quickly say I do, then start the party. Just remember: do what you are comfortable with and what ultimately will be fun for you since you’re flying to Belize to have the perfect destination wedding free of stress. You are coming all the way to Belize for you wedding day so make sure it is and unforgettable, unbelizeable experience!