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Vallarta Celebrates Same-Sex Destination Weddings

December 24, 2018

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Mexico Event Design, a company specializing in destination weddings for the international LGBT Community, has completed its first year of operations here in Puerto Vallarta. And according to founder and director, Robert Schley, this niche market has huge potential for growth here in Mexico's top-ranked beach destination for Gays and Lesbians.

"Obviously, Vallarta has been known for almost 30 years as a Gay vacation destination, but it was primarily for singles attracted to the bars and nightlife." said Schley. "More recently, the increasing variety of nightly shows, new restaurants, and gay-oriented boutique hotels seems to be attracting more couples looking for romance. And with the legalization of same-sex ceremonies here a few years ago, we're perfectly situated to attract Gay and Lesbian couples from all over the world seeking to tie the knot in a destination wedding!"

Schley's company, established several years ago in Playa del Carmen, was the first wedding planning company there to market uniquely to the international LGBT Community. Drawn by the developing market here in Vallarta, he expanded the scope of the business here in 2017, and recently relocated here full time. "The destination wedding market in Cancun and Riviera Maya is much larger and more developed than here in Puerto Vallarta, but I honestly see more potential for growth here than there in LGBT destination weddings in the next several years," he said.

Robert has allied closely with local wedding planner Yanina Haddad Martinez of LOve Producciones PV to produce several weddings and corporate and social events here in the past year. "Yanina is a delight to work with, and because she's lived and worked here for so long in the hotel and wedding industry, she has invaluable contacts already established," he said. "And she has been incredibly open and accepting about working with our Community, not to mention just about everyone we've worked with! I have to say that's a bit of a contrast from the Riviera Maya."

Weddings typically take up to a year to organize and produce, so Schley and Haddad only recently completed their first same-sex ceremony here in Vallarta. Nathaniel Jameer and Bill Piggott, a Toronto couple, held a spiritual ceremony and lounge reception at Casa Karma in Conchas Chinas in November. "They were a great couple to work with, with really clear ideas of what they were looking for," said Schley. "They're also a bit unique in that they've bought a condo here in Vallarta and plan to live here for part of the year moving forward. They wanted to use their wedding to show off their new home to their friends and family!"

In addition to same-sex destination weddings, Mexico Event Design has designed, organized and decorated several other local events in the past year. "We have planned several events at Casa Cupula, including their 15th Anniversary party, and we helped with several events at this year's Vallarta Pride festival. We were also asked to help organize the memorial ceremony for the legendary Tom Swale back in November," said Schley.

Schley and Haddad once again organized and decorated the second annual Red Ribbon Gala event for SETAC, Vallarta's LGBT Wellness Center, held at Mantamar Beach Club on Los Muertos beach. "Yanina and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Ed Thomas (founder) and Paco Arjona (executive director) of SETAC to plan both of their major fund-raising events," he said. "We're very excited to continue working with them, and hopefully other charitable organizations in the future that make a big impact in our community."

"Our goal is to become known as the "go-to" company for all types of events in Vallarta's LGBT Community, whether it's an important birthday party, a business or product launch, a fund-raiser, or annual theme parties," said Schley. "We're set up to take care of pretty much any size or type of event here in Puerto Vallarta."

For more information, please contact Robert Schley and Mexico Event Design at rschley(at)