Most couples fill their wedding invitation lists with names of family members and friends, but for Mark and Alyssa Acierno, attendees also included a shy bevy of scaly, slithery critters “invited” to witness their marriage ceremony at a unique location that suited this couple perfectly: The Iguana Conservation Project, located on the grounds of The San Ignacio Resort Hotel in Belize.
Having iguanas as witnesses to their wedding was Alyssa’s idea. She is a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals, so while some couples turn their dogs into ring bearers, Alyssa chose an environment in which she felt comfortable, surrounded by loved ones and some of the creatures that have fascinated her for the entirety of her life. Mark agreed and detailed plans were launched for what proved a memorable affair.
Party animals of the scaly kind
The Iguana Project is an immersive experience frequently named the #1 activity in San Ignacio. This labor of love was launched in 1996 by San Ignacio Resort Hotel owners concerned about the threatened extinction of Green Iguanas, so they did more than talk about the crisis. They created an educational exhibit teaching all aspects of Green Iguana development and this species’ contributions to the nation’s ecological balance.
Mark and Alyssa, with help from the resort hotel’s staff, conceived an itinerary of celebrations marking their nuptials that delighted guests who flew in for the affair. From a pre-wedding bash on May 27th at Lola’s Munchies and Booze to the following day’s ceremony, guests were invited to attire themselves in “tropical-dressy casual,” walking through a mini-rainforest to reach the ceremonial site at the Conservation hub. The iguanas were on hand for the 4 p.m. event. Not one of them objected to the marriage!
Your affair can be equally unique
While Mark and Alyssa were eager to show their shared interest in endangered species, the outdoors, and especially all things “scaly, slithery, shelly,” they’re not the only couple choosing Belize for their weddings because the San Ignacio Resort Hotel staff is all about helping lovebirds stage their visions of dream weddings. Your idea of perfection could be a Belize beach, Maya ruin, jungle, or park reserve since Belize is awash in picture-perfect settings that turn wedding photos into works of art.
For couples like Mark and Alyssa, who found exactly the environment they desired, the resort staff could not have been more helpful. Long-distance planning via the Internet and phone ironed out details the couple was required to complete before they arrived, and thanks to the property’s abundance of services, the couple enjoyed a relatively stress-free experience.
You don’t have to add reptiles to your guest list to sort out your special event at this award-winning Belize resort but you may be surprised by the number of people who say yes to your destination wedding invitation because flights to Belize are short and everyone in Belize speaks English. Why not follow Mark and Alyssa’s lead by planning your own unique wedding at this posh venue? The iguanas won’t feel slighted if they’re not on your guest list.