Q&A with Luz Jiménez from Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Karen Lantigua |

DR MWA.png


Being a go-to source for destination weddings and honeymoons means it's important for us at MyWeddingAway.com to keep in touch with our fellow partners in order to help you plan the perfect wedding and getaways. That's why we're starting a Q&A series with our trusted wedding planners across our favourite hotel properties! Hopefully, their passion and insight into wedding planning and sharing information about their hotels will help you with your own destination wedding or next getaway.

We're excited to start our series with Luz Jiménez, Wedding Coordinator at Occidental at Xcaret Destination. Luz is a true expert in making wedding dreams come true in her stunning all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya.


Luz  Jiménez, Wedding Coordinator at Occidental at Xcaret Destination


Q: How long have you been a wedding planner at the Occidental at Xcaret Destination?

I have been working here for over than 8 years!


Q: What is your favourite part of your job?

I have two favorite moments. The main one is seeing all of the planning come to life on the wedding day. I love seeing the decorations, smelling the flowers, seeing the food, and watching the wedding couple dance with their guests and having a blast. The second one is when I see the brides on their wedding gown ready to walk down the aisle. After 8 years I still get emotional.

Luz (middle) pictured with a wedding couple.


Q: What is your favourite wedding ceremony location and why?

The Mayan Ruin because of it's uniqueness.

Ceremony at the Mayan Ruin, Occidental at Xcaret Destination


Q: Must try when visiting this property? 

Riviera Maya Cocktail.

Q: Most memorable wedding moment? 

A wedding almost got cancelled due to a big snow storm. Most of the guests were coming from the Philippines with a flight connection in New York. Because of the storm, all of the flights were cancelled from the New York airport. The wedding couple took matters into their own hands and bought new flights for their family with a new connection in another city. We had to move the wedding to the next day late in the evening as they still had some guests arriving on that day in the afternoon. It was quite sad to see the wedding couple suffering and working very hard finding and buying new flights instead of enjoying their pre wedding days as all the couples normally do. They were very stressed, but at the end they made it possible. They had all their friends and family supporting them on their big day and their happy faces made it all worth it!

Q: Best colour combinations you have seen?

Blush pink and gold /  Dusty blue and light yellow / Living coral and greenery.

Q: Any trends for 2020? 

Geometric backdrops for the ceremony will remain, minimalist decorations, and Tuscany inspired decorations.

Q: Favourite Mexican dish and recipe? 

Tacos al Pastor. Here's the recipe: 


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 guajillo chilles—stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons achiote paste
  • 2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 medium pineapple, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
  • Sea Salt
  • Warm corn tortillas
  • Chopped cilantro 
  • Lime wedges, for serving.

Step 1   

In a medium saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and cook over moderately high heat, turning occasionally, until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the oregano, cumin, pepper and cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chilles and cook, stirring, until blistered in spots, about 30 seconds. Add the pineapple juice, vinegar and achiote paste and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 2   

Transfer the chille mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Season with sea salt. Scrape the marinade into a large, sturdy plastic bag. Add the pork and turn to coat. Set the bag in a small baking dish and refrigerate overnight.

Step 3   

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Brush the pineapple and onion with oil. Grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly charred and softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a carving board and tent with foil.

Step 4   

Remove the pork from the marinade. Grill over high heat until lightly charred and just cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to the carving board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Step 5   

Cut the pineapple, onion and pork into thin strips and transfer to a bowl. Season with salt. Serve with corn tortillas, chopped cilantro and lime wedges.

Q: Tequila or Mezcal? 

I am from Oaxaca, so Mezcal definitely.


About Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Located adjacent to the spectacular eco-archeological Xcaret Park in the heart of the Riviera Maya, the all-inclusive Occidental at Xcaret Destination hotel offers our guests an exciting vacation experience to wedding parties, honeymooners, couples, singles and families. This all-inclusive hotel offers a fun getaway for lovers, adventurers, eco-tourists and travelers in search of excitement, history or the tranquility of the Caribbean Sea.

Want to know more about Occidental at Xcaret Destination? Click here to learn more about the property!