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Destination Wedding Guide: Riviera Maya

Destination Wedding Guide: Riviera Maya

Having a destination wedding is a great way to turn your wedding into a vacation. Not only for you but for your guest. It’s a great opportunity for your family and friends to get to know each other and have fun. Rather than just meeting for a couple of hours.

When my husband and I got engaged we knew right away that we wanted a destination wedding. We didn’t want to deal with the issues that come up when planning a big wedding.

Below you will find some of the vendors we used and an approximate cost of service. Please keep in mind that fees are from 2017 and change due to seasonality. I am sharing this information to give a general idea of what options are out there.

Destination Wedding Guide: Riviera Maya

Venue: You can opt for a hotel that offers different packages or you can choose a more intimate setting like a villa or in our case a hacienda.

Our choice: Hacienda Corazon in Riviera Maya

I was lucky enough to have a venue in mind when we got engaged. A coworker of mine had gotten married a couple months prior to our engagement at a beautiful Hacienda (Villa) in Riviera Maya area in Mexico.

The venue is gorgegous! It has uniquely named bedrooms that can host up to 20 guests. It also has two sister Haciendas that you can rent if they would like to stay next door. The stay includes concierge, gourmet chef and butler among other features. We had some of the best meals during our stay (they were more like feasts) we enjoyed the catch of the day, paella, enchiladas to name a few. It was amazing!

Wedding Day: We utilized the pool area for our ceremony and the courtyard for our receptions. We also had a wedding brunch for our guests the next day in the courtyard.

Many couples choose to have a welcome dinner or rehearsal dinner at the hacienda, we opted for a restaurant in Playa del Carmen that was called Frida Khalo Restaurante. Note: there is a $1,000 ceremony fee and additional cost for meals.

Note: We paid for our family to stay at the Hacienda so we choose option 1. If you choose to have your guests pay for their own stay and choose option 2, your cost will be so much more affordable. See prices below (taxes included).

option 1: $11,948 8 suites/18 guests (including Bride & Groom) for 5 days

option 2: $1,439 (Only Bride and Groom) for 5 days

Plus $1,000 Ceremony fee

Wedding Planner: This may sound like something optional but I HIGHLY recommend hiring a wedding planner. These are individuals that know the ins and outs of weddings plus they know the area a lot better than you do. If you don’t get a planner you might end up dealing with little things that are going to take away from your special day. This is especially recommended if there is a language barrier.

The hacienda has a wedding planner that they work with, this can easily be arranged for you. However, we went with a different wedding planner. This is a duo that made our wedding day a breeze! I had zero stress, they kept everything moving smoothly.

When you are planning a destination wedding having a wedding planner is an absolute must, they know the weather, makeup artist, hairstylist, venues, vendors, etc better than anyone. One of the planners brought things to my attention that were helpful, money saving and practical.

$1,800

Photographers: This is the biggest most important investment you will make for your wedding. I have heard horror stories of brides not getting one photo they like or couples not getting their photos in a timely manner or even at all. Make sure you find someone with a good reputation and get a contract this way there are no surprises.

Our choice: Amber Kelly

Believe it or not, I found them by googling “Hacienda Corazon weddings” and looking at who took the photos as well as Instagram “playa del carmen wedding photographers.” I check out their photos and picked the photographers who met my style. Then I went to Weddingwire to read reviews. The photographers were great about asking what we were looking for. The percentage of photos we wanted in black and white, candid, staged, etc. They really captured our wedding the way that we wanted. They were also very friendly and fun to shoot with.

$3,500 for 8 hours

Videographers: They go hand in hand with the importance of the photographer. This will be another memory of your wedding, they might catch things that you missed especially if you are the bride since you are the last one to arrive at the party. Nothing worse than regretting not hiring a videographer.

Our Choice: Amor Amor

These videographers work with Amber Kelly Photography. This is something to keep in mind because you want photographers and videographers that have worked together. If they have worked together before, they get along and won’t get in each other’s shots. So they were hired by our photographers. We couldn’t be happier with the videographers! They are a sweet and friendly couple.

$1,700 for 6 hours

Catering: This can vary based on the venue.

Our choice: Hacienda Corazon Gourmet Chef

Hacienda Corazon has its own wedding chef. You can choose from an affordable option which is a buffet style meal to a plated meal. We opted for a plated meal that was to our satisfaction. They offer complimentary wedding cookies, fruit popsicles (the popsicles were nice to have on the dance floor) and coffee and tea. We also added a “tornaboda” which is a late night meal to keep the party going. Trust me, you will want chilaquiles of tacos to keep the party going!

$3,504 for 40 guests (dinner & tornaboda)

Open Bar: I think this is a must. I know a couple of friends that have gone to cash bar wedding and they were not pleased.

Open Bar: Hacienda Corazon

You are also able to get your choice of open bar for your guests depending on what works best for you.

$1,999 for around 27 guests

Flowers: This was my absolute favorite part!! I spent a couple months finding arrangements I liked. I recommend starting a board on Pinterest (if you don’t already have one lol) to help keep your ideas together. I think in this case I got a lot for my money if I would have used another florist I would have paid five times or more. The vendor we went with was reasonable and I had also seen her work in a friends wedding. I’m not gonna lie, I stalked her Instagram on a regular basis to add more things here and there.

Our Choice: Cherry Blossom

I really enjoyed working with Cherry Blossom (Sandra). They were able to recreate arrangements that I found on Pinterest and helped me bring some of my ideas to fruition. Note: The photo editing makes the flowers look pink but they are actually lilac and violet as you might notice from some of the photos.

$1,839

Cake: This really takes me back. Our cake taste amazing, I only tried a bite the day of but the day after I got to have a real piece. Again, I would recommend checking out Pinterest for ideas. I choose one that was clean and simple with flowers to add a little something extra. I recently bought a birthday cake in New York for almost the same price so I think the price of our cake was really low!

Three Tier – Crown Victoria for 60/65 people. The planner recommended the baker, I don’t know the name.

$200 for 50+ guests

All and all our wedding was around 30k. This may seem like a lot or a little depending on what you are looking for. For us, it worked with what we wanted and we were beyond pleased with our wedding experience. This also included: Mariachis, Churro Cart, DJ, Furniture transportation, Furniture, Maracas, Officiant, Bride Makeup, sparklers.

Note: This does not include transportation or Bride and Groom Attire.

I hope this helps you have a general idea as to what options are out there. If you recently got engaged, Congratulations!!! If you still aren’t sure if you want a destination wedding, check out the reasons we choose to go with a destination wedding.

Happy planning!

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