A destination wedding in Mexico’s Riviera Maya delivers it all: from tropical gardens and sandy beaches touching the Caribbean sea to gazebos surrounded by acres of blue pools, the Riviera Maya offers an unforgettable wedding site that is the perfect backdrop to a memorable day.


WEDDING packages in the Riviera Maya usually include personalized assistance from a wedding coordinator, municipal judge, music, wedding cake, flowers, sparkling wine, set-up and decoration.  However, every property offers some special and/or, unique features, which make it possible for each couple to have their own ceremony according to their preferences and budget.

Here are some of the unique choices offered by the Riviera Maya properties:



Shangri-la Caribe Beach Resort – Shangri-la is a family-owned resort, located in Playa del Carmen. It is a place where guests spend days relaxing and unwinding amidst palm gardens and on the white sand beaches. The wedding ceremony site is set on a beautiful beach with the turquoise waters as a background. A podium of native woods is surrounded by coconut and palm greenery, and tiki torches help provide lighting and ambiance for sunset ceremonies. Cocktails are served around the Aventura pool, and the festivities then move to the main dining restaurant “La Loma”. The basic wedding package starts at $3,999.00. For more information visit www.shangrilacaribe.net.


Zulum Beach Club and Cabanas – Zulum Beach Club and Cabanas is a boutique property located in Tulum. The hotel has its version of traditional Mayan weddings. The Mayan wedding here is performed only in the king beach-front rooms, and it is a Mayan ritual with a Shaman. A 3-night package includes breakfast in bed, one hour of romantic live music on the terrace during the first night, one hour of live mariachi music on the beach front deck during the last night, dinner on the beach deck, champagne tour to a private island, butterfly liberation ceremony and 5-hour tour through the most beautiful parts of the region. For more information and pricing visit www.tulumboutiquehotels.com/reserve-zulum.html.


The Reef Playacar Resort & Spa – This all-inclusive resort is located in Playacar within walking distance from Playa del Carmen. It offers an option to have a traditional Mayan wedding, which includes a wedding site at a cenote or on the beach, and it is a ceremony performed by a Shaman.  Fruits of the season are available for Mayan offerings, live musicians play typical Mayan music and the bride and groom are given floral crowns. The Mayan wedding package costs $1,700.00. The Reef also offers a Vow Renewal with a Symbolic Ceremony – the packages start at $ 900.00. Visit http://playadelcarmen.com/nhotels/ReefPlayacar/index.cfm.

BlueBay Hotels & Resorts – This resort is located 10 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and offers many details that make a wedding ceremony special. There is a choice of specialty restaurants for a la carte dinner – French, Italian and Mexican, relaxation massage for the bride and groom, welcome fruit basket and special breakfast in bed.  The ceremony itself is performed on a white sand beach, decorated with an arch and chairs covered with white linen slip covers. The Silver Wedding package at this hotel costs $1,700.00. Vow Renewal packages start at $1,000.00 Visit www.bluebayresorts.com/hoteles.php.

Iberostar Paraiso Lindo & Iberostar Paraiso Maya – These two side-by-side hotels are located in the magnificent Playa Paraiso, halfway between Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen. They both offer spectacular settings for a wedding ceremony. Couples can choose to tie the knot in the wedding chapel, on the beach or in the garden gazebo. The hotels offer unforgettable décor for celebration that continues in their dining and entertainment areas: in the Paraiso Lindo’s lobby, bars and dining areas are built over reflecting pools, so it feels like an elegant water park. The Paraiso Maya features Mexican sculptures, mosaics and other artwork. Packages start at $1,900.00 or a religious or civil ceremony. Visit www.iberostarparaisolindo.com and www.iberostarparaisomaya.com.

Hotel Akumal Caribe – Akumal is located on the coast, between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Akumal in Mayan means “Place of the Turtle,” and it is a great spot for snorkeling in its six crystal-clear bays. The hotel offers a spot for a wedding ceremony that is perfect for late afternoon weddings. It has a wide area facing the bay and the open ocean, ideal for viewing the sunset. It is a short walk to Lolha restaurant, where the reception takes place. Dinner starts with a cocktail reception and mariachi band is suggested. For more information and package price, please visit http://www.hotelakumalcaribe.com.


H10 Punta Turquesa & H10 Hacienda Maya – Two new hotels by the hotel chain H10 Hotels are situated next to the beach in Puerto Morelos, which has the second largest coral reef in the world. These two hotels stand out by offering especially affordable basic wedding packages, as well as a wide choice of packages for every budget, such as silver, golden and platinum wedding packages. The most extravagant one, the platinum package, treats the newly married couple with special attention and offers strawberries with chocolate, flowers and sparkling wine in the newlyweds’ room, as well as a special breakfast and late checkout. The platinum package costs $1,800.00, while the basic one is $525.00 at Punta Turquesa and $450.00 at Hacienda Maya. For more information visit www.puntacoralresort.com and www.puntaturquesaresort.com.

Catalonia Playa Maroma & Catalonia Royal Tulum – Catalonia Playa Maroma is located on the beach of Punta Maroma surrounded by the typical Yucatán jungle mangroves. Catalonia Royal Tulum is located by the beach in Xpu-Ha and is surrounded by native jungle trees, mangroves and cenotes. The wedding ceremonies at both resorts are set up on the beach next to the lagoon and include a tent decorated with white tulle, table for the judge with white table cloth, chairs for the wedding party with white chair covers and bows, carpet, decorated walkway, 2-tier wedding cake, dinner reservation for the wedding party in one of the restaurants, surprise gift, free upgrade to an Oceanfront room with a king size bed, special towel decoration, morning after continental breakfast in the room, strawberries with chocolate & a bottle of sparkling champagne for the wedding night plus late check out on the departure day. Package price is $1,225.00 at Catalonia Playa Maroma and $1,269.00 at Catalonia Royal Tulum. Vow renewal packages at Royal Tulum start at $420.00 and $386.00 at Playa Maroma. Visit www.cataloniaplayamaroma.com and www.cataloniaroyaltulum.com.

Nature Parks:

Xel-Ha – Xel-Ha is a water theme park in the Riviera Maya “created by Mayan gods” and its weddings packages offer some of the most romantic scenes in the Caribbean. The Mayan Ceremony includes a natural setting by the azure Caribbean sea, cocktails, dinner and couple’s massage. For more information and prices please visit www.xel-ha.com.mx.

Xcaret – Nestled among the rainforests and upon the turquoise sea, Xcaret is a Mayan eco-park that offers non-traditional wedding ceremonies. Couples can get married in a St. Francis of Assisi Chapel; by natural, rocky ponds and a stone altar; in the middle of the jungle and other unusual locations. After-wedding reception can include performers, singers, actors and dancers, dinner at the restaurants with a magnificent view offering traditional Mexican and other cuisines and after-dinner party with a DJ. For more information and prices, visit http://www.xcaretweddings.com.


Every couple deserves the best pampering to get ready for the most special day in their life. Here is one suggestion:

Renova Spa – This spa, located in various resorts throughout the Riviera Maya, such as Riu and Grand Paladium, offers packages for couples. The Wedding Ritual package includes Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, facial and bridal hairstyling test; the Big Day package offers make-up, manicure and pedicure and bridal hairstyling. Total Wedding Ritual & Big Day package costs $290.00. Visit http://www.renovaspa.com/hotels.htm.

Wedding Planners and Coordinators:

Celebracion – Experts in coordinating a variety of events, ranging from corporate to social, wedding planners and coordinators at Celebracion are known for their attention to details whether the ceremony is simple or complex. Visit www.celebracioncancun.net for more information.

Micas de Mirals – This company focuses on wedding planning, and offer various packages, ranging from the basic Ixchel Package and including a Sky Diving Wedding package, designed for the brave couples who want to say “I do” after a breathtaking sky dive and landing directly where they are getting married. For more information, please visit www.micasdemiralls.com.

SunMex Weddings – SunMex weddings can plan, coordinate and organize a wedding at almost any beach or resort in the Riviera Maya that range from very affordable to ultra-luxurious. Visit http://www.weddingmexico.com/riviera-maya-weddings/riviera-maya-wedding-packages.htm.

Caribbean Cancun Weddings
– This all-American company is dedicated to organizing every detail of a Riviera Maya wedding. For more information, visit http://www.caribbean-cancunwedding.com.

Ajua Weddings – Ajua Weddings offers the services of wedding planners and coordinators who are experts in Riviera Maya weddings. They plan small and extravagant weddings and accommodate all tastes and budgets. Visit www.ajuaweddings.com for more information.

Photography and videography:

Mayan Riviera Weddings – This professional company has decades of photography/videography/cinematography experience, and an award-winning staff. Visit http://www.mayanrivierawedding.com/index.html#content.

Turtle Bay Café and Bakery – Located in Akumal, this restaurant can provide everything that is necessary for a wedding reception and dinner: tables, chairs, tiki torches, plates, flowers, cake, music and more. Visit http://www.turtlebaycafe.com/ for more information.

Live: Alfonso de Malaga – Alfonso is a master Spanish guitarist/vocalist. He can also arrange duos, trios, mariachi and flamenco shows for your event. He can be reached at alfonsoguitarra@yahoo.com.

DJ: DJ Bob – With 10 years experience in entertainment industry, DJ Bob can satisfy anyone’s taste, as his music collection ranges from the 1940’s to current hits. Visit http://weddingdjrivieramaya.com/index.html for more information.

General legal requirements for weddings in Mexico are: Valid passports, birth certificates, blood test (done in Mexico). The couple is required to pay USD $350.00 for a marriage license and judge’s services, test and four witnesses. Most details can be provided by professional wedding coordinators. The cost of legal requirements starts at USD $200.00. You can find more information by visiting http://marriage.about.com/od/international/p/mexico.htm.

HONEYMOONS in the Riviera Maya are as popular as wedding ceremonies, and usually the same hotels and resorts that offer wedding and vow renewal packages accommodate honeymooners.  Here are some of the highlights:

Ultra- luxurious:

The Tides – Located in Playa del Carmen, The Tides knows how to pamper couples and offers honeymooners five nights and six days in a Luxury Riviera Maya Villa with a private pool, airport transfers, daily breakfast and fresh flowers upon arrival.  The Poetic Honeymoon package includes a massage for the couple in a spa suite, Good Wish Mayan Ceremony and private candle-lit dinner in the villa with a bottle of Moet et Chandon champagne. For more information and pricing visit http://www.tidesrivieramaya.com/honeymoons/index.html.

In Nature:

Boca Paila Fishing Lodge – Boca Paila is located to the south of Tulum, inside Sian Ka`an Biosphere Reserve, and is a perfect place for honeymooners seeking contact with the nature at its purest. Tranquility, unspoiled nature, abundant fishing and simply “getting away from it all” are Boca Paila’s promises to couples. The Honeymoon package includes fruit basket, bottle of sparkling wine and a romantic candle-lit dinner at the lagoon. Please visit www.bocapaila.com for more information and pricing.


Holiday Inn Express – Located in Playacar, Holiday Inn Express offers various affordable packages to honeymooning couples. The Romantic Escape package offers 3 nights accommodation in a suite-type room, rose petal decoration and a bottle of wine in room, a romantic lobster dinner for two on 5th Avenue, 2 days at a spa, breakfast daily and transportation to a private beach. For more information and pricing, visit http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/ex/1/en/home.

About Riveria Maya

Easily accessible from many cities throughout the U.S., the eighty-one mile stretch known as the Riviera Maya is situated in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Beginning eleven miles south of Cancun International Airport in Puerto Morelos, the Riviera Maya extends to Tulum, one of the most important archeological sites in the Mayan World. The region features the tranquility of uncrowded beaches, a vast network of underground rivers, over 100 cenotes, the action of eco-adventure sports including kayaking, mountain biking, scuba diving, snorkeling, trekking, bird watching and deep sea fishing, proximity to many of Mexico’s most significant Mayan archeological sites, the varied activities of the eco-archeological parks, plus golf courses, spas, shopping, gourmet dining and a range of accommodations to suit every lifestyle and budget. The Riviera Maya has been named a Top Destination in Mexico for four consecutive years by Travel Weekly (2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007), one of the hottest beach destinations by Orbitz in 2008 and was also featured in the January 2006 issue of Travel + Leisure as “The Next Riviera.”

For more information on the Riviera Maya visit www.rivieramaya.com.

Source: Adams Unlimited

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the group travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".