Are you hunting for the best wedding resorts in Mexico to host your destination wedding?
All-inclusive resorts are not created equal. Your idea of the perfect wedding venue will not be the same as another bride and groom’s.
But how do you know what to look for to avoid the disappointment of making the wrong choice?
Have no fear! We are here to help.
In response to the booming Riviera Maya wedding industry, we have seen big changes in resort policies over the years and are familiar with what to watch for. We would hate for you to miss something important before you sign on the dotted line!
So, before you settle on any all-inclusive resort for your wedding, here are 5 little known things to check before you book.
1. How to find the best wedding resort for YOU?
How do you like to vacation?
As you start your search for the best Riviera Maya wedding resorts, ask yourself what your priorities are. Our friends at Playa Bella Weddings and Travel suggest you narrow down the massive pool of options by considering the unique needs of your group.
Every resort is not going to tick every box.
If gourmet food is high on your wish list, there are resorts here that will exceed expectations while others will have you tired of eating the same recycled buffet.
If you won’t have any kiddos at your wedding, then focus on adult-only resorts, versus resorts where you might just have a kid-free pool.
And if your group is full of wild partygoers, look for a resort with stellar entertainment, a rocking club, lots of cool cocktail lounges and features to keep everyone from getting bored!
Check before you book: Think about what will make you and your guests feel good, and then search for those services because nothing can put a damper on a great holiday more than being stuck in the wrong resort.
2. Can you avoid the resort’s outside vendor fee?
We hear it a lot: Is there a workaround to paying a resort’s outside vendor fee?
(If you are wondering what an outside vendor fee is, scoot over to this article to get up to speed.)
Sadly, over the years most all-inclusive resorts have jumped on the bandwagon of charging ridiculous fees for outside vendors to come onto the resort, like Hair and Make-Up artists and Wedding Photographers. The resorts want you to hire their onsite staff because they take a huge cut. And they are going to get their slice out of you somehow!
Playa Bella Weddings and Travel remind you that this is your ONE big day. You really can’t put a price on that. Even with the outside vendor fee, many local Riviera Maya wedding photographers and other vendors are still a better bargain than bringing down your own. And, their work is generally a big step up from the onsite resort team.
Check before you book: One way the resort can still get their cut, but that can sometimes save you hundreds of dollars, is booking your vendor a night or two stay at the resort. This is a Win-Win situation for everybody if it is available to you.
3. What is ‘Not Allowed’ at the resort?
Are you the type to read the fine print in your wedding contracts?
Avoid big surprises by understanding the resort’s policies before you book.
Heads up – a few Riviera Maya resorts have now said that they will not allow outside vendors on site AT ALL. No outside vendor fee, just a straight-up ‘No’. It is sad when a bride contacts us about wedding photography who is getting married at one of these particular resorts. I really hate dropping the bomb that they have to settle for the resort’s onsite staff for their Big Day.
Another recent development here is that some resorts will not allow us to fly drones anymore. This is important for you, and your Photo and Video teams to know ahead of time.
Also, some resorts will not allow outside vendors without proof of insurance or proof of permission to work. These are things that may seem inherent to you in the cost of doing business, but this is Mexico where skirting the rules is common, and obtaining the proper legal paperwork is incredibly difficult.
Check before you book: Read the contract and ask about any resort policies and legalities that might affect your wedding.
Download our FREE Ultimate Guide To Geeting Married In the Riviera Maya!
(Alex & Dylan chose the flexibility of a beach club wedding. See it here)
4. What about all the Extras?
Are you choosing an all-inclusive destination wedding as a cost-effective way to get married?
Newsflash: You are going to get hit with add-on’s and extras. This is inevitable. What you need to figure out is how big that hit is going to be, and plan ahead.
I was chatting with a wedding planner friend recently who specializes in villa weddings. She reluctantly agreed to take on a resort wedding because the bride insisted it had to be her. In the end, with all the additional fees, that resort wedding cost more than it would have had the couple gotten married at an offsite location. And they would have had far more freedom and privacy as well!
My best friend also had a Riviera Maya resort wedding. She assumed that since they booked a wedding package, that was that. It wasn’t until they arrived and were presented with the wedding book of add-ons that they understood how big their hit was going to be.
“Oh, you want all of your guests to have a chair during the ceremony? That will be extra.”
“Oooh, you want napkins at your wedding reception? That will be extra.”
“Oooooh, you want an open bar for your guests? That will be extra.” (Yes, believe it or not, this is something you could get an additional charge for even at an all-inclusive resort)
Check before you book: Ask to see the list of wedding add-ons. Ask about what is NOT included in your package. Ask about taxes and gratuities. And then start saving your pennies.
5. What’s in it for me?
Are you starting to feel like you might hemorrhage dollar bills by having a destination wedding?
There are ways you can even the score. You just need to ask “What’s in it for me?”
Our friends at Playa Bella Weddings and Travel remind us about the power of negotiation. The all-inclusive resorts want your business and are prepared to offer you incentives for booking.
How does a room upgrade to the honeymoon suite sound? Or a complimentary cocktail party as an awesome way to welcome your guests? What about cold hard cash back for booking a certain number of rooms?
Ummm yes, please!
Check before you book: “I don’t want to go home with extra cash.” said no Newlywed, ever. So ask what they can offer you to earn your business.
(See more from Lindsay & Rob’s Riviera Maya resort wedding here)
There you have it! The 5 little known things to check before you book your wedding resort.
So, let’s hear it. Were there any surprises or questions you would never have thought of asking?
Share them with me below.
Finally, for the best Riviera Maya wedding photographers, look no further! Contact us here now! We are Fun In The Sun Weddings, for the best wedding photography in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
- Go to our Riviera Maya Wedding Photography Services Page.