Do you dream of getting married on the beach in Riviera Maya, Mexico?
Can you envision that perfect sunset kiss with your toes buried in soft, warm sand after you have just been pronounced husband and wife?
Planning a destination wedding in Mexico is exciting, but it can also be overwhelming…especially in the beginning! There are 5 things you should plan extra carefully if you are getting married in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
When is the best time of year to get married in Cancun?
In Cancun and the Riviera Maya, we have a high season and a rainy season. The high season brings deliciously hot days and pleasant evenings and runs from December 1st through to the end of Easter week. Yummy tropical conditions bring inflated prices. Planning a wedding in Mexico is going to be most expensive during Christmas break and throughout March and April.
It will cost less to plan a Cancun wedding during the rainy season, which brings hot sticky weather and more of the rain that keeps this area lush, green and gorgeous. It officially runs from April to October, with the wettest months being September and October.
However, since we are in the tropics, there is no ‘safe’ time of year to guarantee a dry wedding day. The Knot suggests, if you are having an outdoor wedding you need a backup plan!
Insider tip: We think the best months for planning Riviera Maya weddings are May and November. This is referred to as shoulder season and brings an ideal balance of great weather and lower prices.
What should you know about hefty hidden fees at all-inclusive resorts?
Did you know that if you get married at an all-inclusive resort in the Riviera Maya, you will need to pay an additional fee if you want to hire your own wedding vendors? For example, if you find a wedding photographer you love, you will pay a fine to the resort for the privilege of having them onsite. This is called an Outside Vendor Fee and it is over and above your vendor’s professional rate.
The fee can be a day pass, up to $1000 USD per vendor! Ouch! Fees vary from resort to resort, and sometimes even from bride to bride, so it is best to ask what the resort’s policy is upfront before you sign any contracts. Remember that you are dealing with Mexico, and everything is negotiable, but you lose all of your negotiating power once your deposit is paid.
Insider Tip: Sometimes the outside vendor fee will be waived if you book a night for your vendor, and this can end up being cheaper for you in the long run.
Download our FREE Ultimate Guide To Getting Married In The Riviera Maya
Which types of wedding dresses are perfect for a beach wedding?
Let’s tackle this question instead by exploring which types of beach wedding dresses are NOT perfect for getting married on the beach.
- Lace is lovely and classic, but it also a magnet for sand and debris. Many a bride have complained to us about the weight of the sand they are dragging in the bottom of their dress!
- Delicate details are at the mercy of snagging on any number of Mother Nature’s tropical obstacles. Think bushes, trees, driftwood.
- Heavy, synthetic material will make you a hot, sweaty, miserable mess of a bride…and my guess is that is not the look you are going for?
When choosing a beach wedding dress, think simple and sexy. Stick to natural fibers like silk that will let your sun-kissed skin breathe.
Insider tip: If you must wear a big Cinderella dress, plan to wear a different outfit to your reception, so that you can kick up your heels and enjoy the party!
When is the best time of day for a wedding ceremony on the beach?
The ideal time for your wedding ceremony is two hours before sunset. The heat of the Mexican sun has started to subside which is hugely important when you need to be dressed in more than a bathing suit. Plus, for your photography timeline, this is perfect timing for all your wedding photos to be taken after the ceremony during the golden hour, that magical window when the light hits everything just right.
Insider tip: If you want to get married close to sunset, then have a first look photo session before your ceremony. That way you still have your newlywed photos. (And we have been told many times by couples that seeing each other before the ceremony is a great way to calm the wedding day jitters!)
What should every bride know about destination wedding etiquette?
Destination wedding etiquette is all about showing the people you love how much you appreciate the effort they made to attend your wedding. Be considerate of the time and money they will spend to celebrate with you.
Start by giving your guests tons of time to prepare, in the form of a Save-The-Date announcement. This should be sent at least nine to twelve months from your wedding date. (Check this out from The Knot’s Save-The-Date etiquette.)
If you are getting married at an all-inclusive resort, and some guests have chosen to stay elsewhere, then you will need to budget for their day passes. It can be frustrating to have people go their own way, but the reality is that they have traveled to your wedding. It would be poor etiquette to charge them to see you get married.
Never expect a gift from a guest attending your destination wedding. It’s that whole ‘your presence is a present’ thing. Instead, YOU should buy THEM a gift. In Mexico, most couples provide everyone with a welcome bag when they arrive, and stock it with the things they need for their holiday, like little bottles of sunscreen and tequila.
Insider tip: Welcome bags stuffed with gifts like matching hats, shirts, beer cozies or drink tumblers will identify you as a group to any casual observer, and be a great memento from the trip!
Your destination wedding in the Riviera Maya is going to be the adventure of a lifetime! The planning might get crazy, but that’s all part of the fun! Remember to enjoy the ride, because, in a blink, it’s all over. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and start planning the wedding of your dreams!