Do you want to know how to elope in Riviera Maya as an intimate way to celebrate your commitment?
Planning an elopement in Mexico can be overwhelming, to say the least.
How can you pull together a small wedding while in another country, and where do you even start?
Deep breaths. Luckily you’ve found us!
We are elopement experts in the Riviera Maya, and will help you streamline your choices for the best Instagram-worthy places to elope.
If you are at the beginning of your wedding planning adventure and need a push in the right direction to get the ball rolling, then this article is for you!
1. Hotel wedding elopements
You could choose a Riviera Maya hotel or resort as an elopement venue.
Naturally, if you plan to stay at a hotel or all-inclusive resort in the Cancun or Playa del Carmen areas, planning a wedding elopement on the property might feel like the most obvious choice.
Destination weddings are big business in the Riviera Maya. Hotels and resorts are fully equipped to handle your elopement, whether you invite a few guests, or want an intimate affair with just the two of you.
The Pros of a hotel wedding elopement:
If you want to stay at your hotel every day of your vacation, then this is the easiest way to go.
Most Mexico hotel wedding packages will include wedding details like a bouquet, symbolic or legal officiant, and an arch. You can choose to add chairs if you invite any guests, include cake or champagne, and a romantic dinner on the beach, all without leaving the resort.
The Cons of a hotel elopement:
Hold on – before you book!
Make sure you are familiar with any hotel’s outside vendor policy. Although their wedding elopement packages appear simple and easy, the downside is that they want you to use their own wedding vendors. This means that your elopement package will be staffed by resort employees rather than professional wedding vendors.
If you want to hire a Riviera Maya photographer whose style you love, or include decor from an outside company, the resort will charge you a penalty for that vendor to come onsite. These outside vendor fees are a sad, and unfortunately, normal charge.
Also, before you book a resort elopement, research some other ‘off-hotel’ venue options, and you will see how expensive resort elopement packages actually are!
In a nutshell?
Planning to elope in Mexico at your hotel might be your easiest option, but will also be your most expensive and restrictive.
Need help choosing a great resort? Read our ultimate list of the best Riviera Maya wedding resorts next.
But what if you two are the non-conventional couple, and need more freedom and flexibility than a hotel elopement package offers?
Then the next destination wedding locations are better suited for you!
2. Private beachfront elopement
The Riviera Maya is located between Cancun and Tulum. With so many miles of stunning Caribbean beach on our coast, there are also endless private venues to have your wedding elopement.
Your most popular choices would be a beach club or a villa.
The Pros of a private beachfront elopement:
Make your elopement uniquely yours. You are only limited by your imagination – and of course, your budget.
- Choose the best hair and makeup artist
- Arrange for special decor details like flowers, signs or an arch
- Have a native-English speaker officiate your ceremony
- Hire a professional Riviera Maya photographer and videographer to capture the memories
But obviously the biggest bonus of a private venue is – well – privacy! Renting a private beachfront location is the best way to get that intimate ‘toes in the sand’ experience you are envisioning.
The Cons of a private beachfront elopement:
You will pay for the privilege of privacy.
Villas are generally rented by the day, not the hour. It could make sense for you to choose a wedding villa as your vacation accommodation, killing two birds with one stone.
Beach clubs are the better budget option, with some of our favorite venues charging a reasonable fee for a 2-hour private booking.
In a nutshell?
Renting a private villa on the beach or booking private time at a beach club is a terrific way to plan your elopement exactly as you want it.
But freedom and privacy can be pricey.
If you want to explore your venue options, contact us directly to get started.
3. Cenote wedding elopement
Do you hope for a super unique elopement ceremony experience?
Have you thought about the jungle?
The Riviera Maya rests above thousands of lush freshwater jungle cenotes, and are regarded as very spiritual, cleansing and rejuvenating. Many of them can be reserved for a private wedding elopement.
The Pros of a cenote elopement:
You will have complete and total privacy. This is a big deal because NO beach venue anywhere in Mexico can guarantee you this – there is always the possibility of a curious onlooker walking by.
This is also an opportunity to hire a genuine Mayan Shaman for a variety of different spiritual ceremonies;
- Honoring the 4 elements
- The union of souls
- Cacao ceremony
This is an awesome experience! A Shaman blesses your union on a deeper spiritual level through symbolic rituals and blessings connecting you with nature and the spirit world.
However, you can also stick with a more traditional ceremony with an officiant too, and simply use the cenote as a beautiful backdrop.
You can choose all of your own wedding vendors, tailoring the wedding ceremony to your personal experience with decor and details.
And of course, an added bonus is the guarantee that you will not have any stinky ocean sargasso in your photos! This is the unsightly seaweed that we wrestle with often in the Riviera Maya.
The Cons of a cenote elopement:
Cenotes can sometimes charge a hefty fee. They are either exclusive private venues with a rate to reflect that, or they have a reservation rate for closing to the general public for a few hours.
Other factors you want to consider are heat and bugs.
The best light for cenote elopement photography is close to midday when the sun is shining directly overhead, but without the ocean breezes, it gets hot, hot, HOT!
On the other hand, if you aim for a cooler time like earlier in the morning, or later in the afternoon, then you are battling mosquitos. No bueno.
In a nutshell?
If you can handle heat, this is a once-in-lifetime experience, with the flexibility to have the vendors and wedding details of your choice. Expect that an elopement package of one hour or 1.5 hours maximum will be long enough before you will want to leave the jungle.
Would you like to book your elopement at a cenote, but don’t know where to start? We work with the best. Contact us now.
4. Private yacht wedding elopement
Set sail on the clear Caribbean sea, sun shining brightly, as you celebrate becoming husband and wife.
Now that’s a great way to elope!
There are two main ports in the Riviera Maya with boats for every budget; the Cancun hotel zone and the gated community of Puerto Aventuras.
The Pros of a private yacht elopement:
Again – privacy is a huge reason to choose this type of venue.
Also, freedom to choose your vendors and create a ceremony without restrictions tops the list.
And as with the cenote option (above) avoiding the sargasso is a huge plus!
Of course, yachts in Mexico are just so fun and exciting! You can make this an all-day affair, snorkeling and paddle-boarding after your ceremony. Or you can keep it quick and intimate with a 2-hour sunset cruise.
The Cons of a private yacht elopement:
Okay, obviously a privately chartered boat won’t be cheap.
Boats come in all shapes, sizes and quality. Although you can always find one to fit your budget, remember that you get what you pay for.
In a nutshell –
Yachts mean freedom, fun and privacy. If you can afford the splurge for your elopement, you will not regret it!
Don’t worry, we can help you find the perfect boat, and bring your vision to life. Contact us now.
5. Public beach elopement ceremonies
Do you want to feel warm sand between your toes, beside the twinkling turquoise Caribbean sea as you say “I Do”?
You also want to avoid paying the outside vendor penalty at a hotel, and you don’t want to rent a private venue?
Have no fear, an option exists for you too!
And this is the most popular choice with our clients.
We meet at a favorite beach that has a public access point and hold your simple seaside ceremony there.
The Pros of a public beach elopement:
If you want to keep things easy, this is about as relaxed as it gets!
We help arrange round trip transportation, flowers, hair and makeup, photography and videography whatever you need to make your day special.
Then we walk out to the beach at a time it is expected to be quiet and calm, and have an intimate ceremony.
Sometimes it is the simple things in life that are the best.
The Cons of a public beach elopement:
All beaches in Mexico are federal property, meaning public. Wedding decor details are tricky. Furniture or structures mean permits, and that translates to big hassles in this country.
Also, although total privacy is never guaranteed on ANY beach here – not even at a hotel or villa – it is challenging to find privacy on a public beach. You should be comfortable knowing that a wedding ceremony always draws attention. People love Love!
In a nutshell:
If your ceremony vision includes an arch, furniture or total privacy, then a public beach is not the right location for your elopement.
However, a morning wedding ceremony when most tourists are waking up or sipping coffee is a great option for a simple and intimate elopement. The sun has just risen over the ocean, the beach is quiet, and the heat has not kicked up yet.
Hopefully now you are clear on the best location for YOU.
The next step is choosing a team to help execute your vision, and of course, capture the memories!
We are the best elopement photographers in Playa del Carmen – but not just because we capture beautiful moments, deliver an exceptional experience, and are super fun people.
No, it’s more than that!
Fun In The Sun Weddings are the best because we help organize your elopement for you. Your hand will be held throughout the whole process. Our goal is to keep this easy so you can go back to more important things like enjoying your vacation.
Ready to get started? Contact us here now! We are Fun In The Sun Weddings, for the best elopement photography in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
So, let’s hear it. Now that you know your options, what location will YOU choose to say your vows?
Share them with us below.
Want to learn more?
- Go to our Elopements Service Page.