When I was planning my July 2012 Riviera Maya wedding, I did not like the idea of getting married at a bigger all-inclusive resort. I wanted a very intimate environment. I looked into the idea of taking over smaller boutique hotels like La Reve or Maroma (check Tablet Hotels for a better list if this is the route you're considering) but my 36 person wedding would not have sufficiently taken over any of those locations. I decided instead to book a private oceanfront 11-bedroom villa in Puerto Aventuras, Hacienda del Mar (website). My other guests stayed 5 minutes down the beach at the Omni and in nearby condos. Hacienda del Mar was beautiful, spacious, well maintained and had an excellent staff. We would certainly recommend it for any bride considering an hacienda wedding but there are certainly some things to consider if you take this route. You will have a few extra things to consider and plan. We had a welcome/dessert reception on Thursday night at the hacienda catered by Chef Tomas of Gourmet Soberanis. He provided a bartender (who was mediocre), the desserts (which were beautifully! presented and absolutely delicious) and the rentals that we needed for serving/eating (something that you don't need to consider at a resort). He was so professional that my family was curious of his training and he treated this reception like it was a wedding. I highly recommend him. Highly! We had a rehearsal dinner in Playa del Carmen which is 15 minutes away. We went to the rooftop of Luna Maya restaurant. We used Paradise Tours to transport everyone there and back. Again, I imagine that at a resort, there would be no need for extensive planning for a rehearsal dinner but I loved the change of scenery during our wedding weekend. On the wedding day, we had to organize not only the typical caterer, dj, etc. We also had to organize table/dinner rentals, ordering of ice (who would have thought of this), bartenders and lighting. There were a handful of extra things to consider since we did not take the resort route --- the work and cost can add up for this kind of wedding, No regrets, I just wish I would've appreciated this in advance. We had our dinner and bar service handled by Gourmet Bites Playa and our dinner (scallops, watermelon/goat cheese salad, surf& turf) was amazing. Also, we served late night tacos towards the end of our wedding and they were some of the best tacos I've ever had. One great thing about an hacienda/vila wedding was that we were able to buy our own alcohol and take home or send our guests away with the items that we didn't use. We bought a full bar, basic mixers and great wine from Walmart and a local supermaket. A car rental was essential during our wedding week. We asked Gourmet Bites Playa to bring more specialty mixers and items like mint for mojitos as we had two specialty cocktails. Our cake and dessert table, which I thought was picture perfect was done by Zaida of Dolcet Cakes and transported from Cancun (about 45 minutes away). I wrote an excellent review about our DJ, DJ Bijan of Mayan Vibes. Lastly, we used Gina Vallarino as a wedding coordinator. She was ok. Her responses were quite slow until the very end of my wedding planning process. Once I had her attention, I realized that she had a great eye/nice taste, which I really trusted. She also recommended all great vendors and definitely understood some of the trendy suggestions which I made. I felt that her overall vision was great although her attention to detail was a bit spottier at some moments throughout the day. For her reasonable price, I definitely recommend her. Sorry for the lengthy post. I gathered such great wedding planning information from this website that I felt that I needed to pay it back. Good luck planning, brides. Cheers!