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Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Review 04-04-12
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Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe All Inclusive

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By SandRWedding, · 1,476 Views · 6 Comments



We used a TA and booked through Air Transat. We were able to book the wedding a year in advance (invitations were sent April 1, 2011 and we departed April 1, 2012). Considering the high time that we booked for, we got a pretty reasonable price. A couple of our guests chose to stay at the maya beach resort as they found the palace too costly, and went through a different TA. They ended up paying more than we did to stay at the palace. We were $1800 including GST for double occupancy. Our TA had booked a block of seats on the plane for us, but not everybody was together, and there were random people scattered throughout our group. Not a big deal, but would have been nice if we would of had the 4 rows that had been pre-booked for us. Haulilng the wedding dress was kind of a pain, I was very thankful that I did not have a big, heavy gown!! It would not have been too bad except there were 4 flights that had landed within about 15-20 minutes of one another in Cancun and it was a LONG wait to get through security at the airport. I have been to the cancun airport before, and I was shocked at how busy it was. And then nearly half of our guests got the red light and had to wait for further screening. We had private group transportation to and from the airport, and that was sooooo nice!! There was just 20 of us on the bus and no stops at other resorts. Thankfully I was able to put my gown in my moms suitcase for the trip home. My mom had also booked a limo (one of the SUV ones) to take us to the airport and back. It sure made travelling easy!!



We had our ceremony at 4pm on April 4 at the coral beach, a cocktail hour from 5:30-6:30 at the rooftop terrace and the reception from 7-10 at the coral beach. Our WC was Gabriela, and she was fabulous! Everything went perfectly and I was able to enjoy the day without worrying about a thing. So many of our guests commented that I was the happiest bride they had ever seen, I just had a huge smile on my face all day long and I give a lot of that credit to Gabriela and everyone else that made our day so perfect. We did not notice onlookers at all during the ceremony, the resort did an excellent job of keeping people away especially while the procession was taking place. In some of our pics of us walking down, you can see people watching from the coral grill, but we were completely oblivious to anybody being there but us. My cousin played the ukulele for the bridal party procession, they did a great job of getting him set up and ensuring that the sound was good before starting the procession. I had selected flowers that were of extra charge (orchids and something else....) and the resort did a great job of re-creating the bouquet. Quite a few people actually thought they were fake, including the photographer!!! I finally threw the bouquet out on Sunday. It did not wilt one bit until a couple of days after the wedding, I was quite impressed :)

Hair & Make Up

My sister and mother in-law had their hair and make up done at the spa, there were no issues with appointment times (Gabriela had also followed up with me to confirm that the appointments were correct) and they did a very good job. I hired Adrian for my hair and make up, and he also did my moms make up and one of my bridesmaids hair and make up. Adrian and Alex were FANTASTIC!! I could not have asked for anything more, they were so friendly and fun to be around and they are so talented!! They were worth every single penny and more!! Adrian even went to my husbands room and made him up a little bit, just to make sure that everything was perfect for our wedding. I can honestly say that at 3am my hair and make up looked just as good as when they first finished at 2 in the afternoon. My mom cried (a lot lol) through the entire ceremony and you could not tell, nothing ran or washed off! I had an allergic reaction to a sunscreen that my husband purchased, and I had a rash and bumps all over my face and neck and you could not tell at all. Like I said, the spa did a great job BUT Adrian and his team are in a league of their own!!

We hired Ivan Luckie as our photographer and I can honestly say that the $300 we paid to Kodak in order to have Ivan there was some of the best money we spent on our wedding. Kodak still showed up to photograph the ceremony (our package included pictures which is why) and the pictures were ok, but out of 150 pictures we had to look through them about 3 times to pick just 24 decent pictures. They also kind of get in the way of our hired photographer. I never once noticed Ivan or Anell through the ceremony, and hardly through the reception but I did notice the Kodak photographer. Our pictures from Kodak have Ivan and Anell in them, and it is hard to get good pics when there are so many photographers getting in the way. Kodak was asked to shoot the cocktail hour instead of the ceremony, but they ignored our request and now we have no pictures from the cocktail hour. Even when Ivan was shooting us in the room (getting ready) I hardly noticed him there. We can hardly wait to see our pictures from Ivan!! I told him what I wanted and let him run with it, he is so creative and was not shooting the same locations and poses as the other wedding pictures that I had seen of his that were done at the palace. My only wish through the entire wedding was that I would have liked to have more time with Ivan. My husband was very skeptikal to say the least about the whole photography business, he does not like to have his picture taken and makes a weird 'camera face' whenever there is a camera around him. Ivan made us both feel so comfortable and let our personalities come through in what we were doing. By the end of the day my husband was raving about him and is extremely excited for the pictures - and that says A LOT!!!!!! There was also a couple issues with the family....my husbands parents divorced about 15 years ago and have both moved on, but his mother still cannot be in the same place as his father. Doing the group shot turned out to be quite challenging when it should not have been. Ivan spoke privately to my husband and asked him how he wanted the two sets of parents handled and we avoided any further issues.


All of our guests were so impressed with the wedding. They said that it was by far the best wedding that they have ever been to, it exceeded everyones expectations. The judge did a fantastic job, the ceremony was funny, sweet and serious when appropriate. Very good especially being that neither one of us had ever met him. When I was walking down the aisle from the gazebo my husband had his back to me and I kept saying 'what is he looking at? Why isn't he looking at me??' but the judge made him turn his back and he wasn't allowed to look until he was told so lol. There were a lot of tears and even more laughter and we could not have asked for anything more. We would do it all over again in a second and not change a thing.



The resort is absolutely stunning!! We had no major issues while we were there. When we checked in, there was a mix up with names. My husbands brother ended up bringing somebody different than he originally booked, which was fine except that they changed my name instead of his guests name. This did not cause any major issues, but it did not get corrected. The entire week every time something was charged to the room or I used the internet cafe they had the wrong name. It was just more annoying than anything.

All of our rooms were very close together (there were 20 of us staying at the Palace), we were all in the building closest to the beach and on ground level, and we were facing the pool. At first I was not too impressed, but it actually ended up being very handy. We never did get upgraded to the club premium or whatever it is, the only thing that would have been nice was the wi-fi but it all worked out.

There were a few of us on the trip that ended up getting sick, about 6 of us that stayed at the palace, one at the maya beach and one that was at another resort completely. I do not think that it had anything to do with the resort, food or drinks.....I think it was a bug or virus as my husband ended up getting sick the day that we left and was still ill after being home for a couple of days.


All in all it was a great trip. I wish my husband and I had stayed for 10 days as the most time we spent together was our actual wedding day. We both had an absolute blast with our family and friends, and we are all talking about going back as a group for an anniversary trip :)




Hi SandRWedding, Congratulations! I'm getting married there on 9-24-2012. Hoping you could give me some suggestions. Would you be able to pass Ivan's information on? I'm currenlty looking for options. Not loving pics by the Barcelo photogs :( My reception is currenlty planned at the Palmeras Bar and Grill. Any thoughts on that space, good or bad? Did you pay extra for centerpieces, etc. If so was it worth it?


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Absolutely!! Ivan's email is ivan@luckiephotography.com. I had booked him nearly a year in advance, and he responded so quickly and was extremely helpful and honest. If you are on facebook, you can search for Luckie Photography and you can like his page, he is quite often on there and I liked seeing all the new pics without going through the website.

Literally in at least half of my ceremony pictures from Kodak, half of my husbands mothers body is in them. The focus is on her (you can literally see her teeth with her mouth open), and not on the us. Her legs were crossed so her foot is sticking in half way through the shot, in order to salvage that I would have to crop half of my dress and all of the bridesmaids out, so what is even the point?? I KNOW that I will not be getting that from Ivan!!! If you would like to see some of Kodaks pics from the wedding I can send some for you. I know when I was looking at them I didn't see many ceremony shots, more bride and groom photo shoot pics.

I had seen the Palmeras Bar, but did not actually go in. Are you having quite a big group?? From what I saw it looked nice, and certainly lots of space.

We did not spend one cent on centerpieces and I do not regret it at all. We were outside, the palm trees were wrapped in lights - to me that is what mattered. The centerpices we had were like a melon with a candle in the center and little glass things with sand in them. Nothing fancy, but nothing tacky either. The only candle that would not stay lit was the one at the head table, the wind was pretty strong that night.

Congrats on your upcoming wedding!! So exciting :)


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Thanks so much. Ivan is available and I'm in the process of booking him. The Barcelo is however now charging $500 for outside vendor :( That's fine, you couldn't pay me to use thier photog.

Regarding Palmeras Grill: My guest list is currently at 50. Could be as high as 70, yikes! I just want to make sure it doesn't look like i'm having my reception at a Denny's :). I elected it becuase of the time and year and fear of rain. I feel like I'd rather spend money on a cockatil hour, welcome dinner, band, almost anything before centerpieces unless I really need it.For some reason I can't seem to find many pictures of what it looks like for wedding. After reading several reviews however, looks like the hotel in total in beautiful so maybe I'm worry unnecessarily :) Thanks again for all the info it was very help. Please share your Ivan pics if you can. Congrats again!


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That is fantastic that he was available!! It sucks having to pay $500 but totally better than the other option of having bad photographs...... The entire place is gorgeous, pictures really don't capture the beauty. Don't worry - the grill DOES NOT look anything even remotely close to a Denny's lol. They will do a great job of making it look even better for your wedding, try not to worry about it!!

I will for sure share our pics from Ivan - can't wait to see them. Its going to be a long 4 months :)


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I love them and you look so georgous and happy. What I love most about Ivan's work is that he is so great a chronicalling the event. I know I wasn't there but I get a clear vision of the what a beautiful day it was and all the emotional that filled it. Thank you for sharing!!!!


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