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Riu Palace Riviera Maya --- Wedding Review

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Meant to make this short but itâ€s really long!


I got married at the RPRM this May 23rd. It was incredible and I would totally recommend it to anyone. Our whole wedding cost about $3000 (1700 for the wedding package and 1300 in extras).


Resort In General:

Beautiful and new. By far the nicest Riu in the area and impressed everyone, even a couple VERY picky guests were blown away. The food was awesome - even according to my husband who works at what is probably the top restaurant in Canada. The booze was brand-name and flowing freely. The service was amazing, like the pool boys would run to get your drinks to you faster!

I thought the beach was great. I had been worried about the fence/breakwall but it was a total non-issue and you don't have to worry that a hurricane will wash your beach away a month before your wedding. The waves were rough for a couple of days though - they had no swimming warnings up one day and one of my guests had to rescued!


Oh and they upgraded us to their best room in the house for free. I wouldnâ€t expect this as Iâ€m sure we just got lucky but it was an amazing suite with a double tier balcony, 2 jacuzzis (one outside), marble everything, etc.


Resort – Wedding:

I saw about 4 or 5 different weddings while I was there and they were all different. They seemed to be willing to accommodate whatever style you wanted to do. Small warning- if you have the ceremony on the beach you have to walk by the pool bar and I heard more than one bride being heckled by some drunk moron. I know that this can happen anywhere and I think that the clientele at this resort is better than elsewhere (they donâ€t accept spring-breakers) but it can still happen.


My wedding was beautiful. Perfect even. We chose to get married at the Gazebo which is situated just in front of the line where the sand meets the grass. Itâ€s far from private but it is off to the side and people watch respectfully from a distance. (Oh – for beach weddings they close off an area for you so you donâ€t get sunbathers right next to you!) It was a kinda hard for some people to see ‘cause the poles holding the gazebo up blocked their view. However, it truly felt like my husband and I were the only ones in the world when we stood in there … and thereâ€s a mic so people can hear.


Itâ€s in Spanish first then translated into English. It was brief –10 min in total. Thereâ€s no rehearsal and no one really tells you what to do (besides when and where to show up) but it works out fine. I told my bridal party where to stand the night before though or it might have been more confusing.


We spent extra and got a harp player for the wedding. It was beautiful and well worth the $400 ‘cause their music on cd sounds really cheesey (in my opinion).


I used the bouquet included (you choose from two or buy an upgrade) and they were able to do pink roses instead of white for me. It was beautiful. I didnâ€t get the bridesmaids flowers and it really was not a big deal – like no one noticed.



We had an area of the lobby bar reserved for us for a cocktail reception between the ceremony and the reception. We had the reception from 5:30-8:30 in Bota Fogo restaurant. We paid an extra $400 to have a private reception. They allowed us to do this even though your supposed to have a minimum of 40 ppl and we only had 31. They said by email that it would also be an extra charge of $20 a person for the 9 ppl I was missing but it was never mentioned at the resort. Bonus.

The food was different but good. It was soup/salad & dessert by buffet and dinner was basically all meat. Servers came around with giant skewers of 5 different kinds of meat and sliced you off some. Not great for vegetarians but we liked it!

We didnâ€t want to spend the $1000 to get a DJ so we brought down a stereo system for music and a mic for speeches. When we looked at the restaurant with the wedding coordinators we realized that there wasnâ€t an outlet where we needed it. Amazingly they called maintenance and installed one that day! They also allowed our groomsmen in during the first seating to set up the equipment. I thought that was very accommodating of them considering the whole hassle came from the fact that we were cheaping out on their DJ!

Service was great. At one point during dancing, we blew a fuse with our stereo and the servers immediately rounded up tequila shots for everyone while the problem was being fixed. 5 min later and a hefty dose of tequila and everyone was dancing again!




The resort photographer was awesome. I was a little worried that it would be the pool boy with a disposable camera but these worries proved to be unfounded as Carlos was an absolute professional. Our pics are beautiful and he did as we asked – a couple family shots and a lot of spontaneous shots. We left the resort with 62 printed photos and JPEG files on cd for $500 total.


Spa - Hair:

I was a little worried about my wedding day hair 'cause I hadn't done much planning and I NEVER like it when a hairdresser does my hair. However, a girl named Elena at the spa did an absolutely amazing job. I LOVED it. She took 2.5 hours and a lot of care to give me the best hairdo I'll ever have! I booked my hair-trial at the last minute and my wedding day hair the evening before my wedding - although I don't recommend doing it this way I was impressed that they accomodated last-minute-me so graciously.


Make-up - MAC:

I bought $350 worth of MAC make-up and brushes for my wedding and regretted it the second I walked away. If you have unlimited funds and are willing to do your own make-up this is the way to go… my makeup lasted perfectly all night. However, if your on a tighter budget I would have trusted the spa (with a trial) and it would have been way cheaper.

My only other advice in this department is have someone have your powder ready for right after the ceremony and before pics. I was a little shinier than I would have liked in my wedding photos.



I wouldnâ€t recommend our airline. They were rude and unhelpful. They wouldnâ€t count my husbands computer case as a personal item (it says briefcases count on their website) since the computer was not actually in it. Therefore we had an extra carry-on with our wedding clothes. Our carry-on had our expensive speakers in it so we wouldnâ€t check it. We had 29 other people on the flight – many of whom didnâ€t have carry-ons at all and they held us up for 30 min on this “what counts as a personal item technicalityâ€. Stangers in line were offering to help before they finally let it on it my husbands mother carried it (wtf?!). After all this I ended up stuffing my dress overtop of other peopleâ€s carry-onâ€s (donâ€t believe them when they say you can lay it on top of things in the overhead compartment – they mean stuff it in! --- Sorry for the rant.


Things Iâ€m so glad I did:

1. Maracas – I bought them down there as wedding favours for $1 each and attached a poem I found on here:

Now the partyâ€s getting good, weâ€d like to hear this if we could, stand and shake with all your might, and see the groom kiss his bride tonight.

It was the best! People used them for kissing during dinner and then danced with them and then as we left the group for our room at the end of the night, they shook ‘em and cheered!

2. Welcome letters – I wrote welcome and where and when the ceremony/reception would be and had the hotel deliver them. No gifts or OOT bags as I would have like but people loved the thought and it saved me from telling them wedding details by the pool.


Wish I would have:

- Made personalized travel mugs, I think they would have went over well.

- Not ever worried about this wedding beforehand. Do as much as you choose to make it your day but don't feel pressured or stressed. I put very little planning and pulled off an amazing wedding that everyone was thrilled with – My hubby and I most of all!

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Hi Jenn...sounds like you had an amazing wedding!!! I am planning to get married at the RIU Santa Fe 2009. If you don't mind me asking...how much was the vacation itself? How much did each couple pay for the Maya?

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THANK SO MUCH for the review! I am getting married there in October and have started getting anxious about what to expect! I have a few questions:


How long did you have the photographer for?

Did they charge for chairs and chair covers, etc for the wedding at the gazebo?


Thanks so much and Congrats!!!

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Originally Posted by abbygirl View Post
Hi Jenn...sounds like you had an amazing wedding!!! I am planning to get married at the RIU Santa Fe 2009. If you don't mind me asking...how much was the vacation itself? How much did each couple pay for the Maya?
With flight from Detroit, MI the cost was 1600 USD per person for 8 days all inclusive.

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Originally Posted by Aarica View Post
THANK SO MUCH for the review! I am getting married there in October and have started getting anxious about what to expect! I have a few questions:

How long did you have the photographer for?
Did they charge for chairs and chair covers, etc for the wedding at the gazebo?

Thanks so much and Congrats!!!
We had the photographer for approx. 5 min before the wedding and about an hour after. You can pay extra for additional time.
Oddly enough they didn't charge me for the chairs or covers. In email correspondence they quoted me as having to pay for these as well as a few other "extra" things that were just included once I got there.

I'll post the info they sent me by email before the wedding.

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Here's the info they sent me re: pictures, it may answer some of your questions. (Also a side note: they don't allow external providors but they will work with you to accomplish what you want. I saw one wedding that got fire dancers and another that had a white awning type deal erected on the beach.)



∑ What about pictures ?


We have different photo packages, please notice that the prices are subject

to change:


All the pictures are taken digitally with high resolution (6 Mega Pixel).

The size of the printed pictures is 6 x 8 inches (15 x 21 cm) in color or in B&W and includes a basic album.

The minimum quantity of pictures in a package is 24 pictures.




1 24 pictures$ 280.00 us

2 24 pictures with negatives on a CD$ 380.00 us


3 36 pictures$ 360.00 us

4 36 pictures with negatives on a CD$ 460.00 us


5 50 pictures$ 400.00 us

6 50 pictures with negatives on a CD$ 500.00 us


7 CD with 70 JPG files (no prints)$ 495.00 us


8 DVD slideshow of JPG files with menus and music,

CD with negatives, 1 leather album and 50 (15x21â€)

25 (20x25â€) printed pictures$ 1300.00 us





Price per picture over the original package:

6 x 8$ 12.00 usd

8 x 10$ 15.00 usd

Leather album 31 x 35 cm$ 90.00 usd

Additional photo session an hour before and after the ceremony $ 50.00 usd




48 hr delivery or 5-7 days shipping address (UPS or FEDex) with no charge.

Photo Packages will be delivery to the photo shop located at the RIU Yucatan

Visa and Master Card accepted

5% Off cash payment


For the largest quantity of pictures, please contact your wedding photographer for the pictures required







10) 1 hour recorded HDV (1 DVD edited video)$ 450.00 us


11) 2 hours recorded HDV (2 DVD edited video)$ 750.00 us


12) 4 hours recorded HDV (3 DVD edited video)$ 950.00 us



Sony Digital HD video camera recording with wireless microphones

Mac G5 Quad Video editing system with Final Cut HD


1080 60i


If you want to play back Hi-Definition quality images recorded with 1080i format (1080/60i) based on HDV Standard, your TV should be compatible with HD (1080/60i) input.




NTSC System Countries or areas: Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa-Rica, Ecuador, Japan, Korea (Rep.), Mexico, Panama, Peru, Phillipines, Puerto-Rico, Taiwan, U.S.A., Venezuela, etc


48 hrs. Hotel deliverance or 5-7 days shipping address (UPS or FEDex) with not charge

VISA and Master Card accepted

5% Off in cash payment


For any special requests, please contact the photographer directly.

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