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My Riu Yucatan Wedding Review

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Hi everyone! We were married at Riu Yucatan in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I apologize in advance b/c I probably won't have many good pics to add to this review. I will share my pro pics by the resort photog in a separate post. I will probably be able to add some pics from my home computer, but I haven't gotten many photos back from our guests and I haven't gone through the photos on my camera yet.



We (and most of our guests) used US Air for our flights. Our check in and getting through customs went very smoothly. The airline staff was also very nice. On both flights getting to Cancun, I was allowed to hang my dress in a closet. The flight attendants on both flights actually mentioned it to me before I had to ask, so that was very nice.


The weather was fantastic. Everyone arrived smoothly and seemed to all get along really well. We couldn't have gotten luckier with how everyone's flights and transfers arrived at the resort. We only had to wait in the lobby twice on Tuesday and once Wednesday afternoon for all our guests to arrive.


Hotel Staff:

The hotel staff was amazing! They went above and beyond for us from the moment we arrived and they found out we were getting married there. We were upgraded to an awesome suite. We had a totally separate living room area with several extra tables and lots of extra closet space. The extra room was wonderful for getting everything together for some OOT bags and bridal party gifts. It was great having the suite to get ready in with my bms, mom and a friend who helped w/ my makeup. (I have lots of pics of the room on my camera which I will add, but they will look very similar to the pics in katrina's review...we had the same type of room as she and her husband.)


Wedding Coordinator/Wedding Department:

The wedding coordinator was great when we met with her the morning after we arrived. She was so accomodating, allowing me to make substitutions for flowers since I didn't need the brides bouquet that came in our package. We got a corsage for my mom and a nice centerpiece instead, which I was thrilled about. She really took care of everything and I just felt great after we met with her. The only negative I guess was that she did not want to take any of our decor for the ceremony or reception (and I really didn't have much I wanted to give her). All I had were fans for the chairs and some menus and postcards for the guestbook. She told us we should give the fans to the PR guy at Yucatan (Erik) and we should have someone in our wedding party set up the reception stuff before dinner started. It wasn't a big deal b/c we didn't have much and we had lots of people willing to help, but I could see others getting annoyed by this. Then we talked with the PR manager (Erik) at the hotel to give him the fans for the ceremony and he set up a welcome dinner in the buffet for us that same night. Welcome dinner was really nice. They put a bunch of tables together in the back of the buffet and decorated a little with confetti on the tables. Both the WC and Erik were fantastic during the ceremony, running around like crazy getting onlookers out of the way during the ceremony (I'll get to that in the ceremony part).


Resort Spa/Salon:

We used Renova Spa (located on Riu Yucatan property) for my hair and one bridesmaid's hair on the wedding day. My husband also got a pedicure the day before and I got a polish change on my finger nails. The nail services were fine. I had no problems, although I would not say it was the quality I would get in the US. The spa seemed to be overbooked. The same technician who did our nails on Wednesday wound up doing both hairstyles on Thursday. I was supposed to have 2 hair appts together for me and my BM but the staff called the day before and asked that I go first b/c they were short a hairstylist. The process for reserving spa appts online before arrival was pretty good. My hair, although everyone complimented it and I do like how it was done, was completely not the hairstyle I wanted. Nor was it anything like the photos I showed the stylist. Well, she followed the picture of the back, but I showed her that I wanted the front to be sort of loose and wavy and she did it straight and sort of tight. It really didn't matter in the end. It was still pretty and it was off my face and I looked like me :)


Wedding Ceremony:

We had our ceremony on the beach at 3pm. I agree, it was not private at all. My husband and I planned a destination wedding with the idea that we would get married on the beach and stuck to the plan. I was prepared for this from other reviews. It's probably much better for a 5 pm wedding b/c everyone seems to leave the beach/pool by then. But at 3pm...definitely not intimate. Anyway, I was prepared for it, and I even got to watch a wedding the day before mine, which was a nice "rehearsal". All they really do is have people move their beach chairs to either side of the "aisle" and ask them to move out of the way in the background of photos. There's a great shot from one of our guests of my veil and a topless lady with saggy boobs. Apparently she was almost next to me when I was saying my vows. How romantic :) I didn't even notice though so I still would do it exactly the same way (but maybe put her top back on).

But the "good" about the WC and Erik shooing away onlookers was b/c I could see them asking people to get out of the way for photos and then the same people would crowd back in again so that they would be in the background of our ceremony pictures. This didn't seem to happen so much at the wedding I watched the day before so I guess we had an extra rude bunch of onlookers.

I hope this doesn't freak any beach brides out. If your resort has a more private beach location, I'm sure it will be fine. The Riu Yucatan makes no claims about being a private beach wedding set up. We chose the resort for our guests' affordability and the great reviews for a vacation resort, not for the wedding location and I was prepared for it to not be private for months before the wedding.

The officiant was wonderful. This was a civil ceremony (not legal). We used their religious wedding format but made it our own and took out the religious references. The vows were the same, but instead of two biblical readings and a blessing, we substituted our two non-religious readings and had the officiant read the blessing of the hands. It was great. I'm very happy with how the ceremony turned out. The officiant was really nice, spoke good English and had a great personality. I'm not sure if I'm saying it right, but he really seemed to put some emotion into the ceremony, which was nice considering he had never met us before, but he sort of made it feel like he knew us.


the wedding set up:

Click the image to open in full size.


Wedding Dinner/Cake:

The dinner was great. We also had ours at Margarita, the steakhouse. I fell in love with Katrina's u-shape table set up and had mine the same. The food was great at the steakhouse. Everyone seemed to love their food and we did also. As for the cake...I've heard from other brides too that the flavors were messed up, so it was pretty funny when we cut into the cake and it was totally wrong. We asked for choc cake with strawberry filling but got vanilla cake with chocolate filling. It really didn't matter...just made me laugh a little that they make you choose cake flavors even before you get to the resort and then confirm the choices at the meeting with the WC. I only had the bite I took after we cut the cake but it seemed to taste pretty good. It was decorated very simply. I definitely would not spend extra money for cake to upgrade size or decoration. Fortunately, the mid-priced wedding package now includes enough cake and champagne for all your wedding guests so there is no need to pay for extra slices.



We used the resort-provided photographer and were extremely happy with how our pictures came out. I had reservations about using the resort photog but we really lucked out with this one. He did a great job, was really unobtrusive and got soo many great shots. I love how he got my husband to smile and laugh in so many photos, considering he really hates having pictures taken. We met with the photog two days after the wedding and had our chosen photos printed and on a cd that afternoon.


one of my many favorites:

Click the image to open in full size.


Overall, everything was great. I don't think I could be happier about how it all turned out. I'm so glad we had our wedding this way and I really wouldn't change anything. There were, of course, a few minor things that went wrong but they really didn't matter at all. I really was fine with the little mess ups and noone knew they were messed up but me anyway. In the end, it was absolutely wonderful and I wouldn't change it for the world!

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