Shera - I'm also flying out of Ottawa on May 17th! We are having the wedding on the Monday May 19th but we are doing a symbolic ceremony (doing things a bit backwards, AHR in Ottawa on May 3rd which will include the legal ceremony).
For photographers, we are bringing ours from Ottawa. They are friends who are professional photographers and after lots of back and forth, the resort FINALLY agreed to wave the 300 fee because they will be staying for 4 days. Definitely bringing that e-mail with me! If you are looking for a deal on photos my friend's got married last November in Mayan Riviera and their photographers were really great and also very cheap - I think they only paid 1500 for 2 photographers. Take it photo http://www.fototakeit.com/blog/.
Jenny - thanks for the tip on the officiant! I wonder if it's possible to meet with them beforehand.... I'm also wondering if for a symbolic ceremony you really have to use their officiant? I'm going to ask...
As far as things going to plan, ie following schedule and stuff, my friend who used to work for resorts in Mexico a few years ago gave me a pretty good tip. She said I should set aside a couple hundred dollars, give the wedding coordinator 100 when I get there and tell her another 100 is waiting for her as long as everything goes according to plan. Apparently what they will usually do then is tip from that who they need to to make sure things go well. I'm hoping that this will resolve some of the unecessary mixups I've read about like the DJ not following the playlist... and now with you Jenny, the officiant not following the program - JEEZ!