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Riu Palace Cabo San Lucas 2011 Wedding

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OOPS one more thing about the receoption


Guest went to the disco after the reception and had a blast.


Was glad not to have the disco for the reception as it is definately a disco and not set up to have a nice reception.


Don Julio and beach was perfect

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Hi ladies!


We are getting married on Valentines' Day 2012 at the Riu Palace Los Cabos, and I stumbled on this site by accident while surfing wedding stuff. I am thrilled to find fellow brides willing to share their secrets and tips, and hope to be able to do the same. 


It's not either of our first wedding, so we wanted a simple fun ceremony and a nice dinner at our favorite resort, We had no idea how many people would come, so we booked the Royal wedding package to start with, as we can always upgrade if we get a huge response from our guests.  We figured for the difference in price between the Caprice and the Royal, we could just pay for my mani, pedi and hair and still come out ahead.


We arranged a group rate with Sue Stiliades at itravel2000.com, and she was able to reserve a decent rate for us, guaranteed for 60 days, with our guests coming from different locations (Vancouver, Edmonton and Regina).  She sets up a booking link, and we just sent it out to all our guests with our invitation, and they take care of the booking themselves with her.  She was fantastic at quickly answering e-mails and telephone calls, and has made the travel arrangements (which I feared would be like trying to herd cats) a breeze.


Since our wedding coordinator at the Riu won't likely contact us until 2 months prior, I have a few questions.  I am trying not to stalk her too soon, but as I'm sure you all agree, it's too exciting and important to wait that long.


1.  Do you get a choice of flowers for the bouquet?  If not, is what they choose for you nice?  My mom is a florist, but I am determined this time around she is just going to relax and not do any work for my wedding, so I just want the resort florist to take care of it.  That being said, my Mom will die if her daughter has ugly flowers at her wedding.  :-)


2.  Is it just a CD player on the beach for the wedding ceremony music, or something more elaborate?  Has anyone hired the mariachi band or trio, and are they good?


3.  Has anyone used the hair stylist/makeup artist at the resort, and are they any good? 


4.  We think we are going to have the semi-private wedding dinner at the steakhouse.  Has anyone had the set menu, and do you have to have the set menu if you are over a certain number of people?


5.  The champagne they refer to as being included in the package is at the ceremony for an immediate toast, correct?  We want to also have a bottle of good tequila for a celebratory shot  (this being Mexico and all) so I'm hoping they'll let us buy one and have the appropriate glasswear.


6.  Any big pitfalls in the planning I should watch out for?


Thanks for your input, ladies, I look forward to planning my wedding with  you!



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I went to send all my favors, OOT bags and center pieces.

I was told that nothing that says made in china can be shipped to mexico b/c of some trade issue.

Also, they said I could ship our custom hot sauce or coffee packs b/c they were food.

After eliminating that stuff from the boxes, the price still came to $350, to ship 2 med size boxes.

I havent heard anyone talk about this issue, not sure if it was just ups being lazy or what.

I am just paying to have each of us have an extra bag fee.


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I have always been told by others that frequent such places that it is not a good idea to ship items ahead of you, as everything is on "Mexico time" and not guaranteed to arrive in time... or possibly even ever show up.


We paid the extra cost and packed it in its own luggage and took it on the plane with us.

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Hi Lcbarnes,

Welcome!  This blog is super helpful, and you will find a ton of great ideas :)
I am getting married at the Riu on 5-12-12…I canâ€t answer all of your questions, but I would love to try and help.  Have you ever been to the RIU?  I also booked the Royal package, I just felt the caprice was too much and I am not using the hotel for my nails, makeup or hair anyways. 

That is great that you found a good travel agent.  My TA started us out with just a land only rate since the airfare changes daily and it was also good for 60 days.  We didnâ€t get enough people to book and she wanted us to put down the $2,000.00 deposit ourselves to hold the rate.  Well my party wasnâ€t booking, so we said we wanted to switch the company to Apple Vacations and use someone that could give us land and air rates.  That seemed to help a little; we now have 16 people booked.

Who is your wedding coordinator?  I have Adriana, she is great.  Although my wedding isnâ€t until May, I am crazy and I need to have as many details in place as possible.  She has been really great about getting back to me.  I have requested info on the flowers, and with your  Royal package you get:

2 medium flower arrangements ( I am guessing for centerpieces?)
Regular size bouquet (bride)
1 bag of flower petals
&  Groom Boutonniere. 
Type of flowers included: Roses, Gerber daisies, daisies, star lilies and greenery.  I guess you pay extra for exotic flowers like callalies and orchids.    The floristâ€s website is www.floreriatreboles.com  Just an FYI, all the extra prices for the flowers are pretty expensive.  I have 9 bridesmaids so I may end up making their bouquets before I leave since they are $65.00 apiece through the resort.

I am using Suzanne Morel for my hair and makeup.  Itâ€s expensive, ($230.00 American with tax and tip included) however, I would rather be happy than worried and I have read only great things about her staff.

For the semi-private dinner I believe you only get the restaurant for 2 hours, with reservations at either 6:45 or 8:45.  To be honest, you will find that finding out the answers to several questions like how many people you can have/costs/menu choices has been frustrating to me.   I believe if you have under 40 (it could be 50 now) you can have the semi-private dinner.   I also think that you have to go with the set menu.  I think if you wanted to order off of their private menu, you would have to pay per person.  Also know that with their dinners, they only include beer, wine and pop.  It doesnâ€t include liquor, that is a $15.00/per person fee that you have to pay.  :(    You also canâ€t have music at the semi-private dinner.

I originally thought that the champagne they speak about was for toasting at the dinner reception, but Crys just got married there and they toasted after the ceremony. 
Sorry I canâ€t answer everything, but I look forward to planning our weddings!

Keep me updated on your plans!

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Hi Michey,


Thanks for the heads up...$350, WOW!  Are you just shipping the stuff to the WC?  Did she say how long it would take to arrive?


The date is getting closer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Very exciting!!


Do you have everything all set?



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Hi Crys!


Just wanted to say thank you for the update!  Your pictures look great! Congrats on the wedding!!! So glad everything turned out so nicely wink.gif

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Hi Mischele!

I just wanted to say hi, and let you know how excited I am! I had originally wanted the Baja Norte, then I changed my mind (mostly because the FI didnâ€t want to spend so much) so we decided to have a private dinner on the steakhouse terrace to save some money.  Well, after much convincing, we are going back with the baja norte!! I also feel much better about it, since Adriana can somehow book it now, and I donâ€t have to wait until 2 months before to find out what restaurants are open for us to choose from.  ( I am super crazy planner chick and canâ€t stand not knowing things!)

The baja norte is also so much more of what I imagined of having for my destination wedding since its outside, and poolside.  I love the lights that they hang, and I am definitely going to bring paper lanterns and make them hang them on the light strings.  They come with batteries…I am wondering if the WC thought that you meant paper lanterns on a light string before when you asked if you could have them?  I know you said that her reasoning for saying no was because there was no room for them correct?

So I wanted to know if you have spoken to the WC about menu choices yet?  I have an older menu for the private/per person selections but I donâ€t know if they will change for 2012, especially since they say “prices effective until 2010†so I know they are old.

Do you know if they set up a bar right out by the pool for us, or if they use one that is already out there?  What time is your reception starting?  I know the sun sets at 6:30 the day of our wedding, so I am just a tad worried that there will still be a few people hanging out by the pool till 5:30 or so, I am hoping that after the sun sets there wonâ€t be anyone around.  
Sorry for all of the questions!

Happy planning!! By the way, I got my dress last night!

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Hi Kary,


I saw a reception by the Baja Norte pool one evening and it is beautiful.  They started clearing the area of all the beach chairs early...if I recall correct it was about 2 hours before the reception.

Of the two pools this is the one that is less busy (when looking in from the ocean it is the one on the left).  The right side is where they have all the activities and is very busy.

I believe they use the bar that is there. It is also used for the swim up bar. The side facing the ocean is the swim up bar and the otherside of the bar faces the area for the reception. What I don't get is if the bar is already there and it serves mixed drinks all day...then why not for a reception without the extra 15.00 fee. (we never asked cause this was after we had already done our wedding that we noticed this)

You still have a great view of the ocean from the side that is used for the reception...until it gets dark obviously.  It is a beautiful location, at night the lights around the pool look awesome. Your paper lanterns will look great and add some style.


Levels to the resort are:

beach level: where we had our reception at the DonJulio terrace and beach for dancing

1 level: where the pools, spa, gazebos, Baja Norte, steakhouse and San Jose restaurant

2 level: entertainment stage, Pacha Disco (own bar opens at 11pm) and two more bars and 3 restaurants (Crystal room and the Japanese restaurant are on the left when looking from the beach (these two need reservations) and the Sir Lawrence (no reservation) is on the right; only open for breakfast and dinner). also this is the first level the guests rooms start.

3 level: guest rooms, reception, piano bar, jewelry store and  gift shop.

4 level: guest rooms


If i can find a good picture of the pool area I will post one for you


sounds like a lot of levels but is spread out very nicely.


Hope some of this info helps

Crys' mom

Riu map.png

Riu Cabo aerial beach view.png

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BTW...the picture above of the Riu is old.

Now there is the Riu Sante Fe which is behind and comes around to the left of the Palace when looking from the beach

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