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KIM02242012

Why get married in the Riviera Maya area?

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Hi everyone!

 

We just got engaged in Feb and I am now starting to plan our wedding. My family lives in California and my fiance's family lives on the east coast, so we thought having a destination wedding would be perfect. I'm starting to lean towards Mexico as a potential place to get married. A few friends have recommended either Riviera Maya or  Puerto Vallarta. I've actually never really been to Mexico and was wondering why all of you chose the Riviera Maya area.  I'm trying to get more info! We're planning on visiting one of the potential places to do some site visits, so I'm trying to figure out which one to visit (because I hope that is where we get married!)

 

Thanks so much! And, congrats!!! I'm excited to start planning.

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I can't comment on Puerto Vallarta but I love the Mayan Riviera for so many reasons!  First and foremost the Mayan Riviera is very affordable with many options from budget hotels to luxury resorts.  Food and drinks is great, in my opinion much better than the DR or Cuba.  Countless activities are available from visiting the ancient ruins of Tulum to ziplining, horseback riding, snorkeling, catamaran cruises etc.  5th Ave in Playa del Carmen is a whole experience in itself with all of its restaurants, bars, shops and of course Coco Bongo's.

 

The people are absolutely fantastic as tourism is their main income they are so helpful and friendly.  Money exchange is easy with almost every place accepting USD (Tulum Ruins is the only place I can think of that only take pesos).  The Cancun airport is large and sees a huge volume of flights daily so it should be fairly simpe for your guests to get direct flights in and out of the country.

 

On the downside the beaches are not as great as say Punta Cana in the DR, there is a lot more coral but are beautiful to look at and the water is warm!  Also to make your marriage legal in Mexico you must arrive 4 business days prior to the ceremony and have blood work done.  Because of our flight schedule we opted to a symbolic wedding in Mexico, arriving on a Friday night and getting married on Monday, things couldn't have been easier.  We met with the wedding coordinator on Saturday morning to go over the details and then enjoyed ourselves until Monday - no blood work, paper work or passports required.

 

To narrow down the huge lists of resorts in the Riviera you should ask yourself the following questions:

How much do you want your guests to spend?

All Inclusive?

Family Friendly?

Large or Small Resort?

What amenities do you need at the resort?

How long of a drive are you willing to go from the airport?

 

I have stayed at the following so if you have any questions about these resorts in particular let me know.

Grand Sirenis twice

Gran Bahia Coba

Grand Sunset Princess

Ocean Turquesa

Grand Xcaret

 

I also stayed at a resort in Cancun (I think it was a Barcelo) which I enjoyed but I prefer the Riviera.

 

Congrats & happy planning!

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Hello, 

  We found ourselves in the same situation and  and decided on Riviera Maya for many reasons. First of all, if you have many traveling guests, Mexico is super affordable. Our guest were able to get flights, transfers, meals, and drinks and some activities for on average $1200 per person for the week. The Riviera Maya can be whatever type of vacation you choose, so it is great for large wedding groups. Guest can hang out on the beach all day, or be adventurous and explore the cenotes and the ruins. There is so much to do in the area. As for the beaches, just do your research and you will find a great beach as well. We just got back from the Grand palladium, and the beach was pretty nice. If you want an even better beach head further south to Tulum, amazing beaches can be found there. I had my guests stay at an all-inclusive, then planned my wedding in Tulum....wow...it was best!! I will say we love to travel and there are many beautiful destinations out there, yet Mexico is hard to beat when talking value. If you have any questions please let me know. I have been on many cruises and all throughout the caribbean and Mexico many times, and would be willing to help with pros and cons of different areas.  I would also love to assist you in your wedding planning if you wish, as I am trying to get involved in wedding planning in the area. A couple lucky brides get to benefit while I become established. I have many pictures from my wedding I could show you to give you an idea. Mexico is a very beautiful place, you can have whatever type of wedding you wish here. I enjoyed a Mayan ceremony followed by a creative and colorful reception, yet more traditional weddings can also be created. My best advice is have fun with the process, it all goes by so fast. Happy Planning!!!

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Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your engagement!!

 

PV and RM are both gorgeous locations. 

 

I choose Riviera Maya because I live in the MidWest so it was cheaper for my guests.  The beaches are also the bright blue color that I had longed for in my dreams. 

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Personally I think that RM is way more beautiful that PV... I havent been to PV in about 5 years but I remember the water being sort of a brown color by the hotel. The beaches were not nice on the feet either! Once I got out into the ocean a ways the water did get better but as far as I am concered the water, beaches, people, and shopping is so much better in the RM... I am getting married in PDC next month. I love the feel of Playa it has that ole world feel to it!! Its also great cause you can take the ferry across to Cozumel, go visit all the cool caves, or go party it up in Cancun!! Budget was a factor for us for sure.. You can find great resorts in the RM for cheap! Im sure whever you pick, it will be GREAT

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Thanks everyone for your response! My fiance and I have deliberated, and have decided on Riviera Maya for our wedding. We're leaning towards Playa del Carmen. We're hoping to visit sometime in Fall to do a few resort visits.
 

Janette, we would like the resort to be affordable for our guests (and for us), but we want to still have the option of our parents being able to stay at a nearby more luxurious resort. I think there are some resorts that have a luxury sister resort nearby? I'm not too particular about distance from airport as long as it's an easy shuttle (or drive) to the resort. We'd prefer it to be as easy as possible. What is Gran Bahia Coba and Grand Xcaret like?

 

PamelaVan, thanks for all the info! I may take you up on that offer. I would love to see your pictures!

 

LuckyGal4, which venue did you decide on? There are so many!!

 

Thanks everyone again! I'm so excited!

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Kim-- Yes there are tons and it felt like it took us FOREVER to find the right place!! I wanted something budget and kid friendly as my sister and future SIL have kids. Anyways so we decided on... The Royal & The Gran Porto Real... There were lots of things that we like about the resorts!  They are both owned by the same company so they are sister properties, they are located side by side, and they are right in the middle of 5th Avenue (downtown). Plus they are both all-inclusive and that was a must for us!

I gave the guests the option of picking what resort they wanted to stay at. The Royal is all adult but is a little more pricey than The Gran Porto but if you stay at The Royal you also have access to The Gran Porto. The people with kids have to stay at The Gran Porto and dont have access to The Royal. The wedding/reception will be at The Royal and they do allow the kids to come over for that so that is nice!! Overall I think it was def the right pick for us, everything has gone smoothly so far cheer2.gifless than a month to go Im hoping it stays that way!!!

Congrats on the engagement btw!!! I wish you the best of luck and hope you have fun with picking a resort. If you have any questions please let me know!

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Thanks, for the info LuckyGal! I've been looking at both the Royal and Gran Porto for the same reasons you gave. Are you having a beach ceremony? Also, why did you choose to have the wedding/reception at the Royal instead of Gran Porto? I was originally looking at Gran Porto...I will have to check out the Royal also!

 

Thanks again! Good luck with the rest of your planning. It's coming soon!
 

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Kim-- Yes the ceremony is on the beach at 4:00 followed by a cocktail hour at 4:30 and then a dinner/reception 5:30 those are both being held at the gazebo... I've heard that the beach area over at The Royal is nicer... Plus we wanted to stay at The Royal since it is all adult so we figure we would just get married there! Check it out the pics are gorgeous!! Thank you I know it's sooo close!

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Originally Posted by KIM02242012 View Post

 

Thanks everyone for your response! My fiance and I have deliberated, and have decided on Riviera Maya for our wedding. We're leaning towards Playa del Carmen. We're hoping to visit sometime in Fall to do a few resort visits.

 

Janette, we would like the resort to be affordable for our guests (and for us), but we want to still have the option of our parents being able to stay at a nearby more luxurious resort. I think there are some resorts that have a luxury sister resort nearby? I'm not too particular about distance from airport as long as it's an easy shuttle (or drive) to the resort. We'd prefer it to be as easy as possible. What is Gran Bahia Coba and Grand Xcaret like?

 

PamelaVan, thanks for all the info! I may take you up on that offer. I would love to see your pictures!

 

LuckyGal4, which venue did you decide on? There are so many!!

 

Thanks everyone again! I'm so excited!

Personally out of all my trips to the Riviera I would not return to the Grand Xcaret, the beach is man made and out of all the resorts I have stayed it the food here was the worst.  Also I found there to be a strong sewer smell throughout the resort, even in our rooms some days.  On the plus side the Grand Xcaret is next to the Xcaret park and Xplor so it was very easy for us to get too.  The Gran Bahia complex is huge, with 4 resorts on the property (Coba, Tulum, Akumal & the new Sian Kaan) its probably about 30 to 40 minutes from Playa del Carmen, but its an easy drive on the highway or you can take a collectivo (form of public transit).  I liked the Gran Bahia due to its size since there was always something to do, numerous pools, restaurants and lots of entertainment.  The food at the Gran Bahia was great and for us very affordable, we booked a last minute deal from Halifax and only paid $900 taxes in for a week.  The Gran Bahia complex is also very close to the Tulum ruins.

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