My wedding was at the RIU Palace Mexico on April 5, 2014. I just got home recently and wanted to give you a bit of info since it was so hard for me to find any when I was researching for mine. This will be especially helpful for those expecting larger parties. This might be long but I'll try to make it as concise as possible!
- I had a total of 75 people - 44 adults, 8 kids (12 and younger) and 3 infants (2 and younger).
- We went with the Royal Wedding package
- Originally planned for beach ceremony and private garden reception, but I saw a beach ceremony the 2nd day I was there - HORRIBLE!!! I couldn't believe the indecency of people on the beach. They gathered around the arch, literally right beside you and the officiant, in their bathing suits, taking pictures. Plus it's super windy, not good news for your hair or veil. Luckily they let me have both the ceremony and reception in the garden - much more private, highly recommended!
I'm from Canada and had booked through Signature Vacations, they offer a wedding planner service which I do NOT recommend. They act as a middle man between you and the wedding coordinator at the resort. In my experience, you will get quicker answers and more importantly, answers at all, if you deal directly with the resort.
The following is what had to be paid before I arrived. It's supposed to be 45 days ahead of time but I didn't pay until a week before I left (at the fault of my Signature wedding planner).
$1775 for Royal Wedding Package (includes 20 guests including the wedding couple)
$25 for each additional adult (this covers cake, champagne and set up - basically their chairs)
$13 for each additional child
$70 per adult for a BBQ buffet with open bar for 4 hrs. (the 20 incl. in the package no longer applies when doing a private reception)
$35 per child
We met with our planner the 2nd day. Veronica was great! We spent about an hr and a half with her going over all the details and questions I had. She has an iPad and a couple binders of all the options you have, everyone's lives would have been easier if us brides had access to this ahead of time! All the different gazebos, chairs, decorations - they have alot of options so if there's something you have in mind just ask!
- ask for a quick rehearsal or you won't get one. Highly recommended!
- ask for an aisle runner if you do it in the garden, my heels kept sinking into the grass, making it really hard to walk
This is what I had to pay for once we met her:
$910 for the audio and lights (DJ not incl)
$200 for vendors fee - I used Sascha Gluck as my photographer, he's AMAZING!
$305 to upgrade the arch to a simple gazebo with draping
$46 for each long rectangular table - I used it as a head table, it would fit 8 comfortably, 10 was a bit tight
$7 for each standard round table - fits 8 comfortably
$150 for setup
$150 for table cloths
- The $150 setup fee is mandatory regardless of whether you bring your own decor or not. There's no fee to set up your own decorations
I brought my own bouquets, chair sashes and ceremony decor.
I recommend buying your chair sashes on eBay - I bought mine from lingsupplies with no issues. $65 for 100 organza sashes. When I met with Veronica she had the exact same ones - to rent is $4 each.
I gave my shepherds hooks and pomanders to Veronica and she knew exactly what to do with them and returned them to me a couple days later.
Setup - if you're facing the beach, the only green space between the rooms and the pool, on the left, is where the ceremony is setup. Directly opposite on the right is where the reception is setup.
Our ceremony was at 4PM and it was hot! I couldn't imagine doing it any earlier, my makeup would've melted off. It lasts for about 15-20 minutes. A semi-private cocktail hour was included, with no extra charge, between the ceremony and reception times at the theater. We took our couples and group shots until 6:30, reception was at 7:00. The half hour lag time was not bad but I think I would've changed the reception time to 6 or 6:30 because our guests were starving by 7.
- For parties less that 30 people, you can save a bit of money and do a semi private dinner at the Steakhouse or Mexican restaurants. The 2 seating times are 6:30-8:30 or 8:45-10:30. Sorry I don't have any prices for this.
- For parties more than 30 you have the option of doing a semi private dinner only at the second seating (8:45-10:30) or doing a private reception - on the beach, in the garden or at the convention center at the RIU Tequila.
I agree that it does get frustruating that they charge for every single little thing but when you end up comparing it to the cost of a wedding at home, you're still saving lots! All in all we spent about $10,000 for 75 people.
I can't think of much else but if you ladies have any questions feel free to ask!
I am getting married at this resort 05/16/2015! I was wondering if you could send me what the upgraded gazebo looked like? Was the grassy area semi private? I don't mind people watching at all!! I just don't want people like standing beside my wedding party while we are getting married. How was the service and the hotel rooms? Did you make your own bouquets or did you buy them from somewhere before you left home? Did you do any other decorations other than the chair sashes during the ceremony? Do you know if you are allowed to make any type of speeches at the semi private dinner? Thank you!!!