Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Guide

Love at Barcelo Maya
Love at Barcelo Maya

This article has been submitted by the award winning photographer Calin (www.bycalin.com)

This is the ultimate guide to your perfect Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe wedding. It was written specifically for the Palace Resort on Mayan Riviera although some topics apply to other hotels in the Barcelo Maya Grand Resort, such as Barcelo Maya Beach Resort and Barcelo Maya Colonial. This article will save you time and money. Have a fantastic wedding and a long and happy life together! If you are looking for a weeding photographer, please do not hesitate to email me at info@bycalin.com

Wedding Ceremony at Barcelo Maya Palace
Wedding Ceremony at Barcelo Maya Palace

1. BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING CEREMONIES REQUIREMENTS

1.1. CIVIL CEREMONIES REQUIREMENTS

If you have a civil ceremony at Barcelo, you will be considered legally married in Mexico. However, you need to legalize the documents in your own country.

  • The bride and groom and four witnesses must be at the hotel four business days prior to the wedding. Saturdays, Sundays and Mexican legal holidays are not considered business days.
  • Civil ceremonies are performed by a Justice of The Peace in Spanish and translated into English. Please inquire about additional fees besides the ones listed below:

Cost Item Fee USD$
Apostille Seal $95
Blood Tests $230
Judge Transportation $100
Documentation $750

1.2. SYMBOLIC CEREMONIES REQUIREMENTS

If you choose to have a symbolic ceremony to avoid paperwork, you should first get married in your own country. Also, couples who want to renew their vows usually pick a symbolic ceremony held by a non-denominational minister.

  • The bride and groom must be at the resort 2 to 3 business days before the wedding. Saturdays, Sundays and Mexican legal holidays are not considered business days.
  • Symbolic ceremonies are performed in Spanish or English

1.3.CATHOLIC CEREMONIES REQUIREMENTS

  • Catholic ceremonies are performed only at the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe chapel
  • Catholic ceremonies require a Nihil Obstat letter. This is a document that confirms that all the conditions required by the Catholic Church to be married are met by the bride and groom
  • Catholic ceremonies can be performed from Monday to Saturday (except Tuesdays) and are subject to priest’s availability
  • For Catholic Ceremonies the bride and groom should be at the resort three business days prior to the wedding. Saturday, Sunday, and Mexican legal holidays are not considered business days.

1.4. MAYAN CEREMONIES REQUIREMENTS

If you are getting married on Riviera Maya, you might as well have a Mayan wedding ceremony performed by a shaman according to the traditional Mayan customs. The ceremonies can be held Mondays to Saturdays.

2. HOW TO BOOK YOUR BARCELO MAYA PALACE WEDDING

First, you need to inquire about the availability. In order to do so, please email weddings3@barcelomaya.com and one of the wedding coordinators will reply. Christian Jimenez is one of the best Barcelo wedding coordinators.

Here’s the information that the resort requires in order to confirm availability.

  • Bride and groom’s full names
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Name of the travel agent (person)
  • Name of the travel agency
  • Type of wedding (legal, symbolic, Catholic, South Asian, or Mayan)
  • Wedding package
  • Number of Wedding Guests (tentative)

Second, your wedding coordinator will put your wedding date ON HOLD. This does not mean your wedding day is confirmed.

Three, to secure your wedding day, within two months, you need to email a copy of the Reservation Manifest or an invoice from your travel agent. The confirmation must include the name of the bride and groom, the arrival date and the departure date and time. Only then, Barcelo will be able to confirm your wedding date.

Next, start planning with your wedding coordinator. Please note that 90% of your guests have to stay at Barcelo. For those guests who choose to stay at the different hotel, there are costs about which you should be aware. There is a $15/guests fee to use the gazebo. Bonus tip: your wedding coordinator can waive some small fees. Please inquire about any other fees with the establishment.

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3.BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING PACKAGES FOR 2017

3.1. SYMBOLIC WEDDING PACkAGES

Please find below a summary of the wedding prices and packages. These prices apply to the all hotels in Barcelo Grand Resort complex, located on Riviera Maya about 10 minute drive from Puerto Aventuras. For more details, please contact the establishment.

PackageCost US$
Blueberry Dream$1,900
Mint Breeze$2,600
Strawberry Passion$4,100
Tangerine Sunset$11,400
Coconut ParadiseFree
PackageCost/Guest*
Mint Breeze$30
Strawberry Passion$70
Tangerine Sunset$79

*Cost/Guest refers to the cost per additional guests not included in the package.

Please note that the wedding packages above do not include services such as: photography, videography, DJ, etc.

3.2. SOUTH ASIAN WEDDING PACKAGES

Barcelo Maya Palace is specialized in Indian, Muslim, Sikh, weddings. Here is a summary of the South Asian wedding packages offered. The price list is for 50 guests and the right column provides the cost per head for the extra guests.

Wedding PackagePrice*
MokshaComplimentary
DharmaUS$4,500
ArthaUS$8,300
Karma LoveUS$14,000

*Price for 50 guests

Extra Cost/Guest

Moksha $50

Dharma $50

Artha $55

Karma Love $70

For more details please contact the establishment.

Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Guide 1

3.3. CATHOLIC WEDDING PACKAGES

Catholic ceremonies will only be hold in the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe chapel. If you dream about a beach ceremony, please select one of the symbolic wedding packages.

Catholic Wedding PackagePrice
Coconut ParadiseNot Available
Mint Breeze PackageUS$3,100
Strawberry PassionUS$4,600
Tangerine SunsetUS$11,900

First Dance at Barcelo Maya Palace
First Dance at Barcelo Maya Palace

COSTS BY VENDORS

Hair and makeup is included in the wedding packages but if you want to bring outside hair and makeup artists it will cost you US$300.

Officiant US$300 cash paid before the ceremony.

Mariachi (45 minutes) US$512

DJ (3 hours) – $700 (I heard of cases where the DJ stayed two extra hours at no charge because the wedding coordinator asked him)

Open Bar

If your guests do not stay at the Palace or you want extended open bar, here are the fees you need to pay.

  • domestic drinks US$12 per person per hour
  • premium drinks US$15 per person per hour

Photography and Videography (Please see section 10 for prices)

For photography services, you can use your own photographer or the one provided by the hotel. The resort will obviously support their in house studio. Also, local photographers will claim you can not bring your own photographer which is not true. Others say it is illegal to hire a Canadian. False! I photographed several weddings at this resort, so I am proof this is not true. In fact, I confirmed with the Mexican Consulate in Toronto that I have the legal right to photograph in Mexico without a work permit or special visa. If the transaction occurs outside Mexico, you do not need to pay taxes. However, if the payment occurs in Mexico, you are supposed to pay local VAT taxes called IVA = 16%. As a side note, all the prices at Barcelo shops include taxes.

If your photographer does not stay at the resort for 4 days, you will need to pay a $500 fee. The above apply to videography services as well.

Newlyweds on the Beach at Barcelo Maya Palace
Newlyweds on the Beach at Barcelo Maya Palace

5. BEST LOCATIONS FOR YOUR BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING CEREMONY

You have a few options when it comes to the location of your wedding ceremony. As usually, each has its own pros and cons.

The gazebo is one of the most popular. Among the biggest advantages of the gazebo is that you will be protected from the sun. Second, the gazebo looks beautiful decorated. Unfortunately, sometimes curious passersby stop to look at the ceremony and might photo bomb your wedding shots.

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The coral beach across from the buffet restaurant Coral Grill and Bar is your second option. This is by also a good area for wedding pictures. Because the beach is rocky, it is deserted. As such you will have the ocean as a perfect backdrop without anybody ruining your marriage images.

I do not recommend the sandy beach by the pools in the Coco Bar area because there are always swimmers in the background.

Bridal Party Portrait at Barcelo Maya Palace
Bridal Party Portrait at Barcelo Maya Palace

6. BEST PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN THE AREA & BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH

For your family photos there are a few good spots at the Palace. My first preference is the rooftop during golden hour. Next, the steps of the Gazebo and third, the coral beach. If it rains, the lobby might be the best bet or if you wish we can take the family photos the next day.

For the creative photo shoot I suggest going to the Maya Caribe beach next to buffet restaurant Captain Morgan Grill. Also, I strongly recommend doing a dedicated photo shoot on a separate day. That way, you will be able to fully enjoy your wedding day. There are many options, from shooting inside the resort to going to a cenote or a white sand beach.

Night Portrait of Newlyweds at Barcelo Maya Palace
Night Portrait of Newlyweds at Barcelo Maya Palace

BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH AT BARCELO MAYA

The best time of the year to photograph a wedding on Riviera Maya is during the dry season (end of October to April). In terms of time of the day, the golden hour is the best part of the day for wedding photos. Below you can find a table listing the morning and Golden Hour, my favourite period of the day for wedding photos at Barcelo Maya. This applies to all the resorts in the complex.

Month Morning Golden Hour
January7:30 – 8:30am
February7:20 – 8:20am
March7:00 – 8:00 am
April6:30 – 7:30am
May6:00 – 7:00am
June6:00 – 7:00am
July6:15 – 7:15am
August6:30 – 7:30am
September6:30 – 7:30am
October6:45 – 7:45am
November7:00 – 8:00am
December7:15 – 8:15am
MonthEvening Golden Hour
January5:30 – 6:30 p.m.
February5:45 – 6:45 p.m.
March6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
April6:00 – 7:00 p.m.
May6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
June6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
July6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
August6:20 – 7:20 p.m.
September5:50 – 6:50 p.m.
October5:20 – 6:20 p.m.
November5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
December5:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Please note that the sun sets earlier in areas with tall buildings or trees. Also, you want to avoid having the photo shoot between 12 and 3pm as it is very hot, especially in the summer. Also, the light is really unflattering around noon.

7. TRANSPORTATION

If you and your guests arrive together at the airport, there is an option to have a dedicated shuttle bus only for you and your wedding party. Otherwise, your tour operators’ buses will take you to Barcelo, minutes from Puerto Aventuras, a little town with about 10,000 inhabitants on Mayan Riviera.

Inside the resort there are many means of transportation ranging from double-decker shuttle buses to cabs or car rentals. They are safe and come fairly often. Also, the bellboys can call a cab or give you more information about the schedule of the shuttle buses.

You can rent a car at the office found at the lower level at the Palace, close to the gym and the wedding coordinators office. There is parking available in the underground.

On the wedding day, you can request a golf cart that will take you to the spa where you will have your preparation. Either call the reception or ask the bellboys to call one for you. The same golf cart will take you back to the Palace one you are done with your hair and makeup. When you are ready to go to your ceremony, your wedding coordinator will escort you to the underground garage so that nobody sees you. From there, you will take the elevator to the shops level hallway that leads to the gazebo or the coral beach. Please note that golf carts start their service at 8 a.m. However, one of my brides had some issues and could not get the golf cart until 8:30 a.m. As such, she had to walk to the spa, which is 10 minutes walk on the beach. It is always a good idea to build in some time buffers in your wedding timeline.

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8. PROS AND CONS OF HAVING A BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING

Here are the pros and cons of having a wedding of this beautiful resort.

Pros

  • Barcelo wedding packages are way less expensive than in US or Canada
  • Riviera Maya boasts splendid scenery that will make your wedding photos look perfect
  • How often can you spend a week or two with your friends and family in paradise?
  • The wedding dinner is delicious
  • Barcelo provides one in-room safe regardless of the room, from junior suites to penthouses. I never had issues with the in-room safe even though I left expensive equipment inside.
  • Tasty food for adults and kids
  • Plenty of à la carte restaurants in the complex
  • Phenomenal entertainment
  • Beautiful pools for adults and children
  • Entertainment for children
  • Snorkel with the sea turtles and plenty of fish right at the beach next to the pools (feed them pieces of bananas – they love it)
  • El Jaguar Disco Club is awesome
  • The Theater has good shows every single day
  • Beautiful rooms from the Junior Suite to the exclusive penthouses
  • Internet in your room (at extra cost)

Cons

  • Sometimes you cannot find the exact brands you prefer
  • The products sold at the shops are a bit pricey
  • You have to pay for the Internet US$7/day (if you pay through your room, you get a 25% discount.)
Bride and Groom Enjoy a Drink on the Beach
Bride and Groom Enjoy a Drink on the Beach

9. TIPS FOR A PERFECT BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING

If you have a beach wedding reception at night I strongly recommend that you add string light and instruct your DJ to project his lights towards your head table. Please take a look of my Barcelo Maya album under weddings/albums to see how your wedding could look like if you pick a beach package.

As a Barcelo Palace guest, you can visit all the other hotels: Barcelo Maya Beach Resort, Barcelo Maya Colonial, Caribe and Tropical. I urge you to visit the Tokyo Japanese restaurant where you can have a delicious teppanyaki and a lot of fun, the mall, and the Jaguar Disco Club.

As a Premium Level or Club Premium client ($25/day per person), you enjoy privileges such as:

  • unlimited a-la-carte restaurant access
  • welcome letter with a bottle of sparkling wine
  • private early check-in and late check-out
  • free wifi in the room
  • access to the Club Premium lounge with computers, internet, bar and concierge services. Given that internet is $7/day, I think Club Premium could be a good option for a couple getting married here

On your wedding day, please build some time buffers in case things don’t go according to plan.

If you want to do a pre-wedding photo shoot, at the ruins you might not be allowed. Instead, I can take it to a private beach 10 minutes walk from the ruins.

Newlyweds Night Portrait With Sparklers on the Beach
Newlyweds Night Portrait With Sparklers on the Beach

10. BEST WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHERS

I am a Professional wedding photographer based in Toronto and a judge in Canadian National Wedding Photography Competitions. I know a thing or two about photography.

For the destination weddings I do, couples cover the accommodation and flight costs besides the wedding photography package.

Contact me to inquire about availability and discuss my Barcelo Maya wedding packages.

11. DOCUMENTS NEEDED

These stipulations apply to legal marriages and are general guidelines. Please contact the establishment for the most updated list of documents you need. Here is the list that will give you a head start in your preparations:

  1. Original passports plus certified copies
  2. Birth certificates
  3. Four witnesses with birth certificates and tourist cards
  4. Translation of documents into Spanish by an official translator
  5. Prenuptial medical certificates with blood tests issued in Mexico within 15 days of ceremony
  6. If the bride or groom were previously married they need a divorce decree (certified copy) and a death certificate if widowed
  7. An appostile document must be attached to the divorce decree, death certificate, adoption or name change documents
  8. Please note that the couple has to arrive in Mexico 3 working days prior to the wedding date and the witnesses 2 working days. Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays are not business days. Here is a list of Mexico’s legal holidays.
Newlyweds Thank You Card
Newlyweds Thank You Card

I hope this collection of information and tips will help you plan your wedding! Feel free to share the link on social media or your friends if you feel other brides will benefit from it. Have a fantastic Barcelo wedding!

Barcelo Maya Wedding Films

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