When my fiance and I made the decision to do a destination wedding, I was overwhelmed with all the suggestions on Google & Pinterest. I printed out hundreds of sheets of resort information and wedding packages. I sorted them by price and location and most important wedding details…and I cried and cried when I couldn’t figure out the right choice.
The tears were for naught. We went through a few basic steps to narrow our choices.
1. Location: Riviera Maya won because it is an older city with more opportunities to see ruins and archeological sites. We were also trying to steer clear of Cabo and Cancun because of the huge tourist base. With lots of tourism comes over-crowded resorts, poor customer service, and long lines. This is the NUMBER ONE thing to consider when choosing your resort!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. Wedding Package: We took a long hard look at all the packages resorts offered. This is truly overwhelming! Narrow it down to your top 3 priorities. Mine were honeymoon package, reception package (decorations, set up) and price. This brought us down to 3 resorts in Riviera Maya.
3. Style of Resort: Some resorts are big and touristy with lots of entertainment on site. Some are kid-friendly. Some are adults-only. Some are well-known for weddings, while others are boutique hotel off the beaten path. After considering the options, we decided we wanted an adults-only resort for a more intimate feel. We also wanted the resort to be all-inclusive, which brought us to the Karisma Resort chain.
4. Resort reviews: This is the most crucial once you narrow down your selections. Thank goodness for TripAdvisor! We kept our eye on the reviews for our top three Karisma resorts for a few months before making a final decision. It’s important to look at the time of year the review was written (based on when the guests stayed). Since we were planning on an April wedding, we really focused on guest reviews from February-June. Unfortunately for me, even with review photos it was difficult to picture myself anywhere. Bring in Google Maps! I actually took a virtual tour around the outside of the resorts! This helped me finalize my decision at last.
5. Find a travel agent that has been to your resort. We never use agents, but in order to ensure all of your guests are accommodated together, it’s best to go through an agent for a wedding. He/She should be the main negotiator between you and the resort. Lots of resorts “certify” agents as representatives for them. Choose an agent wisely. While they may not charge, you want your agent to know what your resort looks like, know the staff, and know how to negotiate for your group. Sometimes airfare is cheaper if you book it on your own, but booking rooms through the agent is usually beneficial for you! We asked if there were any deals for us, the bride and groom, if we had a minimum number of guests…and there was! We got a kickback for each person who booked through our agent.
In the end, El Dorado Maroma was PERFECT for us.
If you’re interested in my bridal experience with them, check out my next blog:
Maroma Bride Guide