Corona Beers at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Groom and Father at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Groomsmen at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Groom Preparing for Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
The Guys at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Bride Preparation at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Fun at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Stunning Bride at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Bridal Portraits at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Bridesmaids at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Groom Cries at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Bird's-eye View of Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Ceremony
Recessional at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Bridal Party at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding
Fun Shots at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding

BARCELO MAYA PALACE DELUXE WEDDING - THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

This is the ultimate guide to your perfect Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe wedding. It was written specifically for the Palace Resort although some topics apply to other hotels in the Barcelo Maya Grand Resort. 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 

Barcelo Weddings First Kiss

Here is the structure of this document. 

1. Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Ceremony Requirements

1.1. Civil Ceremonies

1.2. Symbolic Ceremonies

1.3. Catholic Ceremonies

1.4. Mayan Ceremonies

2. How to Book Your Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding

3. Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Packages

3.1. Symbolic Wedding Packages

3.2. South Asian Wedding Packages

3.3. Catholic Wedding Packages

4. Other Wedding Costs by Vendors

5. Best Locations for Your Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Ceremony

6. Best Wedding Photography Locations in the Area

7. Transportation

8. Pros and Cons of Having a Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding

9. Tips on How to Have the Best Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding

10. Best Wedding Photographers

11. Documents Needed

12. Real Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding - Katerina and Taylor

Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding Ceremony at the Gazebo

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. 

  • 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 daywithin 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.

3.Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Packages for 2017

3.1. Symbolic Wedding Pakcages

Please find below a summary of the wedding prices and packages. These  prices apply to the all hotels in Barcelo Grand Resort complex. For more details, please contact the establishment.

Package Cost US$
Blueberry Dream $1,900
Mint Breeze $2,600
Strawberry Passion $4,100
Tangerine Sunset $11,400
Coconut Paradise Free


Package Cost/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 Package Price* 
Moksha Complimentary
Dharma US$4,500
Artha US$8,300
Karma Love US$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. 

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 Package Price
Coconut Paradise Not Available
Mint Breeze Package US$3,100
Strawberry Passion US$4,600
Tangerine Sunset US$11,900


Fireworks at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe WeddingCOSTS 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 Deluxe Wedding

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.

The coral beach across from the 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.

Barcello Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding - Photography Award

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 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.

Environmental Portrait at Barcelo Maya Palace Wedding

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
January 7:30 - 8:30am
February 7:20 - 8:20am
March 7:00 - 8:00 am
April 6:30 - 7:30am
May 6:00 - 7:00am
June 6:00 - 7:00am
July 6:15 - 7:15am
August 6:30 - 7:30am
September 6:30 - 7:30am
October 6:45 - 7:45am
November 7:00 - 8:00am
December 7:15 - 8:15am


Month Evening Golden Hour
January 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
February 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.
March 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
April 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
May 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
June 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
July 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.
August 6:20 - 7:20 p.m.
September 5:50 - 6:50 p.m.
October 5:20 - 6:20 p.m.
November 5:00 - 6:00 p.m.
December 5:00 - 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 photoshoot 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' busses will take you to Barcelo.

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 busses.

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. 

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
  • 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
  • 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.)

Corona Beers at Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding 

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: Tropical, Colonial, Caribe, Beach. 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.

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.

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Portrait & Sparklers

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. Here are the wedding photographers I recommend.

Photographer Price
Chrisman Studios US$7,000+
Fer Juaristi US$7,000+
Davina & Daniel US$7,000+
Yours Truly US$2,500

My Barcelo Maya wedding packages provide the best value as they include a pre-wedding photo shoot and 10 hours on your wedding day. Yes I know, I'm a very affordable wedding photographer! I live in Canada, so blame it on the cheap Canadian dollar. Contact me to inquire about availability and discuss my Barcelo Maya wedding packages.

As of 2017, the preferred photographer of the resort is Passion Photo Studio. It is important to know that they are not the exclusive photographer at the Palace. Also, I have not seen any of their wedding photos so I can not comment on the quality. However, you need to know that with studios, very often the photographer whose pictures you see on the wall is not the same photographer covering your wedding.

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

Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding Photo


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!

12. Real Barcelo Maya Palace Deluxe Wedding - Katerina and Taylor

Photographing Katerina and Taylor wedding was a delight and I hope you enjoyed the gallery. Here is a video clip with highlights of their wedding.

Before coming to Mexico, I had a chance to photograph the couple here, in Toronto. Also, the day before the wedding, we went to Tulum for a pre-wedding photo shoot. Originally, we intended to visit the ruins for the shoot. However, we were denied access when Katerina showed up carrying a wedding gown. As such, we went to a private beach 10 minutes walk from the ruins where we shot some gorgeous images. I strongly recommend all my brides to have their engagement photos or a pre-wedding photo shoot about a month before the wedding. The reasons behind my suggestion are multifold. First, it allows the couple to learn how I work. Second, it's a good rehearsal for the wedding day and the bride and groom will be more relaxed during the wedding. Three, I also teach the bride and groom about light, posing and photography in general. That way, we can increase our chances of creating splendid imagery.

Katerina and Taylor started their day getting ready in their beautiful oceanview room. First, I photographed the boys getting ready inside the room, then we went out. We took the majority of the photos on the coral beach across from Coral Grill and by the Coco Bar and the pools. 

Katrina got ready at the splendid spa located at Barcelo Maya Caribe after a few hiccups with the golf cart. The spa provides perfect conditions for the bride preparation. It boasts huge floor to ceiling windows that allow plenty of natural light, a key ingredient for excellent photos. Also, I love photographing reflections and the mirrors in the spa are perfect for that. Overall, I'm very pleased with the wedding pictures taken during Katerina's getting ready.

Next, we came back to the palace for the wedding ceremony which took place in the gazebo at Palace. The wedding coordinator drove a golf cart into the underground parking lot so that nobody could see the beautiful bride. Barcelo are very good at orchestrating weddings. That is not surprising. According to estimates, Barcelo  Palace does at least 700 weddings per year in the whole complex of five resorts over 2000. Once the ceremony ended and the newlyweds and their guests had a couple of champagne we took the family photos on the gazebo steps. After that, we took some bridal party shots on the coral beach and took some fun shots at the lobby bar. Soon after we went for the creative shots to the white sand beach at Barcelo Maya Caribe. Once we finished our photo shoot we returned for the wedding reception.

The couple had the most beautiful beach reception I have ever seen. It was on the beach across from the Coco Bar, a perfect location if I may say. The bride and groom decorated the setting impeccably with light strings and paper lanterns. Also very important, they rented blue up lights to highlight the palm trees, which gave the atmosphere a dream like a look. They booked the Tangerine Sunset Wedding Package and it was totally worth. After the wedding reception that ended at 10:00 p.m., we went to El Jaguar disco bar to continue the party.

Vendor Love: 

Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist: the talented Lucia @LooksbyLucia (on Instagram)

Photography by Calin