TBW Planner/Coordinator Jennifer Smith answers some of the most commonly asked questions by brides and grooms when it comes to getting married in Akumal/Riviera Maya region …
Double Celebration – Birthday Cakes at Rehearsal Dinner
Do you speak Spanish?
Yes, I speak both Spanish and English. My staff is also adept at speaking both languages as well.
Why is Akumal/Riviera Maya an ideal place to get married?
I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in the world, and fortunately, this part of Mexico is easy to get to wherever you’re coming from, even if you’re traveling from overseas. And because we’re so close to the U.S., almost everyone speaks English in addition to Spanish of course. We also always have warm weather, averaging at least 85 degrees all year round. So it’s great for those that like tropical weather and enjoy the beach.
People with guests on various budgets also have plenty of options with accommodations varying from low end to high end — you have a wide variety to choose from whether it be a big resort, a small hotel or something private like a condo or villa.
Is it cheaper to have a wedding in Akumal/Riviera Maya opposed to one in the U.S.?
This is actually one of most expensive places in Mexico but if you compare what you’ll get in a wedding here and spend that same amount in the states — you’ll easily spend $30,000 for a one day celebration in U.S., when that same amount spent here in Mexico will give you and your guests an experience that will last at least 2 or 3 days. The one thing we’ve heard over and over again from our couples and their guests is that “it’s the best wedding they’ve ever been to!”
Whatever your budget and needs, we can work with you and tailor your wedding experience based on what is most important to you.
How far in advance do I need to book my wedding date?
In the states, couples often book their Wedding date at least a year in advance. We really only need about a week or so to pull together a wonderful event, however, we encourage couples to book at least 4 to six months in advance to get the date and venue they want. The venue is the most important thing couples need to book right away, all the details of the event can be figured out later. After selecting the venue and date, the next two most important things are getting an officiant and booking your photographer. All the wedding particulars can be figured out as little as a week ahead of time, because things like final flower counts and menu decisions are usually needed only about a week before the wedding — numbers always change depending on the final guests count.
Should we do a site visit and check out the area months in advance before planning our Wedding Day?
It’s wonderful if you can swing a visit to the area and meet with us before booking your date/venue, but it isn’t necessary at all. I will say 75% of our clients have actually never been to the area or met us before their actual Wedding trip. But either way, when you finally do come into town — either months in advance or during the week of your Wedding — we can plan to do a food and cake tasting, hair/makeup trial if you opt to use one of our local stylist, and we can also schedule some tours of your venue/facility to check things out prior to the Big Day.
What do you require if we want to book your services?
I ask for a $500 non-refundable deposit to hold and lock your date — that can be paid via Paypal or bank deposit. The remaining balance is due following your Wedding celebration.
Do we need to bring our own decor?
Unless you have a specific item that isn’t available in our area of Mexico (definitely ask us first!), you do not need to bring your own decor at all. We have everything, and if we don’t have it, I can get it or have it made in time for your Wedding event. I also do not recommend that you have things shipped to the area because shipping fees are high and there is a 33% import tax on anything that comes in. There’s also no guarantee it will arrive safely or without any damages.
Can you provide the manpower and staff for large scale events?
We have the staff needed no matter the size of the wedding or event. From a two-person celebration to a huge one with more than 200 guests, we can take care of it!
Is it cheaper if we book a weekday wedding opposed to an event during the weekend?
Because this is a destination location, you can book your wedding any day of the week and the price remains the same. However it is important to note that holiday weddings will be more pricy because vendors will charge more. Our best advice is to arrive in town at least 2-3 days ahead of your festivities, get married on a weekday so that you’ll still have part of the week and the weekend to enjoy your vacation!
If we get married in Mexico will our marriage be valid/legal?
The only way to legally get married in Mexico is through a Civil Ceremony, which costs about $1,000 and requires bloodwork, doctors, a judge, and filing the proper documentation at city hall. So having a civil ceremony in Mexico does require some extra preparation in advance, the filing of paperwork and it can be costly. For those not wanting to go through these steps, we recommend that you do a quick legal ceremony at home first, then come to Mexico to have your dream wedding and enjoy the experience of being surrounded by family and friends.
What types of wedding ceremonies do you offer in Mexico?
Venue wise, you can get married anywhere — on the beach at sunset, overlooking the ocean, at a private villa or at a church. Whatever your vision, we’ll do our best to make it come to life. You can have a Civil Ceremony, a Mayan Cosmic Ceremony, or a Catholic Ceremony (but keep in mind a priest can only perform this inside a church and will not do a ceremony on the beach).
Las Casitas Beach, Akumal
What are our menu options for our Wedding Reception?
We are happy to offer our clients a combination of dishes off our restaurant menu, or if there’s a special dish they want for their Wedding Day, we will try and see if we can make it happen — if we have enough notice ahead of time. Your reception menu is completely customized to your wishes and budget, and we are also happy to give you menu suggestions as well. Our clients also have the choice of an appetizer hour, plated dinner service, a buffet or a mixture of both. Click here to take a look at our restaurant menu.
Do you offer full open bar service or can we provide our own alcohol for the event?
One of the reasons why couples love doing weddings with Turtle Bay Weddings is because we offer the option of full bar service and/or providing your own alcohol (with service by our staff). Full service open bar rates vary depending on your choices of alcohol/spirits served, but we actually encourage people to buy their own alcohol (we offer glassware and bartender/server rental), and we’ll even provide you with a suggested shopping list on how much alcohol you’ll need to purchase and where you can get it for the best price in the area.
How long should we plan to stay during our Wedding week?
It’s always a great idea when couples and their family and friends can stay in the area and stretch the wedding experience into a nice long vacation, after all, you’re already here — enjoy it! But coming into town at least 2-3 days in advance is always a good idea so we can go over any last minute details and food/cake tastings if need be, but the one thing I stress to all our couples and their guests is NOT to leave the day after the Wedding. After a fun celebration the last thing you will want to do is pack your bags and leave to go back home. Give yourself at least a day or two to rest before you leave paradise and head back home 🙂
Can I send you some inspiration photos or ideas on what I’d like my Wedding ceremony and reception decor to look like?
Yes absolutely, we love it when our brides/grooms send us inspiration photos! Then I’ll have an idea of what you’re looking for and I can tell you if it will work or not, or how we can alter it to make it work.
Do you cater/coordinate/plan weddings only?
We provide services for all kinds of events not just weddings — we can put together a celebration for any occasion: baby showers, bridal showers, birthday parties, reunions, Christmas parties, anniversaries, vow renewals and of course weddings.
Do I ever need to worry about safety being an issue — is the area safe for me to bring my family and friends?
It is safer where we live in Quintana Roo than Orlando, Florida — this is something you can look up. We have a low crime rate and it’s probably safer here than the city you are living in. But no matter where you go, you always need to have common sense and be aware — don’t be careless and leave money or valuables laying around. The thefts here are usually snatch and grabs, so be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables out of sight always.
Is it safe to drink the water?
You can drink water and/ice if it’s been bottled and purified. Just take a moment to ask your server anywhere you go!
Do you have any other questions? Feel free to get in touch with us by clicking on the “Contact” tab on the right side of the main menu above and send us your queries. We’re happy to answer any questions you might have!