Hotel vs Private Venue... Pros & Cons

villa la joya at night

Choosing between having your wedding in an all inclusive hotel or a private venue is HUGE for a destination wedding.

Some couples want the advantages and comfort of having the wedding steps away from their hotel room.  Others love the freedom to do a tailor-made event.  Let’s see the PROS  and CONS from each place, shall we?



  • All the events take place in the same location (ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner reception) hence you won’t have to transport all the guests.
  • The wedding packages are usually cheaper than private venues or even free when having certain numbers of rooms booked.
  • The more rooms your guests book, the easier will be for you to negotiate extra perks for the event.
  • Many hotels in Cancun and Riviera Maya offer benefits for the bride and groom such as complimentary nights when booking more than 10 rooms per 3 nights, room upgrades, massages, romantic dinners etc.


  • Little or no flexibility in changing the wedding packages so if you want certain style for your wedding the hotel will charge you for every single item.
  • Little or no privacy during the ceremony, the beach and ground areas of the hotel are public, and they cannot forbit other hotel guests from passing by (they can ask nicely though and people generally move from your photos shots).
  • At least 80% of your guests will have to stay in the hotel, otherwise there might be an extra charge just to enter the resort (day / wedding pass).
  • Some resorts ask guests to do their reservation through a group contract and if done through another channel, they will charge extra to add the guests in the wedding group.
hyatt Ziva Cancun

Private Venue


  • You can style your wedding as you wish and hire all the suppliers of your choice.
  • The guests will be able to pick the accommodation they want and can afford.
  • Later Curfews.
  • The location will be private, entirely for you and your loved ones, so no curious tourists in bikini.
  • You can pick the time and scenario you like for every event (some hotels assign the time of ceremony according to their availability as well as location).


  • The rental fees are higher than hotel wedding packages, they start in $2,000 usd to $7,000 usd just for the space for 6 to 10 hours.
  • You will need to hire round-trip transportation for your guests to get to the venue.
  • Some venues do not have a covered area to used as Plan B in case of bad weather or it doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate all your guests, this means you will need to hire a tent.
ceremony setup secret jewel venue

So there  you have it! Now with this intel you can choose wisely according to your needs!

Looking for wedding venues in Riviera Maya? Read this post to know the right questions to ask!

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