The Perfect Wedding Dress for a Destination Wedding in Riviera Maya, Mexico

How to spark your creativity, look and feel stunning on your wedding day without breaking the bank.

WOW WOW WOW Riviera Maya with its incredible, beaches, tropical coastline, inlets, underground waterways, jungle, caves, and freshwater cenotes sure does provide the most picturesque venues for spectacular destination weddings. That coupled with the outstanding quality of Resorts such as Hotel Xcaret Mexico and it becomes clear to see why the destination has become such a firm favorite for couples from around the world.

Yet there is one huge mistake that I see brides make over and over again that often times has a negative effect on their wedding day experience, THE WEDDING DRESS. The climate here in Riviera Maya is Hot Hot Hot as well as super humid pretty much all year round. It can be a little cooler and less humid in the winter months, December, January, and February, but not by a great deal. The question you should be asking yourself when selecting your wedding attire is not, “Will I get hot and sweaty in this?” But rather, “How much will I sweat in this?  Whatever you wear your skin will get moist and a little sticky, it’s a 100% given and part of being in Riviera Maya and the Caribbean. 

After 10 years of photographing weddings in Riviera Maya I touch on this with all my clients during their pre-wedding consultation zoom call with me, yet oftentimes my advice is not heard or it’s too late because their wedding dress has already been purchased.  

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve observed brides holding the front of their dress-up above their knees in a vain attempt to get some air to their super sweaty legs. And how many times I have often thought to myself, “Boy this is surely going to be your 1st test as a husband” when I see the groom dive under the wedding dress in front of all the wedding guests in the middle of the dance floor to remove the garter from his newly wed’s leg that has been slippery wet for several hours. 

Or how many times I have seen a groom sweat entirely through his jacket, vest, or even his pants and crutch. 

Not exactly the best look for your wedding photos, not to mention the romantic experience that you had likely envisioned.

Yet worry not : ) There is a solution!!  One exemplified perfectly by the lovely, stunning, and creative bride Vanessa Grande who’s destination wedding adventure I photographed at Hotel Xcaret Mexico in June 2021. 

A collage of images from wedding venue Caleta Fuego at Hotel Xcaret Mexico

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Vanessa opted for 3 different looks that I thought were a perfect choice.

1st up was a lovely summer dress for her pre-wedding romantic photoshoot around hotel Xcaret Mexico and into the water.

 Often described as a ‘Trash the Dress” or “Rinse the Dress” photo shoot. This is something I offer for FREE to all my clients who book any of our wedding photography and/or video collections at Hotel Xcaret Mexico. I do this because Hotel Xcaret Mexico is all about the stunning waterways, caves, and inlets which you can’t truly take full advantage of and experience on your wedding day. In this shoot we spend 1 to 2 hours in the morning, capturing the couple enjoying the hotel’s exquisite architecture, playing on the beach, and having romantic fun in the caves, water, and pools. At moments my clients find themselves running through shallow water or even swimming and kissing underwater! I know, exciting and adventurous right !!  A once in a lifetime experience that is totally unique to the destination. With that said, it’s true that running through water or swimming can be challenging in any clothing, a heavy wedding dress with a long train, near on impossible. It’s all too easy to get your legs and feet all tangled up. Vanessa’s casual, beachy, bohemian dress that matched the environment but still looked a little bridal was perfect.

Morning Shoot: Free People: For Love & Lemons Temecula Maxi Dress

2nd outfit “The Ceremony Dress”

Lightweight, comfortable and timeless. 

The Perfect Dress for a Riviera Maya Wedding

3rd outfit “Party Time” 

Oftentimes at beach weddings I see brides kick off their shoes at the party. While the sensation of fine Riviera Maya white sand is a pleasant one for many, it may leave your wedding dress too long for you even when it’s bustled. This means you’re likely to find yourself and your guests tripped over your dress all night long. Vanessa however had this covered. She removed the bottom of her dress and reappeared after the dinner for the party in sexy pants!!! At the time she reminded me of Madonna : ) Her choice certainly enabled her to enjoy and move freely on the dance floor.

Ready to be inspired?

Before deciding to write this blog I wrote to Vanessa to ask if she would mind me posting a few of the wedding photos I captured of her online on social media. I explained that I thought she looked great throughout her destination wedding, how practical her choices were, and how I thought that we may offer value and help other future brides by sharing her outfit designers.

Read on to hear what the amazing Bride Vanessa has to say about her wedding dress choices and creations

Vanessa Grande

Hotel Xcaret Mexico Groom

Hi Vincent! 

 I am doing well, how are you? 

That is perfectly ok however I don’t really have “designers.” I kind of created these looks myself so this is what I got… 

  • Morning Shoot: Free People: For Love & Lemons Temecula Maxi Dress 

  • Wedding Dress: I made the top by adding lace to a DKNY bodysuit and then I created the detachable sleeves so I guess a custom made bodysuit and the skirt is BHLDN: Jenny by Jenny Yoo Clarke Skirt

  • Wedding Reception: Same custom bodysuit and H&M white pants 

For the morning look I wanted it to be casual but more importantly to match the natural backdrop. I wanted a beachy, bohemian dress that still looked bridal. 

For my wedding, I wanted to have two different looks however I was on a budget. I wanted the romantic classic look for the ceremony and then a fun, modern look for the reception. Most importantly, to be comfortable dancing all night. 

I had the idea of adding lace to a corset bodysuit (I bought it on Amazon!) and then creating the draped sleeves to achieve that romantic look. I made the sleeves detachable so that I can take them off for our first dance and dinner. 

When it was time for dancing, I ran to the bathroom and took off my skirt, put some straps on and some comfy, stretchy white pants. I spent $460 in total for all 3 looks. 

A little complicated but I hope it answers your questions! Let me know if you need anything else. I know as a bride any advice helps!

WOW so there we have it, Golden nuggets of advice!

Through her own creativity and budget consciousness, Vanessa made all the right decisions to create 3 stunning and functional destination wedding looks for just $460 USD. Now that’s inspiring would you agree?

Why Work with Pixan Photography and Video

Here at Pixan Photography, we are all about creating a unique connection with our clients so that we get to see you genuinely having the best time on your wedding day.  We draw on our extensive experience at Hotel Xcaret Mexico and Xcaret Park to help our clients define a wedding day photography – video service and timeline that best fits their day.

We know that when you our clients are super happy and in the best venue for your destination wedding such as Xcaret, with the right timeline plan for your events,  then your day will flow with beautiful ease, setting up the perfect environment for magic to happen! We will witness, connect and share in your joy, guiding our lens to capture genuine moments when you are touched by your loved ones, from when you walk down the aisle, to your speeches, and the expression on everyone’s face during your first dance. We will capture those moments for you to enjoy forever.

Engagement Photoshoot Promo - Take Pixan Photography for a Test Drive!

Engagement Photoshoot Promo

Are you planning a site inspection visit to Hotel Xcaret, Xcaret Park, Cancun, the Riviera Maya or Playa del Carmen?  Then take  advantage of our engagement photoshoot promo!

Book an engagement ‘save the date’ photoshoot with Pixan Photography, and not only do we get to meet in person to establish a connection, but we will deduct the cost of the shoot from whatever wedding or video collection you book with Pixan Photography for your destination wedding in Mexico.

Plus, you get stunning unique images that you can use for your wedding website, “Save the Date” cards and invitation.


Chase Gochenour

Hotel Xcaret Mexico Groom

Perfect balance of professional and fun. Made the entire experience easy and the results are out of this world beautiful. Highly rated for a reason.

Anna Foster

Hotel Xcaret Mexico Bride

We are so happy with our experience with Pixan. He was thoughtful, took time to get to know us and our preferences, and went about and beyond in service. The photos are spectacular and truly captured our special evening. We even did another shoot after the wedding that captured the incredible property. Us, our friends, and family are so impressed with the photos. We are very happy to have worked with Vincent.

Cheryl Jones

Hotel Xcaret Mexico Bride

From the minute we contacted Vincent, we knew we would be using Pixan as our photographers for our wedding in Mexico. Planning a destination wedding is challenging, but Vincent made it easy! He was quick to respond, friendly, helpful, and in a short time we built up a close relationship that left us in no doubt that our wedding photos would be magical.

On the day of the wedding he was fantastic- calm, full of stories but led by his photographers eye… always saying things like ‘oh that light is wonderful, let’s get you over there’ which left me and my husband smiling at one another, knowing he was working his magic and the results would be fantastic. We weren’t wrong! I spoke to Vincent during the ‘getting ready’ photos and told him that the most important shot to me was the look on my husband’s face as he saw me for the first time. Vincent waited with my husband as I waited for the music to be cued, getting photos of him awaiting his bride, and then dashed past to get the most amazing photos of the look on his face on he turned and saw me. I treasure that photo.

A couple of days after our ceremony photos we went to the beach and a private denote for a Trash the Dress photo shoot and, again, Vincent just amazed us! At every stage he directed us beautifully, he made us feel so special and important and it was never pressured. He was always fun with it too. I had been anxious around water but the underwater photos were an ultimate wedding goal for me, and Vincent was so patient in how he taught us, that we got the most incredible underwater photos out of it.

I really can’t begin to put into words just how fantastic Vincent is. I feel so very grateful to have had him as our wedding photographer.
If you are even vaguely considering booking Pixan for your photography please do it. You will not regret it!

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The benefits of working with a Destination Wedding Travel Agent

One of the most important things that we would recommend to our couples is to find an amazing destination wedding travel planner to help you, from the very beginning. This can be a big time saver and a huge stress reliever – and it will likely save you some money and/or get you some really nice perks

Our favorite wedding travel planner for Hotel Xcaret couples is Yellow Umbrella Events. In fact, Cheryl and Shea have helped more US couples set up their wedding room block at Hotel Xcaret than any other wedding travel planner in the world! I’ve found them to be a calm and caring guide to so many of our past (and current) couples. They are so thorough in setting up your room block, contacting and helping all your guests with their room reservation and shuttle transportation, and in tracking all the details for you and your guests.

Since working with the wedding department can be a bit difficult, we suggest connecting with Yellow Umbrella Events before you even contact the resort. If you’re considering a Hotel Xcaret wedding, give them a call first. They will start by talking you through all the details – resort options, wedding package options, other wedding costs you may not have considered, room block and travel options, and more. Then they’ll contact the resort on your behalf to help you secure your wedding date and room block.

Here are some of the great reasons you should consider working with Yellow Umbrella Events:

  • Their room block management service is complimentary for all Hotel Xcaret couples
  • Instead of waiting days or even weeks to receive a response from the wedding department, you’ll get rapid responses from their team
  • They offer a lower room block deposit by working with them, than if you work directly with the resort for this.
  • They also offer some really great perks (like a free cocktail hour and a $1,000 airfare credit) that you can’t get by booking directly with the resort!
  • They moderate a very active private FB Group exclusively for Hotel Xcaret couples, where they share all the latest information about weddings at the resort
  • They’ll work one on one with you and your guests through the entire process – And they have a direct number to reach them at.
  • They even build a custom one-page website for your wedding, that gives your guests all the details they could possibly need about the experience they will have at Hotel Xcaret and about booking their room in your room block. Here’s an example on one of those pages –

You can reach out to them by email at cheryl@yellowumbrellaevents, through their contact form at, or by calling their office at #512-902-2743. Please tell them I referred you! I know they’d love to know that I sent you their way

Other useful online Destination Wedding Guides for Hotel Xcaret Mexico and Xcaret Park

Cheryl and Shea Bailey from Yellow Umbrella Events have put together 2 more useful guides that are packed with information about getting married at Hotel Xcaret Mexico and the costs involved. I highly recommend that you check them out as both guides will compliment this article well and I know that Cheryl and Shea have your best interests at heart.

About the author of this article Vincent van den Berg

Born in the Netherlands, raised in the UK, Vincent travelled the world  for 10 years prior to moving to Mexico where he has now resided in  Playa del Carmen for almost 10 years with his wife and son. 

In 2017, Vincent van den Berg was voted one of the best 10 photographers in the world and #1 destination wedding photographer in Mexico.