A wedding is a beautiful celebration of love and commitment, and what better way to celebrate than in a tropical paradise? Playa del Carmen, located on the breathtaking Riviera Maya in Mexico, is the perfect destination for a dream wedding. With its pristine white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant culture, Playa del Carmen offers a truly unforgettable experience for couples seeking a romantic and unique destination wedding. Michelle and Jose are the perfect example of how truly beautiful a Playa Del Carmen wedding can be!

Why a Destination Wedding?

The real question is, why not a destination wedding? Destination weddings make your wedding day that much more of an occasion. You get to have all of your closest friends and family fly out to celebrate and you usually get to hang out for an extra day or two. Typically weddings in your hometown are a one-day occasion while destination weddings are 2-4 day celebrations. And of course, destination weddings are always absolutely gorgeous. If you’re not convinced yet, then keep reading to learn more about Michelle and Jose’s dreamy Playa Del destination wedding!

playa del carmen destination wedding in mexico c

Michelle and Jose’s Playa Del Carmen Wedding

Michelle and Jose chose to tie the Knot at The Hard Rock Hotel in Playa Del Carmen. And this was by far one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever captured! Playa Del Carmen offers pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and warm hospitality that will make your destination wedding unforgettable! 

When Michelle and Jose reach out to me about both wedding photography and videography, I was beyond excited. This was my first destination wedding and wow I definitely hope that it won’t be my last! 

The Night Before the Wedding

As I said before, one of the best parts of having a destination wedding is that it is a multiple-day celebration. The night before the wedding, Michelle and Jose got together with some of their friends and family to have some drinks on the patio and get hyped for the wedding. As their photographer, I also went to capture these moments of everyone laughing and hanging out which was really special! 


family photo at rehearsal dinner

Playa Del Carmen Wedding Day

When it comes to destination weddings, it may seem like it will be way different than a normal wedding but in reality, the day is pretty. The girls were all getting ready in one area and the guys in another. And in the typical groom and groomsmen fashion, they were just hanging out and smoking a cigar not having to do much lol. 

After everyone was ready I took the bridesmaid and groomsmen aside to get some photos of them before they got sweaty because it was so hot in Mexico. Ahh, they all looked so amazing! The men wore white pants with green shirts which was perfect for the tropical vibe of this wedding. And the bridesmaids wore these beautiful mismatched light green flowy dresses! 

Rather than doing a traditional first look with the bride and groom, Michelle wanted to do a first look with her bridesmaids. It was such a special moment and they even sprayed champagne all over each other on the patio overlooking the ocean, which was beautiful. 

groom smoking cigars with groomsmen
groom and groomsmen smoking cigars
bride and bridesmaids first look
bride and bridesmaids pop champagne
bride and bridesmaid pop champagne

Time for the Beach Ceremony

The location for this wedding ceremony was breathtakingly beautiful. It was in this amazing white canopy overlooking the ocean surrounded by tons of greenery. The bride walked down the aisle and shared a really special moment with he dad that I loved capturing. The ceremony was super quick and easy with lots of laughs. The officiant was super funny and just made it such a fun ceremony which I really liked because it was pretty different than most of my other weddings. The ceremony was light-hearted and playful which was perfect for Michelle and Jose!

playa del carmen wedding ceremony on the beach
bride and groom kiss at ceremony
bride and groom walking back down aisle after ceremony

Cocktail Hour and Reception

One of the best parts about The Hard Rock Riviera Maya was that they made the wedding day seem so seamless. As soon as the ceremony was over, they had their staff handing out champagne, and cocktail hour was ready to go. Just like most other weddings, I stole the whole family, the bridal party, and the bride and groom for some super quick photos.

After the cocktail hour, everyone headed over to the reception which was set up so beautifully. It was on the beach overlooking the sunset and there was a big bright “love” sign. The Hard Rock Hotel really outdid themselves with everything and I couldn’t recommend them enough! All of the speeches were so special and everyone was truly having the best time enjoying the music, cocktails, and amazing ocean views!

And of course, I had to steal Michelle and Jose away to capture some of the most beautiful sunset photos on the beach! The waves were crashing behind them, the sand was perfectly white, and the sky was all pink and purple. It was truly the most beautiful sunset we could have gotten for these photos! 

bridal party photos
bridal party photos
bride and groom sunset pictures on the beach
bride and groom beach pictures at sunset at their destination wedding
sunset bride and groom photoshoot at this playa del carmen destination wedding

Playa Del CarmenWedding Q & A

Now if you’ve been thinking about having a destination wedding I’m sure you have a LOT of questions. It can be super intimidating to figure out where to get married, who to invite, and what photographer and videographer to use. So here are some things that will hopefully make planning your Mexico destination wedding a little easier! 

Why get married at the Hard Rock Riviera Maya?

While there are so many amazing venues and resorts in Playa Del Carmen, The Hard Rock Hotel really exceeded my expectations. They have the most amazing staff that will help you plan the destination wedding of your dreams. From the food to the wedding planners, they help take so much of the stress off your shoulders. Michelle and Jose were so happy with everything on their wedding day and as their photographer, I was also super impressed.

hard rock riviera maya in playa del carmen wedding reception

Should you hire your own wedding photographer and videographer or use the person the resort offers?

While the Hard Rock Hotel offers just about everything for your wedding, one of the biggest things that I think you should hire outside for would be photography and videography. A lot of times the photographers they offer will do much more cookie-cutter posing that I try to stray away from as that can make you look super awkward in photos. 

So I would recommend finding a photographer and/or videographer that you absolutely love and flying them out to capture your wedding (I might be available 😉 ).  When you hire a photographer or videographer to capture your destination wedding, you typically will pay for their travel + accommodations. But, this also means that they are open to capturing more of your wedding trip including the day before, the day after, rehearsal dinners, and things like that. I promise the one thing on your wedding day that you do not want to cheap out on is photography and videography. And that means hiring someone whose style you absolutely love!!!

sparkler exit at this playa del carmen destination wedding
reception photos of bride and groom at this playa del carmen destination wedding

How many days should we fly our photographer/videographer out?

As a photographer, depending on how far away the destination wedding is, I typically will stay around 4 nights. The first day is obviously travel and getting settled. Then the next day I will spend location scouting and getting my bearings so I am prepared for the wedding day. Then you have the actual wedding day. The third day includes uploading all of the images and footage on hotel wifi which can take a LONG time but is 1000% necessary. And then of course the last day is when the photographer/videographer can leave. 


How far in advance should we book our wedding photographer and/or videographer?

As a wedding photographer and videographer, I get inquiries as early as two years before a wedding. So, I would say as soon as you know when and where your wedding is going to be, you should reach out to your dream person then. OR you could pick a date based on when the photographer/videographer you want to hire is available. Ideally, you want to reach out around 1-1.5 years in advance if possible. 


Meet your Playa Del Carmen Wedding Photographer

Campbell River Wedding Photographer
Playa Del Carmen Wedding Photographer & Videographer


Hey, if you’re new here, I’m Hayley, a destination wedding photographer and videographer!

Most couples struggle to feel a genuine connection and realness when posing for a camera.

I ditch ‘cookie cutter’ photography methods to create a deeper bond between couples resulting in a rush of emotions every time they see their pictures.

I go above and beyond to help create moments where you can have fun, feel comfortable, connected, and playful, even in front of a camera. If you’re looking for bright, vibrant, emotional, and exciting images, you’ve come to the right place!

I specialize as a Vancouver Island Wedding Photographer & Wedding Videographer working in Victoria, Campbell River, and the rest of the world!

I have a deep passion for outdoor photos and love searching for new hidden gems. Do you enjoy the outdoors? I specialize in working in the outdoor elements: beach, river, lake, ocean, forest, you name it and I’m there.

bride hugging her wedding dress
bridal party photos
reception at playa del carmen wedding
reception at playa del carmen wedding