I went down here to shoot a wedding. Was being held at Barcelo Maya. Thankfully the wedding party was from the same state as I. Seeing I was a little nervous about going down to Mexico on my own. So I traveled with them. Made it so much easier. Flight was ok. Flew with Alaska as I do most the time, so I was happy with their choice of airline. Ride down was approx 8 hours long. We left super early in the day so we could arrive at the resort at check in and still have some time in the day to unwind and relax. The wedding was happening two days from our arrival date. I wanted to not only go early so I could travel with the group, but to be a tourist of course.
Landed in Mexico. Airport and customs wasn’t terrible. Went pretty quick. I believe there was 17 people in our group. All managed to stay together, made it to curbside pickup to get transfer to the resort. Thankfully the bride took care of my seat and all the arrangements. By myself I would’ve been lost. The resort was about a two hour and forty-five minute ride from the airport. Well worth it if you ask me. Got us away from the party scene of Cancun. The ride took us to Riveria Maya. The ride to the resort was pretty interesting. Saw a lot of resorts, fun parks, ruins and towns that were nice or either run down. Was definitely a big culture change.
Thankfully our ride everyone in the two vans we had were all going to the same place. So no extra stops. Just a straight ride to the resort. We finally got there, was getting later in the day, early evening. We were greeted off our vans with people taking out names, baggage and tagging us with bracelets that we would wear for our duration of our stay. Indicated what part of the resort we were staying at. Seeing the resort was All Inclusive we had run between five different parts of the hotel. After we had our bracelets on we waited in line to check in. Was a bit of a lengthy process. At least while we waited we got wine and nice sites. The lobby was an open air lobby so that was nice. The outside was pretty much inside, was a nice warm afternoon too. A bit of a reality check coming from the PNW all the way to southern Mexico.
Got all checked in and was off to my room. Was looking forward to seeing the room and getting a chance to change and get out and see the property and what all it had to offer. Room was nice. Decor was very appropriate for the location. I had a jungle view. Which I was ok with. The resort was so far set back from the ocean that seeing it at a third floor level wasn’t going to happen anyways. All the palm trees were about the level of the ocean. (As I seen in others room from the bridal party) The jungle view was nice because there was plenty of jungle critters running around at all hours of the day. From parrots, iguana’s and monkeys. Made for interesting moments sitting out on the balcony.
That night I made my way around the immediate area of the resort where my room was. Had got late by the time I got comfortable and relaxed. Went to the buffet for dinner. That was nice. Lots of choices. American food as well as local choices. I splurged and had a little of everything. Just to try. Nothing real bad. A lot of things I tried that I’m not exactly sure what I had… Haha. Probably a bad decision. Least I didn’t die… Food was good, service there in the buffet was nice. After dinner I took a walk through more of the resort. By this time it was dark. So the pathways were nicely lit up and made for some mysterious areas walking the jungle paths. Got back to the Yucatan building where I was staying and there was a lady in the lobby offering excursions. I had decided before I came that I wasn’t going to leave the property by myself. But I lied. I ended up purchasing an excursion to the Tulum Ruins. It was for the following day. Which was suppose to be my relaxation day, day to wrap my mind around shooting this wedding the following day. I thought what better way to recharge than to get out and see some sights.
The van was picking people up at 7am in the morning and we would be back to the resort by 1 in the afternoon. So I was able to hit breakfast, then lunch when I returned that afternoon. I thought what wonderful timing. Was out waiting for the tour van to pick me up and I met some fellow Seattlies. Which put my mind at ease. Was nice to have company on the ride from the same area as I. So we were picked up. Started out great, we ended up picking up others from different resorts doing the same excursion. So we got to see a lot of different resorts and made a lot of stops. Which we would make again later to drop everyone off. The tour started off well, the guy giving the tour was nice, fun and the driver was also great.
Got to the ruins parking lot. Was about a forty-five minute ride from Barcelo after having picked everyone up. The tour started there, we left the parking lot, walked our way in stopping at various places and hearing about bugs, shrubs and animals of the area. Then as we got closer to the ruins we heard the history of the ruins. Which the tour guide had gave us his history which had him related to the mayan people. Was interesting learning about their culture and reasons to why they did things they did. After our tour we had an hour to see things on our own then had to walk back to where we were dropped off to meet our group to go back to the resort. I walked around a bit to see all the different things and buildings. Was a lot of fun. I think the worst part was the heat. Was around 100* I was just happy that the bugs weren’t an issue. The tour was nice, walking about the park – for lack of a better term was nice. Arriving back to the van we were greeted with small lunches and cool wet rags to cool ourselves with. That was a super nice touch given the heat and humidity. Ride back to all the resorts was pretty quiet. Everyone seemed a tad worn out and a bit heat struck.
Got back to the resort hit up one of the buffets for lunch. Decided on trying a different one out from the night before. Was very similar to the other one on what foods it offered. It was just set up differently pretty much. Offered different views. I ended up joining some of the wedding party this day for lunch and dinner. Was nice that they included me in their festivities outside of just being the photographer for the wedding.
I took the rest of the day to explore the property. Get ideas for the wedding the following day. Get a feel for the lighting, the area and banquet room where the reception was happening. The property is HUGE. I’m not even joking I felt like I walked forever. Seen the turtles at the beach, people feeding the fish on the dock, dolphins at the swim with the dolphins attraction. Checked out the mall and gift shops. Bought the girls a few goodies to bring home to them.
Woke up early on the wedding day to catch the sunrise. Since the sunrise was on the better side of the land, sunset fell at a point where I could not see it so getting up early for that colorful sky is what would have to happen. And once I seen that first sunrise I was up early the rest of my time there. Was absolutely amazing to see. I felt like seeing that amazing sunrise was just what I needed to start the day off right. I met up with the bride at about 9am and road with her and her portion of the wedding party to the spa to photograph them getting ready. I borrowed their wedding rings and took them for a walk at the beach and told the bride I would meet up with her later. I ended up walking back to our resort, was given about two hours of a break to get some buffet. Then met up again with them at their room getting dressed for the first look. Placed the groom and the bride came in to see him for the first time. Was amazing. After that we headed out to the property to do their formal portion of their photos. We shot around the ground for almost two hours. All of their guests, I started with the wedding party, then the family. After that we were rudely interrupted by a nice Caribbean storm that brought drenching rain for a good hour. We went and found some cover and continued with what photos we could until the rain could pass.
The ceremony was to happen on the beach. Absolutely amazing setting. By the time the rain had passed, we were able to finish photos, it was time. They had there nice and sweet short ceremony. Then a cocktail hour on the beach. The lighting was perfect, sun was going down, was as perfect as it could’ve ever been. The party went from the beach to the reception inside. They had an AMAZING dinner that was catered by the resort. Had all the typical wedding traditions, speeches, first dance, cake… Was a wonderful wedding. By the time my coverage was over around ten that night, I had agreed to meet up with them at their room at five am to catch the sunrise. To complete their wedding photos. Ekkk. Lets just say they barely slept. The newlywed couple were up very late celebrating. The groom was very hungover the next day. But was able to carry on through the photos and give them some absolutely amazing memories for their special day.
This was my last full day here in Mexico. There was a cenote across the highway from Barcelo. About a twenty minute walk. I decided why not. Went over there to check it out. I didn’t intend on getting into the water. I just wanted to check out the sights, I surely wasn’t let down. Was beautiful.
My experience in Mexico was great. I look forward to the time I get to go back. I think this time I will go back with Andy and we can enjoy the resort and all the happenings together. I can say, coming home our eightish hour flight turned into like four-teen because our pilot decided to take the long way home to avoid a storm that we were headed for. Planes bother me, so adding that much time to the ride was a tad hard to handle. So far in my life, this was the longest I have ever been on a plane, also the furthest travel at one time. I would totally go again. Andy and I are actually thinking about a Mexico trip Januaryish of 2020. We need the getaway. And after the year we’re working on for 2019… We’ll more than deserve it.