destination wedding research, yucatan edition

Back from an amazing week away, or what I like to call destination wedding/honeymoon research. D and I get away at least once a year because it’s important to take the time to relax and recharge.

We were lucky enough to spend the week at the lovely El Dorado Casitas Royale in Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula.  Nestled between Cancun and Playa del Carmen, this “gourmet inclusive” resort boasts one mile of beachfront. The resort offers two sections, El Dorado and Casitas Royale, at two different price points so there is something for everyone. My favorite part of the Casitas was the beach palapas and our  private balcony with futon (perfect for siestas).

Being a “gourmet inclusive,” there is really no reason to leave the resort, unless you are interested in sightseeing or excursions. There are seven restaurants, but we found a few faves and kept going back. Cocotal every morning for breakfast; the best omelets I’ve ever had. Daily lunch at the Health Bar for yummy wraps and made to order smoothies. We celebrated Valentine’s Day with dinner at Kampai (Asian fusion). And our all time favorite was the Casitas Italian restaurant, D’Italia, which far exceeded our expectations. Have you ever had lobster lasagna? And after dinner every night, there is some sort of entertainment. We stopped by a few nights and saw the circus-esque show and El Dorado Idol; both were very entertaining.

During the day, there are countless activities offered. I’m a lazy beach person, so I tried yoga one morning, but if I were motivated, I could have gone on the bike tour, played beach volleyball, or even learned how to shoot an air rifle. The spa is much more my speed and we started V-day with a massage, literally on the beach, which I highly recommend. The sounds of the ocean are definitely more relaxing than spa music.

All in all, we had a really great time and I can understand why a couple would choose El Dorado for a destination wedding or honeymoon. For the ceremony, couples can choose between the beach, a gazebo, the chapel, and the rooftop deck. There are also many style and location options for the reception ranging from the more traditional to a beach party. The week we stayed, there were nine weddings, and one evening we ran into a happy couple taking their wedding photos on the beach. So beautiful!

While looking for more information about El Dorado weddings online, I stumbled upon Elizabeth Medina, a photographer who specializes in destination weddings and has quite a few El Dorado weddings on her blog. Here are some of my fave El Dorado wedding pics from her site.


images of sunset & couple via jaclyn, palapa & casitas via el dorado royale, chapel, beach ceremony, gazebo ceremony, beach table setting, pool bar reception & wedding party via elizabeth medina photography

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