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OMB Mexico Wedding: The Location

The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences, Playa Del Carmen, Mexico (Cancun)

Choosing the right wedding venue is like finding the perfect dance partner for your love story. For us, the choice was a no-brainer, rooted in a history of family vacations in none other than Cancun, Mexico. Fast forward to October 2021, where my significant other popped the big question right there on the sandy beaches. So, when it came time to tie the knot, inviting our loved ones to the ultimate wedding vacation in Mexico just felt like the natural thing to do. Join me for an unfiltered review of The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences—the place that set the stage for our dream wedding bash! 

The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences , Playa Del Carmen (throughout this post, we will be referring our venue as "Fives")

First Impressions at The Fives

Let’s talk about Fives, our home away from home in Playa Del Carmen. From the get-go, Fives promised an experience that resonated with all our senses, and boy, did it deliver! Known for their "All Senses Inclusive" concept, this resort nestled in the heart of Playa Del Carmen not only met but exceeded our expectations. For us, good food was non-negotiable, and Fives made sure we were spoiled for choice, especially with my personal must-have—tacos available round the clock! A mere 40 minutes from Cancun Airport, the resort's accessibility was a win, complemented by the added convenience of round-trip transportation for all our guests. Now, what truly set Fives apart for us was its expansive layout—7 pools, 10 restaurants, 4 bars, and the cherry on top, 24/7 room service. Trust me, those late-night gatherings on our penthouse's private terrace became legendary thanks to the seamless room service. Stay tuned for more insights into our Fives experience!

Choosing The Fives

Now, how did we land on The Fives? Well, we didn't just rely on internet photos and reviews—we took a trip! While not everyone can jet off to their destination wedding venue, for those who can swing it, I highly recommend it. Turning this into a pre-bachelorette girl's trip, my maids of honor and I flew to Cancun in March 2022. It served as a fantastic opportunity to check the weather for our intended wedding date and, of course, escape the cold for a while.

Before our visit, we meticulously researched resorts from Tulum to Hotel Zone. Key criteria included an all-inclusive experience, multiple on-site restaurants, accessibility, and a range of entertainment and activities. Even though ours was an adults-only event, we opted for a family-friendly resort for our exception—the ring bearer, our nephew!

Among all the resorts, The Fives stood out. From the moment we stepped in, we felt like family. Greeted with hibiscus water, we were treated to signature cocktails and snacks during the tour, a thoughtful touch given the Mexican heat even in March. The hospitality felt like home—they learned about our engagement, listened to my vision, and showcased the potential to turn my dream wedding into reality. And those swim-up pools connected to the honeymoon suites? Well, that was just the icing on the cake!

While they nailed it with food, activities, and atmosphere, what sealed the deal were the wedding venues. Multiple private ceremony spots, a rooftop terrace with a perfect ocean view, and a garden reception space that felt like dancing in a jungle of local greens—The Fives had it all. The idea of saying "I do" in the sand didn't quite resonate, and The Fives provided the perfect alternatives for a dreamy wedding experience.

And, in a twist of fate, when I returned and excitedly shared my experience and showed pictures to my husband, it turned out that his cousin had tied the knot at The Fives a few years ago. Yes, he could have spared me the trip, but I guess the surprise element added to the adventure! Connecting with his cousin, who had firsthand experience, was invaluable. Speaking with real people who've worked with venues or vendors helps in making informed decisions that align with your vision. It's all about finding the perfect fit for what you're looking for.

The Pros

The Wedding & Events Team at The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences, specifically Yony Bringas and Karen Sanchez, deserves an enormous shout-out for their exceptional support. Meeting them just four days before the wedding might sound stressful, but they effortlessly walked us through the entire plan, ensuring that all the pre-planning details seamlessly came together. Their dedication went beyond expectations; they were just a "WhatsApp" text away, ready to assist us with golf cart shuttles across the vast resort. On the wedding day, they even stepped in when the wind caused issues with our centerpieces, promptly finding alternatives.

The abundance of restaurants, bars, and activities at The Fives was truly astonishing. Every day brought new activities and culinary experiences, like the impromptu fiesta by the main pool on the Sunday before our wedding. The taco bar, a personal favorite, became a daily stop, and the added bonus of pizza service during specific hours delighted my husband. Although we couldn't try all the sit-down restaurants due to our delightful distractions, our guests raved about the Thai, sushi, and Italian options.

Now, let's talk about the wedding venue perks. The Fives offers unique advantages for hosting a wedding, and the more rooms booked, the more perks you can offer your guests. For our February 2023 wedding, this translated into an extended wedding week full of activities. With a larger group, we hosted a beach welcome party, enjoyed private cabanas with butler service, and indulged in an extended cocktail hour featuring, you guessed it, a taco bar! The number of rooms booked also allowed us to provide free room upgrades for our parents, enhancing their overall experience. Please note that these offerings may evolve, so it's worth checking the current details when considering The Fives for your wedding.

Planning a destination wedding where you get to travel with your friends and family is a pro in itself. I mean that really was the main goal for me and my husband. Destination Weddings depending on the location could be significantly more affordable than an average wedding in your hometown. Living in northern NJ, we have one of the highest averages in total costs of weddings and as my husband and I were on the early stages of starting businesses (Dan is a gym owner and you should definitely follow him on IG @dant.tsd), we knew that since we already loved “all inclusive” resorts and felt like it was a great vacation that everyone can enjoy, why not get the whole family together down in our favorite place. Not only was Cancun/Playa Del Carmen was one of our favorite vacation destinations, it was also easier for a lot of our guests to travel to. I’ve heard Los Cabos is absolutely beautiful and still on my bucket list, but since we didn’t want people to feel obligated to be away as long as we did, Cancun was a quick 4 hour flight and a perfect long weekend getaway. We wanted people to feel like it was their vacation too, especially coming out of the lockdown of 2020 & COVID. It felt so good to be embraced by the warmth of the sun and the people we love.

The Cons (but I mean, they're really not even cons!)

Planning a destination wedding is an adventure in itself, and while the pros at The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences certainly outshine the cons, it's essential to shed light on the challenges we encountered. One notable con, which might be seen as a pro by some, is the sheer size of the resort. With 17 beautiful buildings, the possibility that your entire wedding party won't be in close proximity is a reality. The walk from the main entrance to suites by the water or the private adult pool could take up to 15 minutes. Staying on the private adult side, I found myself wishing for the convenience of being closer to the lobby, especially when carrying items for the day's activities. Coordinating meet-ups and sending out messages became crucial to avoid guests getting lost in the vastness of the resort.

Choosing between a penthouse suite with a rooftop terrace and a hot tub or a ground floor suite with a terrace connecting to the main pool may sound like a first world problem. Okay, it definitely is. Although the penthouse offered more privacy, it made it less convenient for our group to grab a drink by the pool or order food due to the need for room service. We spent more time hanging out in the ground floor suites that our friends and family booked. We felt the ground floor suites were newly renovated and the penthouse suites felt older. The penthouse is the highest option you can have for suites so you assume it's the most luxurious, but in reality, we felt like the ground floor suites that had access to the pools were much better. This serves as a tip for future couples—consider the layout that best suits your group's dynamics.

Another con, or rather a logistical note, is the timeline for planning with the venue. While I was eager to dive into details a year in advance, The Fives and I didn't start planning until three months before the wedding. The resort caters to multiple events and guests on the property well before your arrival, making early detailed planning challenging. For brides eager to get things done swiftly, this timeline is worth considering. Creating the LSC Ultimate Wedding Guidebook, containing every detail from guest reservations to inspirations, proved instrumental in ensuring everything aligned seamlessly. Even Yony, our coordinator, acknowledged its thoroughness.

Reflecting on challenges, one significant aspect I wish I'd handled differently was hiring a wedding planner. Our OMB Mexico Wedding was the catalyst for my journey into event planning, and navigating the process without a planner highlighted its importance. In hindsight, I should have enlisted a local planner in Mexico, someone familiar with the area's businesses, to guide decisions aligned with my vision. Fear of going over budget hindered me from collaborating with local florists or event decorators, missing out on opportunities to enhance our wedding. A trusted planner could have provided invaluable support in realizing my vision and creating a realistic budget for an unforgettable celebration. Lessons learned, and perhaps a vow renewal at our 10-year anniversary will offer the chance to relive the magic of our Mexico wedding with the expertise gained along the way.

Fives All Around For The Fives

As I reflect on our experience at The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences as the backdrop for our dream destination wedding, I'm filled with gratitude for the unforgettable experience it offered. Our wedding journey began with the aspiration of an intimate celebration, but it transformed into a grand gathering of nearly 80 cherished individuals who journeyed to Mexico to share in our joy.

Navigating the planning process, we encountered challenges that were outweighed by the resort's numerous advantages. The outstanding service of the events team truly treated us like family. The vast array of restaurants, bars, and activities kept our guests entertained, while the resort's unique perks enhanced our wedding celebration into a week-long fiesta. Of course, no journey is without its downsides, planning timelines and the need for a local wedding planner were significant lessons learned during our adventure.

Our destination wedding in beautiful Playa Del Carmen presented us with cherished moments and an enchanting setting. It was not just our celebration; it became a vacation for everyone, an opportunity to bask in the sun, feel the warmth of our loved ones, and create memories that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to everyone who made the journey to Mexico, turning our dream into reality. The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences, with its vibrant energy, diverse experiences, and dedicated team, undoubtedly deserves Five Stars!


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