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Calgarybride2015's Planning Thread 15/1/21 Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya

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#1 calgarybride2015

  • Sr. Member
  • 4,512 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 12 October 2014 - 08:44 PM


Well, I guess it is my turn!  We are about 3 months out and I thought I would post my ideas to not only help others, but also remind me of what I need to get done!   I love reading thru everyone's threads and seeing all the pictures :)   You ladies are a true inspiration to all of us, and sometimes I wonder what my wedding may have been like if I hadn't have found BDW!!!  (so my guests also thank you lol) 


A small disclaimer... for those who are my elders on this board, you may notice how a lot of my ideas and items purchased have changed!  When I started out on this journey I was honestly the cheapest bride known to man!  Overtime, I realized that some things I just wanted to have and they wouldn't break the bank!  If I could have a date night, I could have those tumblers darnit! lol.  So I have added in a lot of extra things, and I have also exchanged and re-bought some others!  With that said, some things I just couldn't justify and we made compromises.  The joys of time - one can change their mind OFTEN!


Another thing I learned thru this process -- to sit on my decisions longer!  I have only been in one wedding, and attended 2 in my life.  I made a lot of my decisions based on what my friend did and realized it probably wasn't what I wanted to do. I am not stuck with things I don't want, but I have spent some extra money where it probably wasn't necessary!  Big area - BM's gifts - I jumped out and bought a lot of items she gave us, then realized that it just didn't fit what I had envisioned, what my priorities were, etc.  


How we met

We met on EHarmony!  It was very odd, but fun looking back.  Fiancé (Shawn) was going to Asia for 7 weeks but I had a wedding I was in. They were in the same vicinity so as they walked past I came out and introduced myself. HAHA yes really! In my bridesmaid’s dress and all! This was March 1st, 2013.  The next day we met for coffee and he left for 7 weeks.  He would send me emails while in Asia which was thoughtful.  We had our first official date on May 4th. I wasn't really sure how I felt from a relationship perspective, but continued to date him as I was enjoying myself.  He jokes I refused his first kiss and he had no idea where I stood! Thank god he gave me a chance. Mid July we took a weekend trip together to the Okanagan to go boating and that's when I fell hook, line, and sinker!


The Proposal

Shawn would always ask me about marriage, say things like ‘when we get married’, etc.  I have had some long term relationships that really lead nowhere close to marriage, so I thought about it sometimes but usually let it escape my head so I didn't get excited over nothing.   So when Shawn proposed in Varadero Cuba on April 1st, 2014 I was SHOCKED!!!    (awe it’s bringing tears to my eyes thinking about it).  I had no idea he had went ring shopping with his mom, picked the ring up the day we left to Cuba, and was going to ask me!   Apparently he carried the ring in his pocket the whole trip waiting for the right time.  Well on April 1st at about 11:30 pm we arrived back to our room. There was beautiful towel art on our bed and I wanted to get a picture.  Oddly our new camera jammed up so I left it to Shawn and went to get ready for bed.  When I came out I asked him if he had taken a picture but he had not. So I took the picture and turned to leave. I believe he said something along the lines of ‘really?!?!’ as I turned back around to look at him, I caught a glimpse of the diamond ring IN the towel art. Yes I look a picture of my e-ring before I knew it was even there HAHA!  When I saw it I did all the normal things ‘omg is that what I think it is?’  ‘Is this a joke?’ ‘It’s April fool’s day’  LOL    I went over and hugged him and he said ‘you didn’t say yes’  I said ‘you didn’t ask’  So he did and the rest is history!   I say he had tears in his eyes, he says it was sand.  The wedding ceremony will be full of tears I am sure.  Sweetest day ever!!!!   (if you look really close the ring is sitting at the base of the heart)



The original e-ring

So Shawn picked me out a beautiful, unique ring.   What sucked was that the only band that went with it so boring and got lost in the e-ring. It didn’t look great, so we started looking for options.  We couldn’t find anything that fit with it, and we searched high and low!   So we decided to go custom but I was really ancy about it. I am a VERY visual person and was so nervous we would spend $1000-$2000 and I would hate it.  



The new e-ring

Took a lot of nerve but I asked him if I could change my band.   Thankfully at Spence Diamonds you can change your mount once.  So I got the keep my diamond but got a new band for it.  It’s more my style and I LOVE it.  Once the guilt wore off, I am super happy I had the courage to ask Shawn.  Since we moved to a ring with less gold, I was able to upgrade to a platinum ring for the same cost!   




Our bands

Mine is a matching band.  I think in time I would like a second one for the other side.   Shawn wanted something different and he really loves it. We purchased it from Ben Moss for just under $400.   I think our rings match well together.





More to come!! ( I am going to do this in sections )

Our ideas for our wedding

We knew our wedding wouldn’t be in Calgary, AB where we live. His family is mainly from Ontario or BC, and all my family is in northern BC.  Everyone was going to have to fly.   I have always wanted to get married in Las Vegas.   So when we started looking at options we did Las Vegas, a winery in Kelowna, BC (beautiful area), Niagara Falls in Ontario or a tropical wedding.    Most seemed super pricey to have in Canada as Shawn has a massive family (like his dad has 19 siblings!).   Las Vegas was reasonable but Shawn wasn’t sold on it as it costs a lot of money to entertain yourselves there (and he has never been! That didn’t help my case!).  So we were left with a tropical location.   We had first thought of the DR as I haven’t been and neither has he, but when we talked to someone at The Flight Centre they said Mexico would be our cheapest bet.  We trusted her and never priced out the DR.   It was crazy to think that I just got engaged and within weeks were had decided to get married in Mexico and the fun began....


The Resort

First off finding a travel agent was FRUSTRATING!  No one would ever call you back but finally my girlfriend in BC recommended her friend.   We started talking and she seemed to know her stuff.  We aren’t in the same town but she has done uber amounts of work for us.    So we started pricing out the Mayan, Puerto Vallarta and Ixtapa.   I was picking resorts based on pricing I had seen before when I visited the Mayan in 2013.   I was so upset when those prices were coming back super expensive – from searching Expedia, etc.   Then to find decent wedding packages at those resorts left me so stressed out - my head was spinning and I figured we may as well elope.   As all you brides now this is probably the toughest part.   This is where a good travel agent is valuable.  She would price out the ones I wanted, but also recommend ones she knew where good resorts and had recently come back in a decent price range. Our price point was $1500, as we didn't want to price people out of coming. We also needed something kid friendly, well because I have kids!    We had narrowed it down to two.   The Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya in the Mayan and the Sunscape Dorado in Ixtapa.   To be honest, Ixtapa was my first choice, but Shawn really wanted the Mayan as he has heard better reviews. I let him win this one and I am SOOOOO glad I did.  We know so many people who have stayed there, who have married there, etc. and we are super happy with our decision.    Our Calgary guests are paying $1565 per person, and our Toronto guests are paying $1465.  The connectors to each gateway are super reasonable and she was also able to secure a fantastic deal on a hotel here in Calgary as people flying out of here have to spend the night on both sides.  A lot of my family and friends are sardining themselves into my townhome!


The Wedding Package

The Grand Sirenis has a lot of options for weddings and packages. You can spend next to nothing and you can spend a lot. What I really liked is that there was options and their extras weren't over the top in price. What we decided to do was take the free package (10 double rooms booked for 7 nights) and add on the extras we wanted. Doing this saved us $1866. Some of the larger packages offered more ‘fluff’ than we cared for.  The free package includes a fair amount, most of our cost is the upgrades in location, menus, and the extras to make the day special. The package also includes some honeymoon items as well.  We are having our ceremony on the private beach and then we will have our dinner and reception in the palapa right beside.   This is a secluded area you get to by golf cart so our guests will be there all evening.     

Our timeline will look something like this:

3:00 pm Ceremony

3:30-4:00 pm toast/appetizers and group photos

4:00-4:45 pm mariachi band

4:45-5:30 pm open bar/sign guestbook/mingle, etc.

We want to enjoy the mariachi band a little bit, but then will be off to take photos.

5:30pm-11:00 pm dinner and reception

11:00 pm disco!






The Invites

This was my first DIY and something I did before I found this site.  They are amateur in comparison and may have looked differently after I looked at all your beautiful work!  But they were a HUGE hit with our guests.   I used aylee bits template I found online and customized it for us.  It took me awhile, but it turned out great. I used my home printer, believe it or not!    I made a website on mywedding.com for free.  www.mywedding.com/shawnandkim2015.   More people asked us questions, then read our website but oh well.   For the ticket jacket we ended up buying pink cardstock from Michaels (not the right shade but whatever!), and folded it in 3.  We cut the one end with a paper cutter and tacked it down with those scrapbook squares.  I wasn’t crafty enough or have the patience to print something on the ticket jackets, but I don't mind. These took FOREVER!  In the beginning I had intended for the luggage tag to be hung from the ribbon but I hated how it sat, so we attached it to the front and tied it closed with ribbon. I didn’t know of raffia or twine back then, so white ribbon it was! For 25 we paid about $30-$35. 





Our colors

FUSCHIA!! Love pink.   As you will read below, things changed over time. We went from fuchsia to accenting it with orange, to also throwing turquoise in the mix.  I found this on pinterest and that is when I could really jump on board with it. I am trying my best to incorporate the turquoise as this is a fairly new addition.




Alright... stay tune, now we will get into the fun stuff!!!!

Edited by calgarybride2015, 12 October 2014 - 08:46 PM.


Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#2 tygrrlily

  • Member
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  • Wedding Date:December 19, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Beach Palace in Cancun, Mexico
  • LocationToronto

Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:07 PM

Yay you started your thread! Can't wait to keep reading and seeing all the fun stuff :)


I LOVE the palapa at your hotel!! I wanted to have my reception somewhere like that but had difficulty finding something affordable. Are you going to hang the Chinese lanterns?


Can definitely empathize on the difficulty with the TA/finding an affordable resort, etc. I seriously lost sleep during that time and it was a big sigh of relief once that was finished. 


I love your twisted band! I looked at some twisted bands on etsy as a possibility of adding to my eventual ring stack :P

Married December 19, 2014 at Beach Palace Resort in Cancun, Mexico


My Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...-resort-121914/


My Wedding Review

Part 1 - http://www.bestdesti...1914/?p=1881197

Part 2 - http://www.bestdesti...1914/?p=1881590

Part 3 - http://www.bestdesti...1914/?p=1881861


#3 calgarybride2015

  • Sr. Member
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  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:15 PM

I kind of forgot this above, as it came later on in my planning process, but I will throw it in now....

Engagement Photos

Ok, this is an expense I don’t necessarily think is important. At first we were going to have Shawn’s cousin take some photos as she does it as a hobby and Shawn has a great camera.  It just never worked out, so I kind of wrote it off.  The more time went on, I really wanted some photos of us to have around our wedding.  (And not those drunk ones from your iphone ha!).  Again, I am cheap, so I went on Kijiji to find some photographers in our price range.  I decided what I would do was engagement, family, and kid shots to get my monies worth. I would forgo school pictures and make it worth it!  Well, I found all the cheaper ones and then picked the one that best suited us.  For 90 minutes and 100 edited photos I paid $200.   OMG!!!!!!!!!! Best $200 I ever spent, I am so happy we did it. He did a fabulous job and I wish we could have him come to our wedding.  I could ask him but I am scared (I know his fees, but I know how ridiculously expensive our package is right now and that it’s only 3 months away)   Any Calgary ladies interested, he is www.gathcityphotography.com   We will use him again!   The ones of my kids I am leaving off here, but they are phenomenal. If nothing else, I realized I don't look like a dope smiling, rather I look like a dope NOT smiling.










The Dress

I had no idea what a wedding dress cost or alterations for that matter!  I think alterations shocked me more than the dresses themselves.   I had budgeted $1300 including alterations.   At first I envisioned a sun dress, then decided I wanted a wedding dress.  I am that typical DW bride that wants something you envision a bride wearing at a DW.  I knew I didn't want strapless and I thought I would love lace. I fell in love with 2 dresses.  A lace gown (it brought tears to my eyes), but it was over my budget at $1600 and wasn’t really what I had envisioned for my day.   I then went to David’s Bridal and found my gown for $500 made to order!  Oddly, it's strapless!  I quickly learned that things I thought I wouldn't look good in, actually looked good!  It fits great, so only a hem and bustle will be needed. YAY!!!! What every budget bride wants to hear!    It’s David’s Bridal brand in Ivory. The beading on the front wraps around the back and goes down the train.  I can’t wait for a professional photographer to take pictures of it, as mine do it NO justice.





The accessories


I don’t wear heals ever, so I knew sandals would be perfect for me.  These aren’t my first choice, but finding things at the later end of summer was super hard.  I got these from Spring and do love them. 



Jewelry (see above)

In my photos above you will see the braided/twist pearl necklace I purchased from The Bay (Canadian Department Store), on sale I purchased it for $14, but it was only originally $18.   My friend has matching bracelets that I will borrow. I also have pearl stud earrings of my sisters I plan to wear also.   After I found this many moons ago, I came upon the necklaces with the offset brooch. I LOVE this style, so I am currently debating about upgrading. I love the style more, but I also feel it is more glamorous (opinions? hehe).  I love them both, so I can't go wrong either way.




For my underwear I wanted some white with lace. I bought about 4 pairs on clearance at La Senza and La Vien Rose and settled on these J  I wanted something higher cut as I have some love handles LOL….  I also love that they have a large area that I can add ‘MRS BOURQUE’ in rhinestones.  <<add on to do list>>   There will be no lingerie, too darn shy for that!




Loved this idea and found it on Etsy - whiskeyweddingbells




This was a huge stressor for me as I have shorter hair that I feel is curly (my hair dresser says it's more of a wave I don't like). Nonetheless in humidity it goes nuts and my flat iron is pointless. I am going to hope for the best, and that the spa's products tame me in!  We decided on a light curl done with a flat iron, and we chose to leave my bangs out (yay!) as it gives it a softer look.





Since my hair is super important to me, I plan to get a trial beforehand.

I also went back and forth on the hair piece.  I knew I didn't want a veil, but wasn't sure about a flower, or a tiara/headband, etc.

I almost purchased a $110 hair piece as a major splurge but brought this one into my trial and my hair dresser said it looked good and not to spend another cent. Done! good enough for me!  After coupon this was $4.50 at Michaels (about a $105 savings haha)



Bride Tank

I also plan to make my own "BRIDE' tank with iron on transfers from Michaels.  Pricey, even with a coupon, but I got the tank and my undies out of it, so I am happy! <<add on to do list >>



More to come......






Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#4 calgarybride2015

  • Sr. Member
  • 4,512 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 12 October 2014 - 09:56 PM

Front note - we have a bridal party of 6 - 3 on each side.


The Men

I knew from the get go it would be on the casual end of a beach wedding. The men are totally ok in shorts, short sleeved tops, and flip flops!   We purchased these almost ‘plaid’ shorts from Bootleggers.  My son, ring bearer, has a similar pair from Old Navy.   We originally went with a white top, but over time I liked them less and less.  Just something about the girls in one color, me in white, then everyone else in white seemed off centered.  Yes I worry about this stuff!   I had saw some photos of the men in golf shirts so contemplated this in a burnt orange, but couldn’t find anything early September that caught my eye.  At this point we had to compromise as anything considered summery was leaving the racks. All the men ended up in a turquoise top and Shawn is super happy with them, so I am trying to be as well, but honestly I am still not 100% sold. (insert the color turquoise into our scheme) But truth be told, Shawn wanted to wear banana hammocks, so really a turquoise shirt isn’t the worst that could happen ha!



The Ladies

So the men will be in turquoise and the ladies in fuchsia (or Begonia as David's Bridal calls it)

I searched high and low for a cheap dress for them, but this color is hard to find!  Hindsight, if I knew we would have soooo many colors I may have had them in different colors. None the less we ended up with these from David’s Bridal. They are $160 each, but I offset the cost and they each paid $120 as I had this terrible guilt over the cost.   What we did was go out one afternoon and try them all on.  I only have on BM here, so we picked our top 3 and sent photos to the other girls back in BC.  Thankfully they all picked the same one.  So they got to pick the style and I picked the color.  It’s a beautiful color but again my camera does them NO justice, they almost appear darker than they are.  It was a little nerve wracking ordering dresses off measurements but it worked out great and all the ladies dresses fit, minus minor alterations.

This is a picture with the flower girl dress - I knew I wasn't going to spend a lot of money on this as getting her into it was hard enough. I may have had to bribe her. It cost us $30 at Winners.




The Bridesmaid’s accessories/gifts

Ok this is where I went nuts.  Again, I bought a lot of things my friend had done for us at her wedding (I was her BM, now she is mine), then realized it wasn’t exactly what I wanted.  I decided I wanted to ensure I liked/had a say in all they had on, so I purchased all their accessories for them.


Necklace/earring set from Etsy – DreamDayDesign 

Sandals from Le Chateau (on sale for $10 each - score!)

Anklet from Etsy – GemmaJoLee

I also purchased silver bangles from an Indian store in town. They were about $8 for 24 -- I doubt we will use them as it may be overkill, but I will bring them just in case (not pictured)


My co-worker got me these fantastic “Prada’ makeup bags in China for everyone. I also got them a beach bag, frame with picture of us in it, body butter, nail file, and compact. I think after all was said and done I spent about $80 on each of them.  The beach bags were probably not necessary, but only $3.99 each at La Vien Rose so I couldn't hold myself back!







Groomsmen gifts

This is a work in progress – don’t we all know it ladies LOL!

I found these shaving kits at Fossil for $30 (originally $90) and got everyone one.

He can fill them up J



Gift to my groom

We had decided not to do anything as we are paying for the wedding ourselves, but I found something that I loved.   Shawn always calls himself a ninja, and I ain’t joking LOL!!!  It’s almost ridiculous, but hey it makes him, him.  I found this shirt on Ebay and couldn’t resist. I can’t wait to give it to him on our wedding day. I can bet he is wearing it the next day! (I am sure he would wear it to the wedding if he knew I would still come down the isle hehe)



Gifts for my kids (flower girl and ring bearer)





Alright, I am exhausted, more to come!

Edited by calgarybride2015, 12 October 2014 - 10:01 PM.


Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#5 TinkerSofi

  • Sr. Member
  • 2,217 posts
  • Wedding Date:August 13, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Azul Fives Playa del Carmen
  • LocationCanada

Posted 13 October 2014 - 12:25 AM

Sheryl is your hairdresser!? haha She's also my dad's. The second I saw the mirrors I was like "wait, I know that place!" That's the place where I go to get my waxing :P. Calgary is such a small town sometimes haha. I used to go with Valina and Ella to get my hair done over there too but now my friend who is a hair dresser does it :).


Anyways I enjoyed reading your thread. I thought it was funny, the accessories I suggested are pretty much what you're thinking of getting. I think your hair looks great with more relaxed bangs :)


You e-pictures also look great! I don't know why you say you look bad smiling, I think you have a great smile and you should show it off :)


I like the groom's shirt. I think the blue one looks better than the white, or he just looks happier with it haha. 


Your gifts for your fiance and kids are so cute <3. 

Looking forward to the next post! 




#6 AllieH

  • Resort/Area Ambassadors
  • 2,014 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 5, 2012
  • Wedding Location:El Dorado Royale, Riviera Maya MX
  • LocationAtlanta, GA

Posted 13 October 2014 - 04:32 AM

yay morning planning thread entertainment!!! I was so excited to see it this morning. 


You've done a fantastic job with everything. I love the engagement story with the ring & the towel animals. HA. And that Shawn is a Ninja - that's hilarious. 


Tinker is right - he looks MUCH happier in the turquoise shirt vs. the white. and yes, better than the banana hammock..(I swear...BOYS...!)


I really love the area at your resort where your wedding will take place. that palapa is perfect!!! 


can't wait to see more. 


Official El Dorado Royale/El Dorado Casitas Royale Thread <---check here for all info about EDR/EDCR

Wright Travel Agency <--for all your Destination Wedding needs! Contact the experts and reduce your stress. 

El Dorado Royale Brides Thread <---come chat with other EDR brides

AllieH's EDR 11-5-2012 Planning Thread <--because it was so awesome

#7 Mrsktobe

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  • 371 posts
  • Wedding Date:November 11, 2014
  • Wedding Location:Grand Bahia Principe Akumal/Blue Venado Beach Club
  • LocationOkotoks, AB

Posted 13 October 2014 - 06:17 AM

Kim, this is awesome! Wow! You have got so much accomplished and I love eveyrthing you have planned so far! The engagement pictures are gorgeous!

Love where you are having your wedding, reception area.. So gorgeous. And the bridesmaid gifts and your kids gifts are very personalized :)

Keep it coming!

#8 marinah84

  • Jr. Member
  • 463 posts
  • Wedding Date:March 14, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Crown Paradise Club Cancun
  • LocationOklahoma

Posted 13 October 2014 - 07:03 AM

I got on this morning and went "YES!!!  I AM SO EXCITED SHE STARTED HER THREAD!!"   FI looked at me like I was NUTS (he knows I post on "some wedding board thing" but obviously I am not letting him read it haha).


OMG - my FI told me he's bringing his banana hammock to wear too...we were swimmers so he has plenty of them!


I love love love the jewelry.  The one you have on is gorgeous, but I also like the brooch, it does make it very elegant!  The flower is beautiful, good thrifty shopping ;)


You reminded me of something to add to my list!  I bought undies (both white & light blue) and iron on letters, but have to decide which and if i'm wearing them for the boudoir pics!  The light blue are completely see thru lace :S  I'm friends with my photog...not sure I want her to get that close and personal LOL


I love the gifts for your kids - they are great!


Excited to see more updates!

30 guests, Bride & Groom & 2 kids - one FANTASTIC time!


Planning Thread - Includes lots of DIY (picture-heavy)


Underwater Trash The Dress Session Photos - Samuel Luna (Photographer)



Resort Review - Crown Paradise Club Cancun



Photographer Review - Samuel Luna - Coming Soon!


Makeup/Hair Artist Review Sara Tamargo



For Sale Items






#9 calgarybride2015

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  • 4,512 posts
  • Wedding Date:January 21, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya
  • LocationCalgary, AB

Posted 13 October 2014 - 08:25 AM

By the end of my last post, I think my eyes were crossing so I apologize for errors and run on sentences!

I hope to finish the major part of this, this morning!!



Something in the beginning that was not super important to me.   I am a fairly basic person. Don’t like over the top, over edited, over posed shots.  We had asked Shawn’s cousin to come to our wedding and we would pay her to do our photos.  She declined (drama, hindsight super glad this didn’t work out), so that left me to find someone else.  Our resort photographer is Adventure Photos.   The ladies I know who married at our resort used them and I loved their photos.   I was going to get the $700 package, then splurged for the $1200 one. In the end we are doing the $1600 entire day package but it was a hard sell for me.   It’s just not as important to me. I only want a few good shots, nothing over edited or posed as I said above.  I started to panic due to all the negative feelings about ‘resort photogs’ on here, but when I did my research I just couldn’t afford the other ones when you take into account that silly vendor fee. Honestly there was only 2 that were my style and remotely close to my price range (Bohemia Photography and Dean Saundersen).   So what I did was start talking to Adventure Photos about who photographed who’s weddings.   I looked thru all the weddings they sent me and picked all my favorite weddings.  I then asked them who did these weddings – oddly it was the same lady ‘Perla’ except she didn't do my friends.  I made sure I could have her, and she says I can. I am super excited to use them.  Hopefully I do get her and have been in frequent contact just in case :)



Ohhh flowers!   So my package includes my bouquet and Shawn’s bout.  I knew right away the 'free' bouquet wasn’t big enough for me. An upgrade is about $42 and I plan to do this.   Flowers just wasn’t something I was willing to spend $$ on early on in the planning process.  I went from nothing, to pin wheels, to them holding the maracas, etc.   Finally I realized they were important to me and decided on a 4 gerbaras daisy bouquet in 2 hot pink and 2 orange.  These bouquets are about $28 each and will also serve as my centerpieces at the reception. This ties in the orange and is where that all started. Now I have the turquoise to tie in and am considering having the ribbon in this color.    Shawn will have a hot pink gerberas bout and everyone else (3 groomsmen, my dad, and my son) will have orange.     My bouquet will be a mix of roses and gerberas in hot pink and orange.  How do I tie in the turquoise? Considering a blue rhinestone starfish. Undecided at this point.  


This is an idea of my bouquet - from the resorts choices - and I will just ensure that all flowers are hot pink and orange and have a mix of gerberas and roses (excuse picture quality)



At our ceremony we get 2 hanging flower pieces and a table centerpiece. I plan to have them made from all the same flowers, but possibly throw a few blue in the mix if they can match the color and/or come close. These will also them move over the reception for the head table and cake table.


I also made this memorial charm in honor of my mother. I bought it on Etsy - SmilingBlueDog  (She is Canadian!)




We are doing a symbolic wedding.  Then we will have a quick toast/appetizers with our MC. We will do family and group photos right away, then we have splurged for a Mariachi Band – this is a surprise we have told noone about.  At our resort a 3 man band is about $375 for 45 mins.  I want to enjoy a little bit of it, but then we will sneak off for our photos.   I am quite shy by nature, so we won't be having any personal vows, but only what is included in the ceremony.  Our groomsmen and bridesmaids will walk down the isle together, followed by the ring bearer and flower girl then me and my dad!  Our music:

Bridal Party Entrance: Marry Me by Train

Bride's Entrance: 1000 years in instrumental by The Piano Guys

Signing: Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden

Exit: On Top Of The World by Imagine Dragons

(in case I forget, here is the reception too)

First Dance: All of Me by John Legend

Parent Dance: Undecided!!!!! (ideas?)


I am not doing a program, but we will have fans on all the chairs.  I shopped around for awhile, but after that stupid shipping to Canada, the fans at Michaels were the best deal.  I waited for a 50% coupon and went shopping!  We ended up picking the white silk fans and got all 45 for $45.  We will tie ribbon thru the one end so we can do them before leaving.  They will be set on each chair before the wedding, but will be closed.  I don’t have it in me to go to Mexico, open all fans, and tie on ribbon.  We will use fuchsia, orange, or turquoise ribbon on them.   There won’t be a tag attached at this point, but have considered a ‘thank you’ charm. Still up in the air, Shawn doesn't like it.   I am also considering personalizing  the side of the fan with 'Mexico 2015' or something.  



OOT items

Ok, I didn’t even know what OOT was before I found this board.  To be honest, Shawn and I always talked about doing bubba’s for everyone, but then our numbers crept up and up and up and we now have 43 total.   Bubba’s just weren’t in our grasp at the time – remember cheap Kim?!?! – so I wasn’t going to do anything.   The more I read on here, the more I wanted some sort of a cup.   Shawn loved the hangover kit idea, and I loved the cup, so we decided to combine them.  We will hand out tumblers at our welcome drinks event.  They will have an ‘oh sh!t kit’ in them and have the items in the picture.  I made a cute tag on Vistaprint to add and also will include our wedpics card.   I tried to make my own labels for the cups but ended up going with Davet Designs on Etsy and am super happy with the product.  The shipping was a bit much, but they were worth it. These are also a surprise and no one knows about them!!! Super excited to hand them out.  The kids will get their own version, but I haven't done much with these yet.  Still debating on adding people's names but Shawn thinks its unnecessary! 






Supplies for OOT cups

Emergen C - 2 each - found 30 per box at Walmart for $4.94.  They were on rollback at $9.94 and I found a $5 coupon on their website!

Pepto Bismol - 2 each -  Walmart sold boxes of 48 for around $8.50

Tums - 1 roll each - Walmart for around $2 for a pack of 3 (depending on flavor)

Mentos - 1 each - 2 for $1.00 at Dollarama

Tumbler - 1 each - $2 at Dollarama

Hand Sanitizer - 1 each - $1 at Dollarma (they had better deals but we needed small ones given they were going in the cups)

Nail file - 1 each - pack of 32 at Dollarama for $1.25

Bandaids - 2 each - box of 90ish at Walmart for $3


Pre-Travel Mailer

I bought luggage tags early on and was going to use those as my favors!  I quickly realized I didn't want to do this and decided to do a pre-travel mailer.  I was going to do it all thru my home computer, but when groupon had the Vistaprint coupon, I was set!

My Vistaprint order will be in, in a few days and these will go out by the end of October.   Every house will get 1 brochure and 1 luggage tag each.  Kids will get a more appropriate luggage tag (thinking of using Minions and 'are we there yet??') I spent hours on here looking at people's brochures, so thank you to everyone for your help!





I bought the Advantus Proximity Badge Holders from Amazon. I paid around $30 for 50.

I got the loops from Dollarama. They have kits there for 5 for $1.  They are self laminating pouches, so I threw those out and just used the loops.



We choose to have the buffet menu solely based on price as we have to pay per person (no one Is included when you upgrade from the free package).  We think it offers a lot anyways, and so it was a no brainer.  We opted for the cheapest booze for the bar, as we have about 4 hours of it to pay!  I have no timeline yet for our reception, other than start and finish. Thinking t it will include dinner, possibly speeches, dancing, and cake cutting.  We won't be doing a garter or bouquet toss. We have opted for the resort DJ and he will cost us $59/hour. I believe I budgeted about 6 hours for him. We will have our MC move the night along. I am pretty easy going, but we do need to supply the DJ/resort with our style of music for them to play. I don't plan to bring any music other than the important songs. (I have supplied these to the WC, but this is more for my peace of mind). We will have our head table of 8, then 4 other tables that will have between 8-10 people each.  I am currently working on our table arrangements - boy it is hard!!    We will be doing a table arrangement, but the people can choose to sit wherever they want at that table (ie no place cards). 


Favors, etc. to follow!


Once I saw the maraca idea on this board, I was hooked! We purchased the multi colored ones from Amols.  They are awesome but the paint on the yellow ones is a bit disappointing (could use another coat) but that is ok. For those that are curious I ordered them in medium size and they were $1.65/pair. All their sizes vary anyways, so I wouldn't even bother spending more on the large sized ones.  I will use a marker and write our names and date on the back of them myself (scary!). Below is a picture of the tag I will be attaching to these maracas - yes they are basic, but I plan to cut them out and attach them to cardstock and attach with ribbon.   I am using the 3 colors (fuchsia, orange, and turquoise) and each maraca will have a mix of color. I think I will do a thank you on the back as well - hand written.   These will be placed on each dinner plate at the reception.





I bought these stickers for fun, I may use them to seal the envelopes of our pre travel mailers. Not sure yet.



Seating Chart

As I said above, I plan to pick their tables, but not their exact seat.  I bought one of those 'collage' frames that has 4 so each table will have one. I didn't make one for the head table, as I assumed that was a given? oops, oh well too late now.  The frame is black and will have sparkly cardstock as the backdrop. I plan to use the same font as my 'guestbook sign' (see picture farther down) and will post pictures when I am done.   I am working on this, this week as it is due to my resort by the 21st. It's a tough job!  You always feel someone is getting 'screwed' lol



Early on I got a great idea for a postcard guestbook!   I had my friend get me some postcards from the Mayan on her trip and I got about 40 for $18.  Who knew I would need more, but I am sure people will sign together.   I plan to personalize the back of them with our info as well - using small alphabet stamps I own - can you say tedious?.  Then once they write on one, they will stick them in this ‘treasure chest’ type box I got at Walmart for $15.  I plan to make a ‘post cards’ banner for inside of it.   It will double for cards if we get them as well.  Once the banner is complete I will post a picture.




Table for guestbook and Seating Chart

These will be together.  Seating chart, treasure chest, and then the postcards will be scattered over it.  I will have a picture of Shawn and I as well (or 2) that I will add to this table.  I may scatter shells on the table but am undecided at this point.  Once all my items are done I plan to take pictures of it all laid out to give to the WC. I will post pictures here as well.


Cake Topper/Cake Table

At first I was only going to use the flowers offered on the cake. Then I found the cake topper thread here!  I went out and purchased a ‘B’ but as time went on I wasn’t overly happy with it.  I recently purchased “BEST DAY EVER’ in black glitter from Etsy – Chicagofactory and am super excited to see it.   My kids say ‘this is the best day ever’ a lot so it really drew me in.   I got it in sparkle as we are using sparkle cardstock on the table numbers and seating chart.   I may, again, sprinkle shells on the table but am still undecided. Some of the extra flowers for the ceremony will also be used on this table.  We had an engagement photo done spelling “LOVE” with my ring and scrabble letters that I plan to frame here as well. I am not sure one random frame will look in place, so it may be used on the guestbook table.


This is the black glitter effect


This is an idea of the cake I want from the resort's photos.  I plan to have the fuchsia ribbon, but only gerberas on top, with the cake topper. I may try to find inspiration of the flowers  on other levels of the cake - we will see. (sorry again about picture quality)




Sorry I forgot this above, so randomly throwing this in here....

Flower Girl/ Ring Bearer items

At first my daughter was going to carry a 'here comes the bride' sign but I quickly realized I wanted her to sprinkle flower petals down the isle before me!  I am not big on the regular flower girl baskets from Michaels, etc. so I bought her a galvanized metal bucket for about $7 after coupon at Michaels. We spray painted it white and I added some rhinestone hearts to try to jazz it up.  As you see in the picture the ribbon done on it was PRE orange and turquoise, so this will have to change and I will post a picture once decided.       

My song will be carrying a shell with our rings tied on - I picked this shell as it already has 'holes' in it that I can feed the ribbon thru and it doesn't need to be glued on. Same ribbon issue as above, pictures to follow.  I got this at Michaels for about $4





Centerpieces/reception tables to follow......


Well, these have come a long way. Considering in the beginning I was too cheap for my girls to even carry flowers!  Things change! J  Each table will have a picture frame from Michaels in a fuchsia color – they are plastic which is a bonus.  One side has a table number made from sparkly cardstock, and the other will have a picture of Shawn and I. I am ordering blume boxes in orange for the bouquets – I plan to use the BMs bouquets and will order one extra so I have enough.  I will decorate them with turquoise ribbon and possible a “B” in cardstock to tie in our last color.  I also bought some white favor pails to use as votive holders.  I blinged them out and each table will get 3 - hindsite I could have used turquoise bling but it's too late as I had to glue them on.  I may sprinkle shells but have considered those little beads too or nothing. We will see.   Every plate will have a maraca on them. The head table will have 6 votive holders and the flowers from the ceremony. I am debating purchasing a 'MR and MRS' banner for the head table or even 'JUST MARRIED'   Quite honestly I think I can probably make one myself, so I am considering this DIY currently.   Stay tuned lol


Frames from Michaels - $3 without coupon

Blume Boxes - $3.95 ($20 total, but shipping was $25 OUCH. I had my heart set on them, so I hit 'purchase' with my eyes closed lol)

Pails for votives - $1.25 for 3 at Dollarama

Bling for pails - $1.50 a roll at Michaels (needed 2)

glittery cardstock - approx $3.50 a sheet before coupon (needed 3)

shells - large pack for $5 with coupon at Michaels 


I also plan to purchase glow sticks. I was going to put one on each place setting, but honestly I may put them on the guestbook table. I ordered an extra blume box vase (just in case since shipping was obsurd), so I can use that to hold them all and put a cute sign on the front.






I was very nervous about bringing anything breakable, hence my selections!  The only things right now are the shells that I have to worry about!



To Do List

- complete paperwork and send to the resort by October 21st

- put together our pre-travel mailers and send out

- make tank top and undies with iron-on transfers

- Shawn to finish purchasing groomsmen gifts

- OOT cups - attach labels, assemble with items, purchase kids items and the mentos, Decide re adding people's names to them

- finish seating arrangement and make frame for same

- personalize post cards, buy pens to bring for signing, make sign for postcard box

- make timeline of wedding day for MC

- ?? buy crayons, coloring items, etc. for the kids at the reception

- buy glow bracelets/necklaces and decide where to have them situated 

- put together/decorate blume boxes once they arrive

- banner - make one or purchase from Etsy

- add ribbon to all the fans, decided on personalizing them

- make card to hand out at welcome event so all guests can record eachother's room numbers

- list of 'wanted poses' for the photographer

- decide on jewelry for myself (do I want new necklace or not)

- personalize all the maracas, make tags for them, and attach with ribbon

- get notarized letter from kid's dad for travel with them

- get legally married in Calgary

- decide on which colored ribbon to use, and complete, for the kid's pail and shell for ceremony


Throw in Christmas and my kid's 9th birthday and I am wiped!

I am sure there is more that I forgot. This is a little list I have made up on my phone!


That was a lot of work, so I truly hope you enjoy it.  I also appreciate all your past brides even more as this is a time consuming task!

Photobucket and I may be bestfriends now!

Edited by calgarybride2015, 13 October 2014 - 08:06 AM.


Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance   :)


Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/


Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36


Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600



#10 beckys98

  • Member
  • 543 posts
  • Wedding Date:June 11, 2015
  • Wedding Location:Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Montego Bay

Posted 13 October 2014 - 08:34 AM

Oh my gosh I love ALL your stuff! I absolutely love your groom's wedding band. My fiance is not jazzed about wearing jewelry for the rest of his life so if we can find something cool and stylish like that he'll probably be happier. Also obsessed with your postcard/treasure chest guest book idea! I may be stealing that :)

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