Hi Brides and other readers!
It's been quite a while since my last post. Life's been really busy and honestly I've been using Facebook a lot for wedding planning lately. There's some really great groups on Facebook for destination brides. You should check them out if you haven't done so already. There are brides groups that are resort specific and those are really helpful. This forum has also been extremely helpful during the planning process.
During the past 8 months life has really changed for me both positively and negatively. I lost my job back in December and have been unemployed ever since. This has really impacted our budget, so we're doing all we can to keep costs down even though we had saved up quite a bit for our wedding. It's been difficult trying to find work when you don't have much experience in your field. My mother had to have surgery and I had to take care of her for a while. I got into a car accident in back in mid-February and it took me a while to fully recover from it. My FI and I ended up moving in together at the beginning of February. Because of my recovery and other health issues I ended up gaining a lot of weight which had me feeling really depressed for a while.
There was a good few months where I debated cancelling my wedding because I was really depressed over everything that had happened. My fiance has been amazing to me during the past while and very supportive! Sometimes I feel that brides lose focus on what's really important and get caught up in all the little details. We often forget that we are getting married because we want to spend our life with that special person. I know I'm guilty of getting caught up in the little details. After everything we've been through this year we've happily decided to go ahead with our wedding! I've decided that at the end of the day all I want to do is marry my best friend and if I've done that then there's nothing to regret or change because I've gotten what I wanted.
I may not be where I want to be, but I'm happy with where I am. I'm learning to relax and let life happen. To roll with the punches and deal with situations as they come instead of crumbling because something didn't go right.
I definitely want to make it a habit to post here more often. I consider it my wedding planning diary where I can vent and hopefully help other brides with my experiences and connect with other brides.
Until next time,
It's been a LONG while since my last entry. Partly because I haven't really had much to say and because I've just been really busy. A lot has changed since my last entry. I finished college, my field placement, and ended up getting a full-time job. My fiance has also found full-time work as well. My fiance and I have decided that we want to move in together, so we've been really busy looking for apartments. And well when you live in Canada summer is really short, so we've been busy trying to make the most of our summer.
I am really glad to be back though!
As far as my wedding goes this is a rundown of what's happened since the last time I posted:
- Everyone disagreed with us having a late November date.
- One of my fiance's family members went to a wedding at the resort we were hoping to get married at and she said she had an awful time.
- We were very stressed as to how we were going to pay for our wedding and what the cost would be.
- My fiance was nervous about booking really far in advance for our wedding.
- We had to pick a new date adding a lot of stress to our planning
- On top of picking a new date we needed to pick a whole new venue! Somewhere we hadn't been to before and would not be able to actually visit until the wedding.
After all of the above happened I was a little hesitant to start planning again. I was very upset that my vision had really fallen through and I was worried that I wouldn't be having the wedding I dreamed about. It was only when I stepped back from everything I initially wanted that I remembered why I was getting married. I love my fiance and I genuinely want to spend the rest of my life with him. When I took the time to step back I realized that a wedding is one day, but I have the rest of my life with the man that I love and that's all I want, so none of the details really matter. It's not like I only cared about having a wedding before I took that time to reflect. I feel that sometimes brides, like myself, become fixated on making the day so perfect and stressing over all the little details that we forget that it's only one day and it will be great no matter what! I'm positive that my wedding day will turn out great as long as I get there with a heart full of love and an open mind.
A few weeks ago I called a wedding meeting with my fiance. I made a PowerPoint presentation and everything! We had agreed after the new year that we would have a meeting about our wedding in August to see where we were at with our job situation and whether we think a 2015 wedding would be possible. Our meeting was centered around picking a venue, picking a date, and picking a colour. I felt bad for my groom to be as we sat in a coffee shop for about three hours gathering all these details.
Cuba brides, be sure to check out Facebook's pages for the resorts you're interested in and general Cuba brides pages too! I found them really helpful in my planning process. I love this site, but there aren't as many Cuba brides on here or pictures. I love that this site has great ideas and general information for planning a destination wedding.
Since our wedding meeting we have come to a decision on the following:
- We decided on a Wedding date! We will be leaving September 19, 2015, and returning September 26, 2015. We're still waiting for confirmation on the date of the ceremony though.
- We decided on a venue! We are getting married at the Iberostar Varadero in Varadero, Cuba.
- We decided on a wedding colour! We are going with red.
- We are making our own save the date magnets.
- We picked invitations, and will be customizing them next weekend.
A lot is happening, but I'm so happy that we're finally in the planning part of our wedding!
After getting engaged all I wanted to do was dive into wedding planning and explore all of the possibilities. After crunching some numbers and doing some soul searching we decided that a Cuban Destination wedding was for us. We are dead set on it!
The next thing was to pick a date. Now, I don't know about you, but I really hate the "When's the big day" question. People have been asking since the day I got engaged. I know it probably comes from a good place, but it does grate on you after a while, especially when people continue to badger you about it. Being extremely organized and on top of everything I decided to dive into finding a suitable date. My fiancee and I knew that our engagement would be longer than a traditional engagement. From my understanding most traditional engagements are about a year. Being students who are trying to set the foundation of getting a career and moving in together we knew that was not realistic for us. However, on the other end of the spectrum, we don't want to wait too long before we get married. I know a couple that's been engaged for 10 years (yikes!), but it's whatever they want and feel comfortable with.
My fiancee is really hesitant about setting a date because all of the unknowns, and I understand that. However, with a destination wedding we NEED to come up with a date to let everyone know what's going on. Most of our friends and family have to save money and request vacation time off. Personally, the first thing I wanted to do was to set a date.
I originally picked May, 2015 since it seemed not so away, but not so close either. Shortly after the new year my fiancee and I got into a small disagreement with the wedding. This led to me compromising that we move our wedding about 6 months. We compromised on the first week of October, October 4 is our anniversary and it was important for us to be married on or around that date. After doing some research I discovered that our ideal date is really close to Thanksgiving (we're Canadian, so thanksgiving is usually the second weekend in October) and I didn't want to make anyone sacrifice their holiday weekend. Furthermore, it is in the middle of hurricane season meaning lots of rain and humidity (What bride wants that?). The only plus seemed to be that trips to Cuba are really cheap around then.
After thinking it over and doing some more thinking and discussing we agreed that we want to be married on November 24, 2015 at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria. November 24 was the day he proposed to me so our wedding will still be special. November is a "shoulder month" meaning that it's in between seasons. After doing some weather research we determined that the weather would probably be better in late November than early October.
I've spent the last few weeks clearing that date with our family and friends. It seems to be okay for most people; however, it is exam time for those who are in University. This is a downer since two members in our wedding party may still be in school.
It feels like whatever I do or choose someone out there isn't happy or there is some problem with it. It becomes discouraging after a while and grates on you. I just don't want to make my wedding about other people or what they want. We really want our wedding to be about the love we share for each other.
I'm also a little frustrated at my fiancee's lack of commitment when it comes to setting a date. I know that there are things that arise that we can't plan for, but I feel like that doesn't mean that we can't do any planning. I want to send my save the dates out a little more than a year in advance to give everyone the time they need to save and book the time off.
Is anyone else in a similar position or can relate to what I'm going through? How did you guys decide on a date?
Again I totally apologize for the constant updates and content. I'm just trying to get us all caught up on what's been happening since my engagement. I just found this site earlier this week and have pretty much been on it non-stop. I'm at the end of my reading week at school so I had no classes this week. Also work has been really slow (it's always super slow in retail in February). So I guess I just have the time on my hands lol.
After we got engaged I started thinking about a wedding. At first we thought that a wedding at home was a definite must! We were set on getting married on our anniversary in 2015 (October 4). We originally wanted a fall wedding at an historic mansion that was in our local area. We wanted our colour to be plum and we wanted an awesome party. After talking to some of our friends and pricing a wedding at home we quickly determined that it was not possible for us to have a wedding at home unless we waited until 2016 or 2017. We don't want to go into debt over our wedding for various reasons most importantly my student debt (I went to university and college). It was my fiancee's idea to have a destination wedding and after doing some research and reminiscing about much fun we had in Cuba we decided a destination wedding was for us. We had also heard that doing a destination wedding was much cheaper than having a domestic wedding. Since we are eager to start our lives together and love Cuba we thought it was for us.
We were set on having our wedding at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Santa Maria, Cuba; however, since we had only been to Cuba once we thought we should do some more "research." After our exams and a little bit of research we found a really good deal on a trip to the Brisas Guardalavaca in Holguin, Cuba. We left on December 14, 2013 to scout out another possible location for our wedding. I think it's best to actually visit your location before you book, just so you know what it's actually like. You can also take some in depth pictures to show the people you want to invite so they can get a sense of the hotel. Holguin was stunning! The Brisas is a slightly lower star rating than the Melia, but a bit cheaper too. Brisas was beautiful, but a little too small and the food wasn't quite as good. The people and the culture made up for the small details though. Our trip was magical despite the constant rain and "cold front" (22 degrees, it was heavenly for us being Canadians). Everything was wonderful until we we supposed to return. We got delayed in Cuba about 30 hours because of the ice storm in Toronto. Aside from our return we had a great time, but we just didn't have that feeling like we did when we were at the Melia.
Upon our return we definitely decided that we wanted to get married at the Melia Cayo Santa Maria. I've posted pictures of both resorts on my page. If you would like a more in depth review or more pictures let me know.
After quitting my mind-numbing full-time job in August, 2012 I decided to go to college to upgrade my education and find more meaningful employment. After my first few days of college I just felt like I didn't fit it because I was so much older than the students in my class (I was 23). I had no friends at school and wasn't sure if I made the right decision in quitting my job. I came home after class to binge watch Community on Netflix and eat chips until my loneliness went away. My brother persuaded me to attend a networking event that his friends were in charge of. We went off to the event which started with an ice breaker activity where there we had to fill out our page finding people to fulfill all of the categories. He needed to find someone who watched the Summer Olympics in London and I needed someone who didn't eat breakfast that morning. I was immediately drawn to him when I saw him, tall and blonde with stunning light blue eyes. I knew I had to talk to him. So after chatting with a few people I made my move, once we started talking we didn't stop. A few hours must have gone by and instead of listening to the speakers or talking to other people we just talked to each other. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. I texted first later that night. A few weeks after texting and talking back and forth he asked me out. We did the standard first date dinner and the movies. I wasn't sure at first, but by the end of the night I really started to like him. We kept dating and talking then on October 4, 2012 we took the plunge and became "facebook official."
So many milestones happened between October 4th and our proposal. He was the only guy I've dated who let me meet his family. We're really close to our families so we did the whole meeting the family thing around Christmas (which a lot of people thought was too soon, but we didn't care). By December we had already said the L word (love). It just felt right there were no other words we could use to convey how we felt about each other. We spent new years together in Northern Ontario where we got a hotel room and hung out. February and March were smooth sailing for us too things kept getting better and better. By our six month anniversary in April we were convinced we were meant for each other. For our six month anniversary he got me a sapphire promise ring as a symbol of his commitment to me and took me to my favourite Mexican restaurant. His parents decided in March to book a trip to Cuba and invited me to come a long with them which was so sweet and made me feel welcome and accepted by his family. Both my fiancee and I had never been on a plane before or to Cuba, we weren't sure if we would like it. When April 13th came around we packed our bags and begun our journey to the Melia Cayo Santa Maria in Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba. We instantly fell in love with Cuba: the people, the beaches, the weather, everything! While on the beach one day a wedding was happening and we decided to watch hand in hand. During our trip we took the sunset catamaran cruise which was very romantic (even though I got seasick). Everything about Cuba was magical to us. We had an amazing trip and I got to know his family a lot more. After our trip to Cuba I had exams then my summer vacation started. I got a job working retail for the summer and he worked full-time in the summer, but we still managed to fit in: a trip to Canada's Wonderland, the CNE, and camping. We went camping in June and it was my first time ever going camping. I had an amazing time and would do it again in a heart beat. Through being with him I've discovered that I truly love the outdoors and being in nature. In August my fiancee asked me about how I would feel if he proposed soon. I obviously said that I would love it because I love him and know that I want to be with him. I knew what kind of ring I wanted and we went to peoples to try on rings, but I made it clear that I wanted to proposal to be a surprise (even though I usually hate surprises my proposal was one thing I've always wanted to be a surprise). As September approached school started for both of us and we knew it would be a hard year as we are both due to graduate. For our one year anniversary we decided to do something special and booked a room in wine country in Niagara falls which was so romantic. I thought that's when he'd pop the question, but he didn't which kept me on my toes. After our anniversary we decided it was time for our parents to meet each other and it went well. While I was busy he apparently pulled my parents aside and asked for their blessing. After I heard about it I was sure that It wouldn't be long.
Things were still going well for us despite being much busier than we were when we started dating. With the holidays coming we knew that we wouldn't get to spend as much time together because of exams and work. At the end of November we both ended up having that weekend off so we spent it together. We decided to check out our local santa clause parade mostly because I had never been to one. My parents are devout Muslims so we were never allowed to do anything related to Christmas when growing up. We had such a great time despite the temperature being minus fifteen! After the parade we went to grab some hot chocolate from our favourite coffee shop then headed off to take a walk in the park we always go to when in the area. We walked to our spot overlooking the river and that's when it happened. He told me how much I meant to him and how much he loved me then got down on one knee. I was so shocked because I didn't see a proposal coming I paused for a while to make sure that what was happening was real then said yes. After a long embrace we left the park and called our friends and family to tell them the good news. My fiancee being as amazing as he is set up a manicure appointment for me to get schellac on my nails so I can show my new rock off. After my manicure we had dinner then updated our facebook status.
This is just the beginning of our story. Hope you enjoyed reading it =)
I've never written a blog before, and I'm not quite sure what a blog is supposed to be like. I'm just going to go with my heart and write what comes naturally to me. The reason I wanted to do this is because I wanted to chronicle my journey down the aisle (or the beach I guess since that's what we're planning).
I have a type A personality and thrive off of organization, structure, and feeling like I'm in control of the situation. Seems odd that someone like me would want a destination wedding, right? My fiancee has taught me to loosen up a little and take things as they come and just enjoy life as it happens. We fell in love with the idea of a destination wedding after our first trip to Cuba in April, 2013. It was our first time on a plane and out of the continent. We instantly feel in love with Cuba and visited again in December, 2013. Cuba's natural beauty, warm temperature, stunning beaches, and above all friendly people were all we needed to decide on a destination wedding.
You may notice a lot of posts today and that's because between our engagement and today there have been a lot of developments. Once I found out about the blog function on this site I figured that I could use it to chronicle my wedding. I'm trying to go chronologically from the time we got engaged to today and then afterwards. I want my blog and my life to sound like a story. I'm hoping that maybe other brides can relate to my story and share their own stories too.