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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/08/2013 in Blog Entries

  1. 3 points
    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? Happy Planning, - Dia
  2. 2 points
    Brides: Please BEWARE of this business!! Using their services was the worst decision I made when planning my wedding. Very long and anxiety-provoking story short: three months before my wedding -after all my guests had booked rooms - I discovered that they were being charged anywhere from $700-$1400 more for their rooms than they could find online. At the last minute I had to cancel most of the reservations and rebook. They refused to allow me to cancel reservations for those guests who did not purchase travel insurance, despite the extreme savings to my guests. They additionally refused to refund the travel insurance for those who cancelled. They continually lied about rates and services and made myriad mistakes with my bookings. The time, money and anxiety wasted dealing with this company could have been much better spent in a number of ways for my wedding. Unless you want your guests to pay twice what they should be paying to attend your wedding, please find another company! I spent days cleaning up this mess and my guests sadly spent WAY too much money.
  3. 2 points
    Hello My Save The Date is ready! I love the design and just want to share it with you. Quick info about myself. I am a 2016 bride who will have my wedding at Secrets The Vine Cancun. Originally I wanted to include photos on my STD, but my pre-wedding shoot is in September and I am not sure when I will received the edited photos... Wedding is in April, so I needed to get those out asap. I like my STD to be fun and special and luckily I found the one! I printed them as postcard magnets from Vistaprint. Cannot wait for them to arrive!
  4. 2 points
    I wanted to go to St. Lucia however the flights where extremely long, then looked at secrets in Mexico however they have that nasty blood test NOOOOO THANK YOU. then it came down to secrets vs sandles. In the end Secrets Wild Orchid won. We booked a swim out room which comes with preferred. I reserved 10 rooms so far and booked the ultimate wedding package. I don't plan on doing a bunch of extras my budget for everything is $11500.00 we will see if room airfare and wedding will stay at that budget tho lol. I'm so excited for the swim out room and the all-inclusive both will be a first
  5. 2 points
    When last I wrote, I was heading to Mexico for a marathon weekend of site visits & feeling super confident that I had this Destination Wedding planning thing all figured out. That was all true until I attended our front-runner resort's wedding planning weekend. Prior to attending this event , I felt strongly about not using a Travel Agent with "ties" (aka certifications) to a specific resort brand/company. I wanted to work with a highly impartial Agent/Agency to help us narrow down & ultimately choose the best resort(s) for our wedding weekend. I am not ashamed to admit that my approach was a bit narrow (if not naive) and resulted in lot of unnecessary work & wasted time as we moved forward with our planning. I believe in being very candid, so I will share that I felt like a real idiot for not having gone with a "preferred" Travel Agent in the first place - especially once I later realized most Agents hold certifications/preferred status with several resort brands and not just one or two. I really flip flopped about sharing this "hard knock" - ultimately opting to share this lesson with the hopes of helping others avoid my costly & time consuming mistake. I say "costly" because not only were countless hours wasted but our first TA charged a fee for her services. We paid the fee without hesitation despite reading in my Knot's Destination Wedding Guide that you should not pay such fees. We did so because, again, I really wanted to work with someone I felt was totally impartial to help us choose the best resort for our vision/needs & save me from further confusing myself. My fiance went along because according to him, I am steering this ship. In chatting with other couples at the planning event in Mexico, we quickly realized the benefit of using an Agent who is "well connected (aka resort brand "certified" or "preferred") as opposed to one who is not. Thanks to their "connected" TA's, these couples enjoyed great perks like complimentary upgrades to amazing suites and were able to split their stay between respective top choice properties in that brand, over the course of the weekend. We, on the other hand, spent our entire stay at one property because our now former TA was unaware we could split up our stay (as long as the properties were under that brand/company). We also did not receive the same amazing room upgrade, which would have aided us in our resort selection. We further learned of certain wedding perks (e.g. free event, better discounted group rates, additional food/beverage credits etc...) these couples were receiving courtesy of their connected TAs. Couple after couple asked us which perk we were considering only to be met with our blank stares followed by an "oh, we didn't know about that" . By the end of the event, we realized just how clueless we were & that we had a lot to think about & discuss with our TA. Since we were otherwise really happy with now former TA, we shared what we learned with her and asked if she could match the perks we learned about. Unfortunately, she was unable to do so, which forced us to have to "break up" with her. I hated having to do so & felt awful about it but my fiance (the all-business numbers guy) pointed out that we have to make the best choice for our budget & guests, and put personal feelings aside when it comes to making financial decisions regarding the wedding. While he is right, it did not make the decision any easier. So you may be asking, what exactly did I learn other than "everything is better with preferred status!"? Here are the key points I learned & should have considered when initially picking a Travel Agent to help with our planning: 1) Do Your Homework - while it is important to interview your TA to assess fit and expertise (as mentioned in my previous post), it is just as important to do your homework on the various deals/perks available at resorts you think you may be interested in. While I checked out the deals & perks listed on respective resort websites, I neglected to do so from a travel agent/company perspective. Had I taken the time to look for perks offered through various travel agencies specializing in destination weddings, I would have realized that they aren't necessarily partial to one resort brand over another, and more quickly seen the benefit of working with a preferred agency from the beginning. This also would have eliminated the need to break up with our otherwise wonderful TA. Another homework point is to ask about next steps once you have locked in (e.g. signed contracts for your date and room block). Some TA's hand you off to a domestic wedding planning team that serves as an initial point of planning contact. These teams often experience high turnover and are greatly delayed in responding to your questions. Other TAs will hand you off to a wedding planning team in your wedding location (in my case Mexico) but remain in the loop as you work with that team to bring your vision to life. By staying in the loop, the TA can help move things along and ensure your concerns are being adequately & timely addressed. This also enables the TA to better advocate on your behalf should something you requested not be provided once onsite. 2) Get referrals - early on, I opted not to work with one travel agency because I had read more negative than positive reviews of that company's agents. After speaking with several happy brides at the event, I learned of some great Agents with that same company and was subsequently referred to one that several brides raved about. After speaking with the Agent, we realized the raves were truly merited & ultimately chose to go with that Agent because their company offered all of the perks we were looking for. This has decreased some of our wedding expenses & provided us with an even better discounted group rate than we were previously quoted. 3) It Never Hurts To Ask - in the event you find yourself in a similar situation, do not "hit the gas" and jump ship on your TA unless you are unhappy with his/her service in general. A good TA works really hard and aims to provide top notch service, so it is only fair to give him/her the opportunity to either match the offer you found or secure comparable discounts/perks. While this did not work out in my situation, it worked in a friend's situation. Her agent was unable to match the deal she found elsewhere, but was able to obtain discounts that were financially comparable to the deal she found. I hope you find this helpful and avoid my mistakes! I also hope this does not offend anyone in the destination wedding travel industry. As previously mentioned, my goal is to help fellow destination brides make informed decisions and hopefully avoid pitfalls experienced by myself (and maybe others) along the way. Happy Planning! xo, girlinthecity97
  6. 1 point
    Let's face it, after an exhausting wedding and two weeks on honeymoon, reality hits you back when you realize you have fifty or more thank you notes to handwrite! Pre-printed thank you notes? Tacky right? So you turn around asking for help with this unmanageable task. Well, I just came up with this really cool idea with my colleague at Dream Art Photography. It's called "Guest Book." The Guest Book it's a tiny little version of your custom Made in Italy Wedding Book (like a Hallmark card but so much better). I can't imagine a better way to say "Thank you for celebrate our happiness with us" than a compilation of all the emotions of that day captured and held in this little book of love. Why write a Thank You note when you can show gratitude. By Vicky Herm Photos: DreamArt Photography ©DreamArt Photography 2010 - 2016. All Rights Reserved
  7. 1 point
    My fiance asked me to marry him on his birthday, January 15, 2016. Hands down, the best surprise I have ever experienced. We have been together for about 4 1/2 year (we have a 3 year old son) and have always talked about having a beach wedding. Almost immediately after he slipped the ring on my finger, I started googling destination weddings. I have always wanted to visit Jamaica, so what would be better than making my first visit, MY WEDDING? I googled best places to get married in Jamaica and found an article that detailed about 12 resorts. Iberstar Rose Hall Suites was #7 on that list but after visiting a dozen websites, I kept going back to the Iberostar wesite. We chose the Suites because they are kid friendly and it is very important to us that our son be apart of our day and that he can also have some fun while we are there since we won't have a summer vacation in preparation for the wedding. We are currently working our travel agent to get everyone who has RSVP's booked. I think we are up to about 20 guests right now which is such an amazing thing to me. I am honored that our friends and family are willing to use their time and resources to enjoy our day with us. We have sent electronic save-the-dates using greenvelope.com. They were a big hit, easy to design, and cost effective. I will be attaching some screenshots of them. This process is time consuming but I am enjoying planning!
  8. 1 point
    Hello Everyone! My husband and I will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary next year by renewing our vows and having another celebration at Secrets St. James in Montego Bay, Jamaica! The resort looks beautiful and the reviews are wonderful but the actual section for weddings leaves a lot to be desired. We are looking at October of 2017 and I plan to send save the dates out soon to give family and friends over a year to plan, budget, and get ready! I have a few questions 1- If a deposit is required, did you include this information on the save-the dates? I will email my travel agent to inquire but I wondered if anyone had any tips! 2- Can I get married on the actual beach? I see the Gazebos but I was looking forward to getting married on the actual water. 3- Does anyone have any pictures to share of their experience? I am really excited and I look forward to this experience
  9. 1 point
    Hi ladies! I just got back from doing site visits in Cancun over New Years and my fiance and I fell in LOVE with the Hyatt Ziva Cancun. I'd love to hear more from other ladies who are getting married there so we can share ideas, hear the pros/cons, and all have the best weddings possible! We'll likely be having around 130-140 guests. We're doing the rehearsal & rehearsal dinner on the beach. The wedding ceremony will be in the sky gazebo, cocktail hour on the Punta Vista Terrace, and reception in the ballroom. Would love to chat more with others booking their wedding here too! Best, Gwen
  10. 1 point
    Originally posted at Zilo Rings Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Email While gearing up for your big day, you’re faced with endless advice, suggestions, questions, and decisions to make. Throw in antiquated traditions and old wives tales, and the whole ordeal can be a bit overwhelming. For instance, every bride-to-be knows that she is supposed to have something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe – as the old poem goes. This Victorian tradition was built around superstition and good luck charms. It seems silly and out of touch to most of us, but once you think about what each item represents, it can actually be a charming addition to even the most modern wedding. Incorporating the Four Somethings (as they are often called) in your ceremony is a great way to show both your appreciation for where you came from, as well as your excitement and hope for the future. It’s also an amazing way to include your loved ones in a special and personal way, without having to add yet another person to your wedding party. Besides, even if you never owned a rabbit’s foot or slept with a dreamcatcher above your bed, having a few lucky pieces at the biggest event of your life can’t hurt, right? Sure, putting a silver sixpence in your shoe is likely going to do as good of a job at making you wealthy as throwing salt over your shoulder will at warding off evil, but it’s a fun part of an old tradition that adds sentiment and enchantment to your wedding day. We at Zilo Rings put together this infographic to help you decipher what this tradition is really all about. We also wanted to take some of the stress out of your wedding planning, so we included some of our favorite ways that modern brides have gotten creative with integrating the Four Somethings in their wedding garb. If you have trouble viewing the infographic, you can find all of the details in the text below. Congratulations on your new adventure! Old, New, Borrowed, Blue: A Guide for the Modern Bride “Something old, something new, Something borrowed, something blue, And a silver sixpence in her shoe” Whether you’re superstitious or just looking for a fun and creative way to incorporate tradition into your wedding attire, here’s some ideas to inspire your special day. Something Old Why? Something old symbolizes continuity from your old life to your new one. Carrying something old from a loved one shows where you came from, and that you’ll take that experience with you always. How Always choose something from an ancestor, whether it be your mother’s wedding dress, your grandmother’s vintage veil, or some antique heirloom jewelry that you have converted into a modern hairpiece. Our Favorite Take an antique locket, and place photos of friends & family members who have passed away inside. Wear it around your neck or tie it to your bouquet, so your loved ones can join your celebration in spirit. Something New Why? Something new is a representation of your hope and optimism for the future. It shows that you are looking forward to your new life with your spouse. How Your something new should be something that represents your commitment to your new marriage. Your wedding ring may serve as such, or some people choose to have a lucky penny minted in the year of their wedding. Our Favorite Take your mother and new mother-in-law shopping for matching jewelry that you can all wear on the wedding day. It’s a special way to celebrate the union of your two families. Something Borrowed Why? This good luck charm symbolizes happiness. A bride borrows something from a happily married couple in hopes that the couple’s happiness in marriage will rub off on the newlyweds. How Think of a couple whose relationship you admire. Whether friends or family, asking them to borrow an item for your ceremony will show them how much you respect their marriage. This could be a veil, garter, or jewelry that was worn by a bride whose relationship you would like to emulate. Our Favorite This doesn’t just have to be something borrowed from a bride. It can be from a groom, as well! Ask a man whose marriage inspires you to borrow his tie to wrap around your bouquet. Something Blue Why? Before white wedding dresses came on the scene, the traditional wedding dress color was blue. In ancient Rome, brides wore blue as a symbol of their love and fidelity. How This one is easy! Though you may not choose to go with the traditional blue wedding dress, you can add a pop of color to your gown with a blue sash or blue shoes. Blue flowers in your bouquet will also do the trick. Our Favorite Since blue represents love and fidelity, a fantastic way of wearing it is to sew your wedding date in blue into the lining of your dress. Plus, if you plan on passing the dress down, it makes the dress all the more special for future generations. Sixpence In Her Shoe Why? The silver sixpence is a symbol of prosperity. Placing one in your shoe is supposed to give you and your partner financial wealth and security throughout your marriage. How Here lies a dilemma. Not only is this an English currency, but it is an English currency that no longer exists. It stopped being circulated in 1980, and the coins were only made of silver until 1947. Luckily, there are several online retailers who sell authentic silver sixpence for the specific purpose of use in weddings. Resources BrideBox Borrowed & Blue Zenadia Design
  11. 1 point
    Hellllppp!!! Looking to plan a destination wedding in April 2016 - Looking to cost around $1,500 per guest. Working with a travel agent and so far nothing I like is that price!!! We really don't have a specific destination in mind as we think anywhere with white sand and beautiful water is the place!!! Any tips???? Thanks!!!!!! xoxo
  12. 1 point
    BRIDESMAID DRESSES: Ordered 6 months advance. My girls are quite short so will need to be shortened. I wanted to find dresses with a slit in the front like my wedding dress has. I originally picked eggplant for the dress color. I switched last minute to midnight blue which is basically Navy. SHOES: Needed wedges as the ceremony is on the beach. Found these on justfab.com. $75 for 3 pairs. I know they are gold, but I'm hoping they won't make a difference. Necklace/Earings/Bracelet: THE BAY! $90 for all three sets. Love!! ROBES: La Vie En Rose 3 for 1! SUN HATS: Walmart $9 - Navy $5 - White
  13. 1 point
    Found my Dress!!
  14. 1 point
    I have been in 9 weddings, but never thought I would be doing a blog for my own wedding. I thought I would be the kind who will be always single, independent, carreer oriented, world traveler type of woman; and I was happy with that, or so I thought... Chris and I work at the same company and had been working on the same project for about 1.5 yrs; we knew of each others existance, but nothing more than that. Until, a friend we have in common, also a co-worker of ours decided to play cupid and set us up. I will forever be thankful to her for that. We started dating and I quickly realized that I was just then learning what happiness really means. We have been so in sync from day 1; not only between him and I, but between his two kids and I. I fell in love with them, with my Dyrlund 3-Pack. Chris is the kindest person I have ever met. He is considerate, caring, loving, selfless, generous, and very, very smart. Also, very handsome if I may say so :-) After almost a year of dating, he proposed to me on Good Friday 2015, he took me to the place we had been trying to go for our second date. He kept taking pictures of me, but that was nothing unsual; at some point I turned around and there he was on one knee and proposed to me in Spanish. I will never forget his face, his expression, and his words to me at that moment. We had already talked about a destination wedding and that's how I made it to this website!
  15. 1 point
    Are you a bride who is looking for someone to hold your hand during the wedding planning process without paying thousands of dollars? I will be offering 10 complementary Sessions, to the first 10 people to comment and say yes I need to talk to you to help me feel less overwhelmed about planning my wedding! I tell all of my clients that if you aren't having fun, we're doing something wrong. Because Wedding Planning can be stressful, but it's also supposed to be fun. I have been a Destination Wedding planner for many years now and let me tell you, on a daily basis I receive endless emails from Brides not looking for a planner, Dj or to discuss their budget or the flavor of their cake. But simply to have conversations and create a safe space, free of judgments and expectations. The Bridal coach. My GOAL is to be there for you and to focus on your emotional wellness, and peace of mind, so you can enjoy your engagement. Also to help you reduce stress, build confidence, and ultimately plan your wedding without feeling overwhelmed. MY MISSION is to get you results on anything you may need clarity on, when it comes to planning a wedding, because I love seeing you enjoy this moment to the fullest. COACHING Fortunately, I don't actually experience this too often because the whole point of hiring a wedding planner is to avoid that sort of situation. It is always brides who specifically looking to talk to someone on wedding tip, things to avoid etc. A lot of what I'm hearing from you is that you are just too overwhelmed, for various reasons. You counted on friends, or occasionally hired a not-too-fabulous wedding planner or relied solely on the services of the hotel/resort, and by the time you call me for guidance, you're in an all-out panic. I am making this experience available for you as a Bridal Coach. Through a one or two hour, one-on-one Coaching Session, I will talk with you about your ideas and plans, and assist you on where to save money and guidance on vendors create a personalized Action Plan that will make planning your own day much smoother. Top 3 things you can expect: 1. I will be your "source of support" for your ideas - Friends are often good at this, but may lack the wedding experience to know what will and won't work. Worse yet, if they're a past bride, they may simply be recommending a clone of their own wedding. As a bridal coach I will listen to your ideas, provide advice and often suggest other ideas that have worked well at other weddings. 2. Check the run sheet for your day - There are so many things that occur on a wedding, and each takes longer than you think. Plus you may have 100 guests to take into consideration. As Your Bridal Coach I will step you through each part of the day, and assist you in understanding how much time is needed for each activity, as well as the order that will work best. 3. Save you money - One bad decision can not only ruin your day, it can also cost you a lot of money! You don't need everything and often there isn't enough time to do it all. By providing a list of good quality suppliers that provide Value for Money! PS: YOU ARE NOT ALONE, I ´VE GOT YOUR BACK! Happy Planning! Joyce weddingsinplayadelcarmen@gmail.com
  16. 1 point
    My fiance and I have decided we're going to hire Juan Carlos Tapia for our wedding that will take place at the beautiful sandos Finisterra in Los Cabos. Following my research on the web, I found the pictures of Juan. His work is simply stunning and he helped me tremendously for the planning of our day. Here is the link to see his work :-) I personnaly loved the pictures he made for the wedding of Abygael. http://www.juancarlostapia.com/sandos-finisterra-wedding/ Sorry for my bad english! I'm french so… I tried my best Marie-Eve Boily (soon Lapointe)
  17. 1 point
    Hello brides!! I'm 4 days away for my BIG DAY ! I wanted to share my experience in this wild ride planning the perfect wedding! I am not that nervous I think, because I trusted very professional people for that special day. My experience with the DJ has been really great! I picked Dj. Rickalvin: And he has been great through all this process, he is very well organized and very flexible. He always answers my emails quickly and exactly with the solution or answer I need to any of my doubts or questions. We told him the music we liked and what we didn't like, so this way he knows a little bit more about us and what we expect for the wedding day! I found this Dj through a friend of mine that got married on Cancun last summer, and every single person told me they had lots of fun and everyone recommended the dj a lot. Another vendor that has been in touch with all throughout this whole time are the photographers: www.shenkophoto.com As I told you before, this is a married couple that is dedicated only to taking pictures around the world. We've been communicating for more than 8 months now, and I think we now seem to now each other even if we haven't met in person. Last month we arranged a Skype session and that was the first time we saw each other, other than in photos. We talked a lot about the wedding day, the pictures we would like for that day and with who, etc. They also seem to be really interested in small details about that day, like for example flowers, centerpieces and other decoration details that we picked. Also they are really organized, and helped us make an itinerary for family pictures so that we don't lose any time and we have all the people we want on the pictures. In 2 days we are meeting for a casual session so that we know each other in front of the camera and in that way, I think, it will be easier to communicate on the wedding day for the things we want, and can or can't do. My fiancé always laughs at me because I am a very bubbly person and I don't have shame of anything, but when you put a camera in front of me, everything changes!!! I just don't know what to do it's such a dumb thing! So wish me luck!!! When I come back from my honeymoon I'll tell you more details about everything =)
  18. 1 point
    Hello Brides, in this entry I'd like to share with you our plans for the honeymoon. We are taking a 3 week vacation, and since we've been together for almost 8 years now, we were thinking about places we've never been together before, something different and something we think we won't have the chance to repeat. So, we decided to go far far away, and we are going to New zealand, Australia and Bali. We both think this are incredible places and almost impossible to go on any other vacation. My boyfriend loves outdoor activities, and I'm all about beach and animals and tours! So we found the perfect balance. Our first stop is Auckland New Zealand, were we'll take 2 different tours: Glowcaves tour & Hobbitown tour, they both take all day long but we really want to visit them. Then we are flying to Queenstown, were we will be going zip lining and in this thing called Shotover Jet that's like a really fast boat in the river and takes you between the high mountains and very beautiful landscapes! If anyone's traveling there, we recommend this webpage http://www.queenstownnz.co.nz/information/product/?product=ziptrekwith many fun activities. The next stop is Sydney, were we plan to relax and enjoy the city and it's surroundings, then we'll go to Melbourne and visit the aquariums and animal zoo! And the last stop is Bali, we'll stay at the beach for a couple of days and then in the jungle, it's another culture for sure and we want to get both experiences! In the gallery album, I uploaded some pictures of the things to do in those cities, for anyone that's planning on going there also!
  19. 1 point
    My fiance and I have decided we're going to host a pre-wedding meeting/get together for guests attending our destination wedding. I thought this would be a good idea to get everyone together to answer questions guests may have regarding obtaining/renewing passports, obtaining passports for minors, pre-wedding travel tips & advice, what to pack/bring, packing/travel suggestions, what they (the guests) should be doing and have done by this point as far as passports go, etc. I was also going to print out helpful information for them. If it's one thing I've learned in the past 2 years of planning a destination wedding, it's that you have to babysit and guide your guests along, lol! That's not meant to be a negative statement in any way, it's simply the truth I don't mind at all, I have enjoyed answering our guests questions and providing them with as much helpful information as I possibly can. I have also included everything on our wedding website and on our wedding closed group on Facebook as well. In addition to those 2 forms of keeping everyone updated, I've also mailed out newsletters letting people know that airfare was now available, the resort is booking up quickly for the weekend of our wedding, etc. It has been very helpful. I'm not having a hard time finding information, ideas for this pre-wedding meeting/get together we want to host. Any DIY templates that would include passport information, pre-travel information, etc.? Any tips/advice/templates/websites/blogs would be great help!! Thanks so much!!
  20. 1 point
    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, Dia Diamond
  21. 1 point
    Hi ladies I am totally new to this site so have no idea what I am doing! I have just booked my wedding at Secrets Wild Orchid for April 2016, I am from the UK so our travel agents don't know a great deal about the weddings they offer etc! I am looking at any advice or tips people can offer me please. I have booked the ultimate package and we are taking 12 guests including myself and my husband to be. I thought I would be rather chilled out and just have a relaxed type of wedding and just go with the flow but I'm finding I am not really like that at the moment???? I am unsure what happens next......I have my date and time confirmed and that is it so far. Fingers crossed I can pick people's brains Also is anyone able to recommend an external photographer as I have just looked at aqua sun profile and I'm not that impressed. Many thanks Wendy xx
  22. 1 point
    Hello Brides! I created this blog so that I could share my love story with you, and also to help every single one of you that's getting married in the same hotel or at the beach or anything similar to mine. I'll start introducing myself. My name is Andrea and I'm 25 years old, I'll be getting married on May 1st 2015 in the Riviera Maya at Azul Fives Hotel. My fiancé's name is Jerry, also 25 years old, and we've been together for 7 and a half years now. We are from Monterrey, Mexico. We first met at a friend's party, he was a little bit wasted I'll admit, but anyways we spend all night talking and talking. The next time I saw him was at another friend's party where he asked me for my MSN messenger ID. Since then, we spend every single day talking and becoming really good friends. 9 months later I became his girlfriend. We are such best friends, we've always been 100% authentic, so we really love each other with every single flaw and every single virtue. We love spending time together and thank god, we love each other's friends also, so that makes everything easier. At the time I was finishing High School and he was starting College. We went to my prom together, I went to his , 3 years later I went to Madrid Spain for 6 months and he went and visited me for 2 weeks. Best trip ever. We celebrate each month since we've been together, every 11th day. So, at our 7th anniversary, I couldn't finish his gift (a "100 happy days" book) so I told him I rather celebrate this anniversary one month later, so that I would have time to finish my present. And that was the deal. Anyways we went to dinner and for the first time, we talked about marriage. He told me he couldn't wait any longer, he was just so worried for the money we needed and we talked everything through. We didn't said a date or a year or anything like that, just that we were now prepared to take that next step. One month later, when we were supposed to give out our presents, he took me to this restaurant in Parque Fundidora, we had dinner and when we were ready to go, he told me we should take some pictures in the gorgeous view we had up there. So we started our way to the balcony and I saw a table with 2 rose bouquets, and he told me "I think we're interrupting" so we had to make it quick. After like 3 seconds I told him "or is this for me?", he laughed and that was my "anniversary present". There was a projection in the wall and a video started, it was made by small videos of our friends congratulating us for the 7 years as a couple, and then a slideshow of pictures of him and I since we started our relationship. I'm such a cry baby that at that time, I realized I've been crying for the whole video. When the pictures ended, he appeared in the video talking to me, telling me he was so grateful for this years and for me being patient about getting married, etc. And then he started talking to me in person (by the time my mascara was so messed up by all the tears) I was sitting down and he was standing up, telling me that our time to be married was coming, and that we should be patient and wait for that moment, and then he said "or why wait any longer?" got on his knees and asked me to marry him!!!!! Of course, I bursted into tears and didn't even said yes! I was so overwhelmed and didn't expect it at all. We both are very crafty and always make detailed presents to each other, that I just never knew this was coming. THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. We toasted with champagne and send a selfie to our family and friends to tell them the big news. March 11 2014. The next day we went to dinner with both our families, and talked about where, when and how we were going to have the wedding. I've always wanted a beach wedding so the obvious option was Cancun, the prettiest beach. 2 months later we went on a trip to Cancun, one of my best friends got married and moved there, so everything was so much easier. It is a 2 hour trip, and we stayed there for 3 days. We decided on the date because we wanted a NO LABOR DAY and May 1st is Labor Day in Mexico. So it was perfect. We were choosing between JW Marriot in Cancun or Azul Fives Hotel in the Riviera. But we decided on Azul Fives because it was All-Inclusive and that was a better place for our guests to stay. First things first, I looked for the music, the photographer and the wedding planner. Everything was easier because for the music, a friend of mine got married in Cancun and recommended a Dj called Rickalvin, so I booked him first. I preferred a DJ because my fiancé loves hip hop and electronic music, and I am more into Pop - Top Hits, so we really wanted to hear the actual song than a group that maybe won't speak english that well. The wedding planner was also an easy choice because a friend of ours works as a planner in Playa del Carmen with a company called ANHEXO. They also rent furniture, decoration and sell flower arrangements. For the photographer, that was the tough part. I'm SO not a professional photographer, but I had a class or two and I really appreciate when things are focused, with the proper light, centered, and many other little details that not everyone cares about. But they are my wedding photos, the only memory I'll have of that day forever with me. So searching in the website www.bodas.com.mx I found several photographers but they were not my style. On that website I found a link to Fearless Photographers, were I found the ones I booked Shenko Photography. They matched all of our criteria and I well a little bit out of the budget, but finally what we wanted. I'll be posting here everything I find about the suppliers, and details of the Hotel also; because I know many of you don't have the opportunity to visit Cancun before the wedding. Hope it's helpful!
  23. 1 point
    Hello, I am getting married at the Occidental Grand Xcaret in April 2014 and I was hoping to get a bit of help from some past brides/grooms! My first question is did you tip your wedding coordinators and any of the other employees that worked on your wedding(s). If so what is the customary amount? I don't want to over and or under tip and insult anyone! Thanks a bunch!! Jen
  24. 1 point
    Hello brides! This entry is for all of you who want to get out of the ordinary and traditional wedding stuff, and dare to be different and unique! I created a gallery album in which you can see some of the details and different kinds of things we plan for our wedding, and some examples of other brides who have done special things for the BIG day. Starting with the wedding photos, we hired Shenko Photography www.shenkophoto.com for the wedding day and the trash the dress session. We loved every picture because it's not the typicall wedding photo with everybody hugging and standing straight, the background is always so pretty and so different from anything else. They also make underwater sessions which are really cool. For the reception, we are giving out pineapple plastic cups for the guests, instead of the glass or any normal cup everyone gives out. There are also coconut cups which are really adorable for the party. Maybe it's not the most elegant but sure is the funniest. I bought them on amazon.com, but they are also at www.orientaltrading.com Also, we are making a fun experience for the guestbook, they will take a polaroid picture, hang it in a rope and sign it! Hope you like it!
  25. 1 point
    I am finalizing my OOT bags, and just completed some of the printables that my friend made for me. So adorable! I got all of the items from amazon except for the bags holding the fun/sun stuff, and the raffia/ribbon from Michaels: Money/Room Key Holder: "To have and to hold...your money and key" -stretchy wrist key chain - amazon -money/key holder - resealable horizontal badge holder Goodie Bag: "Too much sun...too much fun" -clear bag - Michaels -raffia ribbon - Michaels -Mini Sunscreen - Amazon -Mini Aloe - Amazon -single pepto - Amazon -Advil - Amazon
  26. 1 point
    I got engaged to my fiance at the end of September 2013. We took a couple of weeks to a month off of anything wedding, just so that we could enjoy being engaged. It was great and the best decision we have made yet. Now, we are trying to get things rolling! Our initial thought was to have a Fall 2015 wedding. This is because at the time of our engagement, five of my VERY good friends also got engaged. All of their weddings are going to be spread out through the summer/fall of 2014. I am going to be in 3 of the five weddings... and one of them is in California while I live in Oregon. 2014 is looking to be an expensive year without throwing my own wedding into the mix. He really wants a small wedding. Heck, he would be satisfied if we went to the court house and Skyped the "ceremony". I may be the only female to have this experience, but I literally never pictured myself getting married. I never dreamed about the dress I would wear or the type of event I would have. So I literally had no idea what I wanted. I could picture a small wedding, but I have a lot of people in my life who have made a big impact that I would want to be there. I don't have much of an extended family beyond that. He has big extended family and less friends to invite. I really loathe the idea of being the center of attention for, like, 20 minutes with everyone staring at me. That actually sounds like my worst nightmare. The roller coaster started when we started to explore venues. Every place I found online, I loved and could picture our day there. But they were CRAZY expensive. I could always pick them apart as to why they were imperfect. I had finally given up on that idea and we heavily researched a cruise wedding. This was the first idea that he LOVED and was excited about. The more I researched, the less I loved the idea of a cruise wedding. They were still a lot of money and they just seemed chincey to me. No one wants to spend money and have your special day look like it's cheap, because it wasn't cheap. Also, I didn't want my guests to have to take a week off of work just for us. I looked into smaller cruises, but a majority of them were going to Ensenada, MX. After research, I discovered that the town is kinda gross. It has a lot of crime and children begging. That was not the experience I wanted for my guests. I want my guests to feel relaxed, not on edge because they have to watch for pick-pocketers. My girlfriend and I had a heart to heart. She told me that I just need to try some non-traditional routes to find my venue and other vendors. She was right. I modified "the way" I was looking for a venue. Instead of using The Knot, I tried using Craigslist. Low and behold... it worked. I saw an ad for a small vineyard about 15 minutes away from my house. I went and checked it out. This place was a DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. It was way less expensive, GORGEOUS, could handle a large quantity of people and had very few requirements of us. I was hooked. We both loved the entire feel of the venue. We were back on track for a larger in town wedding. I called upon my mom to ask her connections to hook us up for our wedding. We were on track to spend more than we had initially planned for, but way less than the big name venues in town. We were so excited and started saving for our down payment on the venue. We both knew that we were going to have to pay for a majority of the wedding on our own, and we were ok with that. We were going to wait to have our wedding in the summer of 2015 and save up every penny for the perfect day! That is until... we did our taxes. I just graduated school recently and got a first "real job". Well taxes weren't so kind to me. I entered a new tax bracket without the golden school tuition right off any longer. I basically have to take the entire down payment for our venue that we saved up and use it for taxes... Whomp, whomp, whomp!! I was so DEPRESSED. It seemed like saving for a wedding would be impossible. Something would always come up and we would have to spend wedding money to take care of it. After an evening of whining about it, I jumped back online. I found this website and looked more strongly into a destination wedding. Needless to say that we both fell and in love with the simplicity and the savings. We finally decided to get married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in February 2015. It's a little sooner than our summer 2015 plans, which is great! We would love to do it next month, but we have to save up for the trip. When we asked/announced it to our families, it turns out that they were all more willing to help with the cost of this idea than the traditional route... hmmmmm. But we will take it! We are now planning to spend about half of the money that we were originally planning on. I could not be happier with this decision. Now the planning and saving begins! Hopefully more saving than planning... That is the point of a destination wedding! Stress free, baby!
  27. 1 point
    Hi Everyone! 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!
  28. 1 point
    Ceremony - Beach Cocktail Hour - Jacuzzi Reception - Deck The coral bows add just enough color for the "wow" factor & bonus: no other decorations needed I like this clean, crisp look for the reception since we'll be outside, but maybe coral napkins like the second picture?
  29. 1 point
    We are getting married at the NOW Sapphire and the previous reviews we read said their photographer isn't great. I honestly didn't think of looking for one outside of the resort and now only have 7 months to find one! Yikes! One bride recommended Jacob (not sure who he is with) and they were already booked. Has anyone used a good photographer that wont break the bank? Also trash the dress..........Would this be on a separate day? I wouldn't want to get all wet on the night of our event, but want to do the shoot! Thanks for any advice ~The stressed bride~
  30. 1 point
    Shot glasses to double as place holders for reception?
  31. 1 point
    It's been awhile since I posted a blog so I thought I would give an update. My fiancé and I decided that we were going to do the 'legal' wedding in Texas and have the symbolic wedding in Mexico. We found a gorgeous chapel in the Texas Hill Country to have our outdoor ceremony at. I wore a short white lace dress with blue Kendra Scott earrings and cowboy boots here is a link to the chapel we got married at http://chapeldulcinea.org We got married on June 16, 2014 and it was perfect. We have paid our final payment for our photographer and for the resort. As it got closer to our due date our WC was very responsive. I've still thought of questions and she will respond the same or next day. I truly think they are very overwhelmed and put the most focus on the brides' dates that are quickly approaching. Be patient as it will all come together. We have finalized all our decorations and I'm so happy with every decision. We bought maracas to put on each guests' table setting at the rehearsal dinner. We bought them at amols.com We purchased pink, mint and white paper lanterns in different sizes to go in the gazeebo at the reception from http://paperlanternstore.com/ We found a variety of decorations for the reception tables at Michaels. I had a 50% off your entire purchase coupon and got everything for a great price. I bought sheers for the ceremony gazebo at http://www.tableclothsfactory.com/ We purchased two 40 yard bolts of fabric for $63. Finding icicle Christmas lights in the middle of the summer wasn't easy. We ended up ordering ours from http://www.christmaslightsetc.com The best part was booking our honeymoon. We are going to be in Mexico from Thr-Wed (getting married on Sunday). We are only going to stay 2 extra days after our wedding as we booked a 2 week honeymoon to THAILAND!!! I'm a traveler at heart and so excited to honeymoon in such an exotic country. I know I've said this in previous posts, but try and not let the small details stress you out. I had some personal things occur related to the wedding and I allowed it to stress me out.....AND....I got shingles 3 weeks before our wedding. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't fun and Iooked horrible. This is brought on by stress. Not saying this would happen to you, but stressing is not worth it as everything will work out in the end. I can promise you that, as I'm 11 days out and counting, and it's all come together perfectly and I couldn't be happier.
  32. 1 point
    Here is a list of things that are good know know during the whole booking/planning process -Your first WC will be based out of Miami. You won't be working with the onsite coordinators until you arrive in Mexico. -More than likely you will have your meeting with the on site coordinators the morning after you arrive. I tried to schedule this time in advance as we were trying to arrange an excursion, but was not able to. -If you bring your own decorations there is a set up fee which is $5 pp. I have read most brides have been charged $250 regardless amount of ppl. I'm going to bring my contract from the resort that says $5 pp so I won't be over charged. -You are not able to meet with the ministers ahead of time. We were not so keen on this. However, my WC provided me a few different packets of wording the minister could use and we picked our favorite and made a few adjustments. -If you get the Always and Forever wedding package you will be provided 2 full menu options for your breakfast in bed and you pick one ahead of time. This will be added to your wedding detail page. They are very accommodating if you need to make changes with the menu. -For the candlelit dinner in the Always and Forever package, you will be provided 2 separate set menus and you choose 1. I had a friend go to this resort and do the candlelit dinner and she said it was very romantic and enjoyed it very much. -The cost for the 2 for 1 Sky Massage is $123. A bride highly recommended that we do this. She said it was absolutely amazing! -We booked DJ All Music through the resort. We were provided a sheet to fill out which includes: bridal party introductions, bride and groom introduction, song for first dance, father and daughter, mother and son, cake cutting, garter toss, song choices during dinner, song choices for the reception, etc. This has to be sent back to your WC 45 days before wedding. You could also have the DJ choose all the music, but we liked being able to pick a lot of the songs. -There is an $800 vendor fee for any vendors you use outside the approved ones by the resort. I tried getting the resort to work with us on this one and it was a no go. There are 2 approved photographers for Azul Sensatori. I fell in LOVE with Sarani (who is not one of the 2) and really wanted to use them, but the vendor fee was steep. Talk to your photographer and see if they'd be willing to work with you. Based off the package we chose Sarani was willing to adjust the price of our package to even things out better. She has been so unbelievably responsive to emails and so far we have been thrilled with her level of professionalism, ability to work with us on our requests, and most importantly how quickly she will get back to us. -If you bring your photographer and they stay at the resort as a 'guest' you won't be required to pay vendor fee. -You can request a rehearsal for your wedding once you have your meeting with the on site WC. I again tried to plan this in advance (bc I'm 'the planner' in the relationship) but was told we had to wait until we were there. -I had friends who had been to resort tell me they stayed on the 'family friendly' side to make the trip more cost effective and she said it was wonderful and no issues being on 'family side' and not adult side. -If you are trying to decide on a resort and looking into budgeting, the website for Azul Sensatori that has all their decorations, flowers, photographers, etc. is weddingsbylomastravel.com -Have fun. Yes, there are lots of decisions to be made and even more questions to ask...but it's your wedding. Enjoy the experience I'm sure I'm forgetting to add some good tidbits in here, so feel free to ask any questions you may have.
  33. 1 point
    Working with Penny at Destination Weddings we learned that there are numerous advantages to booking. Not only would we be receiving perks through out TA, but the hotel as well. My advice to all brides is to research what perks are available to you! Some TA companies can offer more than others. The perks that we are getting have dramatically decreased the cost of our entire wedding. Here are aome examples of the perks that we are getting. 1. Our wedding package is called the Always and Forever and it's $950. If someone in our group stays 7 nights in a certain category room then that package is free. My parents are staying for 7 nights so $950 removed from our cost right away. This package includes our ceremony and set up, flowers and champagne in our room when we arrive, 2 for 1 sky massage, free candlelit dinner on the beach for the FI and I, breakfast in bed the morning after, and a few other things. 2. In our Always and Forever package it also includes a free group dinner for 40 ppl at the Spoon restaurant. It's $25 extra pp over 40. We are using this for our rehearsal dinner. 3. 20% of all food and beverage for private events. We decided on steak and lobster for our reception dinner. This is a 3 course meal with an open bar for 4 hours. Originally $26pp but with 20% off pp it comes to $20.8 pp. I could never have a wedding in Austin with steak and lobster for that cost! 4. For every 10 rooms booked we get the 11th 'free'. What I mean by free is after the wedding we receive a check for the cost of a room for 3 nights minus taxes. 5. Every room booked will receive a $250 resort credit. This is broken down into 5 $50 credits that can be used towards different things. Ex. Spa services or if the guest want to do a private candlelit dinner on the beach. 5. We did a webinar for Karisma resorts before officially booking our wedding and received a free room upgrade. Long story short we have since been upgraded to the honeymoon suite! Heck ya!! 6. Our most favorite perk.....a FREE catamaran rental for 4 hours for up to 40 people. I can not explain how happy I am about this one. To make it free we had to have so many rooms booked, but it wasn't many. The catamaran takes you snorkeling and provides the equipment. This perk also comes with a food and beverage credit. You can do just appetizers or have the boat take you to the beach for a full lunch. You can also use the credit for a bar on boat. Right now we are at an $800 food and bev credit but once we get one more room booked it will go up to $1200. Rule of thumb: Research your perks and take advantage of them!
  34. 1 point
    This was by far the most stressful and confusing part for me. I had a ring on my finger and thought finding the perfect place to get married would be simple. WRONG. We wanted to get married this summer and with it already being January I feared that dates would be already booked or booking up fast. We also knew that we would be working with hurricane season and couldn't put the wedding off till Sept. Initially we were trying to decide between Cabo and Riviera Maya. I quickly learned that there is not as many all inclusive resorts in Cabo (which was one of our 'musts') so we knew Riviera Maya would be our destination. I spent countless hours researching the different resorts. We had a budget and anticipated that 40 - 50 guests would be attending so that I could budget according to each resort. I made a binder and printed the wedding info, pricing, pics, etc from the resorts I liked. On the tab for each resort I then did a break down on cost. There were a few resorts that I was able to automatically nix due to cost. I was then looking at photos of a resort online that guests had posted and that's when I really started getting worried. Obviously the hotel websites post their most glamorous photos of the wedding and don't show you the not so glamorous parts. This was our wedding day and not only did I obsess at first how perfect I wanted it but I also wanted our guests to have an amazing time as they would be taking the long trek to Mexico to be with us. I started reading tons of reviews and was able to narrow things down to 4 resorts. I still was having trouble picking a place for our wedding that I had never seen before. That is the moment that I found DestinationWeddings.com. My fiancé could see how stressful this was for me and while we had discussed getting a travel agent, we didn't know there was wedding specific ones. Scott signed us up on the website and the next day I heard from Penny. Penny was a life saver. She was so knowledgeable about the Riviera Maya and had been to almost every hotel there. She even had her own personal photos that she shared with me. She gave me open and honest pros and cons with each resort. I finally felt like I had a way to figure this out without going crazy reading everything online for hours. Penny recommended a few resorts and they were actually some that were my top. Seeing her personal photos really helped. Both Scott and I are foodies and so we were able to narrow things down to a Karisma resort. I really loved the wedding set ups at the Azul Sensatori and the Plaza Zavas for the reception. The one downfall (or so I thought) was the beach. Penny explained to me while the resort and location is beautiful you can't necessarily jump in the water right infront of the hotel due to the coral. I am a HUGE beach person and while she explained that if you go to the left a little there is a gorgeous beach to go swimming at, I was still a little bummed. That is until I saw an old friend's wedding pics on fb. She had gotten married at a resort that we were considering which had a gorgeous beach. So gorgeous though that during her wedding ceremony everyone was in the beach and in her photos. Even during her vows you could see a man behind them in his speedo! Right then I realized while I love getting in the water I can walk down a little and for my wedding avoid all the bystanders in their itsy bitsy swimwear. I then had a friend that had actually been to a wedding a few month earlier at the Azul Sendatori and I called her. She raved about the rooms, the service, the pools, and the food! She even took pics of her food bc she said it not only tasted amazing, but the presentation was beautiful. I asked her about the beach and she admitted that everyone was having such a blast at the pools that they never made it down to the beach. She explained that her and her husband would def be going back to a Karisma resort. That's when we decided that Azul Sensatori was our location!
  35. 1 point
    Hello all and Congrats! When I knew I was going to have a destination wedding, I decided I would create a blog to capture my feelings, share ideas, and have documentation of my 1 year planning process. It's an exciting time and I'm really sentimental so I figured it was a good idea. I really did have good intentions. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how much time this process would consume and much of that time I was not just sitting twiddling my thumbs. I was researching, running around like a chicken with her head cut off, trying to keep the million and one fabulous ideas that popped into my head separate and retained. All of this was done while taking caring for others, taking graduate classes, and maintaining a household. Needless to say, the blog idea fell wayside, not intentionally. I find myself now less than two months from the big day- June 21, 2014. I'm anxious but regretful about not noting things like I wish I had. So I'll start but work my way from the beginning (June 2013, one year before our wedding) up to the present. First things first! Choose a location. We decided to have our ceremony in Punta Cana, one of our favorite places, I started researching places online and reading reviews, LOTS of research and reviews. I would suggest anyone doing a dw do the same. Believe it or not, some people don't! They choose a place purely based on price, the name, or pictures on the internet. I wouldn't recommend this, particularly if you have expectations. You need to get a composition book or spiral notebook and make this your wedding book for planning purposes. Grab a two-pocket folder and designate that your wedding folder to store things. This helps you keep all of your info and ideas together. You will have a lot, trust! These have become my best friends through this entire process. Jot down all ideas you have, whether you plan to execute or not. You may change your mind later and it's a pain if you don't have the website, info, number, idea or whatever. (You can thank me later about this ) Just remember to stay calm and don't get overwhelmed. It all works out in the end. Next, choose a wedding date. Now sometimes the date is chosen before the location which is fine. Whatever works for you, (not judging.) WE actually knew our date first because it has meaning for us. Luckily the resort we selected had that date available. But have a backup date just in case the date you want is booked already. In June 2013: Now as for me, I emailed & called (yes, I'm anal too), the resort and booked my own date with the wedding coordinator. You can also go to a travel agent and they will handle that for you. I discovered this after the fact. The travel agent will help you with group rates, booking rooms, and arranging travel with your guests. Oh yeah! ...Somewhere in there, we decided upon our wedding colors. I wanted turquoise. He didn't have a preference. So we are doing turquoise and royal blue, ocean and beach colors. This leaves us open to incorporate a pop of color if we choose. I'm happy and have found plenty of inspiration. At this point in the journey, I was so excited and hyped up that I decided to send out our save the dates (std's. I wish that abbreviation didn't remind me of diseases everytime I say or write it. EWWWW!). My fiance is really sweet and laid back so he let me have most of the say & he just co-signs unless he thinks it's a dumb idea or I'm going overboard. Then he'll speak up. We knew we wanted most of our guests to have enough notice to save money, make plans, take vacation days from work, or whatever they needed to do in order to be able to attend. We figured a year's notice was perfect (for us). I fell in love with so many invitation ideas. I narrowed it down to incorporating 4 things- some kind of invite/std in a bottle, a passport, a boarding pass, and a luggage tag. Basically I wanted to do everything except a traditional invitation. lol. I priced out invitations and such online and was blown away by the prices of these things. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Martha Stewart or master crafter but I am an elementary teacher! I'm creative and have been known to imagine and produce some pretty good stuff. So I figured, how hard could it be? I was a girl scout growing up and I spent my summers doing arts and crafts...I'll give it a shot and save some cash for other things. (Not tooting my own horn. I'm way more ambitious than I should be in many aspects of my life.) Okay, so once I made the trip to the craft stores buying materials, I ended up scratching the message in bottle idea due to mailing headaches. Cute but not ideal to send to guests & I wasn't spending a fortune for boxes and shipping. Remember, I was trying to save a buck or two. So I was left with the other three ideas. And we decided this would be it. The std was created with the help of my teen son who is a technology genius. We made magnet luggage tags for guests to stick on the fridge. They were in cute cards & envelopes with beach colors. We also made beach themed address labels and used post office stamps that said Celebrate. We had guests calling, texting, and telling us how cool they were as soon as they received them. YAAAYYYYYY! We wanted everyone to be as excited as we were so mission accomplished! After that, I created our website. I can't share it because it has our very personal info but there are some great websites out there that you can use. Many are free. Don't think you have to spend money for this. Our website is destination wedding beach themed and shares a welcome to the page note, info about us, our story, ceremony, reception, wedding party, info for guests about the resort, travel info including travel agent, pics of us, and a page for guests to sign in and leave messages. You make your page what you want! This is very helpful to your guests and saves you from numerous questions if you use it effectively and put most of your info on the site. Next was the passport invites which I actually designed online and purchased for a decent price. Our website url was included on the invite. They came quickly & we LOVED how they turned out. They look so much like a real passport! We mailed them out in September (9 months before) while rates were incredibly cheap. Used the same beach themed address labels but with a love stamp from the post office. I also created a boarding pass which was our rsvp. It was perforated so guests would tear part off, and return in the mail the same way a post card works. Well, the feedback was crazy about these! People were commenting about how we had the most unique wedding invitations they had ever seen, they were so original, did I buy or make them, if this is the invite they can't wait for the wedding... It felt really good to know my hours of hard working making them had paid off. Our level of excitement was transferred through the std & invites. I hope this for every couple. That your guests will get a feel of what is to come on your big day from your std or invites. In my opinion, it should be a little preview to create excitement. Well it's a lot I gave (4 months) at once but I'm playing catch up (with a little bit of time). Hopefully this helps somebody get started. Stay posted for more real soon!
  36. 1 point
    Sewing for a wedding is daunting and this project was surely that! Most weddings involve lace, taffeta, silk, tuxedos and many little details. But THIS bride wanted a camouflage themed wedding and I worked with her to get a nice look without going overboard into Duck Dynasty country. Originally the bride wanted a camo wedding dress with white satin details but after finding this beautiful gown locally we scaled it back to camo trim at bodice and waist. The sash trails down the back almost three foot and is pretty nice without screaming CAMO! I cut all the camo fabric on the bias so that it lay well and eased into the curves of the dress. I made three camo print vests, two of which were for the men in the bridal party. But this little tiny vest was for the ring bearer and it turned out cute cute cute! As you can see by the ruler, it is less than twelve inches square. The little buckle on the back really ticked me. And every bride needs a froufrou girly detail at her wedding, so this garter fits the bill! I layered narrow lace and wider lace and brown satin ribbon for the garter body, then made a pretty little rosette from her camo fabric and some shiny beads. More satin ribbon trims it up with a bow. We were both very pleased with it! With the brown sash on the flower girl's dress, this project was complete. It was a challenge and fun and totally worth it when it was done!
  37. 1 point
    The FI and I decided that our plan for this weekend was to decide on a resort/TA and thankfully the universe delivered! I’d gone to a few bridal shows and kept running across a company called Absolute Wedsite. They specialized in arranging destination weddings, specifically Indian destination weddings, which was the biggest hurdle when dealing with other standard travel companies. So I contacted the company and set up an appointment for a consultation. Showed up this past Saturday with the FI, as well as his parents and mine. Fantastic experience! The owner of the company (Raj) performed the consult herself, asked us what we were looking for (English-speak Caribbean, a location we’d never been before) and what our budget was (~$1500). We told her we were leaning towards Montego Bay and she told us about the resorts that offered Hindu weddings. Originally me and my FI were interested in Iberostar Grand Rose Suites, but then Raj revealed a new resort called Royalton White Sands had just opened up in Dec. 2013. I’d never heard of it before but the pictures she showed here amazing. Not only that, the wedding coordinator at Royalton was a friend of Raj’s who was good at Indian weddings. FI was sold! He wanted to put a deposit down right there! But unfortunately, when we asked for April 2015 Raj said that she’d been booking April 2015 weddings back in December. I was gobsmacked! So we had to push our departure back, but we couldn’t do end of April/beginning of May, because my MOH (also my sister) has her board licensing exam around that time but won’t know the exact date until like a month before! So we had to push our departure date even further, to the end of May. I don’t mind, long engagement = more time to plan. So once we had a departure date & potential wedding day(s) selected, Raj said she would have to call the resort and check if my wedding date was available, and also if the priest in Jamaica is available the same day. Fingers crossed all goes according to plan and our resort and wedding date are set by this evening!! After that’s been finalized, we need to pick a date for our church wedding (also under the condition my sister is free), find a place (buffet/restaurant) for the after-church get-together, brainstorm for STD ideas (FI is really into magnets haha), pick a photographer (for cheap because wedding photography prices make me want to elope), and possibly buy my white dress. *flails*
  38. 1 point
    A beautiful Bride, trashing the dress!
  39. 1 point
    This past weekend me and the FI went to the National Bride Show downtown. It was a bit of letdown (I got it mixed up with the BIG bridal show that happens at the MTCC) but some good inspiration definitely came out of it. Anyway, at one point we were walking around the perimeter and passed a booth for a photography company and I was taking everything in without much interest, when one particular mounted photo caught my eye... bride and groom next to each other with their backs to the photographer, standing still in a grassy green field, holding hands under a stormy grey sky... she with a green lightsaber and he with a red lightsaber as AT-ATs bear down on them. Sort of like this: I might have squealed rather loudly and feverently asked my dude if we could do that for engagement photos. Of course, I knew what his reaction would be, big-time no! But I'm not the giving up type. "I want to do photos where I'm force-choking you!" "No." "How about photos where I have Princess Leia buns?" "No." I laughed and gave up after that. He likes his science fiction and fantasy as much as I do, but to him a wedding = classy, not off the wall. The next day, I was over at his house with his family. His sister makes cakes as a hobby and I always knew she'd make one for our wedding, so we hopped on Pinterest looking for inspiration. First we looked at classic wedding cakes, then Indian-inspired wedding cakes, then she decided that since the cake at our destination wedding was the "real" wedding cake, she would be making a "fun" cake for our at home reception. She thought to herself "hmm, what do my brother and mysticjade both like... GAME OF THRONES!" and she immediately found a blood-spattered cake with the Iron Throne at the top that we cracked up over. Of course we immediately showed it to my FI, got the classic reaction: no thanks. Is it normal for the bride to out-geek the groom? If it's wrong, I don't want to be right.
  40. 1 point
    Let's get this blog rolling! I'll be posting weddings and daily favorites, here's one Underwater Trash the Dress picture, in the beautiful Riviera Maya, for starters: Thanks for stopping by! Hope you come back often
  41. 1 point
    Hey everybody, Just posting this here so you can see what the new blog feature looks like. Feel free to start your own blog - it is a great place to journal your wedding process and experience. Enjoy.
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