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  1. Thanks all! Here is a link to some of my pro pics from Vanessa Vargas. Slideshow of Pro Pics by Vanessa Vargas - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting I hope to elaborate on the rest of review this weekend, but for now to briefly answer some questions: Our wedding was at 12 noon and it was HOT! It wouldn't have been so bad if we had done our cake and some of the pics inside, looking back I would have done the Lobby instead of the beach, just to get a break from the heat. We did not have a rehearsal dinner since our wedding was low key and we didn't want to make it all about the wedding. Instead we just tried to split our time with smaller groups of people and it helped that our two families had staggering arrival times.
  2. Hi all, Thanks for being so patient with my review. I've posted it here: http://bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/t27334 I will be adding more soon.
  3. I have been missing in action since our May wedding and really don’t have a good excuse other than time really flies. It was pretty hard to recover from the excitement and stress of the wedding, traveling, and planning our At Home Reception which was in mid June. After that it’s been a lot of trying to get caught up on organizing our home and just being newlyweds. I knew my review would take a while but, man once I put it off it just kept getting pushed back even further. Thanks to all you who asked about my review and reminded me that it’s an important part of being a BDW bride. My wedding wouldn’t have been the same with out all the great BDW brides who’ve posted about their experiences and the myriad of wonderful wedding planning tips and ideas. Thank you all! And now here it finally is (in installments): Babycow’s Dreams Tulum Review Tim and I decided on a Destination Wedding in order to have the wedding of our Dreams. We wanted something low key and unique that focused on our love for each other and our families. My family lives in California and Tim’s here in Ohio so we were faced with deciding where to have our wedding. We knew we wanted both our immediate families with us and neither one of us wanted a big wedding so a destination wedding was right up our alley. Mexico was a natural choice for us since I am Mexican and my family would fit right in and it would add a little bit of my culture to our wedding. We choose to stay at Dreams Tulum because of the ruins and its reputation for being low key, as opposed to Playa del Carmen or Cancun that are known for nightlife. It was a great choice for our group and everyone commented on how much they liked the resorts relaxed feel and the attentiveness of the staff. TRAVEL and PLANNING Early on in our planning we visited a local travel agent who gave us invaluable information on a variety of resorts at all price ranges. One of her daughters had actually had her wedding at Dreams Tulum, so the TA had some great things to say about the resort and the wedding experience there. I had already researched some of the different areas of the Riviera Maya and knew I was looking for something with some nature around it and not so much the Cancun Hotel Zone known for night life and spring breakers. I had read that the Tulum Ruins and the beach were amazing so I wanted to be near that area. The local travel agents was great and I’m glad we went there but we found her prices were higher than what we found online on Expedia so we did not book through her company. We booked our hotel stay for us and our families through Tammy Wright (BDW host). She was great and both Tim and I felt we were in good hands since she runs this amazing site dedicated to Destination Weddings. She was able to get us great rates for our group and was so patient with all of my questions. When it came to booking I passed along the responsibility to Tim and I know he had some great things to say about working with Tammy. Tim’s Review of Tammy: “Tammy was professional in how she helped us with our travel arrangements and we would definitely recommend her. Making arrangements for our destination wedding with the number of people involved (14), the FAA grounding planes out of the blue back in March '08, and several airlines having financial issues, made the whole thing a little nerve wracking. However, Tammy was always ready to help us with any questions we had and really put our minds at ease. She was upfront and honest with us. She said that if we were able to find cheaper airline flights than what she could provide, we should go with that, which we did for some of our family members. The wedding went great and we really appreciate her help in making it happen.†Tim booked most of our flights through Expedia because we found lower rates. My parents needed special flight arrangements since they went on to visit family in Guadalajara after our wedding. Tammy did a great job arranging this and was able to offer us better rates and flights than what we found online. We felt so happy that we could share with our families a unique experience. Here are some of the details of our trip and wedding: OUR GROUP Grooms Side: Mom and Dad Brother 1 and Wife (about 7 months pregnant) Brother 2 and Wife and Child (about one and half years old) Brother 3 Brother 4 Brides Side: Mami and Papi Sister and Husband SisterFriend and Husband Having such a small group of just the closest family was great and allowed us to stick to a simpler wedding plan while everyone enjoyed their vacation. The bad and the ugly and how we survived and still had a great wedding/family vacation: My initial post when we got back mentioned things not going as planned which is true but now that I re-read I feel I was bit harsh in my choice of words and lack of detail. Honestly, I would not have done our wedding any other way, but yes, there were things that did not go as planned. Here is a list of not so great moments in our destination wedding. Losing my passport while doing some last minute packing the morning of departure. I obviously ended up finding it and making the flight (sigh of relief!) Pregnant sister in-law’s luggage ending up in Jamaica instead of Cancun. They booked their own flights so had insurance which covered any purchases made at the resort (swimsuit, dress, ect). Her luggaged made it there in time for our wedding. My parent’s flight was cancelled. They were able to get on the flight my sis and bil were on the next day and made it to our wedding. Bride (me) feeling terribly ill, most likely from stess. I had terrible belly pain that I've had before and I attribute it to a combo of my insulin resistance medication and stress overload. This occured the night my family was due in, my parents were the last ones to arrive after their flight cancellation and I guess it was too much stress. I survived the pain and the throwing up in time to see show my family around the resort when they finally arrived. Pictures in the hot midday sun were no picnic. Our pictures by Vanessa Vargas and our video by Juan Alfredo turned out pretty good despite the blistering heat. Chichen Itza tour bus breaking down midway there. Eventually we made it to Chichen Itza and lexperienced the wonder of the pyramids. Front desk saying parents don’t have a room guaranteed because of missed night due to flight cancellation. This was kick in the head when I was already down(feeling ill) and it really upset me, because we had prepaid our stay at DT and we had let them know that my parents flight had been cancelled and that they would be in the next night to which they pretty much just said OK. No mention of "cancelling" their reservation so it was quite a shock. In the end they were able to find a room for them, but did not even act apologetic about the whole ordeal. Wedding Coordinator not showing up on time for appointment. This was slighly irritating but I somewhat expected it from reading other reviews. Overall Landy was great to work with and we had a a beautiful setup thanks to her. Not getting every single “must have†picture. This was due to the heat and the excitement of "OMG I just tied the knot!" It's hard to think of all the photos at the time. I recommend assigning someone in your party to keep a physical list with them and play director. Vanessa did a great job considering the mid-day heat. Not having the Complementary Grooms Room in our package. This was the least of our worries but it would have been nice to have a clean room for pictures with out clutter in the background. Pressing service: The pressing of my dress and DH’s suit was done a day ahead of schedule at my request. I wasn’t going to risk not having my dress on the day off. They did this without too much hassle. I had packed (rolled it up) in one of those new x-large zip lock tote bags so I left that out on the bed for someone to come in and take it while we were out. It was brought back on time and they seemed to have done a good job on both our outfits. The Ceremony: One of the best parts of having a destination wedding was doing “our†way. We had a bilingual ceremony performed by DT’s Pastor and translated in English by one of Tim’s brothers. I “wrote†our ceremony from a myriad of borrowed sources and came up with something that was a bit more meaningful for us; then I translated it into Spanish. It fit our lives, our families and our love for each other. I had stressed about this as I didn’t want a stranger marrying us but also had to worry about breaking tradition by wanting a friend or family member to perform our symbolic ceremony. I had asked Landy to put me contact with the person who performed the ceremonies for Dreams a few times and finally about a month or two from our date she finally sent me a name and an email address for the pastor. I emailed him and asked what type of ceremony he performed and also how open it was to personalization and he replied fairly quickly. The ceremony he offered was what I imagine a typical pastor would do but was open to additions and changes to suit the couple. I put the finishing touches on the ceremony I was working on and sent it to him and he said it was fine and that he could accommodate our wishes of having him read it in Spanish and having Tim’s brother read the translation in English. They both did a great job reading and everyone liked our ceremony. SAND CEREMONY We had a Sand Ceremony that included both our families (essentially all our guests). It symbolized the joining of our families and our lives as well as our future together. We used sand right off the beach and plastic white pearly clam shell shaped dishes as our containers. I found these at Wal-Mart of all places and a few people actually commented on how they looked so fragile, like they were glass or ceramic. We had two smaller ones in which our two separate families poured sand into. Each person picked up some sand from where they were sitting or standing with a small real clam shell and blessed it with wishes for our future and then poured it into the corresponding family’s “shell.†Then the two sets of parents were called up and they simultaneously poured the families’ sand into the larger “shell†symbolizing the joining of our two families. Then during a reading Tim and I both picked up our own sand and added it to the large “shell.†We also had an exchange of vows and rings. But the sand ceremony and having two languages was really what made our ceremony special. To add the magic of having a DT personalized wedding ceremony we had some special visitors throughout our ceremony; butterflies! They were everywhere and looked lovely against our white tulle canopy. Photo by Vanessa Vargas Ceremony Location We chose the location to the south next to the Sea Side Grill restaurant. Our setup was simple but not the typical DT set up. I asked for the ever so popular “ SunBride†set up with the white and blue tulle canopy and the large white/pink stargazer lilies down the aisle and on the corners of the canopy. I did not bring any tulle with me for the blue portion and Landy said they did not have any on hand, but could possibly purchase some before our ceremony at an additional price. I declined the extra tulle and price and told her just white would be fine. It turned out beautifully simple. I had asked for the aisle to go through the palm trees but it was made more towards the restaurant, but it was okay. CAKE AND TOAST Our cake was set up for us right on the beach and we had a short toast and cut our cake. It was the basic cake that came with my complimentary package (the hexagonal one in the brochure) but I asked for two tiers and brought pictures of what I liked to show Landy. I ended up with a gorgeous small round two tier cake with pink flowers to match my bouquet. The top later was chocolate and the bottom was vanilla. It was delicious and only wish I would have remembered to ask for the rest of it to be saved and taken to our room. Someone in our party said they saw the Sea Side people take it inside so it wouldn’t melt, but we never asked about it. There was plenty of yummy food at all the restaurants to keep us distracted. The basic cake in our package was meant for 10 people and then we added 10 more people to it for $3 a person for a total of $30 During cake we also had the one bottle of champagne that came with our package and then Landy suggested Shirley Temples for those who did not want alcohol, like my prego SIL. This they did surprisingly with out charge; very nice of them. Flowers and Details: I had emailed and brought with me a ton of pictures of bouquet I liked. Most were Calla lilies and roses mixed together. I also wanted shades of pink and whites with tropical foliage. It turned out prettier than I expected even with fern which probably is ‘tropical’ but not what I had in mind. I personalized it by adding a small blue hanky, a gift from my MIL. DH’s bout was a matching calla lily. Both my bouquet and his bout were included in our “complimentary†package. My sister made seashell boutonnieres for the rest of the male folk and some very cute seashell hair combs for the ladies. More to come… In the mean time feel free to ask questions and I will try to answer as best I can.
  4. Hey Wedding date twin! Your wedding turned out great, you look beautiful. I love your dress and the way your colors stand out. Too bad about your resort photos The photos you do have are great though. Congrats!
  5. Hello BDW: I'm back and married! Tulum was beautiful and our wedding and honeymoon were amazing. Our families were very impressed with Dreams Tulum and had great mini vacations. Tim and I stayed for about 2 weeks and hated to leave Tulum. Now we are trying to get our house back in order before heading back to work tomorrow. I have a feeling our review will take a while to get done as I am still trying to digest all that happened in the last couple weeks. For now I will say that it was not perfect but it all worked out and was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about being flexible and letting go and going with the flow. And now for some pictures ( non-pro): babycow_bucket/Wedding Dress/Non Pro Wedding - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Our very casual reception dinner:
  6. Hi all I'm getting ready to leave on Wed for my Saturday wedding in Tulum. I've mostly lurked around and peeked in every once in a while, but I just want to say thanks to all of you for being here. BDW has been an inspiration and a place to find answers when traditional just didn't cut it. I've borrowed a lot from you all and I promise to share when I get back. Right now I'm running around like a chicken with no head ( that's an image!) trying to get everything packed and putting some last minute DIY projects together. So much to do so little time and such a hard tasks to accomplish for a chronic procrastinator! eeeek 5 days left!!! Thanks everyone! And a special thanks to Tammy for such a great site and for being a great Travel Agent!
  7. I second trying Vanessa Vargas. I'm using her for my wedding a few weeks and she also did the Lambert's wedding. It was just the two of them as well. Good luck finding your photographer.
  8. I am getting ready to leave in about a week and we have decided not to bring our laptop down with us, but I want to be able to have copies of my pictures for save keeping, just incase. Please recommend a good (free) picture hosting site that I can access from my resort to upload my pictures. Also, if anyone has used the for pay internet service at Dreams Tulum or other resort. What do they charge and how reliable is it? thanks all!
  9. We are getting married at Dreams Tulum and staying there for two weeks. It will only be immideate family and they'll be arriving a few at a time before the wedding so we get to spend some time with smaller groups before the wedding and then everyong at the wedding on Saturday. All but two couples are leaving on Monday(my sis+hubby and friends) so we get to spend time with them till Wed. After that we will still have about a week to ourselves. We had thought about moving to another resort closer to Cancun, but decided against it since we didn't want to be dissapointed with a second resort if it didn't live up to DT. We couldn't afford to go higher than Dreams so weren't gonna risk it. Plus seeing family is part of the specialness of our trip. good luck decided, it's totally personal preference.
  10. Personally I would leave out the El and just go with Verano de Amor. BTW- cute idea to add more user friendly logo on your bags.
  11. When I went to pick up my dress after it was altered I didn't feel as great in it as when I first chose it. A little tight in the bust, plus there was another woman there trying on her dress which was absolutley georgeous on her and for a moment there I was like why didn't I get that dress instead. But I reminded myself that its never good to compare yourself to others when it comes to body image. I hope you fall back in love with your dress, focus on what made you choose it to begin with. Good luck!
  12. I really like the song Amber by 311 but I want the Ocean remix. It has an ocean sound in the background and would fit beautifully with a DW music list. ...but I can't find it anywhere to buy or download, don't even know what album it is from - I've googled and googled but nothing comes up. You can listen to it here 311 311 - amber(ocean remix) - Song - MP3 Stream on IMEEM Music Amazon has the regular version but I can't seem to find the ocean version...am I just blind...Also not really interested in signing up for iTunes. TIA
  13. Thanks all for the suggestions. I tried looping it through but I had to bend the label part to get it to fit through. The cardboard insert and the clear view window got creased but it works. At least on my thin purse strap, lets hope it works on thicker luggage handles.
  14. Quote: Originally Posted by nylalany Well - less than a week and I still have to: Buy a wedding ring Buy makeup somewhere Design and make programs Print and make placecards Print stickers and cut/attach them to candles Print stickers and tie ribbon/stickers to pashminas Get welcome booklets bound Burn important music onto cd or ipod for DJ Pick up weddng dress from tailor Pick up rehearsal dress from tailor Buy some fun sandals Finish usher and MOH gifts (parent gifts later?) Write vows (on plane haha?) Print out all the contracts and receipts Pack Forgetting something I'm sure... Eeek! Your wedding is close and thats some list! I feel ya though, I am not that far off either. I am actually a major procrastinator and still have a ton to do. My big accomplishment for today: I finally sent invites/newsletters. Here some things I still want to get done - a lot has gone by the wayside and we'll just go on to plan B for whatever doesn't get done. Still need to find shoes - have two in mind- but must shop around first Gifts for guests/ oot gifts - I may wait to buy down there Print /buy postcards for guests to mail to us instead of guestbook Shop for makeup Have manicure and hope my nails don't break before wedding - I've been growing the out Figure out what to do with hair - buy clip on hair? - get haircut- buy hair products Make appointment to get eyelash extensions Shop for bathing suits and cute resort clothes and shoes Print out the Language of Fans for my ceremony fans - maybe Pack Compile and send photographer and videographer a list of musts Figure out Music - bug FI till he makes decisions - or spend more $$ for Romantic trio Stress about ceremony wording - haven't the slightest what will be said and I have specific hopes for this
  15. Okay so I bought luggage tags from Michaels dollar section last year and I finally sent them out today with my count down newsletter/invite for my wedding next month. I am running so behind - but everyone I sent to is already booked and it's mostly just to get them excited about how close it is getting. Wow, who knew I could ramble on and on... back to my issue now... As I was looking at them while stuffing them in the envelopes I noticed that the strap part of them doesn't unbuckle or snap. I just can't figure out how to attach them to the luggage. Help!! I sent them anyways, but am expecting questions from my guests about how to attache to them. This is what they look like No buckle
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