So, each bride states that they can't believe that it's their turn and I am saying the same thing. I am sorry that I put this up after the wedding but hey, what can I say? The days and the months just seemed to roll on by and the date was here before I knew it. We chose to do a destination wedding because we had a budget of $10,000 to complete everything and I wanted a very elegant wedding but we had a guest list of 400 and there was absolutely NO way that we could do it. After searching and pouring through the website, we ended up choosing Dreams La Romana. It was absolutely gorgeous. THE ENGAGEMENT: So, we had been dating for 5 1/2 years by the time he proposed and already were parents to a 3 year old daughter. Alan proposed on my birthday, November 30, 2009 at the Cheesecake Factory. During dinner, we were in deep conversation and then began arguing over which desert to get. I won the argument, or so I thought. When it came out, I was ready to dig in and I was completely floored when I read the message that said "Marry Me." It took me a little while to answer, but when I did, of course the answer was YES!!! So, here is a picture of the ring. SAVE THE DATES:After scowering through the website and many pages, I finally decided that I wanted to do the luggage tag save the dates. I purchased the envelopes at paperandmore for $51.95, the business cards from vistaprint for $52.95 for 250 cards. I hadn't yet realized that there were A LOT of discounts to be had with vistaprint for free business cards. My total was so high because I used the color backside and 100lb premium matte paper and uploaded my own design. I purchased the luggage tags from idcardgroup.com for $95.98 for 200 tags and $24.99 for 500 strings for the cards, totaling $135.82 after shipping and handling. I purchased the labels from the envelopes from onlinelabels for $25.13 after shipping and handling for 100 sheets of labels (7 per sheet). We sent out 185 invitations for a grand total of $265.85 or $1.44 per save the date. I used pearls bought from Jo-Ann's Fabric for $2.99 a pack and made pearl circle rings and held them together with earring backs and used pewter ribbon from Michael's to add a finishing touch. After adding the ribbon and pearls in, I believe, I paid $1.60 per STD. THE INVITATIONS: We sent out the invitations in December and asked everyone to respond by January as to whether they were coming or not. I borrowed the idea for the boarding pass invitations. I could not for the life of me figure out how to get a GREAT graphic for the invitations, so I ended up using a nice one and this is the finished product. I purchased the paper and envelopes from paperandmore for $77.93 and a local store sold the ivory card stock for $25.99. For this project, I had to purchase a cutter for the edges and a perforator. I used a Michael's coupon and purchased the tool at 40% off of $49.99, so I paid $21.29 after taxes. I used the glue dots (wal-mart) to secure the paper. In total, I paid $126.86 for the invitations. The stamps were $.44 each X 185 and the inside return stamp was .28 x 185 a total of $133.2 in stamps. So a grand total of $264.35 OR $1.43 per invitation, including the stamp. THE DRESS: I bought the dress from Alfred Angelo on sale for $450. I then added the sash, so the total for the dress was $475.00. My second mother (my track coach from high school's wife) went half with me on the dress and my mother bought my veil and sash for the dress. I purchased the broach for the dress at Loehmann's. I went back and forth about the dress because I really wanted a different one but in the end, the one I bought was the RIGHT one for me. For the veil, I added pearls to it to keep with the pearl theme that I had running. Also, If you look carefully at the picture, you'll notice the jewelry that I made myself. GROOM'S SUIT & GROOMSMEN'S SUITS: We ordered the suits from Studiosuits.com. The suits were $175 + shipping and handling. The site has many nice suits for $99; however, I wanted the men in gray, so we paid a little more. All in all, the men were happy with the product, although he did have to get his suit taken in a little bit. His shirt and tie came from Men's Warehouse. The picture to the right is an up close view of the broach. Please excuse his sweat. THE SHOES: I had THE hardest time trying to find the right pair of shoes. I ended up with two pair that I absolutely loved. The first pair was for the ceremony and was a pair of heels $24.99 and the second were a pair of flats for the reception $15.99. TRY TO FOCUS ON THE SHOES..... THE RINGS: He wore his father's ring. His father passed away on May 25, 2010 and in honor of his father and the 37 years of marriage he spent with his mother, my husband decided to wear the ring. We had it sized up to fit his fingers and then coated in white gold instead of the yellow gold his father wore. He will cherish the ring forever. As for my ring, we chose one that matched the engagement ring and had the jeweler form it to fit perfectly with the ring I already had. FLOWER GIRL DRESS: The Flower Girl was our 5 year old daughter. We bought her dress from Alfred Angelo's as well. Originally, she was going to wear eggplant shoes to match the dress but the shoes we bought were too little, so she ended up wearing a pair of ivory shoes my mother found at Ross. RING BEARER: The Ring bearer was Alan's cousin's son. His suit came from Burlington Coat Factory, along with his shirt and tie. RING BEARER PILLOW: I bought the pillow from ETSY at it was $54.99. She made it with a pearl lace finish and then she wrapped the pillow in an eggplant ribbon (my choice) and attached the pearl cluster to the ribbon. CAKE: This is the cake I ended up with. Although it was not the design I wanted, it worked out nicely. It was simply a three layered cake with ribbon going around it and 5 cream roses acting as the cake topper. SAND CEREMONY FRAME: I ordered the sand frame from Etsy it was $56.99 and the sand from sandsationalsparkle.com in wisteria, pewter, and ivory. The sand with shipping and handling totaled, $28.53 BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: The Bridesmaids dress too came from Alfred Angelo. Since I had six bridesmaids, I chose to alternate the colors between the eggplant and the charcoal gray color for the girls. I let each girl choose which color dress they wanted. BRIDESMAIDS BOUQUETS: I made each girl's bouquet myself. I bought hydrangea bunches from Michael's for $2.99 a piece. I used eggplant and pewter ribbon and I purchased the pearl strands $5.99 as well. I put 3 bunches together and then cut the stems to the desired length. I added the cut pieces to the bottom to add weight and depth to the bouquet. I then wrapped it in ribbon and the pearl strand. Each girl carried the bouquet with the ribbon that was opposite the color of her dress. BRIDESMAIDS JEWELRY: I bought cream colored pearls from Michael's and wire to make their necklaces. I used three strands and then twisted them to the desired look. I made their bracelets from the same pearls but with an elastic band so they would stretch over their hands. PLACE CARDS: I made the place cards using card stock I purchased from Michael's and from paperandmore.com. I glued the flower (Michael's) on with a glue dot (Wal-Mart). I printed on the ivory card stock, cut them out and placed them on the purple card stock. I then cut it to my desired shape and then pasted it to the gray card stock and cut and folded to the desired shape. There were different color flowers on the place cards. The cream flower represented beef meal choice and the gray flower represented the fish meal choice. You can see a little bit of the menu card in the left corner along with the candles but here are pictures I took with my cell phone when they were finished. I bought the pearl stickers at Michael's in packs for $1.99 a piece. I believe I purchased approximately 8 packs because I needed them for different projects and the small size for the place cards and for the flower girl basket. For the candles, I used votive LED lights from walmart that came in a pack of 6. I bought 6 packs so that I could use 4 per table (we needed 9 tables). The candles were $4.99 a pack or $49.401 + vellum paper from Staples to print the monogram on at $12.99 for 50 sheets. CEREMONY PROGRAM FANS: I borrowed the idea for the ceremony program fans from this site. I worked so very hard on these. I had one bridesmaid who worked diligently with me to cut the rounded edges as I cut the straight edges and another bridesmaid who helped put them together. I ordered all the card stock from paperandmore.com. When you order, make sure you don't purchase the felt paper (you will spend a lot of time cleaning up the edges). I used a template that was on here and made it my own. I then attached them with pearl brads that I bought from Michael's at $3.99 a pack and I used two packs. I had originally only ordered purple and ivory paper ($37.97) then I realized that the gray paper I had left over didn't work, so I needed more and in a HURRY($39.45). We made 72 of them at a total of $1.19 per program. TRAVELING CLOTHES:For myself, I bought a "Future Mrs. Williams 5.28.11" shirt to be worn on the plane. For the girls, I made bridesmaid shirts and for myself on the trip back, I bought a Mrs. Williams Est. 5.28.11 shirt. All shirts cam from Vistaprint for $2.66 and after taxes and shipping were $8.03. In total, I paid $64.24 for all of our shirts. MY SOMETHING BLUE:A gift from my cousin-in-law at the bridal shower. THE GARTER: I bought two purple head bands on sale at Kohl's for $1.20 a piece total of $2.55 after taxes, and sewed them together to make the garter. SOMETHING NEW: Alan, my new husband, saw how tirelessly I worked on the pearl jewelry set and decided to purchase me a "REAL" bracelet. It's the one that's already on my arm. THE TABLE LINENS & SASHES WE BROUGHT OVER WITH US!