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Carbaholic

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About Carbaholic

  1. Hi Ladies, Ok, so I've been back for exactly two weeks and I kept meaning to post some of these. As I mentioned previously, I really didn't pay for much extra stuff at all. I paid for 12 lanterns (on two stands) and for 6 bridesmaid bouquets, which cost $80 each and I re-used for the centerpieces and the vases, which cost me $10 each. That was all I added besides extra meals (I didn't have the cocktail party, I used the credit towards dinners). I forgot to mention that I just paid for the sound technician and made a kick-a$$ playlist (I just had him play it from start to finish)! I had one list for dinner music, one list for dancing and a CD for the first dance and father daughter dance. It worked out amazingly well! We had my brother in law MC, so the tech didn't have to say a word. I attached pictures to give you an idea of what your set-up might look like without adding too much. Here's what I brought: sand dollars as place cards and a wood tray to set them in sand, tealight candle holders in teal and white (I think we had 5 for each table), LED tea lights, teal ribbon to put one strip around each chair, menus that I glued onto teal cardstock and they were tucked into the white napkins, teal sticks from the flower shop to hold the table numbers in the BM bouquets I re-used. I brought NOTHING for the ceremony, just the flowers for the table which were included (multicoloured). The bridesmaid dresses were a vibrant teal and that was plenty of colour. So everything was white except for a few little touches of teal for the reception. She added another 12 lanterns and the white flags for free as a surprise. I thought it was gorgeous and the whole thing cost us almost nothing over the package price! Here's the link to our slideshow but to be honest... for some reason, he chose some pretty bad shots of us to include in it. There were so many stunning ones (that we ended up choosing) so why, I'm not sure! haha. http://030511wolkove.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/ Let me know if you have any questions for me and trust me when I say.. DO NOT STRESS! It will turn out better than you can imagine, even if you do NOTHING before heading down there.
  2. Hi Ladies! Congrats Mrs. Hall! Since her review was absolutely perfect, I'll just post a list of things I wish I had done, was glad I had done, etc. Setting: Wedding was May 3, ceremony on the south end of the beach at 5:30pm and the reception at 7pm on the deck. We were 33 people total. - Was glad the ceremony started at 5:30pm (5:15 would have been perfect actually - the sun set at 7:13 that day and for photos, 15 extra minutes of light would have been great). Any earlier may still have been too hot for our guests. As it was, they have you face all of your guests, which is nice except that it means you are standing facing west and the setting sun. Our video is a lot of shots of us squinting! Haha. We got some amazing - Wish we had started our reception at 7:30pm. By the time the ceremony was done (around 6pm) and we made it through all of our pictures, we were running behind and the reception only started at around 7:20pm so we lost 20 precious minutes! Also, our party would have ended at 10:30pm which would have meant that Desires would already be in full swing after. We had to wait 45 minutes for the hockey game to finish - it went into overtime. No big deal! - Was glad we did the sit-down dinner. We chose the sea bass or gigot of lamb menu and everything was delicious and hot! I wish we had known that we needed numbers for each meal, we would have included it in our response cards. I had sent an email to Lisbeth explicitly asking her "Guests will choose their main course AT the wedding reception dinner, correct?" to which she replied "yes". So at our meeting when she said that was incorrect, we had to start guessing who would order what! I ended up guessing numbers then just asking them to serve our table and our parents' tables last because none of us/them are picky eaters. It worked out fine! The only downside to the plated dinner is that it takes longer (3 apps, main course and dessert) so there was less time for dancing. We did all of our speeches during the dinner. - Wish we had made our meeting with Lisbeth for the day we arrived. When we checked in, we were told that Lisbeth may be upgrading us and to discuss it with her, so we had to wait a few days to unpack. In the end, we didn't take the upgrade to a Honeymoon suite. We had booked a plunge pool and really wanted to keep it! So they gave us access to the Preferred Club instead of an actual room upgrade. - Was glad that my parents had a suite on the same side as the ceremony on the beach! We got ready there and luckily, we saw them setting up the chuppah and chairs - they were putting the teal ribbon that was for the reception on the chairs and tying LIME GREEN bows to the chuppah! It looked ridiculous. I called down and they removed the lime green bows and replaced them with white and took the ribbon off the chairs. - Was glad I kept everything simple. Garden chairs for the ceremony, no bows. White cloth on the chuppah, white bows. Multi-coloured floral arrangement on the table and that was it. They put a runner down with starfish and conch shells on it. The view is truly spectacular and you really don't need to doctor it up. - Was glad I kept the reception decorations simple, too! White covered chairs with one stripe of teal ribbon, white tablecloths and napkins with a menu I had printed and glued to teal cardstock tucked in, teal & white candle holders with LED candles and the white bridesmaid bouquets as centerpieces in glass vases I had rented from DRC for $10 each. I got the white flags (3x) and two sets of the hanging white lanterns (I paid for 6 on each and they actually put 16 on each!!). I brought teal ribbon for the cake tiers and fake orchids for them to decorate it. It looked absolutely stunning and highlighted the amazing view perfectly without trying to overtake it. - Wish I would have paid more to keep the photographer (we had Frank) for longer. We had 30 minutes of bridesmaids and I getting ready (which was complimentary with Ultimate package apparently), the ceremony, and 10 minutes of family and group shots and about 30 minutes of the two of us after. It all felt incredibly rushed. It would have been great to have him there for the reception/speeches/dinner and for longer with the group/family shots. He took around 300 pictures and we had to narrow them down to 50! We got it to 56 and just paid the $90US extra for those 6. It was NOT easy! - Wish I would have used some of the package perks earlier! We upgraded to the Ultimate package and we got the eternity honeymoon thing for free (maybe everyone gets that or because we stayed for 2 weeks total, I'm not sure) so we had a 50 minute couples massage, 2 x 25 min facials and 25 min massage, champagne, fancy breakfast in bed, fresh flowers to the room, dinner on the beach, etc. We kind of forgot to use everything so now we have 3 days left here and are doing all of it! It's still nice, especially since everyone else is gone but I would have loved to do the breakfast the morning after, the flowers at the start and the champagne the day of the wedding. Silly us! - Was glad my brother officiated! He did such an amazing job and it was so nice to have someone who knows us so well marry us. We got legally married quietly before we left for mexico (just to make sure it was all easy and legit) but he got officially "ordained" or whatever it is online anyway. It was so touching and beautiful. - Was glad I started getting ready at 1:30pm. I showered in my room at 1:10pm and met my friend/bridesmaid who is a hair and makeup artist at 1:30pm in my parents' room. I was done by 3:30pm which left me time to help a couple of bridesmaids with their hair (kept me busy) while drinking champagne and chatting and snacking before Frank got there at 4:45. I thought it would be way too much time but it was perfect. I didn't feel rushed or bored! - last but not least, WAS GLAD I DIDN'T STRESS! I didn't do a ton of work before coming, I didn't do much while I was here and I didn't spend a fortune on extras I didn't feel I needed. Nothing stressed me out and everything was amazing... the day and night are what you make them and DRC does a great job of pulling it all together! Ok, that's all I can think of for now! I'm sorry if it was still long and boring... Since I've been here I've seen all kinds of beautiful weddings. There are sometimes 2 or 3 a day and each one still ends up looking different, all of them beautiful and perfect in their own way. Congrats to all the recent and future Brides!
  3. So.. while my intentions were good at the beginning, I leave in 2 weeks and one day and I have a million little odds and ends to get through. Does anyone in Canada have any idea where can I buy some good LED tea light candles? Not the super fake looking ones, if possible... Thanks!!
  4. If you're in the states you could try kustomkoozies.com. Everything I have found so far is SO expensive to ship to Canada. I may just try to find some blank koozies and use those? Not sure yet. Let me know if you find any great sites! Leah
  5. Thank you thank you! I feel the same, Kad1010.. I just don't want to waste money and lug all those mugs for nothing. So I may just do beer and/or cup koozies instead. Plus, I doubt most people would bring the mugs home with them... would take up too much space in their luggage (we were going to do the bubbas). What to do?!
  6. Is beer served in cans or bottles?? I can't remember from my stay there last year.. I'm trying to decide if I should skip the mugs (since they would be such a pain to transport) and just go for beer koozies instread. If I do that, do I need ones for cans or for bottles?
  7. Hi Sunshine, I completely understand where you are coming from - choosing the resort was BY FAR the most stressful part of the wedding. I agonized over it for months: how much is too much to ask people to pay? What if the food isn't great? What if the rooms aren't nice? What if the drinks suck? What if what if what if? The actual wedding I couldn't have cared less about, I just wanted everyone to be happy. Here's my take on it: We stayed at the resort at the end of last April (2010) with my family (my parents already had the trip planned before we got engaged) and my FH and I rented a car to check out other resorts that were recommended to us. In the end, after driving all over the Riviera Maya, we still went with Dreams RC. Two of my sisters who came with us have kids (so 4 people in one of the rooms) and the bathrooms didn't bother them. To clarify, the actual BATHROOM (where the toilet is) has a door. Yes, it's a frosted glass one. But there IS a door! Same with the shower. The sinks and bathtub are in the open space. The only situation where this might be a problem would be if you were staying with a complete stranger or had a teenager staying in the same room. The rooms are beautiful, otherwise. The food was amazing when we were there and only one of my sisters got sick (we were 9 adults and 3 kids in total) and I'm pretty sure it was because of all the alcohol and the food that she's not used to eating. Don't forget that even in Canada or the US, if you go for Mexican, French, etc food, people get sick! It doesn't mean the food was bad, it's just that we're not used to the richness/oil/fat of some of the dishes! So maybe the recent reviews were just from a bad batch of food or not even, I don't know. The towel game happens at every resort I have ever been to - I have yet to stay somewhere where people don't try to pull this. It's frustrating, for sure. We didn't have a problem with it, we even got the palapas by the pool some days, but we weren't there at peak season (and won't be again for the wedding) and we didn't really care where our chairs were. The setup of the pools is such that no chair is really in a horrible spot. I will agree that the noise is an issue. We brought our iTouch that has a "white noise" app on it, so we were fine (there's a iPod docking clock in the rooms) but my mom and two of my sisters wore earplugs. Also, there really isn't a ton to do in the evenings - the Lobby bar has live entertainment for a few hours, which is fun but that's about it. We were fine with going to bed early on that trip but this time, we just plan on making our own party wherever we go! We'll be enough people that I don't think it will be a problem. In the end, my FH pointed out: People will complain about things no matter where we choose, so let's choose a place where we know most people will be happy with most of it. That's the best we can do. We knew we loved the resort and yes, it was a bit pricier than we wanted, but I haven't been nervous for a single day since booking! Not sure if this will help at all, but that was my experience! It's awful making choices for other people so I completely empathize with you Good luck and I'm so sorry this was so long! L.
  8. This sounds feasible... It makes the most sense to give them out at the Welcome cocktails but I don't want people to have to carry their bags around or worry about them while they're schmoozing. Plus, how will they know about the Welcome Cocktails without their welcome pamphlet?! Haha. Who am I kidding - we don't have THAT many people Maybe it would be nice for FH and I to go drop them off and welcome everyone personally, actually. Thanks for the ideas everyone!
  9. We're doing one per couple and for the people who are single (even if they are sharing a room) we will do individual for them. Although everyone will be getting some of the items in the bag (ex. mug, key card/tip money holder, etc). Here's what we're including so far: the tote bag itself welcome letter/pamphlet loofah mug (fireflybuys - seems to be free shipping to Canada? Still $$ but they're good quality) key card/tip money holder on lanyard bags of candy and packs of gum one travel game per bag (wrapped and it will have a tag that says "open in case of rain") deck of cards First aid kit (we're doing them craft ziplocks so it's easier to transport. Includes tylenol, immodium, pepto, advil, bandaids, earplugs) luggage tags (the ones that say things like "This is NOT your bag", "don't touch this bag", etc) Nothing too original, I know, but we really wanted to make sure we were spending money on things people would use.
  10. Question for all of you... How are you going to get all of the Welcome Bags (OOT Bags) to your guests' rooms? We have some stuff in each of them that are personalized, so I want to make sure the right bag goes to the right person. Ideas? Thoughts? Help!
  11. If you're not opposed to shopping online, check www.bluefly.com! Sometimes you can get some amazing pieces for really reasonable prices. I just went on and now I'm second guessing myself!
  12. I'm wearing flats - both because I want to be comfortable and also because I'm afraid of heels in the deck! I only went into one store (Town Shoes - in Toronto), but I'm 90% sure I'm going with these. My dress is very simple (long chiffon, sweetheart strapless with tiny row of bling under the bust - kind of Grecian looking) so I wanted a fun pair of sandals! I promise these are nicer in person
  13. For everyone who is taking advantage of the book 5 rooms, get the 6th free - Was that already going on when you started booking or was your TA able to do something for the rooms you had already booked? I have a sneaking suspicion my TA hasn't really done too much for me!
  14. @ashleybyers: I was also wondering what package you added to whatever photography was included... was it by the hour or one of the extra packages? I think they explained that with the package we get 30 minutes complimentary while we're getting ready, then 30 minutes for the ceremony and about 30 minutes after the ceremony. I feel like that's going to be awfully rushed! What is everyone else doing?
  15. It's so crazy how often the prices go up and down for these all-inclusive trips. When we originally booked with a "group discount", we got a price of $1845 (CDN) all in. In the last 3-4 months, there have been times (like now) where the price dropped down to $1532 all in! That makes a big difference for people who are going as a couple, saving $600. Now I feel bad, because I was pressuring them to pay early as a group and make sure they got their deposits in, etc. At 10 months out it seemed like a good idea because the listed prices were $2300 - but they always seem to drop. If I had to go back and do it all again, I'm not sure I would bother setting up the group rate at all.
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