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About JQLong

  1. So...here we go....with the help of Dreams Riviera, BDW, VistaPrint, Ebay, Dollar Tree, etc....Our little budget wedding that could....was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The pcit We arrived on July 1st Check In - Perfect A+ - we had the preferred club so we were whisked away from the lobby and taken to the preferred club room. Room - Perfect A++ - we had an ocean front room with an AMAZING VIEW... Sunrise.... The first night...11 of our guests were at the resort and we had dinner at Himitsu...the food was awesome...We loved our waiter, Antonio! July 2nd...was my honey's birthday.... Portofino...made his birthday special! July 3rd.... The night before....we did our bachelor/bachelorette parties... The ladies went to Senor Frogs..in Playa Del Carmen... The guys went to Coco Bongo.... I think its safe to say....they had more fun....Hmph...... Onto the wedding....... July 4th.... For some reason...I was very, very calm.....The wedding party and my parents got together that morning for a quickie rehearsal at the Gazebo Here we are with Juan the entertainment guy...AKA "4th of July Man" as my girlfriend called him... Shirts purchased at vistaprint.com The weather was a little overcast on and off....and then BOOM!!! we got rain....surprisingly...I was still very calm....Gina our coordinator called me around 1:30 to ask if we wanted to move to the terrace...I had a makeup appointment at 2:00 PM...I told her I wanted to wait....Boy am I glad we did....The rain stopped...the sun came out....and it got HOT!!!! It had been about 85 degrees the entire week....and no rain...but after the shower (which I consider to be our good luck) it was blazing hot And at 4:00 (on the dot.....) Our Dream began.... Here is our slideshow by Adventure Photography...they did a beautiful job: http://040712long.dreamsriveriacancun.adventurephotos.com.mx/ We had an AMAZING wedding....It truly was So Amazing....my wedding was perfect in every way....I look at our slideshow & video (taken by family) and I smile....Dreams Riviera exceeded any expectations we had.... We had our reception at Bordeaux (in the wine room!!!). This was very, very special because it was intimate. This was a wedding gift from my parents and my former boss (he actually "found" the place). We were going to have it at El Patio....but this was so much better!!! We opted not to do the Trash the Dress with Adventure Photos....they were a bit out of our budget...but...my talented brother Tim took some pictures for us. We got up early the next day and took pictures on the beach....(I was thrilled to be able to put my dress on again!) So...I guess you can call these our DIY Trash The Dress pics!!! As I began my journey of DW wedding planning....I had no idea how beautifully things would come together. I appreciate the time and effort each person on this site has made to contribute. This has been the best experience and I am very thankful to have found BDW..... To Everyone....Thank you....thank you....from the bottom of my heart! Please feel free to ask any questions....My detailed resort review will follow shortly.... Happy Planning.... It's Mrs JQLONG (now!!)
  2. Oh....I almost forgot...Shoes.....How could I forgot the ladies shoes... I had a hard time finding turquoise sandals that were not too high...I am already 5'11 and I did not want to be too tall. Just when I had given up finding the turquoise sandals...reading a thread on here about shoes...I checked out VictoriaSecret.com...and Voila....i found them... For the ladies shoes...I was lucky to catch a BOGO sale at Payless Our shoes actually matched perfectly....we were going for the "Grecian Goddess" look........ Ok...where was I....oh..DIY... I am not much of a DIYer but....being on this site changed that. My DIY sand ceremony set (Cost me less than $8.00 to make...I made another bottle for my daughter to participate) My DIY Ring Box.....(Cost $1.50 to make) OOT Bags (Yes....Yes....I too got caught up with OOT Bags) My Cancun Survival Kit (From the talented people on BDW!!) These were very well received Travel Mugs (I just had to get them) I ordered 25 from a seller on ebay... MY OOT BAGS Dollar Tree Baby!!! I loved these bags from the moment I saw them Maracas....well..we are getting married in Mexico....so... These were ordered from Amols.com (I put the ribbons on) Flowers...I knew the resort would be kind of expensive for the flowers...so I ordered (again...thanks to this site) real touch flowers from SabellaDesigns.com Kim Zarobsky did an AMAZING....job with our flowers....I cannot thank her enough..... Now to put it all together...... I guess I never mentioned our wedding date......We got married on July 4th, 2012 at 4:00...but..... We actually got legally married on Valentines Day, February 14, 2012....His Mom is older and could not travel with us. It was important to us that she share in our union so we got married by our county clerk in a special Valentines Day ceremony... We exchanged rings but put them away after...This was a very happy day for us. I actually cried more this day than on our wedding day....Getting married ahead of time in no way diminished our excitement for our big day..... MEXICO BOUND!!!! With the help from this site....I created the attached newsletter for our guest....We were expecting 19 people. See Part Tres....for the Grand Finale!!!! Jaquanda & Jabahri Newsletter.pdf
  3. As many of the lovely brides (and grooms) have started out by saying "thank you to the talented creative people on this site".....I will say the same..Thank you for all the talented and creative people on this site. Wedding planning to me seemed like it was a chore (which is why we opted for a DW). You all have made the "tasks" of planning a DW a pleasure and a joy!!! I actually ..... kind of miss it... So...let me begin....short story short....Me and the now hubby...met online in March 2008. I knew from the first time I saw him that he would become my husband (no stalker....just a little voice that told me he was the one). he was silly...just like me...So I knew we were destined... We dated for about 3 years (well it was 3 days away from our 3rd anniversary) when he popped the question. Yeah right!!! this was actually the paper weight he bought me (On Valentines Day) the year before he proposed...He had a little note that said he was working on it!!! Here is a picture of my actual ring....he did good! Now onto wedding planning...We initially decided on St. Thomas (Marriott)....we put a deposit down and everything....then....... My honey lost his job. We put off the wedding planning for about 6 months....We also realized that while St. Thomas was beautiful...there are very few all-inclusives and the prices to travel were very high. My honey found another job and said, let's find another destination. Neither one of us had ever been to Mexico (and since he thinks our cat Peaches is Mexican...it just seemed right).... After reading several threads about using a travel agent (oh...we thought we could do it on our own initially)...We ended up using an agent in our town, Travel Leaders. Our agent did not necessarily specialize in DW's but he was very knowledgeable about the destinations. We decided on Dreams Riviera Maya in Cancun. It was a blast....(I'll get back to that) We booked our trip and the deposit for the wedding in October of 2011. so that left 8 months for me to "plan = shop = DIY' for our wedding. First (kind of late for first...) I should have stated this in the beginning...We were on a budget! We are both in our mid (ok late) 30's and were paying for the wedding ourselves. We wanted to have beautiful wedding without breaking the bank... COLORS - YELLOW, TURQUOISE & FUCHSIA As a bride that had never thought about becoming a bride....wedding planning, dress shopping and all that stuff did not appeal to me...I needed to make the process painless....and affordable..... I had actually saw my dress online before he proposed. I had no idea how expensive it was but i was deadset on a dress budget of $500 (Not a dime more!!!). I had seen many bridal gowns that while pretty....just did not fit MY idea of a flowy DW bridal gown... After stalking...I mean stalking the "Knock off dress" thread for weeks and extensive research online....I ended up ordering my dress from jasminesbridalshop.com - the service was great....communication was awesome. If you decide to go with a replica gown I would highly recommend jasminesbridalshop.com I was AMAZED at the beautiful quality of my gown that was WAYYYYYY......under budget....even after the slight alterations I needed....the price was still under budget.... Bridesmaids Dresses My 16 year old daughter was my bridesmaid and my best girlfriend was my MOH. I just told my MOH the color I wanted and she chose their dresses.... Mother of the Bride Dress As you see...my Mom is "Fancy Nancy" (that is what I call her...) and it was hard finding a dress for her....but we did....the Lord & Taylor outlet for....$39.00!!! (Yes.....$39.00!!!!) Guys Sorry...no pics....the boys shopped on their own....you will see them later. They opted for White linen shirts with khaki colored linen pants...and Mandals...(no toes showing..ugh!) TO BE CONTINUED......See Part Dos!
  4. Hey Katie!!! girl...we are going to have to do a double date or something!!!! We keep "running" into one another. Mike said you were probably on this site! YES!!!! your wedding was beautiful!!! I am a witness!!!! Jabahri and I are seriously talking about going back next year too! Take care hun!!!
  5. I just got back from my wedding in Mexico. We had a total of 9 bags (between my daughter, hubby and myself). Trust me...it was a breeze getting through customs. I began to panic about two days before reading the threads about having to have receipts.....it was not even neccessary. The customs agent did ask me to open one of the bags with the OOT items (it had the travel mugs & pepto & immodium). Once they saw my dress and I told them in spanish "Vamos A cacer (sp?)..."we are getting married)....They just let me through. Dont worry....just be prepared to open your bag. They are just looking for people that bring in goods for sale in their country. Good Luck! JQ
  6. Thank you! I tipped the waitstaff mostly as they work very hard to make sure you are comfortable. We are contacting Gina to send her our tip. I could not catch up to her after our wedding. If you want to tip her, make sure you get to her immediately after the wedding (which is hard because you will be over the moon...). Just so you know...it seems that the wedding office is closed on Sundays....we tried to go by to see her the day we left and the office was closed. Tip as you feel it is warranted. Keep in mind, many of the things you will pay for will have a service fee attached to it = gratuity....If the service is outrstanding....tip above that amount.... I hope this helps! I am so excited for you and all the other upcoming brides....because I know the great trip you are in for! JQ
  7. Thank you so much. As far as the people in the background...I am not sure the photgrapher was trying to capture them but I think it adds to the "ambiance" of the pictures. I even asked Anel to get the people playing soccer in the photos.
  8. Thanks JulieJ84!! The weather was awesome. It even rained on our wedding day for 30 minutes and then the sun came out. It was 85 degrees the entire week....at home 100+. We may try to go back next year...or try Dreams Punta Cana....
  9. Hey...no problem. I agree....with a group of that many...it becomes frustrating waiting. As the "host" you feel obligated to keep everyone entertained and happy. I did not get anything for the coordinator. We wanted to tip her but could not catch up to her after the wedding. I saw her a few times but she was always in the midst of another wedding. I am going to contact her by email and ask for her direct address so that we can send her a tip & thank you. She did a great job, but honestly....you only see the coordinator for a short amount of time. I had my MOH's mom hold the envelope with the tip money it but she could not find her either. I was against leaving it with anyone else because I wanted to be sure Gina got it.
  10. Rollerbride... Go to Himitsu before you pay for the dinner. 11 of us were able to be seated without paying for the reservation. It really depends on the time you go. The earlier the better. We ended up paying for our reception diner but did not pay for any other dinners. On Monday for my hubby's birthday, it was 18 of us.....we ate at Portofino....again we did not pay for the reservation. Althought he dinner was not private, most of us were seated together. Give it a try! Good Luck! JQ
  11. Thanks Kellykellz! I ordered these from Amol's.com. They were pretty inexpensive. After I ordered, I realized I could have gone with smaller maracas..... That is the thing about being a DW Bride....you shop and shop....
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