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girlinthecity97

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Everything posted by girlinthecity97

  1. @@Stacsoontobeegan - Ah! no worries I totally understand. I think depending on the size of your wedding party and how much you want to take with you etc. the cost for let's say 50-75 people can range from $5K over $10K. I have fellow destination bride friends who opted to source just about everything and take it with them in their luggage for the resort to set up up ($5K or less) and folks like me who tweaked the Karisma decor package to fit my "vision" without having to go the pricier a la carte decor route. I used the Lomas DJ at the last minute because I was concerned about folks not hearing the music too well if we just went with the speakers and was glad I did!! Ahead of time, I went on ITunes and found all the "safe" versions of songs we wanted played and labeled what music should be played when (e.g., music during dinner, 1st dance with dad, his 1st dance with mom, song for bouquet toss etc.) and he stuck to the list and blended everything nicely. We opted for Mega DJ who was cheaper b/c he didn't do any announcements but he had lights which made the pier dancing area much more festive. Room rates will vary depending on what time of year your wedding is being held. We got married over President's Day weekend in February which turns out to be a peak time so the rates and airfare was much higher than others I know who got married in October, April and May. I would ask your agent for a wholesale rates list, though they may not have 2018 rates available yet. I ran into that issue when planning so get the current rate list so you can get an idea for times of the year. Some guests had concerns about the rates but when they realized that they could pay it down over time and also would be completely done and not have to really bring money for food/drinks etc. while there they loved the idea. If you haven't done so, I would consider doing the Brides Dress Rehearsal weekend and maybe adding a couple of days either ahead of that stay or on the end to visit the Royalton for comparison. The Bride's Dress Rehearsal deal Karisma offers is really great and will help you get a sense of the food, decor, properties etc. As for hair and makeup - I'm african american so I flew down my hair stylist because I didn't think the resort salon would know how to style my hair. I am a makeup artist so I did my own makeup.
  2. @@biesea81 - CONGRATS!! What did you decide about the beach. I took pics on the beach after our ceremony and the photographer did a great job getting us from angles so you don't see the giant rocks at all. If you do an evening wedding, I think you should be fine. My guests loved the beach at both El Dorado and Generations. @@VictoriaVanDyke - I think the cost will ultimately boil down to discounts/deals you are able to get via your travel agent and Karisma and the size of your wedding. It is important to lock in as early as possible as well because the rates do go up. For instance, we locked in for our February 2015 wedding in 2014 so they honored all rates from 2014 since that is when we locked in our date and contract. Initially, I wasn't 100% sold on the destination idea because I always envisioned getting married in my hometown where all of my family could attend. However, I LOVED having our wedding in Mexico and wouldn't change a thing. I would do it again and have encouraged others who were on the fence to go the destination route. Our guests LOVED the resorts and have planned trips to return to Mexico and the resort because they had such a great time. You will hear some complaints but ignore them. Everyone who is meant to be at your wedding will be there and it will be perfection! @@zoeyjane is right, re the cost and the food being significantly cheaper. I did the family style dinner that had lobster, steak, fish etc. and at the time it was $35/person which is a steal. CONGRATS to you @@zoeyjane! Note to All - when you are going over your paperwork, make sure all rates are accurate as I had to request adjustments on my menu and decor selections because they reflected 2015 rates but we were supposed to get 2014. @@Jacquelyn05 - CONGRATS to you as well! I got caught up and ended up doing letterpress invitations b/c I was really struggling to find ones that I liked that I also felt set the "resort chic" theme I was going for. Some others that I have become friends with did the passport style and one did a really cute booklet style she found on minted.com What's your theme? That's the beauty of a destination wedding, you can be as formal or relaxed as you want to be. There are no rules. Bags for guests - yes, I did beach tote bags that had packets of advil, alka seltzer plus, emergen-C, bandaids, Nauzene, and Dramamine (for the catamaran/snorkeling cruise) and baby bottles of Skin So Soft (for bug repellant) in them. I also included a welcome note and itinerary as well as a little packet that represented our roots and Mexico. Everyone loved them and put the bags to use especially on the cruise. The bags also ended up being ice breakers in that guests would go up and introduce themselves to each other when they saw people with the bags. Catamaran Cruise - that was probably me and it was a blast. We scored one free as part of the promotion we locked in on. We asked them to stock it with snorkel equipment so it was a cruise and snorkeling trip in one for those who wanted to go snorkeling. Those who did not just had fun on the boat. @@Stacsoontobeegan - welcome and CONGRATS! what type of info are you looking for.
  3. @@CnBWedding - I think you will be just fine having your bridal party member doing it. Keep in mind this is a destination wedding and more importantly, YOUR wedding so there are no hard and fast rules to follow. Go with who you think will do the best job. Everyone will know that person is part of your party by their attire and the fact they saw them stand with you guys! Everyone is right re not sweating things like that. As the clock wound down on me, I started picking and choosing what mattered most (e.g., ditched doing programs & my own menus b/c I figured they'd just go in the trash and the resort provided menus for free). It sounds like you have everything under control so just savor and have fun!
  4. @@CnBWedding - I agree with @@rtscent regarding having another guest who isn't in your bridal party emcee. That's what we did. One of our guests is pretty chatty and whitty so we asked her in advance if she would do the honors then let our onsite coordinator know who she was. In case she was tipsy we also had a friend who doesn't drink on hand as back up. The backup also was helpful in making sure our friend and the coordinator connected. As for songs I like @@rtscent idea of checking Spotify. I just used iTunes to make sure I was capturing the right song title for the versions I wanted played. I wasn't sure how/where Mega DJ would be pulling from but figured as long as I snagged the official title we'd be ok and we were. I can't believe you are only 5 weeks away! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited for you! Are you getting nervous/excited? Married life is going well! Dear hubby has traded one round of stress for another. We've been on a whirlwind trying to finish decorating/furnishing our house. We have both sets of parents coming for Christmas so that should be interesting (and exhausting) to say the least. @@Christinagiovanni - CONGRATS! I love your decorations! Your pics are awesome
  5. @@SunshineDreamKay - I had a similar situation with my now hubby's family. His dad passed so we were listing his mom & stepdad and my parents. Also, he doesn't go by his birth name but a nickname and I wanted to use include my middle initial or middle name but couldn't. We too were paying for everything but wanted to be respectful to the parents so we went with this wording: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Jones (Bride's parents) and Mr. & Mrs. Isaac Prince request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children Jane Jones & Nic Sharpe Insert Date & time Location Cocktail hour and reception will immediately follow. A friend did something similar for her parents who are divorced and did: Mr. John Doe & Mrs. Ann Smith (Bride's Parents) and Mr.& Mrs. Abe Lincoln (Groom's Parents) request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their children Jane Elizabeth Doe & Frank Joseph Lincoln
  6. Hi Ladies & special heartfelt CONGRATS to those who are new to this thread! @@CnBWedding - @@rtscent is spot on re EDR. 99% of our guests stayed on that side many of whom are beach lovers and I had 0 complaints & tons of FB/Instagram posts of them enjoying themselves on the Bali beds, jet skis etc. over there. @@Kalie25 - Unfortunately, I can't really help re Sky Deck reception pics. I had my ceremony and cocktail hour up there and my reception on the Pier b/c I was worried it would be too chilly up there (we got married in February). As for photographers. I used Sascha Gluck (Cancun Photos) because I liked his photojournalist style and found his rate to be pretty reasonable. He was worth the outside vendor fee! I was not impressed with the quality of Lomas' flowers given the prices they charge so I hired Vanessa. To get around the fee, we rented a car (something we already planned to do for incidentals and to show new hubby around since he'd never been to Mexico before except for the Brides Dress Rehearsal event). We picked them up from her studio very early on the morning of our wedding. @@ErinSullivan - CONGATS!!!! We hired Mega DJ at the last minute b/c doing the speaker thing wouldn't work for our reception on the pier and he was great if you just need someone to play the music and have it mix/blend well. Using ITunes I found the exact name/version of songs (e.g., Radio Edit) & listed it on a spreadsheet for him to play to avoid having a raunchy version played since we had a few kids and the parents in attendance. He did a great job and to my surprise moved the songs around so they all flowed and blended well. He came with party lights so that helped make the dance area fun. He's the cheaper of the Lomas DJs and doesn't come with the glow sticks & crazy props. My group was fine without them.
  7. @@calgarybride2015 - amen re dirty clothes taking up lots of space!! I was embarrassed to share but glad to know we weren't the only ones. DF was too afraid to send things to the laundry service - concerned something would get "lost" & not return, especially after only 1 of my dresses initially showed up when I sent both and my veil for steaming. I didn't get everything back until a 2 hours before the wedding although we sent it out the afternoon before.
  8. @@Paolah - not sure where you would be shipping or which resort you are using but I'm in the U.S. and shipping wasn't an option so I had no choice. The resort we got married at won't accept packages and the U.S. Postal Service & FedEx staff I talked to advised against doing so citing the items would most likely not reach the intended destination or badly picked through. It worked out though b/c as much as we thought we wouldn't have a need for the suitcases for our return, we actually did need them. We put my dresses and his tux in one and a few guests brought gifts down (go figure) so we put those in the mediums.
  9. @@lauralane - doubtful you are reading this but wanted to send you a big HUG and fabo vibes as it's the night before your big day! Truly wishing you an amazing wedding & that your vision becomes a reality and then some. Can't wait for you to return and hear all about it!
  10. Hi All - I flew United and carried my dress. Unfortunately, the flight attendants were nasty and made me put it in overhead. My new hubby was sweet and thankfully had the foresight to pay to pre-board so we took up an overhead compartment just for his tux and my dress which was bulky. Once at the resort, we had them both steamed the day before the wedding.
  11. @@NenaRoss - we packed everything in large suitcases. And took some things out of the boxes they came in to make more space. So the Welcome Bags, cosmetic bags, mallets were packed loose in one suit case. The individual packets and muslin bags were kept in their respective boxes since those were pretty small and packed in another large suitcase along with the bottles & tops for the insect repellant to go in. Thankfully my new hubby is a pro at packing so we managed to get everything all supplies in 4 suitcases (2 large and 2 medium).
  12. @@rachelia160 - I just got married and opted not to do one. I too flip flopped but in the end had my hands full with all the things that I definitely wanted. Additionally, we had a small bridal party & 60 guests attending so I felt less guilty about not having one given the small scale of things. Also, @@calgarybride2015 raises a great point about guests getting to know each other in advance of the wedding. My guests did just that whether it was introducing themselves when they spotted others with our welcome totes, or over drinks at the welcome party or during nightly meet ups at the martini lounge. No one judged or commented about the absence of them & in the end, I am glad I skipped them. I know some people feel guests should receive something upon arrival for the ceremony, if that's you, I would suggest folded fans with a cute tag that welcomes them to the ceremony or something along those lines. Happy Planning!
  13. @@kfracassi - That stinks the thread was archived! Based on what you described, I think people may have been having their ceremony in one location, cocktail hour in another and the dinner reception in another. I got married at Generations last month and when working with the onsite Wedding team, they kept referring to the "Reception" as the "Dinner Reception" & "Cocktail Hour" as the "Cocktail Reception" so that may be what's causing the confusion. It is totally up to you & the resort's available private event space(s). Some people do 3 locations others do 2. Generations has fewer private event locations than EDR so I limited mine to 2 and made my decision based on what I thought would flow best with the times we selected. Example - since my ceremony was on the sky deck (30 min long) & the cocktail package I selected had a 2 hour minimum, I decided to have both my ceremony & cocktail hour on the sky deck with the thought that guests would kill the 1st half hour taking pictures of the views, bridal party etc...then enjoy the rest of the time sipping cocktails & noshing on apps. Since evenings were chilly and breezy that time of year, I opted to have the dinner/reception on the pier. Hope this helps!
  14. @@acw271011 - oooo that's a tough one. Well, I think you should be covered though if you get boxes and give out cake as a favor for your guests. Then it is a matter of guests just bringing it back with them on property and maybe you have a mid-sized box to bring extra mini-boxes back when you return from the festivities. They can't stop you or charge you for bringing something back. It's no different than if you went off property and brought leftovers.
  15. @@CnBWedding - hmmm that's odd! did you try info@vanessajaimes.com ? That's the email I used. Also, check your gmail spam/promotions category. I too filled out the form on her site and her response email popped up over there and not my inbox for some reason. I didn't know this until I called her and she was like "oh, yes, I responded!" then I looked and saw it. @@lauralane - I am bad and ignored the playlist that was provided except for the section for Father-Daughter Dance, Garter and Bouquet Toss. I wasn't sure what I wanted for those and thought they had great song suggestions/ideas. @@AllieH suggested just loading them down with songs you want to ensure nothing you don't want played makes it into the mix so I followed that approach. For my cocktail an dinner hours, a friend sent a playlist so I looked at that and noted songs I loved and spent 3 -4 hours looking for and listening to clean versions of songs on itunes then noting them on the respective sections of Mega DJ's playlist spreadsheet. For the party section, I noted the kick-off party song I wanted and listed all other party songs right under there. DO NOT stress about ORDER! He will move things around to make sure the songs flow. I started trying to list them by what I thought would blend well then started driving myself crazy because I would think of something else and wit would throw my flow order off. In the end, I had to just get over myself and get the songs listed and had to laugh at myself. He's only a pro and will know how to order the songs! LOL Happy to send my spreadsheet over so you can get an idea of how many songs you need. I had more than 4 hours worth but it didn't look like a lot on the spreadsheet. I was obsessed with ensuring all songs were clean/radio versions so I used iTunes to not just find the clean version but listen to it to be sure (some songs say clean but then it isn't really). I noted them all exactly as they appeared in iTunes because I figured whatever music library he used would have it listed as the same. I hope that made sense, I need caffeine. OMG YOUR WEDDING IS ALMOST HERE!!!! DETAILS! When do you leave? Are you all finished with shopping?! How are you feeling? Are you pumped and ready to go! So jealous and can't wait to hear what's going on!!!! What do your bags look like? Did you go with the same ones we "chatted" about here? POST PICS PLEASE!!!! xoxo
  16. @@kfracassi - I did the round tables that seat 8 and had 60 people. Initially, I thought about having us sit with either our parents and aunts or some members of the wedding. Another seating alternative is to have long retangular tables set up in a "U" formation with you guys sitting in the "bend"/center of the "U". This worked really well for another bride that got married at Azul Beach. She only reserved the seats closest to her and her hubby for parents etc and left the rest open for guests to sit where they liked. No thanks needed, happy to help and share my battle scars. LOLOL
  17. @@lauralane - awwww seriously! No thanks needed. I love helping people and I know how stressful and challenging this process can be so anything I can do the help others avoid mistakes or relax and enjoy I will do! LMAO LMAO at being part of the conversations! We all really should plan a WE GOT MARRIED AT GENERATIONS meet up! LOLOL So to answer the critical beer question, I checked in with my people & they tell me that the following were on hand during the reception: Tecate Sol Dos Equis Heineken Corona I believe all were cans. If you go with the International Family Style, a premium open bar is included that has good hard liquors as well (e.g. Grey Goose, Johnny Walker etc.). YAYYYY for 10 days! I didn't realize we were so close!! So excited for you & will be following your IG closely! Please do not hesitate to reach out if you need anything. I had a mini-crisis with my placecards and thanks to another bride-friend I met on this site, I couldn't have pulled it off without her help. What more do you have left to do? Thank you also for your very kind words and compliments!!! XOXO I can't wait to see my photogs pics and am really hoping they captured the entire day since I didn't get a video. @@ChiTiff - awww thanks so much and that is too funny. LOL Same goes for you, let me know if you need anything. I really do not know what to do with myself now that the wedding is over LOL
  18. @@AllieH - Thanks so much!!! Amazing is an understatement and it went way too fast. Everyone told me it would go by in a blink and despite mentally preparing for that, I WANT MY DAY BACK! LOLOL I truly TRULY cannot thank you enough for your support, insight, and encouragement through this process! You help so many of us stay sane and figure things out, I wish I could repay you in some way! *hug*
  19. @@TinkerSofi - I think that's a safe route to go. I only got the 2 tier that feeds 20-30 and had 60 guests. I went this route b/c we did the International Family Style dinner which comes with 5-6 mini desserts. The minis were "ok" but the cake was so yummy (and I don't even like cake and loved it) that it went fast. They cut thinnish (not hunks but not slivers either) and I would say about 35-40 people were able to have a slice or two. We got the cake for picture purposes but if I had to do it again, I would have gotten one the next size up. I had heard so many horror stories about the Karisma cakes but ours was great *shrugs*.
  20. @@CnBWedding - with a group that size, they are going to wander around the sky deck and and most likely see your reception set up although it will be on the far end closer to the rest of the resort and mangrove views. I had 60 and they were on both sides of that wall you referred to that divides the beach view side of the deck (side closest to gazebo). The wall is not very tall...maybe head height at best? Post-ceremony, my guests were all over that side of the sky deck taking pics. The views of the ocean and beach are amazing and unblocked by the glass walls. Almost everyone took pics of themselves from different beach/ocean angles by those. A friend is also checking through her pics to see if we have different angles to show you ladies.
  21. Hi Ladies - I just wanted to report back that the Carrot and Vanilla Rum cakes were DELISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They were super moist and our guests raved about them both! I'm also glad I didn't do boxes because everyone ate the cake so we had nothing left. I wish I could have brought it back with me to freeze for our anniversary! Maybe I will have a mini one made instead.
  22. @@calgarybride2015 - thanks so much! I truly cannot believe how fast it flies and you were smart to get a video. I cannot stop kicking myself for not pushing DF for this! LOL It really was rewarding to see what has been in my head and to a certain extent pinterst board for over a year come to fruition! Ok Ladies, here are a few more things that came to mind that I thought I would share: CASH - if you are picky and prone to changing your mind on things, make sure you and/or DF bring at least $500-$600 in cash on you (hopefully you will need less but I thought I would share. We had a few instances where we were asked to pay for things in cash and had to schlep over to EDR after a visit back to the room to get our bank cards. Before leaving we took out $300 for tips and incidentals but this was far from enough. So you might be like what for?! Well, initially, I requested and paid for LED votives but switched to real flame votives with hurricanes, I had to pay the difference for the hurricane pricing in cash (close to $120 USD). They also told me I needed to have bows on my cocktail tables to keep the linens from flying around like crazy for both the Welcome & Cocktail hour. You guessed it, that price had to be paid in cash. We did a catamaran that was part of our package and the confirmation sheet said to bring $120 for "reef tax" but really it was for a discretionary tip. Then there are the tips for the event staff, photographer, florists etc...the money we took out before leaving was for the photog and event staff but we forgot about the DJ, waitstaff (who went above and beyond at our loud rehearsal dinner) etc. We also had to rent a car and it was cheaper to pay in U.S. cash than by credit card, not to mention they want to take an $800 deposit on your card until the car is returned. Given our fraud alerts and the price difference we paid in cash. I would also recommend having about $100 - $150 usd in pesos if you rent a car. Thankfully I exchanged some before we left the US where the rate was better than in Mexico and this came in handy for gas to refuel our rental & when I had my Office Max emergency. Since I didn't need them the rest of the time, I used them for tips at the resort. Planning Binder, Questions, Rehearsal - I am sorry to say but the current wedding staff needs a bit of work. Generations does not have their own team despite having signs up saying their office on the 4th floor. You have to go over to EDR and that team covers both Generations and EDR. The person assigned to cover Generations (and also does EDR) is not the most experienced so things that you think would be a given are not. For instance, during our meeting, I had to ask for: a tour of all locations for our events, a copy of the seating chart for the pier so I could number the tables to make sure it worked with the draft I created on WeddingWire.com and label where the cigar rollers were going to go etc...,samples of the LED votives, real flame candles, hurricanes to ensure they looked the way I wanted them to and well, you get the idea. Had I not come armed with my planning binder that had copies of the final spreadsheet, draft seating chart I created and checklist of other points I wanted to make sure were covered these things would have been missed. Don't get me wrong, at the end of the day she was great in that everything was where it was supposed to be and looked awesome, this is something I want to prep you for. Receipts & Paperwork - I asked for copies of everything, especially any paperwork noting additional payments rendered on the spot (e.g., Hurricanes, Cigar Rollers etc.) and put them in my binder. I would also make sure invoices/receipts for all items you are bringing to Mexico (including copies of your wedding contract and/or invitation) are in your binder in case you are stopped by Customs and they question the items you are bringing. Having copies of everything we put on our credit card also came in handy when dealing with a fraud alert we received. Although we contacted our back to let them know we'd be traveling they notified us of suspicious charges that started to occur after we arrived! Thankfully, I had the print outs of all things I charged on the card so it was easy for us to let them know what was fraudulent and what was not immediately. Rehearsal - I think I covered this already but cannot remember...just in case I did not, plan to do your own. They may say "yes, we will try" but it doesn't happen. Also they will say "oh we will have someone there to tell everyone where to go" and that is NOT entirely true. You can access most locations at any time so pick a time where your location will be empty/not in use and have your party meet you. The WC will go over the order of the ceremony processional and the reception dinner but did NOT keep things moving or keep people well informed of who goes where and when. Ceremony Example - my FIL was supposed to walk MIL in. Instead he was off doing his own thing and my MIL kept asking "who's walking me down? who's walking me down?" My BIL (who was walking my mom) had to step in and ask DF what should he do - walk both or one at a time and if so who should go first. Post-ceremony it was really awkward after we walked back up the aisle. We just stood there staring at our guests - my photog stepped in and asked if I'd like to receive guests or jump into pics. I told him let's go back up to the gazebo and start group shots etc..the WC did not help. Reception Example - my sister had to step in and request champagne be brought for the toast when she noticed most people were finishing up their meals and just chatting. Things started to feel as if they were dragging until she sprang into action and requested that we get the toasts, cake cutting, garter and bouquet tosses knocked out. Again, the WC was just standing around and didn't help keep these things moving. My photog was appreciative as well.
  23. @@EriLu11 & @@kfracassi - @@AllieH is 100% correct.I just came back from my wedding and honestly didn't start working to finalize details with my WC until about 4-5 weeks out from my wedding date. I purposely held off because a) I wanted to do things once I had a final headcount or as close to final as possible and had read how so many others were frustrated with the delayed communication when they tried to finalize further ahead. I figured if I waited until closer to nail down all the particulars/details it would go more smoothly. In some ways this is true in that I had her full attention because she was eager to finalize our list and get final payment. We also did a few conference calls to help keep things moving along. I am not saying this works for everyone because to some this is WAY too last minute but I offer it to give you an idea that not everyone is locked and loaded far in advance. My best advice to you ladies is to focus on knocking out as many things as you can that do not require a firm headcount. So for instance, I knew I wanted an offsite photog who was amazing but within budget even WITH the $800 vendor fee so I did my research and secured that 1st. The next thing I would suggest tackling are: Other vendors (e.g., Video, DJ, Creating your own playlists for each event) Selecting your menu & cake or at least narrowing it down to what you want price permitting with a plan b option Draft Seating Charts (weddingwire.com has a GREAT interactive one that will you move people around, and and delete etc...) It helped me visualize how many tables I could potentially need based on the number of deposits and committed guests I had/anticipated Designing or purchasing decor items you know you will need (e.g., table numbers and/or frames, guestbook, posters for guests to sign in lieu of guestbook etc..) Purchasing or finding bridal party items/gifts (e.g., embroidered handkerchiefs for parents, flower girl items, etc.) Another bride shared a spreadsheet she and her now hubby created that mimicked the Lomas one so we could make calculations based on guestimates of the number of guests we had. I tried to be as realistic as possible and budged for 50-75 guests and ended up with 60. Thanks to DF's suggesting we brace ourselves for 75 (which we were confident would be a stretch given it was a peak long weekend w/ high air fare) we came in under what we budgeted in reality and could make a few splurges at the end. I truly hope this helps you ladies! Enjoy this process despite how taxing and trying it may be! @@EriLu11 - DF wouldn't go for a videographer so we went for a photojournalist style photog. His name is Sascha Gluck (CancunPhotos) and was absolutely amazing to work with. We are waiting for our pics but stole a couple of peeks at some of the shots he got and cannot wait to see the finished product!!!
  24. UGH! I am SO jealous. We had an acoustic guitar version playing for my walk in!
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