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Everything posted by WPGBride17

  1. Thank you so much for this tip. I'm anxiously waiting for her price list. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. @@calgarybride2015 yes I'm doing my best to remember that and in the end I know it will be a day that I'll remember and cherish forever! For some reason I thought when eating at the a la carte they only served wine. I thought I read that somewhere but I'll double check to make sure. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. I'm a 2017 bride as well with my date being January 21st. We booked the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya. I'm full force planning mode as we just passed our deposit date for our guests to book their spot. So far we have 48 guests attending. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  4. @@calgarybride2015 We compared the silver package which is 1.5 hours non-private a la carte with the add on of the beach bar cocktail for 2 hours to the gold package which is 4 hours private a la carte with the add on of a DJ. The gold package also had a few extra perks including hair, makeup and a welcome dinner so in the end the gold package ended up being cheaper for us. The one thing I want to check is if it's an open bar if it's private or if this is extra as well. The most frustrating part for me is all the "extras" such as paying extra for meals for any guest over 10 people or paying for an open bar as I feel that's what we are paying our trip costs as this would be included if we were a normal guest vs wedding guest. I know this is the norm now with a destination wedding but frustrating nonetheless. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. I know it's been a while but I've been busy especially now that our deadline for the deposit has passed. Of course true to my belief all of my guests waited until the last week to book so no surprise there. What I was completely shocked about was the number of people booked! We estimated that around 25 people would book and now we have 46 guests including us and 10 kids. We are so grateful for such an outpouring of love from our friends and family as we knew we were asking a lot for them to come to a destination wedding. We qualified for one free trip and are just short one booking to get the second to get a second trip free. You never know who will book closer to the wedding so it's still a possibility. Now that we have more concrete numbers I have reworked our budget and I have started buying items for our big day. One thing I really wanted to do was welcome bags. I have budgeted $25 per bag and so far these are the items that are going in them: Tumblers with personalized stickers Deck of cards Sudoku book Coloring book with crayons for the kids Advil Emergen-C Bandaid Chapstick Week Schedule Door Hanger These are the waterproof labels I ordered from etsy I ordered the bags through totebagfactory and I was going to screen print them myself but for $5 extra per bag they will do it for me which I figured it was worth it to save me the headache. Here's the design I did up myself: I also order kids activity/coloring books off of etsy for $5. It's just a digital file so you can print it off as many times as you want. It has a whole bunch of small games and is in black and white for coloring. Most of the other items I either bought at the dollartree (I highly recommend this dollar store, awesome selection and nothing is over $1.25) or Amazon. I've been thinking more about decor I think I'm going to scale back and just bring a few items: Starfish which I will order off of eBay Love Marquee Sign bought at 60% off at Michaels for our table at the reception Chair Ribbons ordered off of eBay for a fraction of the price of what the resort is charging ($29 for 50 ribbons) Finally I've been taking advantage of the fact that grad and summer attire is finally come out! I bought flip flops from Le Chateau for $30 for the reception I am going to buy barefoot sandals of of etsy for the ceremony Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  6. Quick question, I know most of you have gone with the palapa for your reception but has anyone chosen the a la carte? We had our hearts set on the steakhouse but we were just informed that they reserve that for bigger groups. Our back up choice is the Italian but we really don't want any other restaurant (a little bit of a fussy fiancé lol). Has anybody had trouble booking a restaurant for their reception and when do you get confirmation which restaurant you are actually getting? Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. @@vivitazy you look stunning! With each new bride it makes me more excited for my wedding next January. Question for anybody who has booked either the palapa or beach bar for the reception... Do you pay extra for the location plus what ever menu you decide on top of that (bbq or private events menu)? Also is it a different price for the food for kids? Our deposit deadline is Monday and so far we have 28 adults and 8 kids. Now that I have some more concrete numbers I'm trying to nail our budget down. Tia Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. Start with finding a good travel agent who specializes in destination weddings. When you contact them try and have a price point for the trip cost and then they will be able to start recommending resorts based upon that. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. Yay! So glad you arrived safely. I always go with if you don't ask you shall not receive so it's great that you got the upgrade. Can't wait to hear about your wedding day! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. Wedding Theme and Colors Early on I decided my colors were going to include purple and I was going to do lime green but after talking to FI we are going with orange. He rarely asks for anything and says whatever I want makes him happy so when I was showing him pictures of boutinieres and he said he loved the birds of paradise I quickly agreed to change up my lime green to orange. I think with flowers and color scheme I've had some difficulty because I want it to look good and for whatever reason I can't get a clear picture in my head of how it all will come together. In my head I'm trying to picture how the altar should look like with orange and purple and whether I should spend extra money for the color cloths instead of the plain white. I've tried researching or should I say googling for different pictures of destination wedding altars/archways but haven't found much. For the theme I chose a popular one because it's my favorite... Starfish! This forum gas bit awesome but also a bit dangerous. I really was just going to go minimalist for decorations and choose based on my package but I've been so inspired by what all the brides have posted on their threads that I have gotten a bit of the diy bug myself so below are some ideas I want to incorporate. Flowers Aisle way I really want petals lining the aisle way but the resort charges so much! I got so excited when I found a diy to make your own runners so I have decided to go this route. The only thing is I'm not sure what colors I'm going to do purple, orange or both. I found that you can buy the petals super cheap on ebay so that's what I'm going to do. I also am going to buy bulk starfish and scatter them along the runners. I figure by buying starfish bulk I can reuse them for my reception decor as well. Chairs I'm not exactly decided on whether I should go with the standard chairs with covers and do something like this: Or if I will dish out some extra cash for the Tiffany chairs and do this : I also noticed that someone bought the chair slashes in bulk and wonder if it will be a cost saving to do the same. Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  11. Looks like you have everything under control. I just hope I'm this organized when it comes to my wedding day! I especially love your program fans they turned out gorgeous! Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  12. First thank you for all the kind words on my dress. I love it and really I can't wait to wear it! Ok I know it's been a while but it's been a crazy couple of weeks. I feel like I have so many ideas for my wedding but a lot of my decisions depend on how many people end up coming. My deadline for deposit is April 11th so I'm just going to try and wait patiently. We are still only sitting at 2 people booked so I have decided to send a reminder email in about a weeks time just so people don't forget. Wedding Podcast One tool I have found that has helped me with wedding details is Save the Date Podcast. It's done by an Australian Comedian Aleisha McCormack and not only is she hilarious but she offers some really great tips for planning your special day. She has guests from all over the world that specializes in various aspects of weddings and I know I have discovered some great information through her so if you have time check it out! Photography I think I can safely say this has been the most stressful part of my wedding planning so far. Never in my wildest dreams did I think wedding photography would be so expensive! Maybe I'm cheap but when you're working with a tiny budget neither myself or my FI could imagine spending over $1,000 for pictures. At first I was totally content with family and friends taking our photos but everywhere I turned I kept hearing that this was people's biggest regret was not spending the money on photography. Then one night I had a dream that we got all the photos back from our wedding and they all had a thumb in the middle of the pictures. Needless to say I woke up and immediately started researching possible options. The problem with DW is as soon as you are looking for photographers outside your resort they charge you and outside vendor fee so it ends up being more expensive. I had contacted a few companies but all of them were out of my price range and another thing that didn't help is they all charge US funds and the Canadian Dollar socks right now. Eventually one company put me in touch with a photographer who was the wife of one partners I had contacted. She was amazing and I still couldn't afford her with the vendor fees. I emailed her back explaining just that and she replied back saying I deserved professional photography and offered to do a couples shoot in my wedding dress around Playa del Carmen a on a separate date from my wedding for a super reasonable rate of $400 US and because I'm doing the shoot off resort I'm avoiding the vendor fee. She is making my dreams come true and while I know she won't be documenting my special day I'm OK with that because I will still have beautiful pictures of me and my husband in our wedding attire. I will still get family and friends to document my special day but now I feel more comfortable with that. http://www.mayanrivieraphotography.com Social Specifically in Manitoba we have a wedding tradition called a Social. Basically a Social I'd a fundraising event that you hold either in a banquet hall or bar. You hire a DJ , have a silent auction, 50/50 draw and charge $10 entrance fee and all proceeds go to the wedding g couple to help with the cost of the wedding and to help start your lives together. Our social is set for September 17th and I really need to get my butt in gear and start getting some prizes for the silent auction. Normally your wedding party helps by donating prizes but I only have my maid of honor so most will have to be bought by us. I am lucky though because a lot of family has stepped up and said they will donate. While this is a great event to raise money it also takes a lot of planning and it's another event to worry about. The most stressful part was finding and booking the venue but that went pretty smoothly. We decided to go with a bar so then we wouldn't have to worry about liquor licensing but in saying that it means the bar will profit from the liquor sales and not us. In the end we though this was just one less thing to worry about so we thought it was worth it. The bar also offered out a free $200 prize for our auction and they are printed up our tickets for free. Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  13. @@nkavanaugh I can't answer most of your questions since my wedding isn't until January 2017 but I did do research on sparklers. You cannot transport sparklers on a plane as they are considered a dangerous good. I thought I might just buy some when I got down in Mexico but apparently they are extremely hard to find unless it's a holiday down there. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. @@snswedding2016 Wow so much good advice! I really like the idea of Real Touch flowers but to be honest with you I had never heard of them before. I was sitting with the FI when he asked what I was reading so I started reading him your post and he actually listened! He said he could probably print off anything we need at work! I could never do this as I'm a government worker and you have to have a special password to even access the color printer. @@calgarybride2015 Adventures photos was $1200 US for 3 hours and the FI said absolutely not would he pay over $1000 dollars for pictures but I can't say I disagree. I know it's an art and takes a while to edit but it just didn't check off on our list of priorities.
  15. Hi Everyone, I am looking for new ways to save money on my wedding budget and thought who better to ask than this forum of lovely ladies. As I am planning my Grand Sirenis wedding I am noticing how quickly all the extras are adding up so I was wondering what is your best tip on saving money at a destination wedding whether it's décor, invitations, vendors, really any tip at all is appreciated! One of my tips I kinda stumbled on was for photography. To put it simply I could not afford professionally photography and my FI was totally against spending thousands of dollars on pictures. In his words he rather spend it on upgrading the wedding instead. So I started contacting various local Riviera Maya photographers within my impossible budget because everyone says you will regret not spending the money on a good photographer. I was recommended to a photographer who was the wife of another photographer. She totally sympathized with me and offered to do a couples shoot a couple of days after my wedding in my dress for only $400 US! I felt this was an amazing opportunity that I could not pass up and she was recommended by someone reputable so I am going ahead with it. Friends and family will document my special day but then I will also have these beautiful pictures around Playa del Carmen of me and my husband which is good enough for me!
  16. So for the past few days I've been binge reading your thread and as a future Grand Sirenis Bride I thank you. You have given me so much good info and to do lists. I loved following all your DIY and you have inspired me to do a few of my own. My theme is also starfish so I instantly fell in love with all your projects. You looked absolutely beautiful on your wedding day! Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  17. Thanks everyone! This planning thread has made me realize 2 things so far. 1. I can't believe how much I have done already! 2. There is so much more to do! So now I’m trying to patiently wait until April 11th for when deposits are due so I have a better idea of who is coming because reality it I have no clue. People will swear they are coming and then at the last minute bow out and people who you never though would come are all of a sudden coming. I checked with the TA and only 2 people have put deposits down but honestly this doesn’t worry me because our parents haven’t even put their deposits down lol. Wedding Dress & Bridesmaid Dress Because I’m overly organized I have already gone dress shopping and in fact have received my dress last weekend. I am the type of shopper I go into a store knowing what I want and do my best to get what I want and get out as fast as I can. Because of this I made one appointment for David’s Bridal. I am a plus size bride and I was told that the best selection for my size would be found here. I made the decision to only make one appointment and if I didn’t find anything expand my search to other stores. Well I found the one and although slightly over budget my parents said it didn’t matter and bought it for me. I brought 3 of my closest friends and the MOB and MOG. Ironically enough it was one of my friends who chose the winner and I felt absolutely magical in the dress. It was everything I didn’t think I wanted in a dress including a long train but it just had a wow factor when I put it on that no one could deny. I even ended up buying a veil which I also thought that I didn’t want but really finished the look. (Note to self I need to buy veil weights lol) I only have a Maid of Honor for a bridesmaid as we wanted to keep it nice and simple. I chose my best friend of 12 years and for me there was really no other choice. It was complicated though as she is a single mother of 2 kids and is currently putting herself through university so I didn’t know if she would have the means to attend my wedding. I told her whatever her decision would be I would understand but she said YES! Because she’s tight for money I did offer her to pay for her dress but told her not to say anything as I didn’t want others (FG family and RB family) to find out and be upset at the special treatment. For her dress I said she could chose whatever she wanted but it had to be bright purple in color. The plan was just to go to Le Chateau this summer and hopefully find something cheap but long story short I had a credit at David’s Bridal from my mom returning her dress (buyers remorse) that we needed to use up so we went back there and chose a high low dress in Regency. Just like myself she ended up in a dress that she said that she didn’t want but feel in love with it when it was on. She didn’t really want strapless as she was afraid she’d fall out (her words not mine lol) but she said she felt super secure in this dress. This is just a photo off of David's Bridal so you can see the color choice. Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  18. STD After we got our deposits confirmed I immediately started creating our STD. Honestly there is so many beautiful choices whether you chose to go with a photo company like Shutterfly or Vistaprint and also Etsy has tons of options. Personally I chose to make my own as I feel I'm creative and resourceful enough that this is one place I knew I could save money out of my budget. I decided simply to email these out instead of sending by mail as I felt it was faster and more efficient this way. I should say before I sent out the STD I decided to do my own wedding website so my guests could have a central place to access information about the hotel, my TA, excursions that were available plus pictures of us. I used the wedding website theknot.com which was awesome! One of the great features of the website is the guest list database where youkeep all your chests info including names, emails and mailing adresses. You can even let them RSVP right on the site as wel lThey have a beautiful selection of templates that make your website look professional and best part it's free. Engagement photos I gad been in contact with a cousin to get some engagement photos done but we have been so busy that 2 months later we haven't done them. In saying that about a year ago my cousin asked to do couple pictures of us because she wanted to expand into making her photography into a business. Everybody thought the we're engagement photos back then and we loved them so we have been using them now. Sent from my SM-T320 using Tapatalk
  19. How We Met So a bit of a back story on myself. I will cut straight to the chase by saying I has a life changing event when I was 25. I was planning a trip of a lifetime by myself, a cruise of the Greek islands and right before I left I woke up with a painful lump in my breast. Fast forward 6 months and I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I went through chemo, radiation, double mastectomy and reconstruction surgery all within the span of a year. I was single at the time and while I stayed positive throughout everything I thought I would never find someone that would want to be be with me as I wasn't whole ananymore. It took seven years for me to work on building up my self esteem and self worth again before I was even remotely ready to start to date again. About 3 years ago I decided I was finally ready but didn't have I lot of opportunities to meet new people so like a lot of people now I went online. Let me tell you I met a lot of winners (and not the good kind)! I was just about to give up when Alec messaged me. He seemed so sweet and was so thoughtful about what he wrote and bonus he actually took the time to read my profile! He was and still is super shy but slowly he came out of his shell with me. He planned awesome dates, going to concerts, taking me to a boardgame cafe (I have a secret boardgame obession), going bowling, among other things. When we kissed for the first time it was magical. I know it sounds crazy but after the first few dates I knew he was the man I was going to marry. We both have the craziest things in common, the food we eat (cheeseburgers plain, meat and cheese, nothing else lol), we love hockey, we both love boardgames (even though he kicks my butt everytime), we both read up on movies after we watch them, I could go on forever lol! The Proposal So we had talked about marriage and went ring shopping in the Fall so I knew it was coming but didn't know exactly when. That day came on Christmas eve. He told me he chose Christmas because he knew how much I loved it and wanted it to be extra special. Alec is very shy and simple kind of guy so after I conned him into getting my gift early (eve instead of day) because that's what I do every Christmas. He grade my hand and hugged and kissed me lots and simply said I love you so much and will you marry me. It was simple yet beautiful and the best day of my life! The ring he chose wasn't one I had chosen but I'm so glad! He listened to everything I liked and chose something he thought fit the criteria which meant the world to me. Right after the proposal we went to my family gathering and it was so awesome to share the news with my family! I will never forget how I felt that night, I was on cloud nine. Let the planning commence! I was so happy just to be engaged but people kept bombarding me with questions , when are you getting married, where, etc and this was the night I got engaged! I felt super overwhelmed super fast. Saying yes was the easiest part. All I knew is I wanted a destination wedding. Finding a Travel Agent This was the easiest part for me as my Aunt is a TA. What I lo ed about this is the fact that I already had someone that I trusted with I feel is extremely important for a destination wedding. She always answers my emails and very promptly as well. Even if it might take her a few days she sends me warning so I'm not left hanging. Maybe it could be the fact that I know where she lives and I could hunt her down but I like to believe it's just her high standard of customer service. Picking the Resort The big thing for me was I wanted affordability without sacrificing quality in the resort. So my Aunt when immediately wentry to work and suggested 3 Mexico locations, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, and Riviera Maya. She presented me with about 6 resorts in total with varying prices. Due to the Canadian Dollar taking a plunge the quotes weren't as cheap as I would've liked but in the end it was still way cheaper to chose Mexico versus a home wedding in Winnipeg. I within a week I narrowed it down to either Cabo or Riviera Maya. I ultimately chose the Grand Sirenis in Riviera Maya for a few reasons. They had a free wedding package, the resort was absolutely gorgeous, the prices for children were really reasonable and Riviera Maya was the only place I haven't been to in Mexico. Needless to say I was excited to say within a week I had made our decision (FI said whatever I wanted he was good with). Well I was excited until my TA came back and burst my bubble saying that Grand Sirenis has decided as of 2016 to eliminate the Free Package. I was devastated because we were on a tight budget I wasn't sure we could afford it. I immediately did up spreadsheet of all the costs so I would have a more realistic idea of the total cost because let's face it you have to pay extra for everything! In the end we were very fortunate that both sets of parents totally stepped to help us out which I'm forever in their debt. I was trying to previously plan the whole wedding ourselves without help except for the dress which my parents had previously said they would cover. Once the $500 deposit was paid to the resort and the $400 deposit for the Bride and Groom our TA's travel agency developed a PDF and a type of Web page on their site that guests can access to reserve their attendance. I have a lot more to write but time for bed. I will be back soon!
  20. Thanks Ladies for the advice! I sent out just under 200 STD due to my parents having large extended families. I grew up having relationships with all my aunties, uncles and cousins so I didn't want anybody to feel left out. In saying that I only estimate btwn 20-30 people will actually book so that's why I thought I would only send to those I knew were coming. I never thought of people who might book later or outside of our party. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  21. Hi Everyone! So I have officially booked my wedding at Grand Sirenis Rivera Maya for January 2017. I made my own STD and emailed them out to all my guests. Deposits are due beginning of April and it was my thought that once I find out who is officially coming I will only send those people a formal invitation as a cost saving measure as I'm on a tight budget. So my question is do I really need RSVP if I already know these people are coming? What have you done for your wedding? Any advice is appreciated.
  22. So a quick Wedding Invitation question. I have sent out my STD and deposits are due beginning of April. As a cost saving measure I was then only going to send out formal invitations to those people that put a deposit down. I wasn't going to include a RSVP because I already know these are the people that are coming but now I am noticing a lot of people still ask for an RSVP. What did you Brides do? Any advice is appreciated.
  23. Can I get a moderator to delete my last post in Yycbride2016 Grand Sirenis Planning Thread February 2016
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