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Everything posted by TandAGetHitched

  1. TandAGetHitched

    For Sale - Wally Bag 66"

    Hi Brides! I have a Wally Bag - 66" available - $90 + shipping (US only) The wally bag typically sells for $120-$180. I used this gown bag once to transport my dress from MN to Mexico for our wedding - IT WAS PERFECT! I was actually able to pack 4 additional maxi dresses, and my husband's wedding attire, plus a few pairs of shoes and some jewelry. I packed the dress the night before we left, and just moments before we left, I zipped the bag and folded it - ready for travel. It comes up with a nice over-the-shoulder strap, making it really easy to carry through the airports. No issues on Delta with the bag as my carry-on - I chose to put in the overhead bin, but the flight attendant did offer to hang it in the closet for me. Once we got to the resort, about 10 hours after I first folded the bag, I unpacked the bag and my dress was perfect - no wrinkles! My dress was mostly lace and had a bit of a train, but it arrived perfectly! Honestly, this is the best way to travel with your dress!
  2. TandAGetHitched

    For Sale - Wally Bag 66"

  3. TandAGetHitched

    Serious Venue Issue!

    we'll be celebrating our 1 year anniversary the day you tie the knot! are you sure the room rate is $313/per night for 2 people vs. $313/per person, per night? sounds like your room rate is still cheaper than the resort directly. do you have a contact at the resort? I'd reach out to your contact and ask for clarity on the pricing and make sure the web price is $313/per person per night and your rate of $230/per person per night is a way better deal! our travel agent told our guests that if they booked via a third party (discount travel site) they'd be at risk if the hotel sells out. if the hotel sells out, the first group of guests to get 'walked' are those that booked via the third party site because the hotel makes less money on the discount travelers. So if you know the resort sells out, this is a huge risk - resorts oversell rooms all the time, just like airlines, and then 'walk' the least profitable guests (those booked via third-party). Our resort sold out a few weeks before our wedding and we heard a couple get 'walked' while we were checking in - that couple got moved to a different resort, pretty far away and lower star.
  4. ok- wedding review is posted!! https://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/reviews/r/5863-wedding-was-a-blast/ Our Photographer sent us a message earlier this week letting use know our wedding photos will be done around July 15th so I'll be sure to post a few photos and a review of our photographer - Moments That Matter! they were a really fun couple to shoot with, just can't wait to see the final results! The biggest piece of advice I can give for planning a wedding at Azul or any Karisma property - PATIENCE! planning a wedding via email and a few phone calls may be stressful, but these folks at Karisma are pros! Don't expect a response same day, most responses were 1-3 days, and if you go into the planning process knowing that, you'll be a little less stressed! Overall, the Karisma teams are experts and will execute your vision wonderfully - trust them!! Happy Planning!
  5. We use Kate’s Travel (katestravel.com) she was AMAZING! Our guests loved working with her and she got us some great rates. Here’s the website she created for us: http://tomandamandagetmarried.com/
  6. Yes, I need to get a review written! Overall - AMAZING resort, staff, wedding, experience! We had 1 small small hiccup with airport transfers, otherwise all was AWESOME! I’ll get something written in a few weeks, once we have our photos back! and yes! We did get our resort / wedding credits! We actually got them about 10 days after the wedding - pretty quick! Some of the discounts (wedding package, spa, dinner & cocktail) were applied before we paid the final balance. The airfare and room credits were credited back to my AMEX a few days after we checked out. We ended up getting about $7500 in credits/discounts: $950 discount on always and forever package $500 hair & makeup credit - gift from our TA $550 discount for cocktail hour $1100 discount for dinner $1000 for airfare promotion with our TA $3300 for #of rooms/nights our group of 60 had booked
  7. hi friends! so we recently changed our minds and switched from a legal to a symbolic ceremony for our May wedding in Riviera Maya. Why? cost is the biggest factor - the whole legal package is about $1000 and the license in MN is $40. anyways, when it was a legal ceremony - there was no question about the script/speech - it's a pre-set speech. but now with the symbolic ceremony - we have more flexibility... so questions for you gals.... can you share your symbolic ceremony script/speech? who performed your ceremony? was it in English or Spanish? yes, we are going to be terrible people and not tell our guests we're taking care of the paperwork a week before we leave for Mexico. We'd like the ceremony in Spanish or as close to the legal ceremony as possible. We are not planning our write our own vows - FH says he'd never get through them without crying so we agreed to skip them at the ceremony. thanks!
  8. TandAGetHitched

    Oot Bags - Is This Enough?

    our guests loved these! they were most pleased with the first-aid kit, sunscreen, aloe and meds. the cups were cute and most guests did bring them down to the pools. I wish I had put in some battery-fans - the ceremony was so hot! we had hand-fans, but the battery ones would have been a nice upgrade. we gave the kids a pool squish ball, a beach ball and a squirt gun - some of the parents took these toys from their kids and brought them into the adults pool - turns out I should have given all the adults squirt guns!
  9. looking for some honest feedback regarding OOT bags... as I look through past posts I suddenly got a sense of FOMO (or fear our guests will have FOMO). here's what we're including in each person's OOT bag: color-changing tumbler travel first-aid kit aloe sunscreen hand sanitizer SPF chapstick kleenex gum advil pepto wedding brochure/book/info (not pictured) all in a standard paper gift bag with all that, we've spent about $450 for the 60 bags/adults we have attending. the 5 kids will get some sand or pool toys instead. I had planned on fun beach totes/bags, but after talking with FH and MOH - sounds like most wouldn't use it. Sunglasses don't really make sense to me, since I think (*hope*) most people pack their shades for Mexico I don't know - maybe I'm overthinking it, but is this enough of a gift bag for our guests traveling all the way to Mexico? I'll also add, we are bringing some adult pool toys like beer pong and floats for everyone to enjoy. thanks friends!
  10. the seaweed at each beach will vary and there isn't a lot you can do about it... the of the 10 days we were in Cancun/Riviera Maya, we had seaweed 6 days, including our wedding day. If it rains/storms, it usually gets worse. Staff will work endlessly to clean up as much as they can, but it's nature. Despite the seaweed, we still had our beach on the wedding. There were no bugs or at least no one on in our group noticed any. If you have the reception on the beach at night, you may notice some bugs, but we only did our ceremony & cocktail hour on the beach, and then moved to an outdoor plaza to party. We were not at the Hard Rock, we were at Azul Sensatori - it was AMAZING wedding experience!
  11. we ended up using Facebook messenger when we were in Mexico - the hotel had free wifi and at least 1 person from each family/couple had FB on their phone already - it was pretty easy to communicate among guests "hey, we're heading to the beach bbq for lunch." or "everyone is hanging at the small pool today". a plus was that some people tried to get a hold of me via FB on the day of the wedding and I was totally not checking my phone - they were asking if the wedding was outside given the rain forecast, thankful my mom, MOH and a few other friends were on the group and could respond for me :)
  12. TandAGetHitched


    another link that our guests found helpful - http://www.sat.gob.mx/bienvenidoaMexico/Paginas/mercancia_puedes_ingresar_eng.html
  13. TandAGetHitched


    the general rule is you can't bring more than $300 worth of 'gifts' into the country. https://www.cancunairport.com/customs.html we are leaving for Mexico in 2 days (EEK!) and we have 2 bags of wedding stuff - OOT gifts and decorations. we are each checking 1 bag and have the receipts for EVERYTHING in the wedding bags. we each have less than $300 (gifts & decor), but I wanted to split it up between FH and I - just in case. if he gets the red light and gets inspected - I'll just take my bag and meet him at the transfer later and if he gets the green light - "I'm with him!" I've heard from a lot of brides that as soon as you say "it's a for the wedding" most customs agents are pretty relaxed, unless you have like hundreds and hundreds of items and it looks like you might sell them. I plan on playing up the 'we're getting married' throughout the airport - including a BRIDE hat... I'll let you know how it goes when we get back in about 2 weeks. keep your fingers crossed for us it goes well!
  14. so we did a thing - we got married yesterday at the courthouse. just us and 2 very close friends. it was everything my FH could have ever wanted, it was lovely and simple - perfect. We leave on Monday for our Mexico wedding celebration set for Friday May 11. We have 60 amazing friends and family traveling to celebrate with us. I'm really glad we decided to get hitched stateside first, it takes a ton of pressure off the day in Mexico. bags are almost packed and the hubby and I are ready to spend 10 days on the beach, relaxing with friends and reconnecting before we come back to our crazy lives. Stay strong DW brides - it all comes together
  15. we had our travel agent handle all those details like arranging transportation. we thought about setting up a facebook group so our 60 guests could interact with each other, but most we have quite a few non-facebook users so it didn't seem worth it. we did send a few all guest email blast recently, especially since we're all flying out in the next day or so.
  16. 23 days. Where did the last 18 months go? I think we're ready - only a few things outstanding... Groom & BM attire - I changed my mind on the color of slacks - so FH is on the hunt. I'm letting him run with this because I can't think about it anymore and at the end of the day - whatever he wears is fine! Bridal accessories - I can't decide on shoes, jewelry, hair accessories - I've bought at least 10 pairs of shoes and returned 9 - I'm sure I'll pick something soon - not overly worried Communicate day of schedule with family & bridal party - the schedule is done, just need to send to family Packing - UG! this feels super overwhelming, but I'm going to start tackling it this weekend I keep saying "If it's not done, I'm not doing it".
  17. everything my TA has told me is that the room credits is a check back to you after the trip. So 14-30 days after you leave the resort, they send you a check for the room credits. the credit is only applied to rooms with 2 adults (single rooms or rooms with 1 adult + 1 child do not count towards the credit). My TA has been very cautious about using the Cash for your Bash Credit $$ - she says it often changes and is often a bit lower than the website, depending on rooms booked, nights stayed, and your contract. we had to pay our room balance in full a few weeks ago. Past Azul brides - please chime in - did you get a credit back or was it a discount off your room balance?
  18. we were quoted $1000 for a legal wedding at the resort. $500 for the judge & basic paper work + $250 for blood tests + $250 for the apostle seal (required in MN, not required in all states). For a legal wedding, we are not allowed to bring anyone else on the property to perform a legal wedding - the resort has to coordinate the hiring of the judge - which is why the fees is $500. the legal ceremony is a pre-set speech, that after it's complete, we can add our own personalized vows, but there is a set a pre-set speech that is performed and it is in Spanish (with a translator included). For symbolic we can do whatever we want, we can have the resort hire someone or we can ask a friend/family. The symbolic ceremony is FREE with our package - so we're going to let the resort hire someone to perform the ceremony. Since we aren't telling our friends this is a symbolic ceremony we want it to seem as authentic as possible and asking a friend to perform the ceremony would mean we'd have to tell guests that it's a symbolic setting. The hired officiant will do the speech in English or Spanish for us - we just have to write the speech and send it at least 60 days before the wedding.
  19. TandAGetHitched

    OOT Bag

    From the album: Planning

  20. TandAGetHitched

    Oot Bags - Is This Enough?

    photo of OOT bag for reference
  21. anyone not use the free semi-private event included in the package? or better yet, not a host a formal welcome dinner? The free semi-private event is maximum 50 guests, but we have 62. So either we host the event on a different day (Wed or Sun) when fewer guests are at the resort, or we exclude people - both options feel crappy to me. So after talking with FH and MOH and a few other friends - we're deciding to scrap the semi-free event all together. Yes, it's a perk that get, but who cares. Instead, we're going to have an informal cocktail hour at one of the resort bars on Thursday evening. This lets our guests stop by if and when they want. I know this sounds 'cheap' and we should really spend more to make their travel to Mexico worthwhile, but some guests are only there for 3 days, and I feel like a jerk if I schedule dinner Thursday and the wedding is Friday, that only leaves them Saturday to enjoy their vacation and do their own thing.
  22. Why not another planning thread? We have just over 6 months to go and things are really started to fall into place, so I figured it’s about time to share our experiences and ideas and pay-it-forward like so many other planning threads have done for us! (btw – thank you to everyone who shares ideas/deals/photos – it’s all so helpful!) T&A T and I met at a post-work happy hour. I had just joined the company a few months prior and a coworker invited me to join the Friday happy hour crew. We chatted at happy hour every week for a few months, when I finally accepted his offer to take me out. That was over 5 years ago! We still work for the same company; T is an engineer and I am in marketing and we kept our relationship very quiet until we got engaged – hard to hide the ring! We adopted two fur-babies, Kona & Harley. They are the center of our worlds J Will you be my wife? T and I love to take vacations to Mexico or the Caribbean in December. We go every winter. Last October I was feeling really overwhelmed with schoolwork (working on my MBA) and work and decided to book a vacation for December. We ended up back at Iberostar Grand in Punta Cana – it is our favorite resort (highly recommend)! We flew out Thursday morning, the day after my last class for the semester. I was super annoyed that T was carrying on instead of checking his bag; he always checks so I have extra room for shoes in his bag. Anyways we arrive and enjoy your first few days at back at the resort. We ran into a friend whom we met 2 years ago the same resort! On our second night, we met friends in the lobby for a drink and after they went off for dinner, T suggested a walk on the beach before our reservation. We walked the beach every night around dinner, so it wasn’t weird. I was again annoyed because I had on wedges and didn’t really want to take them off to walk in the sand. As we approached the beach I got this gut feeling “oh sh*t, he’s going to propose!” I slide off my shoes and we walked the moonlight beach for a few moments before he stopped, dropped to one knee and asked me to be his wife! J We headed back to the lobby to get a bottle of champagne and he made a stop at restaurant to tell our friends, who actually had champagne waiting for us because T had let them in on the plans. We spent the next 6 days in paradise. We didn’t tell anyone until we got home. We got home 2 days before Christmas and would be seeing the families over the holiday – I wanted to tell them in person rather than over the phone. Both our families were over the moon excited! He picked out the ring all on his own just a few weeks before we left. He didn’t want to check a bag because the ring was in his luggage. He was super worried about losing it! It’s perfect! DW is the only option My classes were starting in early January, and we wanted to sort out a few details before my time became occupied by school and work. After talking about what was important to each of us and how we want our day to be, it was clear the only option for us was a DW. It fits perfectly with who we are. We’re in our mid-30s, so we’re paying for the shindig on our own. Our friends are all ready for an excuse to take a vacation without their kids and we’re all a bit more financially stable, so DW here we go! The Planning Process The first few months I was super anxious to get things planned. I’m a bit Type A, so the checklists, excel spreadsheets are a bit overkill, but it’s keeping my organized. School was crazy over the spring, so not much wedding planning happened. Summer was a bit more activity as I didn't have classes. We’ve been working with Javier at Lomas and so far, he’s been great, he responds in 3-5 days. Don’t expect daily responses from anyone Lomas – if you accept this early on, it helps alleviate frustrations! I've starting by breaking things down into categories so it was more manageable and less overwhelming. Travel Agent Venue Guest List Invitations / Save The Dates / Website Travel Bridal Attire Groom Attire Bridal Party Attire Rings Ceremony Cocktail Hour Reception Flowers OOT bags & gifts Photographer Pre-wedding Events Miscellaneous One thing I really struggled with was resources for DW planning. Everything I found on Pinterest, Wedding Wire, The Knot, etc didn’t seem to fit with a DW. Thanks to BDW for helping clarifying some things! Otherwise, I’m just making this up as I go. Sharing it to try to give others options and ideas. No two weddings are the same and you should do what works for you and your partner!! Stay tuned to see how the adventures of T&A continue! Travel Agent / Venue We found our wonderful travel agent, Kate’s Travel, via Google search. She’s local and I felt like I was talking to my aunt when we interviewed her. She sent over a few dozen resort options once we described our venue requirements and we ended on Azul Sensatori in Riviera Maya, Mexico. We wanted a resort with both family friend and adult’s only options and something a little more upscale. Our date was a totally random selection. My MBA graduation is end of April and I wanted to wait until I was done with school. June-August is just too hot and hurricane season. Sept-Nov seemed like too long of an engagement – so May. And we had to do early May because our nephews graduate high school in late May. Friday weddings get better perks, so we ended up on Friday, May 11, 2018. (super romantic, right?) HAHA Guest Lists / Initiations The first thing I wanted to do was setup a website. I knew there would be a lot of questions about travel, so I wanted a site they could reference not only for RSVP, but for travel tips. I tried to use a freebie, but I wasn’t able to customize how I wanted. So I bought the domain and built the site on Wordpress. I like that I can see visits and top content too! We sent STDs in late February (15 months before the wedding). We wanted to give our 170 guests plenty of time to plan and budget. I ordered these from Vistaprint – nothing super special. I knew I wanted to custom design our invitations, as I have a lot of experience in graphic design. I worked on these for months and in June, finally printed them. My mom helped me assemble and I mailed them in early July. This is where I struggled – timing! Traditional weddings are 8-10 weeks before the wedding, but our group rate expires November 1 (6 months before), and we had to have final counts to the resort 60 days before… I just couldn’t decide when to send the invites! We invited 170 guests, but many are our elderly family that we knew wouldn’t be able to make the trip. We expected 40-50 guests. I finally gave up and send the invites in July (10 months before wedding, 3.5 months before booking deadline). Turns out – this worked wonders for our guests! Many appreciated the extra time to budget and plan! I know it’s not for everyone, but I couldn’t figure out a better solution. Guests wouldn’t book without the invitation… what worked for us, may not work for everyone else. side note: I actually shared our sending timeline on wedding wire, and several brides attacked me for sending out invitations far too soon – it was bulling via an online forum! I was simply trying to share my experience for another DW bride because I really struggled with this piece. I stay here on BDW – far better sense of support here!
  23. holy crap - only 83 days to go! (79 until we depart for Mexico!). The last few weeks have FLOWN by... We have our wedding shower (couples style) in 2 weeks and I am SUPER excited for the event. my MOH and our close friend planned a great afternoon at a local brewery, which fits us perfectly! I must say, there has been very little drama around our wedding. a few folks were upset last year when we decided on a DW, but most people have gotten over that and are just generally happy for us. The FH and I haven't had any knock-down fights or disagreements. I dare say wedding planning has been OK. (I probably just jinxed myself now...) Still plenty to do on our list, but a lot of things may end up in the F*ck It Bucket because I just don't care or want to care that much about a few things... Last week I ask FH to make the biggest decision - legal or symbolic ceremony. We had been planning legal ceremony in Mexico for the last year, but now that the budget is being stretched, we realized we could save about $1000 by getting married in MN before we depart. FH always wanted a courthouse wedding, so this is a compromise... courthouse before we leave for him and a beach wedding for me so I gave him the full power to decide... and he decided to get hitched in MN before we leave. With his decision (which I fully support) I also gave him the task of getting the marriage license, finding a date/time/judge and also finding 2 witnesses who will keep the secret until 'death do us part'. Our families cannot know we got married before Mexico, they'd be heartbroken and this would cause all the drama in the world and make up for the lack of drama over the last 13 months. We'll see if FH actually get this planned, but I vowed not to step in and save the day another thing we threw in the F*ck It Bucket - a formal welcome dinner. The free semi-private event can only host 50 guests, but we have 62. So either we host the event on a different day (Wed or Sun) when fewer guests are at the resort, or we exclude people - both options feel crappy to me. So after talking with FH and MOH and a few other friends - we decided to scrap the semi-free event all together. yes, it's a perk we're going to not cash in on, but who cares. Instead, we're going to have an informal cocktail hour at one of the resort bars on Thursday evening. this lets our guests stop by if and when they want. Some guests are only there for 3 days, and I feel like a jerk if I schedule dinner Thurs and the wedding is Friday, that only leaves them Saturday to enjoy their vacation. otherwise... the planning continues, I feel like I'm missing stuff, but oh well! Travel Next on the to-do list: Book airport parking/transportation in MN (T) Ceremony Next on the to-do list: send legal documents to WC (A) Select ceremony music (T) Load music to iPod (T) Cocktail Hour Next on the to-do list: Load music to iPod (T) Find a friend to play DJ at cocktail (T) Reception Next on the to-do list: Finish painting centerpieces (A) Entrance music (T) First dance music (T) Welcome toast (T&A) Send song list to professional DJ (A) Flowers Next on the to-do list: NOTHING Bridal Attire Next on the to-do list: Alterations appointments - scheduled (A) Find shoes and accessories (A) Groom's Attire Next on the to-do list: Find new white shirt (T) Find FH's wedding band (T&A) MOH Attire Next on the to-do list: NOTHING BM's Attire Next on the to-do list: Find new white shirt (T) Photographer Next on the to-do list: Finalize shot list (A) Finalize day of schedules (A) OOT Bags & Gifts Next on the to-do list: Order last items (bags) (A) setup mock-up (A) create brochure / welcome letter(A) finish bridal party gifts (A) finish MOB gift (A) finish MOG gift (A) Pack items (A) Pre-Events Next on the to-do list: Couples Shower in March (A) Bachelorette party in April (A) find outfits for shower & bachelorette (A) find hostess gifts (A) invite all guests to informal cocktail hour on Thursday (T) Misc Next on the to-do list: prepare tip and vendor envelopes (T) send pre-travel email to guests (A) book pre-travel beauty appointments (A) find a few new outfits / bathing suits (A) request mail hold (T) order groceries to be delivered when we get home (A) book pre-travel hair appointment (T)
  24. hi friends! I'm looking for some feedback / ideas on our centerpiece mock-ups.... A few ideas/comments: I'm planning to frost the bottles, so it's a little softer we have 8 tables and my initial thought is to do a different flower arrangement for each table Plan to use the silk flowers to help keep costs down yes, the vase is a small patron/tequila bottle do the flowers/vase add to the centerpiece or do they distract? Are the flowers needed or does the bottle on it's own look ok? FI likes the first and last photo the best... Thoughts? feedback? love em? hate em?