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What I would do again, What I would change

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    Posted 14 December 2006 - 03:05 AM

    I want to get this down before I forget!!!!

    Ladies - here is a very practical guide with tips that no one shared with me but I would have loved to have known...

    What I would do the same:

    1) Drink a ton of water starting two weeks before the wedding. I flooded myself (and I didn't drink coffee), but I had the best skin I've had in years!

    2) Do a trial hair and makeup. Actually, I did two. I did one on a site visit and another the Thursday before the wedding with a different vendor. What I learned: how to communicate, that I needed to bring better pictures the second time, to INSIST that each pin that hurt be removed as soon as I noticed it, and that my makeup looked like a lot until I was photographed and then it looked perfect. I also felt more relaxed - for some reason I was stressing about my hair which is really unlike me.

    3) I loved Shawn's suit being dark. It photographed SO well next to my white dress. The contrast looks great and HE looks great.

    4) I also loved Shawn's single fuchsia gerber daisy. Every time I look at our photos it reminds me of a bright, sunny, smiley face - it actually makes me smile.

    5) Speaking of flowers - I loved having gerber daisies. They were inexpensive, very pretty, simple, and really easy to get in Cabo.

    6) Keeping my coordinators and family up to date with my wedding powerpoint. It was full of pictures of what I wanted things to look like so my coordinators always knew what I was going for. I swear I will figure out how to get that posted.

    7) Using Maye - she was great across the board and she really relieved a lot of work form my shoulders.

    Having the fire dancers - it really made the wedding special and it was such a different experience for the guests!

    9) Having the fireworks - we will always remember that we had fireworks at the wedding. Some budget tips - we did 2 minutes but we could have done 1 (cut the price in half). If fireworks are out of budget - get sparklers and have all your guests gather round for a really awesome picture.

    10) Smores at the rehearsal dinner. We did it for the kids, but the majority of the roasters around the fire pit were adults (guys - go figure)

    11) Being barefoot when I got married! I loved being in Cabo, I loved being on the sand (we live near the ocean), and I really felt so grounded while I was standing there looking up into my husbands eyes while we got married.

    12) Turning over the OOT bag ENTIRELY to my sister in law. She's more creative than me - but it also really saved me a huge amount of stress.. Oh - and speaking of OOT bags...

    13) Paying the cart guys at the airport to clear all the boxes through customs that my sister in law brought. It was $50 and it was well worth it! She had 11 boxes - they would have been searched for sure. Maybe it wouldn't have resulted in anything, but why make anyone suffer the hassle.

    14) Sending an e-vite with the wedding details 5 months before the wedding and following up with every person to see if they were confirmed and if they booked their flight. Everyone had booked their room with the hotel by July which helped us make sure we had the right number of rooms blocked. PLUS - our guests saved money on their flight and we were able to weed out the people who we knew wouldn't have come but they kept saying they were going to or were going to try. Finally - NO STDs to pay for!

    15) Hosted a spa day at the Hilton -they were phenomenal and our guests TOTALLY enjoyed themselves.

    16) Paid per drink not per hour. We saved a lot of money this way. It was really nerve racking making this decision. Note - many of our guests drank so much at the pool before our rehearsal dinner that our alcohol tab was rediculously low that night.

    What I would have changed

    1) I would have done fewer flowers. The property was already beautiful. There were so many little extras that I didn't need to have - it was just wasted money.

    2) You're all going to think I'm nuts, but I probably wouldn't have done a bridal bouquet. I had it in my hands for 5 minutes and it really didn't add much. I'm not very traditional, though.

    3) I might have tried to convince my bridesmaids to go less formal and not do full length gowns - but, they liked the dress and they had to wear it, so...

    4) Had the hem of my dress done barefoot. We did it the traditional way (with shoes), but I spent so much time on the sand barefoot that it would have been better (and easier for me to walk) if it was hemmed shorter.

    5) Decided right off the bat that we weren't getting "married" in Cabo. We held off until we were actually there to finally call it and cancel the judge and translator. I think we both knew that it would be better if we didn't, but we were trying to preserve some romantic notion. We were SO wrong. I actually loved that we got married at the courthouse (by ourselves) the Monday after we got back. It was so much fun I was giggling through the whole "ceremony" and it makes a great inside joke for us! There is absolutely NO doubt for either of us what our real wedding date is.

    6) Not got sick! Well, not much I could do about that, but I was a bit bummed and so was my husband. Tip - there are pharmacies that deliver to your hotel.

    7) Done my transportation based on the number of guests. We paid for everyone to go to San Jose for dinner one night, but I messed up and went from a bid recommendation of the number of vans rather than requiring them to tell me the specific number of seats per van. We had people CRAMMED into our vans and even then we had people who had to drive. DANGEROUS.

    Not had the nanny - OK, this was only $80, but we had a lot of kids so I thought that by having a nanny the parents could stay longer and party. No one used the nanny. They worked it out for themselves and the kids were there late anyway. The nanny looked so bored.

    9) Told my guests that if they thought they MIGHT want a rental car they probably DID want a rental car and they should plan for it. REALLY ANNOYING that I had 6 guests ask me if I would take them to the airport so they could pick up a rental car on day two or day three of our stay. Tip - we found a rental car that, if you ordered online, would deliver it to your hotel and it was a lot cheaper than renting a car via the conceirge.

    OK - hope this helps!
    Shawn and NatashaHappily MarriedNovember 11, 2006

    #2 Jackie

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      Posted 14 December 2006 - 08:54 AM

      I love your list. I wasnt planning on Ryan wearing a flower on his suit but now I think I will have him wear one. Thanks! And the sparklers are a really cute idea too.
      My Dreams Cabo Wedding Review

      #3 TammyB

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        Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:24 AM

        Great advice Natasha, I think a list like this would help all future brides. I'll try to remember to do on after our wedding too. Maybe if enough people see the same things over and over that it will help save some money.

        #4 -Kate-

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          Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:49 AM

          Great info Natasha! It's all so helpful bc it's stuff I never thought of - like the dark suit tip.

          #5 Janet

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            Posted 14 December 2006 - 10:54 AM

            Great list! I'd like to second the rental car thing -- just tell your guests to rent a car!!!!!!!!!! It's worth the $$, and then you (the bride) don't have to be an amateur Cabo taxi driver!

            #6 TammyB

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              Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:05 AM

              OK did you guys rent a car in Cabo for your wedding? We weren't planning on it because it's such a PITA driving every where

              #7 LCBride2007


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                Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:32 AM

                Awesome tips, Natasha! You married gals have been so helpful to us!

                #8 Alisarosenbaum

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                  Posted 14 December 2006 - 11:38 AM

                  This is so great. i am going to listen to your tips!! No one better to tell you what you should do than someone who has gone through it!!

                  #9 Janet

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                    Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:09 PM

                    Originally Posted by TAMMYM
                    OK did you guys rent a car in Cabo for your wedding? We weren't planning on it because it's such a PITA driving every where
                    We rented a car and I thought it was so much easier because you can be self-sufficient. No haggling over cabs, no shuttles, no nothing. I guess I didn't find driving in Cabo to be that bad at all. (Well CSL is kinda bad, but SJdC and the corridor aren't...at least in my opinion)

                    #10 *JillD*

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                      Posted 14 December 2006 - 12:55 PM

                      Great tips Natasha, thanks for sharing!

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