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It's Time... warning, long and pic heavy ~ Amarillis' (Amy's) Planning Thread!


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#1 Amarillis

Amarillis
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    Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:20 PM

    Wow, I cannot believe it is actually time to post my planning thread, based on Alyssa’s advice, I started this some time ago, and have been working on it slowly, so much so - it is 15 pages in a word document.
    WOW… believe me, I am not trying to set a record – only that I took this process very seriously, as I feel this is the only way to thank so many of you for your advice, time, and patience throughout my planning process.

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Dating Began:
    End of December 2005 - We fell in love on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean – on a couple of trips to the Dominican and to Cuba:
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    Engagement:
    November 8, 2007 – in Montreal, Quebec

    Engagement Photos:
    December 2007 – in Chutes Provincial Park, Massey Ontario – (photos were taken by the same photographer who will shoot our wedding in Cuba).
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    Click the image to open in full size.

    The Decision to have a Destination Wedding:
    This was relatively easy, over the course of several trips to the Caribbean – we knew that a wedding on the beach was absolutely US! The decision for Cuba was really easy - after spending two weeks there in 2007 we decided that this was the ideal location to bring our families; the Cuban culture is second only to our own – the people, the atmosphere, and the beaches are amazing. The streets of Varadero are incredibly clean, safe and fun – we couldn’t have imagined having our wedding anywhere else.

    Research Trip:
    In February of 2007 we embarked on a research trip to ensure that our choice for a resort would be a great one. After visiting several ~ Melia Las Antillas, Barcelo Marina Palace, Sirenas Las Salinas, and Iberostar Varadero – we had decided on Melia Las Antillas. We chose this property as it is stunning, the wedding coordinator was fantastic, and we could completely envision having the day of our wedding at this property.

    Fast-forward to late March 2008 – Melia Las Antillas announces that they will be an adults only property in 2009.

    In Early April, we referred back to our notes from our site visit, and chose the Barcelo Marina Palace. We chose the Barcelo Marina Palace over the other previously mentioned properties for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is a stunning resort – in our initial notes from our research trip we noted that it was really fancy, marble everywhere… the rooms were all mini-suites and they were incredibly clean and stunning. When we visited there, the wedding coordinator offered us a table at the buffet for lunch – the food was incredible! My notes from the site visit read “Mmm crab legs for lunch” . Aside from being a stunning property, we really liked that they don’t do multiple weddings in a day – and thus, more attention is paid to YOUR wedding – as it should be.

    At the end of the day, the research trip was the most important planning piece for us in choosing to have a destination wedding, as it provided us with confidence that we were choosing the right property, with the right staff, to have the wedding of our dreams, and to provide our guests with the vacation of a lifetime.

    WED-SITE!
    Shortly after our research trip, we began piecing together our wed-site. This has proven to be very successful for both us and everyone joining us on our destination wedding. We were able to share our story with our guests, share travel information - including where we are going, how to join us, and by continually updating the site we kept everyone in the loop. Including any changes to our plans….
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    This photo accompanied the boarding pass.

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    #2 Amarillis

    Amarillis
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      Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

      [b]Invites!!![b]
      In continuing with our travel theme, our aforementioned dear friends created the perfect passport invitation – we have received so many compliments – as many of our family and friends have never seen the passport concept – they turned out fantastically. We sent out around 150 of them, all of the invites were labelled using clear labels for the address and return.

      Front and Back Cover:
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      Inside Cover and Page One:
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      Second Page and Signing Page: in keeping with the traditional passport layout, and the signing line – we hand signed all of the passports on the signature page.
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      Fourth and Fifth Page: we wanted to provide a ‘disclaimer’ to those that can’t be with us on our big day. Click the image to open in full size.

      Sixth and Seventh Page: allowed for travellers to make notes when they booked their travels to Cuba.
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      Eighth Page and the Back Cover:
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      Postage
      Ok, so this seems a little crazy – but I really prided myself on not using the queen in any of my wedding mail outs. I purchased literally hundreds of the Canada Post issued peonies stamps… Little details like this really mattered to me.
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      #3 Amarillis

      Amarillis
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        Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:21 PM

        My Dress! & Accessories!!!!
        After searching in many stores – I found the dress of my dreams at ‘the dressroom’ – located on the Danforth, in Toronto Ontario. The service there was fantastic – although I did not get the dress altered there. The dress was reasonably priced, but it is a designer I have never heard of – Jayne Louis. As I understand from Google-ing the designer, this designer is ‘in house’ for Becker’s Bridal and The Dressroom. Having a designer gown was not important to me, the criteria for the dress were as follows: 1. Corset back
        2. No train
        3. Some amount of ‘bling’
        4. I wanted to feel like a bride!

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        I also purchased the veil as seen in the pictures from The Dressroom – it is so pretty and light, covered in little Swarovski crystals. I just love it.

        When I picked up my gorgeous gown I picked out my tiara – because in my opinion a bride needs to be a princess… furthermore – when am I ever going to have the opportunity to wear a tiara?

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        At my bridal shower my mom gave me a garter to wear for the wedding, I was not planning on wearing one, so this will double as the toss garter at the reception.
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        #4 Amarillis

        Amarillis
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          Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:22 PM

          Alterations

          My dress was altered with Gisele Bouthillier in Sudbury Ontario – I chose her as my seamstress because of her reputation in the area as being ‘the best’ she was NOT frugal in my opinion, but my dress required major alterations from its original purchase as a size 12 down to about an 8 (according to Gisele). For a short period of time I debated cutting the train off and simply having it bustled – I really think the only reason I even thought of that was to save a bit of money….

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          You can see how big it was at my first fitting:
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          Needless to say the train will be removed. I just don’t feel like a train is meant for a destination wedding, but rather for church weddings.


          Shoes ~ as you can see – my ‘something blue’ is my shoes!!!!

          I found these shoes at Winners in Toronto while cruising around with my sister one afternoon – before I’d even found my dress – I knew I wanted flip flops –and they had to be blue…. $12 – how can I go wrong?

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          They are decorated with blue sea shells to make the shape of flowers – but in the centre of each there is a little rhinestone for extra bling!

          I knew I needed a second pair of shoes to ensure that I could dance the night away – I found this fantastic pair at Le Chateau – for a mere $65 – again, SCORE!
          Click the image to open in full size.

          #5 Amarillis

          Amarillis
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            Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:22 PM

            FLOWERS


            The amazing Laura, from Bridal Blooms by Laura – located in the GTA - created the most gorgeous real touch flowers for our wedding! She was a dream to work with. I decided early on that I wanted Floramatique flowers for my DW. I decided this based on the fact that when we are there, it will be Cuba's winter, and I was not comfortable with rolling the dice on this one - as wedding flowers have such a presence in pictures - my thought - I spent $X on a dress, $X to get there, $X to bring my own photographer... etc etc... the pictures HAVE to look good.

            MY BOUQUET
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            Click the image to open in full size.


            BRIDESMAID BOUQUETS
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            BOUTIONNIERES
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            WRIST CORSAGES
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            #6 Amarillis

            Amarillis
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              Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

              Hair Trial
              Here is my theory on hair trial - for a DW - I (along with advice from some close girlfriends) decided that I needed a ''wedding day hair manager'' - this manager could not be a member of my family or wedding party. I asked my dear friend Kara to fill this role, and she graciously obliged.

              Kara and I went for my hair trial and she took a total of 60 photos – all of which are being printed at the local photo shop. On the day of the wedding Kara will join me in the salon and observe and ‘manage’ my hair – the idea is that it turns out the same as it was on the day of the trial!

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              #7 Amarillis

              Amarillis
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                Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

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                #8 Amarillis

                Amarillis
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                  Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:23 PM

                  Rings

                  My engagement ring is from Ben Moss Jewellers – it was secretly purchased about 3 weeks before the proposal – and during that time was held on to by my future mother in law. I absolutely LOVE it, it is so me – I don’t think I could have picked out a better ring myself – the best part – it is made of Canadian diamonds. :)

                  Click the image to open in full size.


                  My engagement ring did not have a matching band available though the store – in the end the rings were custom made by Robert Brown Jewellers in Sudbury – we are thrilled with the results!
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                  Click the image to open in full size.
                  Click the image to open in full size.

                  Bridesmaids

                  So… the quest for the perfect bridesmaid dress lasted longer than the quest for my dress… after having 2 bridesmaid dresses – and completely changing the colour scheme of our wedding, we have the PERFECT dresses. They were found at J. Crew and are the perfect shade of ‘light flamingo’ or…. Pink!

                  Dress for Maid of Honour
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                  Dress for Bridesmaid
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                  Dresses upon arrival in my disaster office!
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                  Click the image to open in full size.

                  #9 Amarillis

                  Amarillis
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                    Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:24 PM

                    Bridesmaid Gifts!
                    Being that I only have two bridesmaids – I kind of splurged on them. I purchased their silver sandals for the beach wedding they look like this!

                    Click the image to open in full size.

                    Then for all of their efforts they are getting matching Frank Gehry Orchid Pendants, from Tiffany’s, I can’t wait to see the look on their faces when I give them their little blue bags. I plan to give them to them on the morning of the wedding.

                    Click the image to open in full size.


                    Grooms & Groomsman Attire
                    We bought all matching guayaberas from – Old Navy – yep… Old Navy - $30 per shirt we bought all of the groomsman matching ones! They look really sharp.

                    Groom will be wearing a powder grey suit with his crisp white guayabera. We bought the suit from Moore’s it is Alfred Sung.

                    The groomsmen will not be wearing the suit jackets, and will sport a darker grey pant with the same guayabera as the groom.

                    I would have pictures but the groom wouldn’t put his suit on!

                    Grooms Gift

                    I entered a contest in May of 2008 for boudoir photos from Lisa Mark Photography.

                    Dear Lisa,

                    I am a member of the frugal bride board and noticed your contest. I would like to be considered as a contestant for your first contest.
                    I grew up in the small rural town, as a child I played piano, and in my teenage years I played the saxophone in the high school band, but I always had dreams of the big city. Upon graduation from high school, I attended University in a city about 40 mins from where I grew up. After graduation returned back to my home town for as an accountant. Not quite the big city dream.
                    In 2006 I was reintroduced to Chad through mutual friends at a party. I call this a reintroduction because Chad didn’t recognize me; I recognized him. We knew each other in high school but had had very different circles of friends. I was a chubby band geek and he was a typical hockey jock. We actually went to senior prom together, but with different dates.
                    It wasn’t long after meeting each other that our whirlwind romance began. For our fifth date, on less than 24 hours notice, Chad whisked me away to the Dominican Republic. It was on this vacation that I let my hair down, and for the first time wore a bikini… really. I actually had my little sister pick it out for me the day before we decided to leave.
                    In my community, everyone knows everyone else and all of their business. Being conservative is expected, and especially expected of me in my work role and in my past history. There are no services like this in my area, so even if I was brave enough to have boudoir pictures done, there are no photographers providing this service.
                    I am conservative and always worried about my appearance, my fianc© Chad would never in a million years expect anything like boudoir pictures – this would be the ultimate surprise! Paired perfectly with the ultimate surprise would be the location of the shoot – seeing that the location needs to be in the GTA, I would love to rent a salon or a suite at the fabulous Cosmopolitan Hotel in Toronto as the location, which would offer the opportunity for a big city dream to come true.
                    I have attached some photographs of myself in hopes that you may choose me to be your profiled boudoir shoot.
                    Thanks for considering me,
                    Amy
                    aka: Amarillis


                    Needless to say I WON!!!

                    My photo shoot was fantastic, Lisa is a true artist – I have never in my life felt as gorgeous and comfortable around complete strangers. The incredible Tania Beattie of Brides etc. was on site providing hair and makeup!

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                    Here are a few tame pages from the book:
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                    Chad’s birthday is the day before our wedding. For his birthday I am giving him a key on the keychain detailed on the cover.

                    On our wedding day, a ‘messenger’ will deliver a custom made (by my dad) wooden locked box. Chad will have the key for it’s opening. This is one aspect of the day I CAN’T wait for… I have been holding this secret since June 2008!!!!!

                    #10 Amarillis

                    Amarillis
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                      Posted 20 January 2009 - 01:25 PM

                      Groomsman Gifts!
                      In an attempt at the practical and being from Northern Ontario our groomsman will each get a matching Leatherman utility knife - It isn’t from Tiffany’s but it is practical! The groomsmen will be receiving this at our pre-Cuba strategy party on January 10, 2009. They will receive this in advance as we aren’t going to risk packing this in our suitcases!

                      Click the image to open in full size.

                      Bonbonetti Gift Bags

                      This was a big undertaking. The contents of these bags changed from our initial idea, due to the simple fact that our group became SO Big… Doing traditional OOT bags became out of the question.

                      SO…

                      We ordered custom mugs from 4imprint.ca for all of our guests, as this is one item we never travel without, especially to an all-inclusive.

                      LOGO
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                      MOCKUP
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                      FINISHED PRODUCT
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                      To add to the bonbonetti bags we put together complete information packages, all of the info included is under the DIY section of this post… here is the mess I made while putting together all the packages!

                      BOX OF HIGH GLOSS WHITE FOLDERS
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                      CONTENTS OF PRINT PRODUCT INSIDE WHITE FOLDERS
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                      FRONT COVER OF WHITE FOLDER
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                      ROWS OF BONBONETTI BAGS ON MY SPARE BED
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