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Vikki's Planning Thread

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Well, I’m technically writing this on the airplane and will post when we get home. This last week was a bit hectic and I just couldn’t find the time to get it done. I have to say thank you to founders and members of BDW for this awesome resource. I’ve had much more fun with getting ready than I ever would have without the ladies here!

Just a warning-I tend to be a bit too detailed in descriptions so continue at your own risk!


How we met:

Brandon and I met about 4 years ago when we both played an MMORPG. We were gaming buddies for a few years and then a group of us decided to have a group party. We flew in from around the US and had a great time.. One thing led to another and in early 2007 Brandon packed up and moved out to Boise. In March of this year he decided to make it official and asked me to start giving him hints about what kind of ring I might like.

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Why a Destination Wedding?

Since I can remember my dream of the perfect wedding has involved being barefoot on a beach. I didn't have the desire to go plan and organize a large wedding and so the private beach ceremony was perfect for us. We chose Jamaica for a couple reasons. First, Brandon had been there before and loved it. Second, at the time we were booking there was quite a bit of negative press around Mexico, the other potential location, and I wanted our parents to feel comfortable.


The Venue:

We’re having the wedding at Couples Sans Souci in Ocho Rios Jamaica. I chose the resort before joining the forums and there were a few moments of doubt after seeing the other options in Jamaica but for the small wedding party I have it will be perfect. Couples is a small, all-inclusive, adult only resort chain with 4 locations in Jamaica. I relied heavily on a message board provided by couples when I chose Sans Souci for the location. (Couples Main Message Board - Couples Resorts Message Board) I was looking for a more secluded, quiet experience. Our wedding won’t be completely private but compared to other options I think the location will suit us just fine. During the peak season they hold multiple weddings per day but in the off-season there are very few. There was one other wedding scheduled for my date and the bride and I have been in contact for the last several months as the date gets closer. It’s been fun to have a “date twin”!


The Guests:

Wanting to keep the list to a bare minimum I only invited our parents but shortly after booking I lost my grandfather and the resulting time with family made me decide I wanted to share the wedding with more of the family. We invited our siblings and will be holding a reception in January so more extended family can celebrate with us as well. Only my sister and her husband were able to come so our party grew from 6 to 8 with the majority of our friends and relatives attending the January event.

The Details:



We found my ring at a small jewelry store that was going out of business. I had actually stopped in to check out what they had and fell in love with the ring. It has an offset diamond and I hadn’t seen anything like it in our other shopping trips. I dropped some not so subtle hints and left the rest up to B.

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My wedding band is a plain white gold band. I will not be attaching it because I don’t want to have to take off both rings for my active lifestyle.

Brandon’s ring we got at another small jeweler. We had looked and looked with no luck and just stopped by one day and there it was.

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The Dress:

I found a dress online that I initially absolutely loved! It was perfect for a destination wedding. The only size in stock was a 16 (I’m a 10) so I ordered it on a special program that I could send it back for a fee if it wasn’t alterable. I was running out of time to wait the 3 months it would take to have one made in my size if I didn’t like the dress. It came, the alterations shop said they could accommodate and I kept it. Somehow I just didn’t feel like a bride in the dress and kept going back to a more traditional dress style. Finally I bought one. It's a Maggie Sottero "Veronica" I was able to re-sell the first dress for close to what I paid for it so it worked out ok.

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I went with some pretty traditional items for the old, new ,borrowed and blue. A bracelet given to me by my mother that belonged to my grandmother is my something old. My dress is new, grandmother’s pearls are borrowed and my barefoot sandals and garter have blue.

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The Ceremony:

My parents will both be walking me down the isle and my sister will hand us our rings. The resort has standard vows but allows us to write a short exchange as well. We will have an empty chair to symbolize the loved ones that are not longer able to join us.




Misha Earle - Misha Earle Photography

I chose my wedding photographer before I joined BDW based on recommendations from the Couples Message Board but I still think she’s the perfect choice. The cost was right and she worked out an arrangement with us to accommodate our TTD session the next day.



O2 Photography - O2 Photography - Fine Art Wedding, Senior & Family Photography!

I’m going to detour from my post for a quick (or not so quick) rant…….

After reading many posts and looking at beautiful pictures posted by other BDW brides I decided to do a Boudoir (BD) photo book. I chose the photographer Jennifer Oats of O2 Photography randomly from our area. I initially liked her personality and pictures although I didn’t see any of her BD work in advance her other photos were good. The photo shoot went ok, I felt a little rushed and we actually had to do a second session so she could go to another engagement she had scheduled. She didn’t get a good image of my “white” bridal corset outfit so that was frustrating. She also used a lot of standing, full body shots rather than soft close ups. I initiated a few poses I could remember liking from other pictures I’d seen and those ended up being some of my favorite pictures.

The next fiasco came when it was time to order the book. The photo selection process took place with her business partner and there was a lot of miscommunication about the pricing and album size I picked out. He told me one thing and didn’t tell her so she assumed we were doing something completely different. We finally figured that out and she put up the sample album for me but I just didn’t like the layout. It felt like a high school year book to me. I was really frustrated and so I decided to do it myself. We ended up keeping one page of her layout and designed the rest ourselves. Fortunately Brandon is very knowledgeable in the software required to build the necessary templates for the book so together we spent time and built the design. While the surprise was ruined it was so much fun to work closely with him to create a book we both were in love with! The book showed up 5 days ago (right against the wire!) and so even though it’s not a surprise he’ll still love it.

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((Quick note-I don’t blame the photographer for my dissatisfaction with some of the process. Her photos were spectacular and it was my problem for not doing more homework, and being more clear with my expectations. I do think that she and her partner could have a more organized method of working with clients that would have helped with many of the communication breakdowns during the photo selection and pricing process.))

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DIY Projects:


OOT Bags and travel packets


Brandon designed a logo for us and we ordered canvas bags, T-shirts and stickers from zazzle.com. We put a few other items in the bags as well. We didn’t do save the dates or formal invites because our group was so small….and I’m not a really creative person. We did send out travel packets to our guests with resort information, travel reminders and Brandon’s satirical guide to airline travel, complete with obscure references. (attached at the end!)


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Ceremony Decorations

My mom was a huge help with the wedding decorations and spent hours helping with details.

The resort offered a standard wedding package but once I got a look at the ceremony location I knew it wasn’t going to work for me. The cost to upgrade started at $300 and I wanted to try and keep it simple and way under that cost. So we made our own bamboo tripods draped with our colors. My mom helped me sew matching chair ties as well. Our cost came in around $150 and included decorations for not only the ceremony but our small reception as well. I also hung starfish on fishing line (that belonged to my grandfather ) and strung that with the organza.

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Additional d̩cor Рvotive candle holders in the wedding colors, beads dyed to match wedding colors and scattered flowers/starfish around the ceremony location and reception.

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I decided not to spend additional money on upgrading the cake. We are going with the complimentary cake and champagne. We were initially going to design and have a cake topper made from our MMORPG characters from the online game we played when we met. But there wasn’t a way to do it around copyright restrictions so we scrapped that and instead found this awesome cake topper that represents another of our favorite activities-hiking.

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I’m going to upgrade the standard bouquet offered at the resort. I spent some time trying to decide what I wanted and customize flowers but it was going to be really expensive so I will just stick with the resort offering on this one.


Bridal Shower/Bachelor Party


My mom arranged a bridal shower for me at a local tea house. I originally did not want a shower but ended up enjoying myself. Two of my aunts were able to join us and my other aunt called earlier in the day to wish her congratulations.


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Some of my cool goodies from my shower.


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The same day as my shower Brandon had his bachelor party. It was a pretty standard event and as expected he arrived home at some point in the early morning the next day with little memory for what happened and a horrible hangover. We heard from his friends later that he had a great time 

And so that’s it I guess. There are so many more pictures and details but it just gets too long to try and get it all together.

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Here is the travel book we used.


I borrowed most of the resort info from another BDW bride that was married at Couples Swept Away :-) ErinB I thinkhuh.gif


Brandon's rant about air travel is my favorite part though :-)



Travel Booklet.doc

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Great planning thread Vikki! I love.gif your dress, gorgeous!


I also LOOOOVE the fact that you two met playing WoW haha, DH and I played Final Fantasy XI together (not how we met though, we met in high school) for a few years and met a lot of folks in that community who had met on the game and got together in real life. It's amazing the way love will find you sometimes.


Congrats to you and your hubby!! Can't wait to see the pics!

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woohoo! Tell me you totally love your kitchen aid mixer! The brownie recipe that it comes with it is tops!


Your details and everything look wonderful and the way you and your hubby met is the same way my sister and her husband fell in love. Too cute. Can't wait to read your review.

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