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What I would and wouldn't do again...

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Originally Posted by Opice34 View Post
Tobi - you and FI make such a cute couple! The pic in your sig is adorable!!
How sweet are you!?! Thank you so much opicemsnwink.gif

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This thread has been so helpful. Thank you for the input.


I am glad I decided on a regular white evening dress that was not meant to be a wedding dress and I plan to wear it again in the future.


I am planning to use an Ipod or CDs for the reception during a yacht cruise. They have speakers on the boat and since I doubt there will be serious dancing on the boat...it will mainly be non-dance music and love songs. We plan to book a private VIP room at a club on the strip so we can hear the music from the club so that will be the dance time. It is nice to hear theat the Ipod music went over well.


I did over the top invites also so it is good to hear that people are glad they did them....I feel like they are keepsakes with all the intricate details....I think guests will appreciate them...well the women will be sentimental about them anyway :) Men will likely toss them afterwards :)


Thanks for the note about chair ties...I was considering using the chairs as is...maybe I should by some off of ebay for cheap to dress them up more.


I agree with everyone on the cake. I am not getting a large one just something simple because I want it and the groom is excited about it also. Every wedding I have been to people hardly ate the cake or so much was left over. I am having 40-50 people but plan to tell the cake maker to make it for fewer people.


I am still undecided on the video so would love to hear more about this. I have seen an edited wedding video of friends and it is cute but I am not sure if I want to pay for that. If I did it would just be for the ceremony. There are many who can't attend so maybe it would be nice to have for a party back home. We also thought we could use the money to just buy our own video camera and have my brother or others just video tape it and then we have our own camcorder for the honeymoon and future special moments like taping our first kid! I don't want to regret not having a nice edited video set to music though....hmmm.

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What I would do again...

- get married at the Riu Ocho Rios...perfect for our guests and for us

- arrive 6 days early to give myself time to get ready and to really hang out with all of my guests

- OOT bags...not everything was used, but my guests really appreciated them

- hired a DJ...dancing at the reception was so fun and I'm glad the music was somebody else's job!

- have my BMs use parasols instead of spending tons of money on flowers

- photoshare site for my guests pictures

- asked a friend to oversee the reception set-up so I wouldn't be stressing

- spend the wedding day with my BMs in my room relaxing

- became a two dress bride (even though I felt like a crazy girl buying the second one, it was so worth it)

- sent out travel brochures so my guests knew what to expect

- skipped the videographer


What I wouldn't do again...

- pay for an upgraded cake (it never got cut and no one even noticed)

- bought so much for the OOT bags and reception decorations (I ended up leaving some stuff at home b/c I just couldn't carry it all down there)

- rush the photographer (I didn't get too many pictures because I didn't take the time for them)

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- Buy a bridesmaidâ€s dress in ivory instead of a dress from the bridal section. I didnâ€t want a huge dress anyways so this was perfect for me. Buying a bridesmaidâ€s dress saved me so much money. I loved my dress and am so glad I didnâ€t spend a fortune on it because really, it was just one day and now itâ€s going into a box. Plus it only cost $45 to get it drycleaned as opposed to the $200+ for traditional wedding gowns.


- Have a friend officiate the ceremony. First of all, it was much more special to have someone we love marry us. Also, I didnâ€t have to worry about the officiant messing anything up or adding something I didnâ€t want. I put together the ceremony script.


- Have a symbolic ceremony instead of a legal one. We didnâ€t want to go through the hassle of the blood test and translations and also didnâ€t want to be there for 4 business days in advance.


- Got married the third day we were there so we would have less time to stress and more time to relax. We got there on a Sunday afternoon, relaxed that day, did wedding stuff all Monday, got married on Tuesday and then relaxed the rest of the week.


- Did some pictures before the ceremony. We spent an hour in the town getting our pictures done with our photographer and not only was it a lot of fun, but it definitely relaxed us before the ceremony. We also brought along our own assistant (best man) to carry some of our props, water to hydrate, towel for sweat, and lip gloss for touch up.


- Stay at the Gran Porto Real. We chose this hotel because it is right off of 5th ave and as we figured, our guests loved being able to get out to walk and shop whenever they wanted to. There were always different activities going on at 5th ave, like live bands etc, and our guests really enjoyed that. Some folks werenâ€t exactly beach people so this option was perfect for everybody.


- For the reception, instead of DJ, we brought a laptop with our dancing songs on it. This hooked up to the hotelâ€s speaker system. Our guests were able to go up and choose songs.


- Delegate tasks. Got my sister to be in charge of the ceremony events and a friend to be in charge of the reception events. I didnâ€t have to worry about a thing the day of because I knew someone else was in charge of it.


- Did a ceremony rehearsal the night before. I really didnâ€t think I needed one since we just had a MOH and best man, but it definitely saved our butts the day of.


- Have some guests go around with the video camera after the ceremony when we were all mingling. It was great to see some of the parts I missed while mingling with other people. It was also great to see us giving hugs and kisses to our friends and family afterwards. It was all a blur in my mind and made me smile to see it after.


- Got a photographer who brought an assistant.


- Wrote out a photography shot list of the different groups of people that we wanted pictures with. Saved a lot of time and ensured that we got all the pictures with all the different people we wanted.

What I would do differently:


- Stay for at least 10 days if not a little more. We only stayed for 7 nights and didnâ€t end up spending that much time together alone because of all the family and friends we wanted to spend time with also. We had 36 guests. His family is from the East and we hardly get to see them so we wanted to spend as much time as possible with them. We ended up only spending one afternoon alone together the entire trip. Because we spent a year travelling together last year, we didnâ€t think we needed a ‘honeymoonâ€, but in the end it would have been nice to have more alone time together. Instead we will do a little weekend getaway in the next few weeks.


- Get a smaller cake. Not everyone ate it because we didnâ€t do an official cake cutting (just a pose with the photographer was all we wanted). We had dessert so everyone was pretty full after that so we didnâ€t get the cake served until later on when people were up and about dancing and mingling. Iâ€m glad we got a cake, but I would have gotten a smaller one.


- If you want a nice video, get a videographer. This was not important to us, so we didnâ€t get one, but 3 of our guests happened to videotape the ceremony. I watched two of them, and the quality isnâ€t that great. In one of them, we were too dark so you couldnâ€t really see our faces that much. In the other, you could see us fine, but when the wind was blowing, you couldnâ€t hear the words. Again, video was not important to us, so not a big deal, but just FYI in case you do want a nice video, definitely get a videographer. And if you do get a videographer, ideally you should get one that works with your photographer so that they donâ€t get in the way of eachother. I watched a few weddings where that was the case. You don't want to sacrifice any good photo shots, at least for me anyways.

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Would do again:


-Spend the morning of the wedding with my husband. It was a very special time for us and we wanted to spend as much as possible of our honeymoon together.

-Have the hand ceremony read. It was perfect and made the day our own. My grandpa read it and was so honored to be a part of the ceremony. Also, we got some amazing pictures from this.

-Bring our own IPod and speakers. We almost enjoyed them more in our suite than we did at the dance, and the sound was amazing. We invested in the Bose portable sound system right before we left ($399) rather than spending $250 to rent the hotelâ€s speakers.

-Photographer Vanessa Vargas. Amazing. I highly recommend her.

-My bouquet. It wasnâ€t at all what it looked like on the website, but I just wanted tropical flowers and thatâ€s what I got. We also loved the hanging flower arrangements on the gazebo. They took them to the dinner and then to the reception so we had decorations at all 3 places. We took them to our rooms that night (and gave some to both of our parents) and enjoyed them the rest of the week.

-Get legally married before we left for Mexico.

-OOT bags. We would have adjusted a few things, but overall they were a hit.

-Direct flight to Cancun.

-Not have attendants. No one felt slighted this way and everyone was able to relax and watch the wedding (and wear what they wanted).

-Not have a wedding cake. We had a dessert reception and ended up picking something to feed each other once we were there for the pictures. You couldnâ€t tell the difference and the fruit tart was easier to pick up.

-Photoshare website. The pics uploaded so far are amazing and the prints are only 9 cents each (Digital Photo Printing, Free Online Photo Albums & Digital Photo Sharing - Snapfish:).



Wouldnâ€t do again:


-Fans for the ceremony. It was waaaay too windy to have something else to hold on to. They looked pretty, but they were one of the more expensive things we made and no one used them. My mom ended up with 4 of the fans in her bag by the end of the night.

-If I had it to do over, I probably wouldnâ€t have gone to EDR, but it worked the best for the guests, so it all worked out. Also, we didnâ€t have the photographer issues we thought we would have.

-Worry about my shoes. The ones I had ended up working out perfectly. You couldnâ€t really see them under my dress and when I did show them off, everyone loved them.

-Overschedule my week. About the 2nd or 3rd day, we decided we had entirely too much planned and not enough time alone, so we ended up canceling our “rehearsal†dinner and the brunch the day of the wedding.

-Gone home the same day as our guests. I donâ€t know that we would have wanted to stay longer at the same resort, but I wish we had a few days somewhere just the two of us before we came home.

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This is an awesome thread! I am just at the beginning of my planning and reading everyone's "would dos" and "wouldn't dos" is really helpful!


Keep 'em coming!



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