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

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Josie- If people declined, no need to send them a formal invite. Who cares? They aren't going and they would most likely throw your exspensive invite in the trash- unless it's grandma or Aunt Margaret. I think you could make an exception there.

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Originally Posted by LC_Rachel View Post
Josie- If people declined, no need to send them a formal invite. Who cares? They aren't going and they would most likely throw your exspensive invite in the trash- unless it's grandma or Aunt Margaret. I think you could make an exception there.
Well no one officially declined...i didnt put any sort of RSVP on the STD's....so basically some of the invites are way out there and i'm sure they arent coming, only because they're random....but technically they have not SPECIFIED they arent....so i pretty much have to send them!

my final decison was to send super cute box invites to the 30 people who I KNOW are coming, and the rest are getting cheap invites! lol

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What I would do again:


Marry DH: it was the most beautiful ceremony & so emotional! (They made him keep his back turned until I got all the way down the aisle so he didn't see me for the first time until I was right next to him, and he got all choked up, to the point of tears)


Have a DW: this made everything so special, and the guest list and price were so much more manageable than if we would have had the wedding here.


Stay at an all-inclusive: we originally planned to have the wedding on the cliffs in Negril, and have the guests stay wherever they chose. Switching to an AI was one of the best decisions we made


Bring my own flowers: I brought down my bouquet, one for the MOH, corsages for the mothers and boutinniers for the fathers. It was no-hassle and everything fit in one (very light) bag.


DIY birdcage veil: I was very intimidated by this project at first but LOVE the way it turned out. I had some help from my mom's friend in putting it together but I'm glad I made it instead of spending the extra money to buy one.


Sand Ceremony: I was on the fence about doing this but I'm so glad we did! It added a special touch to our ceremony. I DIY'ed this too, with vases from Dollar Tree, a sealable jar and colored sand from Michael's.


Steel Drum Band: A few days before the wedding, we decided to switch from having the resort's standard ceremony music on CD in favor of hiring the steel drum band to play for 1 hour. BEST DECISION! We loved having live music at our ceremony. It gave everything a real tropical feel and set the tone exactly how we wanted it. Our family is a mix of American and Caribbean and folks really enjoyed it. They played at all the right points and after the ceremony, they played while everybody got their champagne and mingled... we even did our "first dance" to them as well.


Makeup: I had a friend do my makeup for me instead of hiring a makeup artist and she was wonderful. (Her name is Erica Cox & I can put you in touch if you're looking!) She used to work at a makeup counter and did a fabulous job on my makeup.


Hair: I'm glad I went to the spa for my updo. They did it exactly how I wanted. Well worth the money.


Dress: I'm SOO happy I became a 2-dress bride and didn't wear my 1st choice. The second dress was PERFECT for me.


DIY projects: I'm very happy with how they turned out & felt proud that I did them!


Photography: Monica Z was AMAZING! The pictures look like they're from a magazine, and I can't wait to show the slideshow at our AHR in July. Once we move, I'm getting a huge print for our house too. The photos are better than I would've imagined! (I wish we would've remembered to get a shot of the entire group of guests together though, but things got a little crazy and I forgot.)


Guest list: I really didn't want a big wedding, so I'm happy we kept the guest list down. We budgeted for 80 people and prayed that we wouldn't go over that. We ended up with about 60 people which was perfect!


What I would do differently:


OOT bags: These were a great idea but we needed a better mechanism for distributing them. We planned to meet everybody at the theatre the night before the wedding but it was too big and too dark to find everybody, so the bags went out piecemeal throughout the weekend. A few people still never received them (these are the bags I gave to DH to distribute to his friends... lol). My friends loved theirs though, and carried them everywhere!


Rehearsal dinner: I'd either make everybody RSVP who wanted to come, or limit it to the bridal party only. I reserved a table for 20 for the bridal party and immediate family, but about 32 people showed up. They were seated at all of the surrounding tables, but a few sour grapes were complaining that we weren't given a bigger table that could fit EVERYBODY.



We forgot our placecards at home, right on the kitchen counter! So at the last minute we were scrambling to print out our seating chart and gave it to the ushers so they could put everybody where they were supposed to go. It was a challenge because we did a U-shaped setup, not individual tables. Some people got seated in the wrong place, and a few people were upset that they weren't with their group. But WHATEVER... That was something I would've done differently if I could.


Reception entertainment:

A few days before we got to the resort, we "listened in" on another wedding reception taking place at the same location. And the DJ was mediocre, but what I really noticed is that they didn't have time to do any dancing because the food service took way too long. So we decided to cancel the DJ ($900) and I set up a 3-hour reggae playlist on my iPod to play during dinner, and we rented the microphone and speaker setup instead. Same thing happened to us: dinner was super-slow so we had great music playing throughout and really just had time for toasts and cake-cutting. If I had to do it over again, I might have structured it a little bit better- a few people were asking me why we didn't have a "first dance" or speeches by the parents, etc. I didn't want to do a bouquet toss or garter toss so I'm glad I got rid of these, but I may have tried to spend a little more time planning out the reception.


What I wouldn't do again:


Have DH's drunk friend as an usher: He was a frickin mess. shitfan.gif He served as an usher with one of my friends, who did everything that the joker didn't do. He hit on her and even fell asleep at our reception. I wanted to strangle him. And to think, DH considered asking him to be our MC! Nuh uh


Listen to the complainers: Someone was telling me about the reception seating drama and I started crying. It was just too much at the time. I didn't need to hear about the complainers then (or even now for that matter). We had a beautiful wedding and vacation and I choose to focus on that!


Worry about the wedding coordinator: I got really wound up in trying to get answers from her before we got there, and in reality, NOTHING was set in stone until we met her face-to-face the day before the wedding and she wrote everything down on that little sheet of paper.

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I love this thread! Here's mine to help future brides!


What I WOULD do again:


Have a DW- best decision EVER!

Have my DW at the El Dorado Royale- it was beautiful and they did an amazing job!

Welcome Party- such a great way to kick off the weekend and everyone had a blast!

Get my hair & makeup done at the Spa- I had brought a picture of my hairstyle trial and they did a better job!

Use Ipod for ceremony music & DJ for reception

Make my own table numbers and menus- Our table #'s were personalized- used years that my husband and I have known each other (11!) and included a pic from each year...everyone loved that.


Not stress and Trust the resort to do my cake- I literally showed them one picture of what I liked and they did it great!

Go to Belize for our honeymoon- it was absolutely the most relaxing, beautiful week of my life! And, so close to Riviera Maya.

Log onto BDW forum almost everyday for the past year to find/share amazing ideas!



What I WOULDN"T do again:


Spend so much time & money on the OOT bags- I think everyone appreciated them, but, in retrospect I think I went overboard and it really was not necessary.

Stress about getting my dress pressed at the resort- For some reason I was so nervous, but, they did a perfect job!

Stress about the music at the reception- My husband and I had created a playlist...I was nervous that the DJ didn't understand how we wanted everything played (we hadn't talked with him prior and he barely spoke English)

Have a chocolate fountain at the reception- I loved the idea while planning, but, I didn't even try it and I'm not even sure any of the guests did either.


What I WISHED we had done :


Videographer for ceremony- We were planning on having a friend video our ceremony, but, apparently the battery died. Now, we don't have video and with so many of our friends/family who couldn't make (swine flu), I wished I had a video to share.

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Originally Posted by kay726 View Post
Ok.. here I go

What I would do again:
1. Do a petal toss with silk petals. It looked really nice in our pictures.
2.Order a J.Crew dress for my wedding. It was a great quality dress and inexpensive.
3. Order alot of wedding supplies and jewlery from ebay and oriental trading. Affordable and easy.
4. Use Angelsaccent.com. The silk flowers came out beautiful and I have them for the rest of my life.
5. Use Aria and Coren Moore for my bridesmaids dresses. They came out great.
6. Air Jamaica was fun and provided good food.
7. Fans from oriental trading were very , very useful as it was hot as hell in Jamaica.
8. My guestbook from the guestbookstore.com was a nice touch and everyone filled out the pages.
9.I would definately get the steel drum band again. They added a really nice touch.

What I would not do again
1. STD magnets-although everyone thought they were cute, everyone still pretty much forgot the info for the wedding.
2.Custom Unity candle with picture- My guest could not really see the candle and did not really care to much. We ended up not being able to light the candle because it was to windy. It ended up making the ceremony longer which was not good because it was so hot in the Jamaica sun.
3.Scheduled our arrival the same day as our guests because things got hectic and we were torn between spending time with our guests and finishing wedding planning.
4. I would not try to plan a wedding while in graduate school. It is to much work to do both and something ends up getting neglected for the wedding. I literally had my last class the day before I flew out to Jamaica. INSANE!
What I wish I would have done
1.Hired a professional photographer instead of relying on Sandals photogs.
2. Brought candy for guestbags and personal consumption. It is hard to come by in Jamaica and customs did not check bags so it would have been easy to bring.
3.Brought an extra bag and payed extra for more reception supplies so that it could have been decorated like I would have liked. I didn't do that and ended up not having the reception look that I wanted.
3.Changed hotels after the wedding because the resort began to become a little boring.
Which Sandals did you get married at? We are getting married at Sandals Royal Caribbean, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
From what read if you get married at Sandals you are not allowed to use an outside photographer =(

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This thread is AMAZING. My fiance and I are still trying to pick a location (just agreed yesterday to do a DW after getting a quote from the one place I found acceptable in NJ...It was outrageous).


Anyhow, thank you all for sharing your woulds and wouldn'ts. You gave me 3 pages of notes and a day of work that just blew by!!!

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All I have to say is WOW! Awesome Thread!! I just sat with my morning coffee(s) and read through it all and got so many wonderful ideas, and scratched some things off my list. I was worried the cake included in our wedding pkg wouldn't be enough, well now I know. It's Plenty!!

I will definitely be back again and again to this thread, so keep them comming ladies! And ladies getting married over the next year!



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What I would do again:

1) Pick Dreams Cabo as my resort - most amazing 2 weeks ever.

2) Choose to have a Church wedding in San Jose - the ceremony was private and taking the limo in and out of the resort made me feel more like a bride.

3) Book Juan Carlos Tapia as the photographer - he was amazing

4) Rent an IPOD instead of booking a DJ - it saved us alot of money, was more personal, and we had total control of what was played.

5) Booking all vendors separately instead of a getting a wedding package - was more personal this way. We were able to have total freedom over what we picked etc...

6) Stay an extra week at Dreams for the honeymoon - we really needed that 2nd week just to unwind and soak in all that had happened. If we would have left with everyone else we would have been too rushed.

7) Picked early April as the date - the weather was perfect! I didn't sweat or anything on my wedding day and I still got an amazing tan while there.

cool.gif Give FI the responsibility to design and print our own invites and place cards - he loved doing this, and it was much more personal to us this way.


**if you read my review I would have done everything exactly 100% the same, minus these few things listed below. I'm having a hard time picking everything**


What I would have done differently:


1) chosen a different TA - we used someone in Vancouver and she was brutal. Not right at first, but near the end of the planning she stopped caring, was sloppy, tried to scam some guests out of money and didn't do anything on our behalf. I had to take on alot of the work myself, including securing the honeymoon suite upgrade etc...


2) I would NOT EVER LET MY DRESS AND FI SUIT GET TAKEN TO BE STEAMED by the WC! - it almost turned into a big disaster. Dreams sends the garments OFF-SITE to be steamed and ours didn't arrive until 30min before we were to leave! I have never been more stressed in my life.


3) Tell FI not to step on my dress and to walk slowly and about 1/2 a meter away from me. He stepped on my dress and tore off the train :S before the reception!

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