What I would and wouldn't do again...
Posted 28 December 2008 - 02:56 AM
* Pick a smaller, more intimate partially inclusive resort: Shangri-La Caribe
We got a bit of flack from family and guests because since itâ€™s not AI no one could get good package deals for this resort. We had to pay air and resort separately. Drinks werenâ€™t included and neither was lunch.
It was the perfect place for us and our wedding. The room was perfect, the beach was beautiful, the coordinator was fantastic, the staff were very friendly. It was the exact atmosphere that I wanted for our wedding. DH loved it too.
I wish more people had stayed with us, but those who didnâ€™t missed out on lots of stuff. Itâ€™s so sad that theyâ€™re tearing it down. I would have loved to go back year over year. Itâ€™s the ultimate resort for us.
* Get married in Canada first/ Have an English ceremony of our choosing.So many great things resulted from this: the legal ceremony in Mexico was in Spanish and I didnâ€™t like the ceremony text â€“ getting married before meant that we could have a symbolic ceremony in English in a text we chose. It was so much more meaningful to us. We missed out on all the stress of translating documents and doing the bloodwork. They had a certificate ready for us to sign during the ceremony, so no one was the wiser.
* Pink as a main colour
Some of our guests arrived in pinks and oranges too. The colours were beautiful with the ocean background.
*Insist on having a video of our ceremony
(I think DH did this!)
*Do the videography ourselves
The wedding package stated that we would pay $450 for a 20 minute video of our ceremony. Instead, we bought an excellent camcorder (high definition) that we will have for the next few years to take vacation shots and (hopefully) baby videos!
We also purchased a tripod that would work on the beach and asked my sister (BM)â€™s boyfriend to take the video. As it turned out, he was really into his â€˜roleâ€™ and got a great video! Weâ€™re really happy. I would have been so sad to not have a video of the day.
* Do my makeup myself
* Pick a photographer that was right for us: Vanessa Vargas
The one that came with our package wasnâ€™t very good. We struggled with spending more on someone we liked. I searched so many websites. We finally found Vanessa. Her prices were reasonable and she had good reviews from at least one BDW groom (Jason). She brought her husband and he took pics too. They were unassuming, very nice and professional and right on time. I canâ€™t wait to see their pics!
* Purchase a second wedding dress
It caused me grief and a lot of anxiety getting a 2nd dress off the rack a month before the wedding and especially getting it altered ($400), but it was worth all of it.
I loved it, it was fantastic and it looks so romantic in our pictures. It gave me the exact look I was going for. I was so much happier and more confident than I would have been in my 1st dress.
* Trust Christine, our WC.
The hairdresser she set us up with, Doranna, was absolutely fantastic.
The cake was way prettier than I expected
I loved my flowers
The mariachis rocked.
Our minister was the sweetest, gentlest warmest man and we adored the way he performed our ceremony. All the guests were amazed at how beautiful it all was. He got many complements and many of our guests were crying.
She was very professional, sweet, attentive, excellent via email, and did such a great job.
* Pick a hilarious cake topper that totally suited us and how crazy we are about eachother. Even if it offended some people!
* Ask my sisters to be my bridesmaids and not ask DHâ€™s brother or any of our friends to be in our WP.
From the very beginning, my sisters were the only people who did not nag us or try to get us to change our minds from having a DW. They never once threatened not to come. They were excited and so happy from the beginning. When I asked them to be my BMs, they were so happy and I know it meant a lot to them.
DHâ€™s brother was fickle and his wife and their kid flaked and decided not to come at the last minute. We didnâ€™t know if even my BIL would come until about a month before the wedding. The only people who cared were MIL and FIL and they can bite me. I think theyâ€™re wonderful, but theyâ€™re prone to being overly dramatic. BIL didnâ€™t care and didnâ€™t show any commitment to attending the wedding. I didnâ€™t want him in our WP.
* Grow my hair out
I was sooooo happy to be able to have a beautiful updo. It made me feel very elegant! I havenâ€™t had long hair in over 10 years. It was special for me.
* Do all the DIY things â€“ the OOT bags, the programs, etc.
The OOTs were a huge hit, as was the Meet the Guests page.
* Pick awesome songs together with DH that we loved for our ceremony.
BMs and I walked down to Book of Love (Peter Gabriel) and DH and I left to Youâ€™re So Cool (True Romance). They were perfect and we didnâ€™t decide on them until about a week before we left.
* Not worry at all about decorWe placed confetti bags, programs and fans on the chairs for the ceremony and we had place cards and little favor boxes at each dinner setting. They injected bits of colour. The cake and our flowers did the rest. I didnâ€™t miss
I Wish I Had Not Done
* Purchase our invitations from an online company in Australia.
They were unprofessional and we received 2 sets that were all incorrect. We were never refunded, but we didnâ€™t care in the end. I should have DIY.
* Fly US Airways
They lost our luggage both ways, our flights were delayed, we had horrible service, the list goes on...
* Stress as much about the details
* Not practice our first dance
I was bummed that we didnâ€™t put any time into figuring out and choreographing a dance for our first dance. Itâ€™s a short song and we have taken lessons recently enough that we could somewhat â€˜fakeâ€™ it, but because I love salsa and merengue, I wish we had actually put the time into making an awesome dance up.
* Be guilted into inviting my aunt at the last minute.
The stress she caused me with not knowing or booking until a week before and then showing up with one of her daughters was way more stressful than it should have been. It was really nice to see her and meet my cousin, but the stress beforehand wasnâ€™t worth it.
* Have our after-dinner at the resortâ€™s bar with no ability to play our own music.
It was lame, their music wasnâ€™t working loudly enough, no one was in the mood to party. But I was exhausted anyway, so I was happy to call it a night at midnight J
* Let my sister to follow us back to our room at the end of the night because she had left something in our room
I am still annoyed. I wanted to walk along the beach with DH in my dress and look at the moon together before bed. Once she left, we were too tired to go back outside. She should have known better. I was too tired to do anything about it until it was too late.
I Would Do Differently
*Spend a second week after the wedding at the resort or somewhere else.
DH and I still dont feel as though we've recovered from the wedding or had enough alone-time. We're both really happy we did a DW, but we didn't realize how demanding it would be in terms of time spent with relatives and friends. We only got to go on one trip to XCaret and we would have loved to see Coba. I didn't spend any time in the hammock during the day reading and definitely not any time soaking up sun on the beach or in the pool. This is partly our fault as we decided how to spend our time and also partly budget. We couldn't have afforded 2 weeks and DH didn't have enough time off.
* Buy and Bring a hand luggage scale
Next time we travel I will absolutely buy one of those hand bag weighing scales so that we donâ€™t go through the hell of not knowing if our bags will be too heavy and make us pay penalties on the flights. We nearly had a fight the night after our wedding because DHâ€™s parents were being so difficult about the dumb bag weights
* Bring walkie-talkies
I wish weâ€™d organized walkie talkies or something on resort, because it was frustrating having to run around so much the days right before and day of. Otherwise, I liked the fact that our rooms had no telephones.
* Start my own preparations earlier on my WD
I didn't start my makeup until after my hair and then I was rushed. I had tons of time earlier on...
* Made room in the budget for firedancers or at least bought some sparklers for after dark. We needed something to do other than stand around and drink after the dinner
* Suggested that guests bring wraps.
It was way cooler than I expected the day of and the evening got quite chilly
*Added bug repellent wipes to the First Aid kits. My sister had real difficulties with them.
*Trash the dress It wasnâ€™t in our budget. I think it would have been an absolute blast
Other than all that, we had a fabulous wedding and it went really well. We are so happy!!!
Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:37 PM
Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:38 PM
Posted 04 January 2009 - 10:45 PM
Posted 06 January 2009 - 10:48 PM
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