What I would and wouldn't do again...
Posted 09 July 2009 - 11:55 AM
OOT Bags: we kept them pretty simple - but the stuff we put in there our guests really used:
~ I made first aid kits with bandaids, advil, rolaids, wet wipes, immodium. Esp since the resort shops charge so much for that stuff. Probably would have been good to add small bottles of aloe and bug off wipes.
~ Bubba Kegs !!! The best thing ever!!! We had an entire suit case of bubbas - 40 of them total. Bought them from fireflybuys.com for $6 each incl tax & shipping, and EVERYONE used them the whole time and loved them. Even for the guests that weren't drinking loved to just keep nice ice water in them. Highly recommended for lounging at the pool/beach all inclusive
~ Welcome folders with the itinerary, map of resort with specific wedding locations highlighted, guest list with photos and how we knew them - this was especially helpful for the parents to keep track of all our friends , soduku, spanish translations, photo share info (set up account on photobucket and stoked most of our friends uploaded their pics)
Ceremony on the beach - loved it and it was our dream. It was so beautiful - although it was hot - June 5th at 5:00pm... Probably would have encouraged our guests to wear khaki shorts...
Private reception - even though we had 4 hrs (7pm-11pm) it went by soooooo fast. Couldn't imagine having to do it in a 2 hr non-private ceremony. Cost a few extra grand, but I felt it really made if feel like our wedding. Esp since we had 40ppl.. We did our rehearsal dinner in one of the restaurants, and it was hard to relax not being private.
Upgrade to ocean view suite. Was amazing to have the spectacular ocean views from every window and 2 balconies. Super nice to have living room for our guests to hang out.
Grand Palladium - we did a group block in order to get our guests $86 pp/pn AI. The resort was fantastic, and our guests couldn't believe how nice everything was considering they paid so little.. Especially most guests hadn't ever stayed at an AI and were just amazed at the value for all you can drink & eat and great service. Also- due to the low occupancy swine flu, everyone got upgraded to Jr Suites
Flowers incl in wedding package - contemplated doing real touch to save on costs.. but in the end my bouquet and 1 bout were included, and paid $200 for 3 BM bouquets, 3 bouts and 2 corsages. They were so beautiful and exactly what I wanted. Stuck to white and greens and it was stunning.
Photographer: Mike Razo with Mexican Wedding Photos. He was fantastic and we got our pics a week later on our honeymoon at the Excellence. Booked the 3hr package for $1000 and it was great. He is very talented, although I wished he would have told me to stand more facing the camera cause 75% of my shots I am standing with my side facing.. and didn't like that view of the dress and made me look a little fat.. haha.. We did a photo list.. but didn't really use it.. Got most of the pics we wanted, but my mom wanted some of her and the grandkids.. even though she didn't tell me.... so I guess make sure you ask your parents what is important to them.. Although I pretty much planned the whole wedding and every detail by myself and would have loved a little more input and help from people.. but oh well...
~We did IPOD music and set up our playlists which worked out great... until some of our drunk friends put their IPOD's on!!! And totally ruined our playlist and we missed our father/mother dances.. plus it was only younger hip hop all night, rather than some other music we added for our parent's generation... so would assign someone in charge of the music and to make sure nobody touches it!!
~ Spa - morning of the wedding went to the Spa with the girls to get massages and manis. Wasn't sure if I was going to have enought time that morning for it, but it was fantastic. Didn't realize how stressed and tense I was, so it was very much needed. Although, for my mani, got a french and the lady didn't ask me if I preferred round or square tips.. and just started filing all my nail away till I was left with this short stumpy little square.. it was fine I guess.. just not what I wanted at all. I am not a big mani girl... so now I know to be more specific in the beginning... The only thing is I tried not to be a bridezilla.. so we took our time and had a leisurly lunch.. but then we ran kind of late to do hair & makeup in the room. Would have allowed myself 5 hours total for shower, hair, makeup, dressing, photos... by the end we were 15 min late to the ceremony and didn't have any time before for photos... Give yourself a lot more time than you think you need!!!
~ Brought lots of dollar bills... brought $300 in ones for tips for the staff, and comes in really handy..
~ We didn't hire a videographer due to budget, but my brother & mother have camcorders. So, my brother set his up on a tripod, which was great.. until the photographer and guests stood up infront of it the whole ceremony taking pics.. so that was ruined. And my mom had one.. but she never hit the record button so there are all these pics of her holding it.. for nothing... Would have assigned one of our tech savy friends to be in charge of it so my brother/mother didn't have to worry about it...
~ Stress... was so worried about everyone and all the details, was hard to relax. But, I think that is pretty normal for a wedding. Would have wished I had one organized reliable person to make sure I didn't forget stuff and help me with the details. My husband is in the military, so we move around a lot, and we live in DC where all my best friends are back in Cali.. so was kind of hard to coordinate everything on the internet. Esp on the wedding night, would have loved to have someone help me stay on track with the timeline.. I didn't hire a wedding coordinator, but I can see where that could be very useful.. although expensive for a DW..
~ Greet all our guests... we took 2 days out of our trip really to greet everyone upon arrival. As I was glad we did it because the resort was huge.. wished I would have delegated some of it out.. Felt like I really missed out on hanging out with everyone cause I spent the whole day in the lobby... By the end though we just left their gift bags, a note and a map at the front desk to meet us at the pool.
~ Plan a cocktail mixer.. we all hung out by the pool all day and didn't want to leave at 5pm to get ready for a mixer.. having planned activities is hard because everyone is on their own schedule and time frame, and nice to just go with the flow and not have a schedule to stick to..
Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:12 PM
Things I would do again:
Tulum - I wanted a pristine beach, and that is what I got. Despite all of the flack I received from my MIL about it being too far away and too rustic BEFORE she got there, every one of my guests (including MIL) loved the place and now I have the job of arranging annual group trips back for our friends.
Shaman Ceremony with friend doing the exchanging of vows: It was so cool to have a theme for my wedding. Not being religious, this made the ceremony very special. And it was so nice to get to know the DH's friend better since he was part of the ceremony.
Not spent alot on decoration: I chose my location for it's beauty so I didn't need to do much to make it beautiful
My photographer: Dreamtime Images - Absolutely worth every dime
Wouldn't do again:
Leave my room during the honeymoon
Answer my cell phone
Not designate someone to deal with my vendors on the wedding day
Posted 09 July 2009 - 12:48 PM
I will try again :-)
WHAT I WOULD DO AGAIN:
-Marry DH :-)
-Have a Destination Wedding @ Dreams Cancun
-Invite everyone. In the end less then half came, but everyone felt included.
-Ordered my Real touch Bouquets & Etc. From Plumerias. They were so Fabulous and looked great in all of my pictures. It was nice to not have to worry about what my flowers would like like the day of the Wedding. And Now I can keep my Bouquet forever! Roberta from Plumeria was fabulous to work with and I would def use her again adn recommend her (I actually already did)
-Not ask to be upgraded. Our Suite was really nice and we liked being in the same building as everyone else. Sure it would have felt more "honeymoon like" in the Tower with the other Newlyweds, but we enjoyed being near everyone and liked watching the Dolphins in the morning
-Make OOT bags. Different people used different things, and while I admit some things never got used, Everyone appreciated them and thought it was nice to come to a Wedding and get a gift! :-) Although I was really excited about the personalized Koozies and no one used them or really mentioned them :-( lol
-Pack the nessasary amount of clothes (with just a couple small extras) We didn't have much Suit Case room for our clothes anyway..But in the end, we both didn't over pack and everything was worn :-)
-Take my Destination Wedding dress back to the store and buy my Dream dress!! I loved my dress so much. And yes I was really hot in it...But I was so sad to take it off at the end of the night. It was the dress I have dreamed of and was just perfect!
-Use the Resort Photographer!!! I had heard So-So things about Juan Navarro and I was really bummed when I realized we couldn't afford the Photog I put a deposit down on. We were pleasantly surprised and I smile everytime I look at my pictures!
-Keep the Cocktail hour. I thought about getting rid of it, and putting that credit towards something else, but in the end, my guests had a good time and beacuse we took a while taking pictures, it was nice that they had a place to chill out. They also loved the Mariachi Trio. We didn't get to see them, which stinks, but my guests loved them.
WHAT I WOULDN'T DO AGAIN:
-Stress over the little stuff, like DIY projects. I think the things that we do for our guests are nice and will be appreciated no matter what they look like. So to stress about the tiniest details seem silly to me, now!! LOL
-Use my iPod Docking station. In the end, Our money got tight and we couldn't even affiord to rent the sound system. We brought our own docking station and no one really danced We did our dance, and the Mother/Son dance. My bridesmaids got some people up when it was time for the Electric slide & Cupid shuffle, but for the most part, no one danced and that is the only thing that upset me. Time went by really quick though, so no one seemed bored, but I just wanted to dance the whole night and it didn';t happen. I think if I had a DJ, or even the guy who came with the sound system, things would have been different.
-I wouldn't have planned a traditional Wedding first and waste 6 months of what could have been my DW planning!! If I would have had those 6 months, I would have had more people come, I think and more money to get the small things that I had to give up.
-Greeted everyone. I tried to greet everyone and then take their OOT bags to their rooms once they finally got checked in. But this was really time consuming, so basically Saturday -Tuesday were not relaxing days.
-Scheduled our couples massage for the Wedding day. It was relaxing & nice, but I think if we would have went Thursday morning, it would have been nicer.
My Bridesmaids spent the day getting ready together and hanging out and I wish I would have did that with them. It was a last minute decision I would not make again.
-I wouldn't have used real candles for my Center pieces. I was originally going to use Flora lights, but time and money got away from me, and ended up using candles. Well they didn't stay lit at ALL. The wind wasn't really that bad, but we were too close to the Ocean I think. We had plenty of light, but I really worked hard on getting those center pieces together and I wanted them to be glowing
-I wouldn't have had my Welcome/Rehearsal Dinner at the Mexican Fiesta on the beach. It seemed like it was going to be great, but in the end, we all couldn't sit together and I didn't even get to say my little Thank You speech that I had planned.
Since everyone at the resort wanted to be at the Mexican Fiesta (it seemed), that would have been a good night to get a big table at the Oceana or something.
We may have all been at seperate tables, but it would have been more intimate. Instead I feel like I made everyone come to this dinner for nothing.
-I would have had the videographer put our First dance song on our DVD. I love our Video, but having that song on there would have made it that much better.
-I wish I would have taken some cake back to our room. I LOVED it (Tres Leches) and the rest of my time there, It's all I wanted!!
-I wish I would have relaxed a little more. I didn't truly relax until the days after the Wedding and then we had to leave 2 days later
**I'm sure I can think of more things that I would and wouldn't do again, but all in all I am so happy.
My Destination Wedding was all that I wanted & more. The little details don't matter.
Relax, enjoy your DH and your family & friends that came to share your day!!****
Posted 09 July 2009 - 07:38 PM
Posted 10 July 2009 - 08:10 AM
- marry my sweet love and have a destination wedding as I always dreamed!
- get there 2 days prior to my guests to iron out planning and chill
- write our whole ceremony from start to finish. it was personal, unique, and meaningful to us.
- not be bridezilla and stress and freak over anything. Through all the snafus I just kept rewminding myself of the reason I was there- to marry my man.
- not bring down too much for centerpieces and keep it simple (only LED tealights and containers)
- hire a mariachi band!! So wonderful and everyone loved them
- hire Matt Adcock from del sol photography
- hire DJ Carlos from Mannia. My people were a dancing crowd and he kept the music pumping!
- go on a separate honeymoon for a week after away from our resort. (we so needed it)
- hang out with people and not worry about planning too much once my guests had arrived on Thursday.
- the DIY things that I did. we saved money and while simple, it was a personal touch that added to our day. We also have all our memories of stressing over making these little things and then being super proud of them.
-OOt bags. hated bringing stuff down but was so worth it becuase people loved them and it made me happy to see them using the beach bag
- sleep away from FI the night before and just have girl time with my sis. also not speak or see him the day of wedding which was hard because there weren't that many people at the resort and it made a fun 8th grade feeling game where all the girls were on lookout and if he was coming they would hide me. very amusing since we are both in our 30's, but also super fun and made the first moment of seeing one another so amazing.
- drink TONS of water throughout the reception and dance all night long. zero hangover!!
- jumped in the pool at the end of the night with many of our guests. a great memory and cool pics too.
- give dh the BD book the 1st day of our honeymoon. he was super surprised, and it was a nice way to start off our alone time together.
-My BIGGEST do again is this: be a part of this forum, create friendships, exchange ideas, but try and maintain a sense of what we wanted for our ceremony and reception and not get caught up in what everyone else was doing. It was hard at times!! It was really important to create unique moments for our day.
What I would do differently
- hire an outside hair/makeup person and put more effort into that. I was trying to be more casual about it cause it was on the beach but my hair sucked and the spa did a HORRIBLE job but i was being super laidback about it.
- hire a videographer. It wasn't in our budget and we had someone record the ceremony with our camera but it's not the same and I truly wish I would have one of those fun pro videos that I see on here. Only becuase the day was so beautiful.
- make SURE that there was a mic for the ceremony!
- only get ready in my room with my mom and sis as opposed to all my friends. (Only becuase I felt that I should have a bit more private family time)
- pay more attention to the camera. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I was just in my own world and wasn't conscious of the camera at all. (I think it had it's good and bad cause i hate the way I look so candid in all my pics)
- get a group photo!!! I completely forgot and I am bummed.
Posted 13 July 2009 - 06:31 PM
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