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


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#481 northernflasher

northernflasher
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    Posted 11 May 2010 - 05:50 PM

    This thread was invaluable to me in my planning. Its my turn to give back....

    WOULD DO AGAIN:.....
    * Choose our wedding date based on our 10 years to the day we met anniversary.
    * Announce we would be having a destination wedding asap but have a two year engagement to allow family to save up. It didnt mean we had any more guests, just that we didnt feel so guilty about the expense incurred by the guests that did attend.
    * DIY projects, as much as they stressed me out I was so pleased with the results except... see what I wouldn't do below.
    * Arrive as close to the wedding day as was legal (4 days prior) so I had less time to stress and more time to relax with our guests afterwards and make a "holiday" of it.
    * Destination Wedding at Dreams Tulum.
    * Ultimate Wedding package.
    * Small intimate wedding with lots of personal touches.
    * Go on a full day excursion with all our guests to Xcaret the day before the wedding. I didnt have time to get stressed and we were all tired enough to sleep soundly.
    * Get my dress returned to my MOH's room after it had been steamed because they left it hanging on her bed canopy in full view!
    * Get a pre-wedding make up trial, treat myself to the products I wanted and do my own make-up on the day using products I know and love.
    * Ask my dad and sister to present me with their completed "from you to me" books early in the day so we could all have a family moment and a good cry without risking ruining make up or getting red eyes.
    From You To Me Journals | Gift of the Year | Home
    * Walk up the aisle with my dad on one arm and my sister on the other.
    * Wedding ceremony in the Spanish chapel.
    * Bring our photographer Christian Sinkinson from home for the ceremony and use the resort photographer for the reception.
    CJ Photography
    * Write our own personalised ceremony including sand ceremony and coins ceremony.
    * Set up a photo props table for guests to amuse themselves whilst we had our official photos done.
    * Learn salsa for our first dance and perform at the front of the chapel at the end of the cocktail hour getting it over before the reception so we didnt have to worry about sand or be nervous all through dinner. It also made it feel much more informal once the reception started so everyone got up to dance together.
    * Reception on the beach.
    * Mariachi Trio to play at our reception rather than the cocktail hour. We got to enjoy them too and they got the party started in full swing. They were excellent, everyone left the table before our main meal was served to start dancing. I actually ate my dessert on my feet.. dancing!
    * Maracas as wedding favours but.... See what I wouldnt do below.
    * Not pay any extra for chair bows / decorations or centrepieces for the reception. Our guests didn't care and were too busy dancing barefoot in the sand and shaking there maracas to notice.
    * Not have official speeches to get stressed about, various people made impromtu toasts as the night went on which was really sweet.
    * Not buy an expensive wedding dress so I could relax, have fun all day and have no intention of wearing it again.
    * Trash The Dress.
    * Buy a really cheap, full length veil which looks fab for photos without the expense.
    * Stay for an extra week after the guests left for our honeymoon.
    * Leave our breakfast in bed for the last week so we could really enjoy it in "privacy" and not worry about showing up for our guests.
    * Upgrade the cake to chocolate and baileys with edible flower topper. It was the most delicious cake I've ever eaten, our guests are still raving about it.
    * Ipod playlists for everything:
    Cocktail hour.
    Chill out background music whilst eating dinner.
    Dancing queen for reception.
    We asked all our guests to choose their 3 favourite songs to dance to for the reception so there really was something for everyone.
    We have listened to this numerous times since the wedding and it makes us smile every time. Its so nice that we get to keep this forever and have wonderful memories of all our guests dancing to some of our favourite songs.
    If you do one thing, do this but... read what I wouldn't do below.

    WOULDN'T DO AGAIN:...
    * Book with Thomas Cook travel agents.
    * Take on the responsibility of booking for the entire party, collecting in outstanding balances and making payments. It was all so stressful, took so much valuable time and caused a lot of fallouts and friction with our family beforehand.
    * Waste so much time procrastinating about my DIY projects and leave everything until the last minute despite having a 2 year engagement.
    * Waste weeks of valuable time sourcing, buying and personalising maracas. DONT DO IT! You can buy the nicest authentic ones in Playa Del Carmen. My guests loved mine but would have been just as happy with bought maracas and personalised tags and to be honest I much preferred the style of the ones in Mexico.
    * Allow my step son to get sunburnt on the first day, not only does he look so sore in the wedding photos but we had to spend the rest of the week being extra cautious and keeping him out of the sun. I regret this enormously.
    * Decide not to hire the speakers to play our Ipod through for the reception. We brought a docking station that sounded well loud enough at home but just didnt cut it at all on the beach. It didnt spoil the atmosphere but we would really have liked to be able to crank it up!!!

    THINGS TO DO DIFFERENTLY
    * Ask our judge to hand her microphone to us during our vows and to guests for our readings. There is virtually no sound on our wedding video except from the judge who's English was awful!!!
    * Spend less time on my DIY projects in the last few weeks and more time practising my hair style with my veil.
    * Get my hair done professionally and put my sister in charge of sorting it out for me before I walked into the church and before the photos. I hate my hair in both the video and almost every picture, I know its a small thing but its so annoying!!! Its ridiculous if you saw how short my hair is but my fringe stuck to my head with sweat and stayed there all day!
    * Take our wedding cake to the disco with us for a midnight feast.
    * Write a must take photo list. Its crazy that this is what we do for a living so we were convinced we had it covered and would remember to ask Christian to shoot everything but on the day we were thinking like bride and groom not as photographers so we missed key shots. Its the one thing I insist to couples to make the day go smoothly and yet we didnt do it!!!

    I think thats everything. Basically our wedding day was the best day of our life and even with the changes we would make, we were ecstatic at how our day turned out.
    Hope you find something here to help you along your way.
    Happy Planning.
    Michelle X

    PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

    #482 MrsMiller2b

    MrsMiller2b
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    • 160 posts

      Posted 11 May 2010 - 05:59 PM

      Great thread! Lots to read with so little time before my wedding but great information.

      #483 HereFishie

      HereFishie
      • Jr. Member
      • 386 posts

        Posted 11 May 2010 - 06:27 PM

        Would do again
        • Mugs! Huge hit. People had alot of fun "personalizing" them to make them unique so they didn't pick up someone else's by mistake!
        • iPod speakers provided by resort. There was no way I was paying someone to push a button on my iPod. Especially since our reception was cut a little short and we kind of went with the flow. If I'd paid for a DJ, I would have been really unhappy about it!
        • A second week at another resort for our honeymoon. With the site visit and then the wedding week, as nice as the GBP is I wouldn't want to spend yet another week there. The 2nd week gave us that chance to relax that we didn't really get the wedding week. Its like having a week long reception!
        • Blue ribbon in the back of my corset instead of white. Really made it pop!
        • Marimba band while we had dinner. Such a cool touch!
        • Video confessional/well wishes for our guests. It was a huge hit!
        • Site visit. Totally cemented the choice for our wedding location and resort for us. We absolutely fell in love with it
        • Mayan Symbolic Blessing. Absolutely breathtaking ceremony.
        • Used the private shuttle service Kinmont Cancun Shuttle. Fantastic service, courteous drivers, CHEAP prices!
        • 5 pm ceremony. It was apparently a record setting temperature that day and thankfully it was already starting to cool off by the time our ceremony came around. I couldn't imagine having it at 3pm like it was orginally planned!
        • Use an experienced DW travel agent. It makes all the difference and takes all of the stress away. THEY get to deal with your guests deposits, booking requests and ZILLION questions!

        Wouldn't do again
        • Bubbles. Waste of money. It's too windy for bubbles. They would have looked pretty but it just didn't work
        • I wouldn't pay for the private poolside reception again. DH disagrees with me on this one. He really liked having the private reception with our guests.
        • Book our airline with a 4 hour layover in between. It made for a very long day coming home. 14 hours from hotel to airport and then another 3 hour drive home makes for a very long trip.


        #484 hat0112

        hat0112
        • Sr. Member
        • 1,219 posts

          Posted 12 May 2010 - 09:37 AM

          YAY! Thanks ladies! Keep them coming! I think this thread is my favorite!

          I might just have to read all 49 pages a second time around....
          Wedding 10/22/10 Westin Aruba

          I love being a Mrs.!

          #485 greysgirl

          greysgirl
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          • 370 posts

            Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:16 PM

            This thread rocks!! THANK YOU to all of the contributors!

            #486 northernflasher

            northernflasher
            • Jr. Member
            • 499 posts

              Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:00 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by Ashley*
              For those of you who didn't use a DJ & used your IPOD, how did you & your guests know when Father & Bride, Mother & Groom, etc. dances were?

              I don't really want to hire a DJ, for the sake of costs. But, don't want to miss out on those important things.

              Thanks!
              We organised a specific 3hr playlist for our reception in the order we wanted songs to play and made sure not to press "shuffle" when we started it off.
              We were really informal so we just started our reception playlist with the father & bride dance, I got my dad up onto the sand and the groom pressed play. We followed it with the mother/groom dance and then just let the music play on from there.
              If you dont want or have time to do an entire playlist devoted to the reception why dont you just do a mini playlist with first dance, into father/ bride, into Mother groom and put someone in charge of pressing play?
              Michelle X

              PLANNING THREAD:http://bestdestinati....-thread-58694/DREAMS TULUM REVIEW: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati....-2010-a-59147/EXCURSIONS AND SIGHTSEEING REVIEW IN RIVIERA MAYA: MARCH 2010:http://bestdestinati...com/fo...ra-...

              #487 HereFishie

              HereFishie
              • Jr. Member
              • 386 posts

                Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:24 PM

                Quote:
                Originally Posted by northernflasher
                We organised a specific 3hr playlist for our reception in the order we wanted songs to play and made sure not to press "shuffle" when we started it off.
                We were really informal so we just started our reception playlist with the father & bride dance, I got my dad up onto the sand and the groom pressed play. We followed it with the mother/groom dance and then just let the music play on from there.
                If you dont want or have time to do an entire playlist devoted to the reception why dont you just do a mini playlist with first dance, into father/ bride, into Mother groom and put someone in charge of pressing play?

                We did the exact same thing except we had my brother in charge of the iPod. We were constantly warning anyone in earshot of the iPod... DON'T PRESS SHUFFLE! lolol

                #488 NaM

                NaM
                • Sr. Member
                • 2,256 posts

                  Posted 12 May 2010 - 03:31 PM

                  Quote:
                  Originally Posted by Ashley*
                  For those of you who didn't use a DJ & used your IPOD, how did you & your guests know when Father & Bride, Mother & Groom, etc. dances were?

                  I don't really want to hire a DJ, for the sake of costs. But, don't want to miss out on those important things.

                  Thanks!
                  We had a family member be the "MC" for those things. Our speaker system came with a mic and she just announced it when we asked her to.
                  I think with DW it's small enough too that people will know what's going on without announcing it, esp if you do it right when you walk into the reception before people are up and dancing and drinking.

                  #489 elisha0607

                  elisha0607
                  • Newbie
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                    Posted 12 May 2010 - 04:48 PM

                    This thread has really calmed my nerves about many things. I leave in just three weeks and I am so excited. thanks for contributing!

                    #490 kclyburn

                    kclyburn
                    • Jr. Member
                    • 153 posts

                      Posted 12 May 2010 - 05:48 PM

                      Thanks! These lists are so helpful in planning and budgeting!




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