AmyBermuda's Planning Thread - Mexico May Wedding
Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:21 AM
So... here goes!
FI & I decided to get engaged after 5 ½ years. We always said we were too young to get married, but then we realized we were both in our 30s and people were starting to wonder!
I picked out an antique reproduction ring while browsing with my sister. She helped him order it. The jewelry designer had made it in gold once but could only tell me it looked good; they did not have a picture. I was really happy with the way it turned out.
He proposed in Barcelona.
Deciding on a DW
We had always wanted a small wedding, FI does not like being the center of attention, so we started looking for destinations. Our requirements were for kids to be allowed, not a mega resort, and where people could fly direct from BWI. After looking all over the Bahamas, we realized that an all inclusive would be a better priced option â€“ from our point of view with the reception costs and also for our friends who really like to party!
I found Azul Beach by goggling destination wedding locations. I kept thinking $400/night per couple was expensive so kept looking elsewhere. We spoke to our parents and sibilings and they all agreed it was manageable. Once we saw that you could have a â€œDonkey Cocktail Partyâ€, we were SOLD on the resort and booked May 29th. They also have only one wedding per day at the resort, which we liked. We booked about a year in advance.
I bought 4 dresses online from Nordstrom and J Crew and had a little try on party with my BMs, sister (MOH), and mom. I decided I would fall in love with a $5k dress if I walked into a bridal salon so I avoided them altogether! My friends all picked out what they thought the best dress on me was. Turns out, 6 months later I regretted the dress I picked. It looked too off white (this was in Dec when I was no longer tan) and I did not think the beading would ever lay flat. So, I ordered the one shoulder rosette ivory gown made by Tadashi off of Nordstrom.com. I LOVED it!!! It bunched up around the back at the base of the zipper which gave the impression of a train or bustle (kind of). For $400, it was a steal. I got it altered back home for $45! Woo hoo.
This was the first one that I loved :
The one my friends all voted for:
This is one I chose in December by myself:
Our wedding was supposed to be casual, so the groomsmen all wore tan linen button down Polo shirts and white linen pants. FI wore a white Guyabera (Cuban linen shirt) bought in Miami and the same white linen pants as the guys (bought from Macyâ€™s). They all wore white boxers and you really could not see through the pants, which I was afraid of so that was good. Also, the linen was quick to dry in case of anyone sweating in the hot Mexican sun!
For bridesmaids, I wanted everyone wearing a different solid color â€“ a bright tropical color. My sister/MOH took blue, and the other BMs took purple, orange, and pink. They were varying sizes in regards to dress and bra size and there was no way I could pick a dress for them. Even when it came to designers it did not work. We tried J Crew, but some girls looked frumpy. I love the idea of different dresses anyway and it went along with our casual theme.
I also went a bit crazy and told my immediate family they had to wear solid colors to the wedding. I am not a fan of patterns in pictures, and by being a little bridezilla I knew I would be totally happy about the group shots. My Mom wore a yellow dress and FMIL bought a pink/purple-ish jewel tone one. My Dad wore a yellow Guyabera and white linen pants. My parents are divorced, but I liked the yellow theme they had going on
My biggest/stupidest mistake in planning the DW was I used a local one woman shop (trying to support local women owned businesses) as a travel agent. She was awful. I found a couple of good reviews online and she was the only person out of 4 people I called who thought I should book my rooms 10 months early. It was a 98 room resort, a holiday weekend, and May is prime DW seasonâ€¦. Anyhow, this was before I found the forum and I should have used someone here. My TA could not guarantee cribs to my sister with her newborn. She told my Mom that my Dad, her ex husband, had booked the higher level room if she wanted to get an idea of what other people were choosing (WTF). She also told me that there was no way I could do a room block b/c her company could in no way guarantee rooms. Anyways, we all paid rack room rates and got nothing extra for booking 20% of the hotel. Oh, the Karisma sales person did give FI and I a gift cert for a free massage. Whoopidty doo. Would have rather had the 20% off discounts other brides got through their TAs plus free upgrades. Whatever, moving onâ€¦.
More to follow....
Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:28 AM
Colorsâ€¦. I struggled for ever with colors! I must have read every thread on here regarding colors. Orange is my favorite, so I picked Orange & Pink. I was going to do red as well, but then decided against it. That is where I got my inspiration for my Bouquet and Centerpieces.
Flowersâ€¦ I used the sticky on the Riviera Maya thread regarding what flowers are in season for a May wedding in Mexico. I used roses and lilies for my bouquet and added daises for the BMs and added yellow and purple to their colors since they were all wearing different colored dresses.
For centerpieces I looked around and found one on TD Flora or whatever it is called. I also made sure I gave them dimensions â€“ like 15-16â€ for my bouquet and same for centerpieces. I wanted BIG flowers.
Ceremony set up â€“ we wanted to get married on the beach and went with a simple, classic white look. Uncovered white chairs with programs hung on the sides, uncovered plank walk way down the aisle, and the canopy dressed with white sheets â€“ both on the front and the sides of the canopy. I searched for 20+ hours and found an Isla Mujeres hotel who did the set up exactly I wanted. I gave this picture to my WCs. I asked for the flowers to be tall glass vases of Gladiolas â€“ total steal at $43/each!
Theme â€“ I wanted a running theme throughout the wedding, so I chose â€œlove bird in paradiseâ€. I googled images (a lot I had to purchase) and used them for everything. Welcome letter, programs, OOT bag name tags, plus instead of table #s I used different love bird pictures so you matched the picture on your seating card with a framed picture of love birds on each table.
Welcome Bags (OOT bags)
I think the most fun I had was putting together the OOT bags. They took up 2 huge suitcases, so that was a lot to bring to the airport but we used suitcases on spinner wheels so they could be pushed upright. I also put signs in the suitcases that said â€œnot for resaleâ€ in caseâ€¦
The bags were awesome. I got orange, pink, and brown giraffe print bags. They had multiple zipper pockets, a side mesh pocket for a water bottle, inside change purse and a side part with a Velcro fastener. They were less than $3 per, which I know is more than a paper bag, but I wanted to really have reusable stuff (going green).
Paper stuff in the bags:
Welcome Letter, Whoâ€™s Who, Door Hanger, and a Schedule.
Lanyards with Plastic Sleeve for room key holders. I used Microsoft Publisher to create â€œbusiness cardsâ€ which said â€œTo have an to holdâ€¦ until you check out. Rom Key Holderâ€. I printed them at Kinkos on card stock and they fit perfectly. I bought orange, yellow, and red cloth lanyards. The cheapest place I found them was a Christian online book store.
Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:32 AM
I made them myself - 2 pages with paper from Paper Source - hung with robbon to go on the backs of the chairs at the ceremony:
Favors - [/B]
We put a note in each of these felt bags along with candy, saying a donation had been made in our guests honor to the American Cancer Society.
Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:36 AM
Excursions & Activities
FI and I decided to book the lowest room category instead of the Suite and spend the extra $ on excursions for our guests. We were so glad we did this; it was almost like we were at summer camp or doing team building activities with our family & friends. B/c neither of us live in our old hometowns and have moved around a lot, our friends and family are not one cohesive group. These excursions allowed the families and friends to bond. Our schedule was based on Monday-Monday week in Mexico:
1)Welcome Dinner â€“ Tuesday night. This was the free non private dinner in our wedding package. We are going to follow the Welcome Dinner w/ a â€œTexas Hold Emâ€ tourney in the Tequila Bar. My brother is bringing poker chips and since everyone has cards in the OOT bags, thatâ€™s all we need!
2)Wednesday Excursion â€“ I booked a group tour through Susan Vincil at CancunandRivieraMaya.com She gave me tons of information on different tours and created one just for me â€“ Tulum ruins, ziplining, lunch, and snorkeling in a cenote. They included transportation to and from AB in air conditioned vans for $93 pp. It is an 8 hour excursion â€“ such a steal! The snorkeling and zip lining with lunch was at Aktun Chen: AKTUNCHEN NATURAL PARK
Cancun and the Riviera Maya Mexico - Hotels, Pictures, Beaches, Information
3)Thursday night Cancun clubbing â€“ 3 vans (through Cancunandrivieramaya.com again) taking us to and from Cancun â€“ starting at 7:30pm and one pick up at 11:30pm and another at 2am. This was $336 for all 3 vans â€“ super cheap way to have a 30 person excursion. If I did not do the tulum & zip lining one, Iâ€™d probably do a day trip to Playa as well.
4)â€œRehearsal dinnerâ€ â€“ instead of the traditional rehearsal dinner, we are having a Catamaran cruise through Paradise Catamarans. 4 hours â€“ incl food & open bar. FIâ€™s parents are paying for this as they would the normally sponsor the rehearsal dinner at a traditional wedding. Itâ€™s about $2500 including transport. We also have to pick up 4 guests staying at a different hotel. We are going snorkeling and then cruising. Sail, swim, snorkel, parasail, and enjoy the Mayan Riviera with Paradise Catamarans. Our private catamaran charters make every outing a memorable event.
Saturday is the wedding and there are no more activities after that â€“ besides recovery and reminiscing!
OOOKKKKK I think that wraps up most of my planning. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:54 AM
Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:20 AM
Married my best friend on January 24, 2011 at Azul Sensatori!
Ambassador for Azul Sensatori and Karisma resorts
Official Azul Sensatori thread:
Recommended Travel agency: Wright Travel
Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:28 AM
My Planning Thread
Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:41 AM
I realized I forgot my DJ and song choices:
I went with the DJ option from the hotel. It was double what people pay for DJs back home, but for FI, we had to have a DJ. so...
Bride and Groom Entrance: Best Friend by Weezer - start at 0:34
First Dance: This Kind of Love by Sister Hazel
Father Daughter: Wild World by Cat Stevens
Mother Son: Forever Young by Alphaville
I walked down the aisle to "If I ain't got you" by Alicia Keys and we walked out to "Say Hey (I love You)" by Michael Franti.
Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:03 PM
Thanks for sharing!
Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:03 PM
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