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AmyBermuda's Planning Thread - Mexico May Wedding

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#1 amybermuda

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    Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:21 AM

    So, here I am making my planning thread... Ok, so this is coming out AFTER I was married, but b/c I got so much great information from other brides on here, I still wanted to write my own planning thread. And, any bride to be, please do the same! I love the BDW forum!! I am not a techy person but I have learned so much from the girls on this forum and I am forever grateful for everyone's help and sharing of ideas. What an awesome group!

    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.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    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 – 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 “Donkey Cocktail Party”, 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.
    Destination Wedding Hotel - Honeymoon Hotel In Riviera Maya - Cancun Anniversary Hotel | Karisma Hotels & Resorts

    STDs and Invites
    First thing we did was make PostCards as save the Dates. I knew I wanted to send invites 9 months early, but I wanted everyone to get a Save the Date. I used Word and bought an image from iStockphoto.
    I made Boarding Pass Invites – using every bit of information on this forum I could find. I have a thread somewhere on here with my invites. They rocked – I got tons of compliments. I made sure I had a few extra to bring to Mexico w/ me for professional photos.
    Since our guest list was limited to 60 people (40 are coming), we sent STDs at the same time for our AHR to the guests not invited to Mexico. We did not want anyone to feel left out as some ppl got invite and others did not.

    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Wedding Attire
    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 :
    Click the image to open in full size.
    The one my friends all voted for:
    Click the image to open in full size.
    This is one I chose in December by myself:
    Click the image to open in full size.

    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 Macy’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 – 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 
    Click the image to open in full size.
    Click the image to open in full size.

    Travel Agent

    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 season…. 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 on….

    More to follow....

    #2 amybermuda

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      Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:28 AM

      Wedding Themes & Decor

      Colors…. 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.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Flowers… 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 – like 15-16” for my bouquet and same for centerpieces. I wanted BIG flowers.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Ceremony set up – 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 – 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 – total steal at $43/each!
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Theme – I wanted a running theme throughout the wedding, so I chose “love bird in paradise”. 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.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      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 “not for resale” in case…
      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).
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Paper stuff in the bags:
      Welcome Letter, Who’s Who, Door Hanger, and a Schedule.
      Other Items:
      Lanyards with Plastic Sleeve for room key holders. I used Microsoft Publisher to create “business cards” which said “To have an to hold… until you check out. Rom Key Holder”. 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.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.
      Click the image to open in full size.

      #3 amybermuda

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        Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:32 AM

        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        Programs -

        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:
        Click the image to open in full size.

        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.
        Click the image to open in full size.

        #4 amybermuda

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          Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:36 AM

          OK -- last post :)

          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 – Tuesday night. This was the free non private dinner in our wedding package. We are going to follow the Welcome Dinner w/ a “Texas Hold Em” tourney in the Tequila Bar. My brother is bringing poker chips and since everyone has cards in the OOT bags, that’s all we need!

          2)Wednesday Excursion – 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 – 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 – 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 – 3 vans (through Cancunandrivieramaya.com again) taking us to and from Cancun – starting at 7:30pm and one pick up at 11:30pm and another at 2am. This was $336 for all 3 vans – super cheap way to have a 30 person excursion. If I did not do the tulum & zip lining one, I’d probably do a day trip to Playa as well.

          4)“Rehearsal dinner” – instead of the traditional rehearsal dinner, we are having a Catamaran cruise through Paradise Catamarans. 4 hours – incl food & open bar. FI’s parents are paying for this as they would the normally sponsor the rehearsal dinner at a traditional wedding. It’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 – besides recovery and reminiscing!

          OOOKKKKK I think that wraps up most of my planning. Please let me know if you have any questions!

          #5 clgriffi7

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            Posted 12 July 2010 - 10:54 AM

            Amy - you did an amazing job. I love all of the clothing (your dress, the BMs dresses, and all the fellas) and your flowers were gorgeous. I would also like to say that it looks like you took wonderful care of your guests. I only wish I could afford that many activities for mine!

            #6 murmel

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            • Wedding Date:January 24, 2011
            • Wedding Location:Azul Sensatori Mayan Riveria

            Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:20 AM

            Great planning Amy! I've got about 6 months to go and feel like I have barely started. So many ideas...really got to narrow it down and get started!

            Married my best friend on January 24, 2011 at Azul Sensatori! :wub:


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            #7 Shoesiesluvr

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              Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:28 AM

              Amy everything looked great, awesome planning! And your wedding dress was gorgeous! congratulations!
              He's the Ying to my Yang...the Peanut Butter to my Jelly....the Oreo to my Milk...the Cheese on my Pizza...the i to my Phone...the Cream in my Coffee...the Jiggle to my Jell-O...the Star in my Sky...He's my BFF & I married him on 09.25.2010
              My Planning Thread

              #8 amybermuda

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              • 870 posts

                Posted 12 July 2010 - 11:41 AM

                Thanks girls!

                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.

                #9 *Linds*

                • Sr. Member
                • 5,776 posts

                  Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:03 PM

                  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the dress you picked!!!! So beautiful! I love your running theme as well!

                  Thanks for sharing!

                  Loving married life! <3

                  #10 QueenDiva

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                  • 521 posts

                    Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:03 PM

                    Everything looked so nice! I cannot wait for mine, only 10 months to go, lol!

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