Hi Hanna-I'm Erin by the way!
Wow-how exciting that you just ordered "THE" dress I found mine last month and am SO happy with it. So, here's what we have figured out so far...Photography was a big concern for me, but I found out something they don't exactly advertise...and that is, if a photographer is STAYING at the Iberostar, you do NOT have to pay that $300 fine! I know an amazing photographer in Boston who offered to shoot the entire thing for free if we paid for him to go. That was a no-brainer, because about the same $$ as the people they make you go with there, AND we know we'll get amazing pictures from someone who knows us personally. We may go with their company for a video though. Our reception is going to be private and at the "Don Alfredo" restaurant, which is a covered, open-air restaurant with plenty of room for people to dance. We actually reserved the "Dream Civil Ceremony," which includes TONS of stuff, even us being upgraded to the Presidential Suite on our wedding night. They'll do a 'practice' hairstyle on me ahead of time, and one on the actual wedding day..there are lots of extras in that package-we are really happy we picked that because normally a 'private' reception is like $800 extra, but it's part of the dream civil ceremony. I haven't gotten into flowers yet, but I plan on doing white roses and I'll have those for my bridesmaids too, except my sis-who's the maid of honor-she loves calalillies, so I'll surprise her with those. The decorations (i.e. arch we'll get married under) are part of the package too, so I'm not too worried about that. I figure I'll hit Karla up with that stuff closer to the day. We're definitely going to have at least 40 people there, so the cake that's included isn't gonna cut it-so I have to figure something out with Karla where that is concerned. Also, it's just a white cake with flowers, so we have our own topper (including a hilarious one for a 'grooms' cake with the bride holding a key & the groom sitting down with a ball & chain on his ankle) and I want to check to see if we can pay extra to make the main cake bigger and more of a 'beach' theme. (Like brown sugar to look like sand, chocolate sea shells...that stuff is easy to add-I could even do it. lol) They only allow you to serve one kind of food at the reception...so we're thinking the steakhouse menu, but we haven't finalized anything yet. We're doing a cocktail reception right after the 4:30 ceremony & the actual reception will start at 6ish. We're hiring an outside DJ-mainly because I am a radio DJ-so the music is a HUGE deal for me. I can't be having someone in charge who is playing Pink Floyd instead of Pink...but that's me! If it isn't a big deal to you, they have someone on site, but there's no microphone, no mc'ing or anything of the sort. Whew-I have talked your ear off. lol. That's pretty much what I have for now. We sent out Magnet "Save The Dates" and everyone loved them! They were so cute-cost 2 stamps each though because of the weight of the magnet.
What I'd LOVE to know-is this. To all brides who gave everyone an overnight/beach welcome bag when they got there filled with tons of stuff. How in the world did you GET the stuff there? Did you pack 3 extra suitcases?! Help please!