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JanineA's Planning Thread Finally Here!! **PIC HEAVY**

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Hi ladies, so my time is finally here, I leave in 2 days and though I have been packed for days I have been cleaning my house and getting it in order for our departure. At first my time planning seemed to drag by and then when I was about 6 months away the time began to fly. I would not be here without the help of so many of you ladies. I have to of course like so many brides before me thank Tammy our Host for her ingenuity in creating this website. The ease of planning and all that this site has to offer in terms of suggestions, inspirations and friendly connections have been a God-send to myself and so many other brides there is no way we could ever thank you enough. Thanks to AnnR (the Enforcer), Abbie (Its so fluffy....just reading that would make me smile on a sad day) and all the mods on the site for working so very hard every day to make this site the best forum for brides/Destination Brides on the web. Thank you to all the brides/vendors who over the course of a year I have become friends with, who have given me advice, listened to my rants and raves or even just shared their stories with me. I have made some friendships that I hope will continue well after I am married and if for some reason ever off the boards. I really would like to also thank Amy (KittenHeart) although she may not be aware so much of my inspiration for my wedding came from hers....sort of. At first I wanted a blinged out wedding, but then as  planning took shape and our guest list was finalized I realized I wanted something a little vintage, a little classic, a little whimsical but most of all comfy. I wanted it to be an intimate gathering that conjured up thoughts of young love and romance. So....without further adieu here is the culmination of all my planning!


How We Met

Chris and I met on the very first day I was moving into my best friend's building. I didn't have a gate clicker so I eased my car up behind his and snuck in. Once we parked in our respective spaces he noticed me taking boxes out of my car and offered to help. Our friendship was an instant click. We both loved basketball, were both open, friendly and held many of the same interests. He lived a few floors down and in no time we developed a friendship.


Our Engagement

Fast forward a few months and we started dating. After dating for 1 year and 1 month Chris proposed. I was not expecting it at all. We had talked about marriage and I was sure that I wanted to marry him but the proposal itself was a complete surprise. You can read our full story here: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/60099/our-engagement-story

and here is a picture of my beautiful platinum Beaudry ring which Chris designed along with Michael (they incorporated pink diamonds because I love pink and purple.....but I don't think anyone has found purple diamonds.....yet). There are four pink diamonds set in rose gold and here is the link to it on this forum with a full description: http://www.bestdestinationwedding.com/forum/thread/896/show-us-your-rings/460


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my ring.JPG


More to come

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So with the engagement out of the way it was down to the business of planning a wedding. Immediately I knew I wanted my favorite colors of pink and purple to be in there, so my colors were pink (soft peony pink), purple, plum, silver and bright green accents. We decided on a destination wedding even before we had been engaged because we both love an adventure, both love to travel and wanted to do something away from the traditional local wedding. It was time to decide where?



We chose the beautiful and sophisticated Somerset Resort located on Grace Bay in the Turks & Caicos Islands. We had considered my home country of Trinidad & Tobago, Rome and so many other places but in the end T&C won. None of our guests except for two couples had ever been to the island. We wanted everyone to feel like they were a part of this adventure with us, that they were discovering it all right along with us. Turks & Caicos was perfect!!! We ended up choosing the Somerset Resort based on the two couples that had visited the island and had stayed at several places (Amanyara, Gansevoort and Somerset) from their description and our own research the Somerset just spoke to us as a couple. It truly embodied everything we wanted in a venue.....lush landscaping, boutique style feel, great customer service and reputation and its location on Grace Bay, as well as a great chef made it the ideal venue for our nuptials and celebration.Grounds11.jpgSomerset1.jpg

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My Dress

One of the first things I did was go dress shopping. I mean literally. I got engaged on September 19th 2009 and was out dress shopping two weekends later. On my very first day I found my dress. I went to a total of 4 bridal salons during my time dress shopping but my dress was the 8th dress I tried on at the first salon.....Priscilla of Boston. I took my MOH shopping with me and to this day she is the only person that has seen my dress. My mother is a very strong willed and opinionated woman so I didn't take her dress shopping with me. I wanted my dress to be my choice......and it was completely and 100%. 


I chose Saffron by Melissa Sweet: here is a pic of it on the model





More to come

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For the Groom and his men

We decided to go with tan colored linen suits from Menswearhouse. Luckily when we purchased them there was a sale purchase one suit and get the other half off, since we were purchasing three and had become quite friendly with the store clerks and manager while picking everything out, they ended up giving us one at full price, one half off and the third discounted by 30% and threw in two gift certificates for $50 each.....I thought it was a great deal. Here is the suit on a model, the guys will be wearing ivory shirts and purple stripped ties, while FI's tie will be a solid lavender. 





FI will wear brown flip flops for the ceremony and brown shoes for the reception. We got his flip flops on sale at American Eagle at the end of summer sale for $5.99......you can't beat that!


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Let The Buying Begin!!


So now it was time to formulate some sort of vision in my head and let it take shape. After numerous nights spent trolling threads and brainstorming I started making some sort of head way. I decided for our save the dates to do something some-what informal but most of all inexpensive, but I still wanted to give off the idea that an elegant affair was to follow. I ordered our save the dates fromhttp://www.weddingpaperdivas.com/ and though they didn't have anything in my mix of colors I decided basic black would do. Here are our save the dates (those aren't our names of course or info, but that is the design I chose).




OOT Bags

I wasted no time in beginning to spend.....I love to shop. With the help of this site I found out what OOT Bags were and I went right to work!!! I loved the idea of showering our guests with gifts. Since I knew that a trip to T&C could be very costly I decided that I wanted gifts that our guests could use both as souvenirs and ones they would use over and over again, and of course gifts that were reflective of us. I've tried to post all of my vendors for all the ladies still working on their OOT bags.


I bought sarongs for the women from http://www.turtleislandimports.com/ I was able to get in contact with Kevin the owner and made him an offer (since I wanted 25 sarongs I named my price and he actually went for it). I ordered different sarongs, so that no one had to fear walking on to the beach and someone else was wearing the exact same sarong. I was very very pleased with the quality and selection of the sarongs. I picked the sarongs out myself on their website and shipping was absolutely free! I couldn't fit all of the sarongs in the pic so here is just a sampling of some of the ones I bought.




I decided to utilize the ever popular Vistaprint for my welcome letters which will be attached to the OOT bags. I am very happy with how those turned out....after all, all you pay is shipping. I attached them to a chain which will then be attached to each bag handle. http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/welcomeback.aspx?xnav=welcome&GNF=1&rd=2




More to come

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Our Invitations

So soon I had to put a halt on all the OOT Bag spending and it was time to spend some money on my invitations. I decided I wanted letterpressed invitations and was able to find a company in CA who did it for a fraction of what most other companies charge. http://www.theaerialistpress.com/ Alexandra and her husband Craig were truly amazing to work with. She sent me proof after proof until we got it right. I bought the shimmered pockets from http://www.cardsandpockets.com/ and the silver midori double satin ribbon from http://www.beau-coup.com/ and the rhinestones I got at Michaels and just used krazy glue and a pair of tweezers to apply them. 


Here is how they turned out: IMG_4835.JPGIMG_4843.JPG

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Rebecca & Monogram Mania

I was so in LOVE with my invitations I got Rebecca of http://www.allurementsbyrebecca.com/ to design a monogram based on the design/artwork of my invitations. Ladies I have to confess at this point that had it not been for Rebecca I think I would have been up ^&^&$'s creek! Rebecca came to my rescue last month when I was down to the wire and needed my menus for both my rehearsal dinner and wedding reception done. I had designed the menus and bought the shimmer paper but couldn't print them at kinko's and printing them at my house the colors were dull. Rebecca printed them for me. She designed my monogram, made my labels, and my survival kit tops and my card to my bridesmaid (who is also my sister in law). Within minutes of sending her an email I got a response, Saturday, Sunday it didn't matter she was on it. So I have to say a very special thank you to Rebecca who worked with me at any stage of the game, no stipulations or strings attached and I am sure if you had read her reviews and seen her work you know that Rebecca is THE BOMB!!!!


Here is a pic of my survival kits for my OOT Bags (Rebecca did the tops), all items were purchased at Target in the travel section for under $1. Here is a pic of the tops.




Here is a pic of it along with other items also included in my OOT bags for guests. All OOT bags contained the following:

Survival Kits containing: tissue (Target), chapstick (Target), Johnson's & Johnson's Lavender Stress Relief Lotion (Target), Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen (Target), Anti-Bac (Bath&Body Works 5 for $5), Zip-fizz energy mix (Sam's Club or Costco). 

Sudoku Books & Crossword Puzzle Books (Target $1 bins)

Old Navy Flip Flops $1 (ON flip flop sale twice a year....white for girls and black for guys neatly tied with ribbons bearing our names and wedding date)

Scentsy (from my dearest buddy and fellow BDW member Meagan...these little scented gel tins are incredible my suitcase smells awesome because of them and the fragrance lasts...send Meagan a message through the site or request a brochure from her at myscentgal@yahoo.com)

Koozies from http://www.kustomkoozies.com/ who were incredible to work with, very fast service, great prices and great product. My hubby is a huge UM fan so we did them in their colors, it was something playful that he really liked adding to the bag.

Water bottles and Jute Bags from http://www.discountmugs.com/ I must express that I was not happy with their service at all. At first they told me my monogram would be replicated with the colors and half tones but they didn't so I ended up with 100 extra bottles (it took them three tries at the water bottles and failing before I said just do the monogram in black, so I am stuck with 100 bottles 50 with my monogram in hot pink, 50 with my monogram on a silver bottle they experimented with and 50 which I ended up using on the white bottle I chose with my monogram in black). For the bags it was another disappointment but rather than have them try over and over and me end up with a gazillion bags I just kept the ones they sent. They refunded me more than half of what I paid so I was ok with that. 

Monogrammed Purse Valet: got these from http://www.littlethingsfavors.com/ they arrive unassembled but are pretty easy to assemble. They were $4/each and I used a 20% off coupon. 

***NOTE TO ALL BRIDES I ALWAYS USE http://www.retailmenot.com/ OR http://www.couponcabin.com/ BEFORE I BUY ANYTHING, CALL ME CHEAP, THRIFTY, WHATEVER I LIKE TO SAVE A BUCK***

Kodak Underwater cameras http://www.ecamerafilms.com/ I got them while they were on sale for $4.25 and yup you guessed it....I used a coupon to get 15% off. 

Hugs & Kisses from Mr & Mrs soaps http://www.theknot.com/ (coupon COMPLETEKS...works everytime from time to time they have greater coupons)

The Rose Ball Candles you see in the pics I am selling I bought those on the knot as well but I just don't have any more room in my luggage...........I wonder why.....hmmmmm......lol!


Here are all the pics ladies!




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Still more to come!!!!

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Baby OOT Bag

FI's niece will be the only baby at the wedding (she will be 16 months or so). At first I was in a serious dilemma cause I didn't want any babies at the wedding and when I reached out for support and advice was even rebuffed by a few ladies thinking this was selfish of me, but not to be let down there was a huge out pouring of positive support and advice from some of you ladies who completely understood my dilemma and helped me think of a creative way to include her. I packed her a bag full of fun things so she could play nearby in the sand and build sand castles and just be herself. Here is her bag!


I got everything for her bag at the Dollar Store!

Nemo Beach Ball

Nemo Splash Discs

Little Mermaid Splash Discs

Little Mermaid Goggles

Pink Water Bottle

Pink Disney Princess Sand Pail and Shovel

Nemo Arm Floats

Fish Floaty Toys

Aladdin Water resistant story book

and a cute pink bag that is also lined inside for wet clothes. 




Bridal Party

My MOH will not be attending the wedding, she simply couldn't afford it since she was out of work for most of the time I was planning and they were relying on only her husband's income. So our bridal party consists of my brother (groomsman), FI's best friend (best man) and FI's sister (bridesmaid). Since in the end it worked out that we had a small bridal party we ended up buying them their outfits. The suits, ivory shirts and the ties for the guys. In addition to this they also get OOT bags and for each of the guys I got monogrammed flasks from the knot shop.




For my bridesmaid and FSIL I went a little above and beyond. She and I have bonded enormously and I wanted her to feel very special and since I got her BM dress discounted (its also Priscilla of Boston), I purchased her jewelry: earrings and bracelet and got Rebecca to make a neat little card! Here is a pic of my cousin wearing the BM dress (except it will be in Lapis which is a purple color). Earrings by http://www.liasophia.com/index_global.jsp and bracelet from Nordstrom by Nadri collection (they have really cool stuff)


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Still more to come!!!!

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Here is the card that I got Rebecca to make for my FSIL for when I present her with the earrings and bracelet.





Etsy Frenzy!!!

So I was done with my OOT Bags, it was time to think about decorating my wedding! I found out about etsy again from other ladies on this site and it was off to shop some more. I have to admit I ended up going a little etsy crazy. Here are all my purchases! ALCHEMY is your best friend.....you can even alchemy the specific vendor and request the item they sell at your price...some may accept others may not, but its worth a shot!


Hanger for pics with my dress on wedding day http://www.etsy.com/shop/lilafrances003 (2).JPG


Umbrella for pics http://www.etsy.com/shop/diabloangel




All signs from http://www.etsy.com/shop/thebackporchshoppe


De-Sanding Station sign for ceremony



Shoes Optional Sign for ceremony



Photobooth sign for photobooth at reception



Frame to be used as a photobooth

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Mustaches to be used as props in the photobooth http://www.etsy.com/shop/whiskerworks2087.JPG



I also bought a strand of pearls but just realized I didn't take a pic of those.....also to be used as a prop....


My wedding day clutch which I am absolutely in love with http://www.etsy.com/shop/cadybriar2128.JPG


Still more etsy finds to come!!!!






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