Please accept my sincerest apologies for falling off the face of the earth. I work for the Department of Public Social Services and due to the sad economic state that our country finds itself in, we are extremely busy. This level rises to a point of insanity from October through January, when the holidays come upon us. It can be a rewarding job, but oh so very exhausting. The wedding planning took a backseat for a little bit, but now with only 73 days to go, it's Focus, Focus, Focus!
Please know that although I did not have the time to post, I have celebrated from afar as you have picked your dresses, completed DIY projects, and checked things off of your lists. I have also kept many of you in thought and prayer as family members have passed, as friends and family have let you down, and as jewelry was stolen. I too have had a few roller coaster moments, but at this point it's full steam ahead!
I will post some pics as soon as I can, however, my 2 main projects at the moment are finishing the menu cards and the wedding programs on Vistaprint and purchasing the items for and completing the OOT Bags.
I did get some things checked off the list:
Booked Marvin to do my flowers
Purchased the dress for the civil ceremony, which will take place before we leave to Cancun
Purchased my wedding jewelry
I received a call from the Bridal Salon yesterday...the dress is in! I am excited but I am also nervous. Because I chose to put more of my efforts into work, I failed to be true to my weight loss plan. I haven't lost much weight and I know that I will be mad at myself when I go for my fitting. I am glad that I decided to order my dress in a size that would fit me now, versus the size I was hoping to be. I figure it's easier to take things in than let things out, when there is not enough material. Phew!
I have been corresponding with my Miami coordinator, Ivis Hitchcock. She is a sweetheart, but keeps telling me that she is waiting to receive confirmation from the "onsite staff" regarding my location requests. 73 days is alot different than 90 days. My patience is starting to wear thin. She did tell me that my onsite coordinator would be Kaylena. I'm very happy about this, due the great reviews she has received on this site, although her emailing is known to be slow. Ivis told me I would be hearing from Kaylena about 2 weeks before the wedding. A little too close to the wedding for the control freak in me, but it is what it is.
I also was a little shocked to learn that the reception was going to cost much more than I had originally anticipated. I have been hoping to book the Caribbean Terrace for the reception. I knew that this location was considered a semi private location and that it would cost an additional $12.00 per person set up fee. For whatever reason, I interpreted this as ... The Amber Package that I purchased includes dinner for up to 35 guests, therefore I must pay $12 x30 = $360. Boy, I could not have been more WRONG! The reality... the Caribbean Terrace is treated as a private area PLUS an additional $12.00. The Caribbean Terrace is "free + $12 pp" IF you have enough nights booked to qualify for a "private event". I do not. So Ivis explained to me that it would be $50 per person in additional to the 12 pp fee - $62.00 x 30 = $1,860. Yikes! So the logical/practical me says no way, too much, we are going to one of the restaurants that is included in the package....then the emotional/I want what I envisioned me screams but, but, I already bought table decor and tablecloths. So....I called the bank, checked the savings account, called the FH, and called Ivis back. Let's just say I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the Caribbean Terrace, although I'm certain that deep down inside the FH is hoping that it wont be available. The one thing that I have Ivis looking into, and pushing that it be honored is the $400 per table of 10 that was offered with the "Older packages". The new Colin Cowie Collections offer $50.00 per person for a table of 8. I believe the table sizes are the same, however they are now only sitting 8 people versus 10 per table. One more way for MP to make more money. Since I'm bringing my own table decor and I'm certain, although it wasn't mentioned, a $65.00 decor set up fee will be charged I hope, pray, and will push for the $400 price.
The new Colin Cowie Collections do offer reception decor that the "older packages" do not. They are magnificent, however, I believe you must qualify for a "private event" to purchase them and than you still must pay the additional cost. I have attached the entire document I was provided, which includes both the ceremony decor prices and the reception decor prices. Please see attachment. Hope someone can find this helpful.
In addition, for us "Gem Collection Brides" aka "the older packages" I have attached the selections that one can pick from for both the Sapphire Package and the Amber Package. You can see what bouquets, cakes, and boutonnieres are included and what is considered an upgrade. I originally wanted Amber but now I am trying to change it to Sapphire, as the cost is the same $1,952.00
If we do indeed get the Caribbean Terrace, we have decided to serve the French Buffet. We chose this one because it has a fish entree, a chicken entree, and a beef entree. We do not have any vegetarians attending so we didn't have to take that into consideration. I am by no means a "Foodie" (basically, as long as I don't have to cook, I think it's great) but I will include a review of the food when I do the final review. We do have 30 nights booked, so we did earn a free cocktail hour. We will be serving the Superior Appetizers. I know both of these menu options have been posted previously, but thought for someone that hasn't seen it, they could use the info.
Well girls, this all for now. I hope that everyone is well. I know one thing for sure ... you have all been busy productive bees!
Here's to the 2012 Brides ...Thanks for continuing to share thoughts and ideas!