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Barbaracopeland's Planning Journal!! **More pics added on page 2 and 3. Isla Mujeres

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Yay!!! I finally get to do my planning thread!!! I have been dying to this for so long and it was driving me crazy that I had to wait until after the wedding to do it. Since I live in France now, I had to send a ton of stuff to my family in the States to bring with them so I couldn't take pictures until we were in Mexico.


***I would grab a cup of tea or something, this will be sooo long! 


First let me say that without so many of you, I wouldn't have had so many awesome ideas so I cannot thank you all enough! And Thank you to Tammy and all of the mods for keeping such an amazing site up for all of us to share!


I also have to send the BIGGEST THANK YOU to Rebecca from Allurements by Rebecca!! She did such an amazing job on my invitations, that I asked her to make a ton of other stuff for me. She was an absolute dream to work with and I seriously couldn't have done any of this without her help!  My only regret was that I didn't discover her until after I had sent my save the dates out!  I can't wait until I either get pregnant or have a vow renewal so I can have her make more stuff! Love, love, love her!!!


So here it is:


How We Met:

I was on tour with the Bellydance Superstars when one of our dancers got a call to say that her boyfriend who had just come back from Africa had been taken to the hospital and was in a coma. It turned out that he had Malaria. She immediately flew home to Oakland to be with him. A few days later we had 2 days off so one of the other dancers and I flew out to Oakland to check on her. She said that she hadn't eaten or slept, so while she napped we went to a restaurant to eat and grab her some take out. My friend had worked at this restaurant before so she knew all of the staff. The manager came by to say hello and the minute I laid eyes on him, I knew. He had such kind eyes! When he left, I told my friend that I was going to marry him and she of course laughed! Well, six months later, I ended up moving to Oakland from Los Angeles (not to stalk him or anything, I just hated L.A and all of my friends were in the East Bay). I went into the restaurant, gave him my number and 2 days later we went on our first date!

By the way, my friend's boyfriend pulled through and they are now married, so it all ended well!



Almost 5 years later and we were now living in the countryside in the southwest of France. We took the train to Paris for my birthday and I was so sure that he would propose to me at some point over the weekend. He didn't! When we got home, it was one of the last nice days of Autumn so he suggested we go to our favorite spot near our local river where there is an island and a small waterfall. We were sitting there on a blanket when he popped the question!! Complete surprise!


The Ring:

I couldn't take a good picture of my ring while I was wearing it, so I put it on my cat like a tiara. He's a good sport! It's still a terrible picture though.

I don't have a good picture of our wedding bands (broken camera!), but mine is a Blue and White Diamond band and his is just a plain white gold band. I love my band! **Oh I just found one of those cheap free gift digital cameras so I took one of my band. It's horrible, but the best I have!




ring with band.jpg



My camera broke while I was in Mexico, so I don't have a photo of my STD. I just did a big magnet from Vista Print.



From Allurements by Rebecca

I love these so much it hurts! I got so many compliments on them. Even Mark (my new hubby) was impressed and he's a boy! My colors were Silver, Sea Blues and Sea green. 






Wedding Location:

Playa Media Luna, Isla Mujeres




We love Mexico and we almost moved there a few years ago before we moved to France so we knew it would be there. We were going to do it in Tulum, but after some thought, we decided on Isla Mujeres, an island right off of Cancun. This would be much easier for those guests that could just come for the weekend since they wouldn't have to rent a car.

We're not into the big resorts and I wanted a smallish boutique hotel that we could rent out in it's entirety and I knew that we would only have between 30 to 40 guests so that shouldn't have been a problem. I checked out just about every place on the island and Playa Media Luna was exactly what we were looking for. All of the rooms are ocean front, they have their own wedding planner and they have 3 types of rooms so our guests could choose based on their budget. 

**I'm going to do a separate review for Playa Media Luna and their wedding planner Maria, but let me just quickly say that she was WONDERFUL!!! I love her so much!! She did such an amazing job and she was set to have a C-Section just 3 DAYS after my wedding!! I couldn't believe a woman who was about to pop would work so hard and be so efficient!!



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Welcome Bags!!!!:

I had never even heard of a welcome bag before I saw it on this site. I loved every single second of making these bags!! I bought the tote bags from Cheaptotes.com and Allurements by Rebecca made the iron on Transfers. She also made the Beach Bag Tag, as well as the logo and stickers for the soaps and lip balms. ( LOVE HER!!)

I would probably go with a different kind of bag if I could do it over again. It was ok, but smallish and thin material. Cheap though!


bag tag new.jpg welcome bag full.jpg welcome bag last.jpg


wlcome bag finished.jpg

**I did put tissue paper in the bags but I didn't take a picture! sad.gif


Inside each of the Bags:



1 Wedding Weekend Survival Kit 

2 Packs of Inflatable neck pillows, eye masks and ear plugs

1 Home made Ornament

1 Home made Loofah Soap

1 Home made Lip Balm

4 Home made Bath Bombs

1 Welcome Book

1 Wedding Weekend Photo Album

2 Wedding Weekend VIP Backstage Passes


Wedding Weekend Survival Kits

Included  First Aid Kit, 2 Emergen-C packets, 2 Advil Packets, 2 Pepto packets, 2 Insect Sting Relief Packets, 2 Alka Seltzer packets, 3 Tide Sink Wash Packets, 4 Crystal Light Packets, 1 Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizer

medicine bags.jpg survival kit 1.jpg


survival kit 2.jpg


Ornaments- Made from Salt Dough- I did a post on this already, but here is the picture again.

Packaging for Ornaments, I wrapped the ornament in blue paper and sealed it with a Rebecca Sticker. I sewed muslin bags and then tied them together with green and blue raffia and a charm that says "Love".


orn new.jpg  wrapped.jpg  orn wrapped.jpg


Soaps and Lip Balms-

I am training to become a Certified Herbalist so I make tons of Body butters, soaps, lip balms and bath bombs as it is. For the soaps, I cheated a bit and just used soap base which I dolled up by adding organic goats milk, essential oils and aloe as well as a slice of loofah that I grow in my garden.

Rebecca made the stickers.

Packaging for soaps and lip balms- I sewed muslin bags and then I just tied them together with Green and Blue Raffia with a silver charm from Michael's the said "To Love and to Cherish"


soap new.jpg  soap up close.jpg soap package.jpg


Lip Balms-

For these I used Beeswax from a local beekeeper, several different oils that I infuse with herbs and flowers from my garden, Calendula, coconut oil and essential oils. Rebecca made the stickers.



lip balm.jpg


I also made Bath Bombs to put in the bags:


bath bombs.jpg


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Welcome Book;

Oh Dear Lord!!! This was going to be a 9 page booklet and it turned into a 32 page novel!! I went so overboard! I loved it though! It has maps of the island, Welcome letter, photoshare info page,Spanish translations, a Mexican Food Guide, Things to do on Land and Things to do in the water section, Golf info for the boys, History of the Island, and several pages of games. 

My only regret for this book is that I forgot to ask Rebecca to design the cover!! I thought about the cover last minute and I had to make one really quickly, I just used our logo. I really wish she would have done them, I did a terrible job! Oh well!


welcome book pages.jpg



VIP Passes:

I thought this was going to be the favor, but Mark said he wanted to wear his all weekend so we put them in the Welcome bags. We did these for my father who has passed away. I was a huge Daddy's girl and I wanted to have something there for him, but nothing too heavy since I knew I would cry. My whole family is in the music industry. My uncle was the drummer for The Police, my dad was a booking agent and my other uncle had a record label and was a manager, and I grew up going on tour with bands so VIP Backstage Passes for my wedding seemed perfect to me! 

Rebecca did these and she came up with calling it the Nuptial Tour which I thought was adorable!! She really out did herself!

I loved these and they were a HUGE hit!!


2 sides vip pass.jpg




Hats for In Laws

I adore my in laws and I wanted to give them something to wear for the weekend. I had these hats made on Cafepress.com. They loved them!!


dad hat.jpg

mom hat.jpg


My Bouquet:

I did a post on this already, but I'll add the photos here as well. I made my bouquet out of satin and vintage rhinestone brooches and I made the bridesmaids bouquets out of Satin and Swarovski crystals. I love how they came out!! 

Here is my bouquet:


**Since I was wearing blue, some of the rhinestones look blue, they weren't!

bouquet 2.jpg


Bridemaid's bouquets- I don't know why I didn't take a photo of theirs, but here is a picture of when she is walking down the aisle. Theirs 

was silver satin and blue swarovski crystals.




Mother In Law Corsage:

I wanted to include Lynda in all of the stuff that I got for the girls since I love her so! I gave her the choice of a wrist corsage or a pin on one and she wanted the wrist one. She loved it ! Sorry for the terrible picture!! It was so much prettier in real life!


lyndas corsage.jpg


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I made my earrings and also the bridesmaids earrings as well. They are swarovski crystals.


bm earrings.jpg




I ordered 4 bracelets from an Etsy seller. I can't seem to find her info, but to be honest, I wouldn't recommend using her anyway.  For what I paid, I was really disappointed. They look good, but they are incredibly lightweight and my sister lost 2 of her charms literally with in minutes of putting it on! They were not very well made I thought. I used to make jewelry so I have an idea of what these cost her to make and I totally got ripped off and that was on top of them being on sale! I would have been furious if I had paid the original price! They do look good in the picture though so I had no idea when I ordered them. I should have made these myself but I thought I wouldn't have any more time.

I changed the packaging as well to make them a bit more personal.


bm bracelet.jpg

bm bracelet 2.jpg


Welcome/Rehersal Dinner:

We decided to do a big Welcome dinner for everyone the night before the wedding. Mainly we did that so that everyone would get to know each other before the wedding and also to thank everyone for coming so far to our wedding. We held it at a super casual beach restaurant called Picus Cockteleria, it's so casual there's no floor- just sand! The only problem is that the night before I got Montezuma's Revenge and I spent all night being violently ill. So I ended up taking a nap before the dinner and slept so long I didn't have time to get ready! So basically I looked a hot mess for our welcome dinner. Boo!!msncry.gifLuckily my BM gave me a Bride to Be tiara with a veil so it covered my rats nest hair!



welcome dinner.jpg



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I hate to shop for clothes and since I live in the countryside, I knew that this would be tough. I just wanted a simple flowy beach dress so I ended up having it made. It cost $150 total!!  

Here is a picture of me in my dress:


my dress.jpg

my dress 2.jpg


Bridesmaid Dresses:

We got these from Jcrew.com and we loved them!! They went on sale just as we were buying them, so they got them for 50% off too! Awesome!! I think the color was called Matisse Blue or something. It was such a pretty color, this picture doesn't do it justice!



bm dress.jpg


Boys Outfits:

We bought several types of White Linen shirts while we were in Playa Del Carmen the week before the wedding and just let the guys pick which ones they liked. They wore khaki pants. 






I asked my father's best friend who I have known my whole life and who also happened to be my old boss to marry us. He is ordained from the internet and he was wonderful! I called the ceremony the Perfect Bite, a little sweet, a little sad, a little funny, a little serious. We even did a Patron shot at the beginning to calm our nerves! 

I bought him one of the shirts like all of the boys had but when I walked down the aisle I saw that he was in a ministers shirt, white collar and all! I almost died from laughing! He bought it on Amazon.com!

I made Bubble tags that said "Blow Bubbles of Good Wishes For the New Mr. and Mrs." - I can't remember who I stole that from! And those were on the chairs. 

My BM told me just before we went out that I should make sure not to lock my knees during the ceremony which would make me faint. So in my head during the whole ceremony, I kept saying to myself "Don't lock your knees, don't lock your knees..." so of course when I looked at the video it looks like I am doing the pee pee dance the whole time!! Ugh!


Also, my favorite part was that I walked down the aisle to "The Wonder Of You" by Elvis! It made me so happy! And my Uncle Miles gave me away.


walking down aisle.jpg





Cocktail Hour:

Immediately after the wedding we had cocktail hour. We had Blue Margaritas, Island Punch, Beer and Pina Coladas being served by waiters and for food we had Lobster with Goat cheese on toast points, melon wrapped in prosciutto, mushroom filled crepes and lobster salad in puff pastry. 

I also made some felt photo props (mustaches, glasses, hats etc..) to see if I could get people to be silly. I thought that maybe they would be a bust but they were a HUGE hit! If I would have known, I would have done a lot more!


cocktail time.jpg

felt 1.jpg


felt stuff 2.jpg


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We then moved up to the pool area for dinner and reception. I made the menus and the place cards as well. For the place cards, I spray painted the starfish and I added rhinestones to everything partly because rhinesones found their way into everything and also to hide the bumps from the glue dots. 


This was the buffet set up. I have to say that the food was fantastic!! We chose the Mayan Buffet and everyone made a comment about how good the food was!




My sister bought me these napkins from Michaels and I asked Maria to put them by the bar. I loved that she didn't just sit them out! She put them in Martini glasses with a shell to keep them from blowing away.



place cards.jpg

Again, since I did the placecards last minute, we hadn't arranged any sort of special set up for them. I asked Maria to just put them on a table, but instead she went and got these boxes and filled them with sand so they looked nice. She really went above and beyond!

placecards 2 .jpg


I wanted it to be fairly simple. We just had green fabric on the tables with seashells and hurricanes with floating candles. Maria didn't feel that the candles were giving off enough light so she added some white Christmas lights that were battery operated. They looked so pretty. Then we had silver chargers with the menus on top. Another thing that she did, which I loved!!, was have lighting under the tables so when it got dark they looked like they were floating.

I thought it was beautiful!

table 1.jpg


table other.jpg





We just used the guy who was recommended by the hotel. He was fine but I really should have done a Do Not Play list!! Please don't forget to do this ladies!! His first song was Shakira, then it was Ricky Martin, then God Knows who else, then Shakira again etc... They were all dancing songs, but not my cup of tea at all! My friend Megan took it upon herself to go request a whole bunch of stuff and she kept bringing him coffee all night so he was happy and I was happy- win/win!


Cake and Cake Topper:

I wanted something simple that looked beach-y. Luckily the standard cake that they did looked like coral so I was happy with that. We had a letter "L" cake topper and the cake was vanilla with white meringue icing. I loved it!




This picture was taken from earlier in the day but I had to add a picture of Maria since I loved her so much.








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We spent the first week while we were in Mexico in Playa Del Carmen and Tulum so we just stayed on Isla Mujeres for the Honeymoon. We moved over to our friend's B&B called Villa La Bella. This place is amazing and they have the best Pina Colodas on the island! Also the shower heads are conch shells that Curtis drilled holes into. By far the coolest shower I have ever taken!


villa bella1.jpg

villa bella2.jpg

villa bela last.jpg




I guess that's it! I loved every single second of the entire wedding process! I give Rebecca (Allurements by Rebecca) and Maria Del Mar Lima so much credit for making this whole process a painless blast! I say we do this again in 5 years!

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