I am so excited to be sharing our wedding with you all. Get ready for a long post with lots of photos...
How it began - Brett and I met in the fall of 2000 during our junior year at TCU. Due to the number of coincidental connections we had, we were destined to meet and although we started out as friends, it quickly blossomed into more. Our first kiss was like it was out of a fairy tale. We were at a overnight event with our business fraternity and stayed up all night chatting in a barn overlooking the river. As the sun came up, Brett leaned in for a kiss and I was smitten.
Engagement - It was on an amazing trip to South America that Brett proposed to me while hiking on Perito Moreno Glacier in Patagonia, Argentina. I was completely surprised and will cherish that day forever.
Rings - Brett chose my ring all on his own. He never wanted us to go ring shopping together. It is a blue sapphire and I love it! We used some of my family stones to create the wedding band and I love how it added to the original design.
Invitations & STD - I have written an entire post about our invitations here. We wanted to go with a travel theme as you will see. We did not send out traditional save-the-dates and opted for an electronic version.
Location - We chose Hotel Playa la Media Luna on Isla Mujeres, Mexico. It was the best decision we made! The small hotel has 18 rooms (plus 4 additional rooms if you need the space). You do have to rent all the rooms to have your ceremony and reception there, but it is totally worth it! Maria, the coordinator is AWESOME as is the rest of the crew. The hotel manager, Wizer, is fantastic and really responsive. We highly recommend this hotel and my parents have even discussed having their vow renewal for their 50th anniversary there in 3 years. :-)
Welcome Bags - I found a lot of inspiration for our welcome bags on this forum. We found small colorful canvas bags at Hobby Lobby and filled them with the following goodies:
- Welcome book designed like a passport
- Set of 4 wine charms (I made these with my MIL)
- Shell necklace (my mom purchased these on sale at Hallmark for $1 each!)
- Coasters (Made these with my mom)
- Chiclets gum
- Weekend Survival Kit: Hand Sanitizer, Tissues, and Uh-oh kits (Tylenol, Advil, emory board, Alka-Seltzer, Pepto, Imodium, Emergen-C, Bandaids)
Seating Cards - This was another place we infused the travel theme. I made fabric luggage tags for each of the guests. Then we named the tables after locations we had traveled together.
Other DIY Projects - Some of the other projects I worked on before the wedding included the following:
- Programs - Cheated a little by picking up a kit at Michael's and my husband laid out the copy.
- Menus - My husband and I designed these together. They were cootie catches and listed the drinks, salad, entree, and sweets. We listed these in english and spanish to tie in our location. Only problem was the windâ€¦we had to place a small stone on top and they got a bit squished. Also, the humidity played havoc on the paper and made it pretty limp too.
- Veil - I bought my veil for $10 at Michael's and added the crystal elements to the top. I did not want to spend much on this considering I wore it for 20 minutes!
- Mother's Bracelets - I beaded two bracelets for our mothers. I saw a photo of a corgi that inspired me so I got to work. This was my first attempt at beading and it was not as easy as I had hoped. It took a lot of time, but in the end, I am glad I did it.
- Felt Props - I made felt props based on BarbaraCopeland's post. They were fun and I am glad we had them for some guest book photos.
Flowers - We bought the flowers from the local flower shop on Wed night and had them delivered Friday morning. The girls gathered together to assemble the bouquets (3), bouts (5), corsages (2), and centerpieces (6). I loved ordering the flowers in spanish and got a great deal less than $200 for 14 stems of casa blanca lilies, 60 white roses, and 60 orange gerber daisies.
Dress - I definitely did not fall in love with the first dress I tried on. In fact, I started out looking for a more old hollywood glam dress (think silk halter gown). I went to 3 stores in Chicago and 3 in Southern California. I found my dress at Mon Amie in Costa Mesa. It was picked out by the consultant and I love it! My now husband loved it too.
Suits - All of the guys bought their suits through Studio Suits, which I found through this forum. All of them looked great and we did not have any major problems with the company or our orders. My dad's suit almost did not make it. My mom gave them the wrong email address and they questioned his measurements (he's the one that looks like Hulk Hogan). But with 2-3 weeks until the wedding, they got it all sorted out and it made it to them in California. What great service!
Bridesmaids Dresses - My girls (my older sister and my niece - her daughter) found their dresses at the first store we went to in Chicago. They are from Dessy. Two different styles, but the same color - Royal Blue in iridescent taffeta. They looked great and I was so happy they were not too matchy-matchy.
Hair & Makeup - I hired the girl that Maria suggested to do my hair. It's a good thing too because I am not sure I would know how to get the curls to stay in the crazy Mexico humidity. My sister did my makeup. When I was home for the holidays, we went to MAC and bought most of the stuff used by the consultant.
Guest book - I wanted to do Polaroid pictures, but could not justify spending $35 per pack of 10 for film! So we modified. We had everyone sign pieces of card stock with colored pencils and take a photo of themselves with a camera set on self-timer mode. We also set out some felt props to make it more fun. For the finished book, we are going to upload the photos, tweak them in photoshop to look like Polaroids, and create a photo book with the images and notes. I'll let you all know how it turns out.
Cocktail, Dinner, Cake & Topper - The cocktail hour after the ceremony took place on the beach where waiters passed beverages and the hors d'oeuvres were set out on a centrally located table. The hotel set aside one of everything for me and the groom and we confirmed that everything tasted great!
Dinner was great too! We had a Caprice salad, Yucatan Chicken served on a banana leaf, and wedding cake with Mexican wedding cookies for dessert. Our cake was a simple white cake with strawberry filling, but our cake topper was too cute! I ordered it on Etsy and it was custom made to look like Brett and I. So excited I can use this at our AHR next month.
Dancing & DIY play list - I wanted there to be lots of dancing and my fiance wanted there to be great music so we decided to DIY and go with an iPod (or the actual computer in our case). I will post our play list to the appropriate thread and add the URL here soon. With 5 - 6 hours of music, I have a feeling it might take me a while. In the end, we loved this option and both got exactly what we wanted. We even had our friend from the UK emcee for us so we had added class with a british accent. Hee hee.
Honeymoon - We would have loved to have taken a week or two to enjoy our newly married status, but that's not in the cards for us right now. You see, we have recently started a company together and if you are a landlord looking for property management software, you should look us up. :-) Here's our fan club arriving at the hotel for the wedding - best surprise ever! They wore their RentMonitor shirts while traveling and attracted a lot of attention. I love my family!
But, I digressâ€¦with the responsibility of a new company to get back to, we settled on 3 days in Tulum (no additional flight necessary and fairly close). It was a great decision.
Tulum is very relaxed, quaint and has AMAZING food everywhere. We are into yoga and meditation too so we liked the vibe.
We rented a car to get there and stopped in Playa del Carmen for lunch on the way. Once we got to Tulum, there was salsa dancing the first night, a couples massage the next morning, a tour of the mayan ruins, lounging in the sun on a gorgeous beach and fantastic food and drinks. I guess I was a bit obsessed with the food since I had been dieting for the previous 3 months.
All in all, I highly recommend Tulum if you are looking for something laid back. Places close down early and the town is centered around being eco-friendly so this is not the place for you if you are looking for an all-inclusive that parties long into the night. We stayed at Mezzanine and the only complaint we had was that our room did not feel very secluded. It was next to the entry walkway to the hotel and restaurant, but there were not that many people that walked by - mainly just the workers. We were just hoping for a bit more privacy - it was our honeymoon after all!
I hope you find our wedding story helpful and inspirational. Good luck to all of you Brides! I hope your weddings are as perfect for you as ours was for us.