This is my After-The-Face Planning Thread. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope you find it helpful! Enjoy!!
We got engaged last summer (2010). We knew we wanted a wedding where we got a chance to actually hang out and see our family. His extended family is in South America and he hadnâ€™t seen his cousins or aunts/uncles in years. My family is spread out across the USA and my little brother lives in Asia, and it had been years since weâ€™d seen each other as well. A destination wedding was perfect for us to give us more time to spend with our families and friends. Mexico was a perfect compromise, since English was prevalent, and, well, of course, Spanish is the native language.
We chose the Royal Playa del Carmen, mostly because of his parentsâ€™ requests. They had been there months before, and had loved it so much they became Real Members. They hosted us and our families to a week-long vacation together.
We sent out â€œSave-the-Dateâ€ magnets that we ordered on Etsy pretty quickly, along with information on how to reserve the rooms. I know it was different for us since we are members.
We had our invitations printed on Zazzle pretty cheaply, with stamps and Thank-You cards to match.
We just moved to NYC, and I searched for a few days for my dress with some of my friends. After falling in love with a dress at way over my budget, I found a dress (by myself) at RK Bridal, which is a discount bridal store. It is not anything what I thought I would like. I dragged my brotherâ€™s girlfriend to see it that next weekend, and she encouraged me to get it. Iâ€™m so glad I did. Itâ€™s different, but elegant. The brand is Allure. Photos of it on the model, and photos of it on me at my dress fitting:
I got my â€œTrash the Dressâ€ dress from Ebay. The brand is BCBG. It looked beautiful under water.
I got my hair piece custom-made from Etsy.com. I sent her (Clark and Diversey) a photo of the flowers on my dress, and she came up with this:
For my other outfits during the week, I went to Nordstrom Rack (for some great bargains), Century 21, Loehmanâ€™s, and H&M.
My bridesmaids are three very beautiful women with different body types and skin colors who are spread out in three different states. I finally decided to just pick a color and have them pick out their dresses. I wanted something inexpensive, so I searched and searched the internet, finally deciding on Davidâ€™s Bridal, because one store was in each of their cities. The color is Sangria (perfect for Mexico!), and each picked a gorgeous dress. I went with mango calla lilies for their bouquets from Maya Diseno.
Last summer, Menâ€™s Wearhouse was having a huge sale, and we got an awesome linen suit for the groom, and a beautiful white shirt.
The groomsmen ordered these shirts and these pants on line from these retailers.
We are avid barefoot runners/enthusiasts. So we gave our bridesmaids and groomsmen some huaraches (sandals) to wear with their attire. The groom and I wore some too. I sewed some blue thread on my sandals for my â€œsomething blue.â€ The people who altered my dress almost had a heart-attack that I wasnâ€™t wearing heels, but, thatâ€™s not my style! And my feet didnâ€™t hurt the next day. They are by Luna Sandals - the original Lunas with hemp laces.
My groom treated his groomsmen to a Fishing Trip (see below), and I treated my ladies to a mani/pedi at the SPAzul at the Royal. Also for my bridesmaids, I handmade some bracelets with vintage jewelry and some thread - for an updated/fashionable friendship bracelet. They loved them.
I knew I wanted some Mexican traditions at my wedding. Calla lilies, like a Diego Rivera painting, and papel picado. I found some papel picado banners, and had them custom-made with our names on them from Ay Mujer at Etsy.com. They were perfect.
So, then I thought, I can do that! And I attempted to make some papel picado flags as name cards and some table numbers. It took way too long, but I had fun doing it. I donâ€™t really suggest any one else doing this, just leave it up to the professionals! Everyone loved them, though I saw many on the ground after our wedding, just as I had expected. I donâ€™t think anyone really knew how long it took to make them! My poor (now) husband was dragged into helping me glue them, too. Heâ€™s a good sport. I got the frames from Target for $1.99. Canâ€™t beat that! Here are photos:
I got some tulle online from Joannâ€™s fabric. After different plans, we decided to just put them down the center of the tables, and the rest to wrap around our gazebo. Photos of the gazebo with the papel picado flags and the tulle:
We had Marvin from Maya Diseno create these beautiful centerpieces with mango and purple/pink calla lilies. They were perfect. Photos of the tables:
We nixed the OOT bags, and just stuffed some mugs full of aloe and hand sanitizer. I wrapped a ribbon around them, and the staff at the Royal handed them out as our guests arrived. People loved them. We included a brochure and a map of where everyone was coming from, all over the world. The brochure also had a â€œsuggested itinerary,â€ which helped so much!
We ordered an engravable frame from Overstock.com for our â€œguestbookâ€. We loved the look of it - and our guests loved it, too.
We put all this (and these stuffed animals for the kids) in a huge suitcase we got for $40 in Chinatown!
My photographer was awesome. Hiram Trillo Art-Photography. We did a bridal session at my old hometown inTexas, then a Trash The Dress session at some cenotes in Mexico the day after. The photo speaks for itself. He has an amazing eye. My cousin called him a â€œwizard.â€ He works so hard, and does an amazing job.
We decided to do a couple of excursions while we were in Playa. The groomsmen and a few other guys went out on a Fishing Trip with Fishing with Ivan. They had a blast. I highly recommend it!
Then, we got a group together and did the Mayan Xtreme Tour with Aventuras Mayas. I highly recommend them, and our tour guide Israel (Izzy). He was hilarious, genuine, and so caring, especially to my mom who was a little scared! We did a zip-line, repelling, and a snorkel through some cenotes. We all got to be on the same bus, and got a 10% discount by ordering online.
Other things we did that I highly recommend:
- Eyelash extensions! One of my best investments. I got them done at JJ Eyelashes in NYC, with a Yelp coupon. I went for drama (hey! itâ€™s my wedding week!) and I got the longest ones. People still thought they were natural. I didnâ€™t touch mascara the whole time, and it worked great for my TTD session, as mascara wasnâ€™t running down my face. Natural and dramatic.
- Dance Lessons- We took 7 dance lessons from Dance Manhattan, and had a dance choreographed to some fun music. We did a foxtrot then a swing dance. My husband loves ballroom dancing (how lucky am I?). We kept it a surprise, and everyone was so impressed. They loved it. No one could stop smiling.
- iPad Slideshow. We put together a slideshow of all kinds of photos: old family photos, and at least one photo of everyone from our wedding. We passed it around at our Welcome Cocktail, and had it on a table at the wedding, and again at our Goodbye Breakfast. It was so much fun, and I thought better than having a formal projector, because the iPad is so interactive. There was a lot of, â€œWait, Let me see that again!â€ and â€œWho is that?â€ so the iPad was perfect.
- Photosharing website: We are using imgur.com as our photo-sharing website. Itâ€™s so fun that everyone is uploading their photos, so we can see the many perspectives.